Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals Minutes
April 10, 2008
Members Present: Jean Hoyt, Jeff Gill, Fred Ashbaugh, Bill Heim (Chair).
Member’s Absent: Amber Mitchell
Also Present: Alison Terry, Village Planner, D. Michael Crites, Law Director, Ken and Patty Dickerman, Mr. and Mrs. Don Contini, Kim Clark, and Marjorie Hickey.
Mr. Heim explained the proceedings of the board and that the meeting is not a public hearing, yet that the meeting is open to the public and it is a quasi judicial proceeding. He stated that the BZBA has thirty days to make a decision.
Ken & Patty Dickerman, 321 North Pearl Street, Application #08-26
Suburban Residential District (SRD-B), Architectural Overlay Review District (AROD)
The request is for approval of a variance to allow a home occupation, tutoring services, to be conducted in the rear accessory structure.
Mr. Heim swore in the following people who wished to testify:
Ken and Patty Dickerman, Alison Terry, Kim Clark, and Marjorie Hickey.
Discussion: Ken Dickerman, 321 North Pearl Street, explained that they would like to move his wife’s home occupation of tutoring children to the rear structure on their property. He stated that they are applying for a temporary variance (13 Months) because they will not continue to run the business out of their home or garage after this time. He stated that they were running the tutoring sessions out of their home until it became too cumbersome to set up the classroom in their living room and dining room each week. Mr. Dickerman stated that they also wished to move the tutoring sessions to the accessory structure because it could be a dander free and pet free area for some of the children who have allergies. Mr. Dickerman stated that their tutoring/literacy program runs in two hour sessions on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He stated that the two hour sessions are from 9:30 – 11:30 or 12:30 – 2:30 and they have some walkers and some who carpool. Mr. Dickerman stated that they purchased the home in 2001 and the garage that used to be located on the property was demolished by a Cherry tree during an ice storm. He stated that they rebuilt the structure to be a two bay garage and expanded it back into the hillside to make a recreational room for his family. He stated that the changes he made were already underway and approved by the BZBA prior to the ice storm. Mr. Dickerman stated that with regards to parking they have asked each parent dropping off or picking up children to use Summit Street. He stated that there have been occasional instances where the right of way has been blocked and they have had to cancel sessions with parents who were not in compliance with this request.
Patty Dickerman, 321 North Pearl Street, stated that it is her ambition to improve the literacy skills of children in this area. She stated that this business allows her to be home with her children and not put them in childcare. She stated that she is not exactly sure why they are there because they have made every attempt at ensuring their clients do not park in the right of way.
Mr. Gill stated that the real issue that the BZBA must address is the proposed business in the rear structure. He questioned if the business were to remain in the primary structure (home) – if the BZBA would be hearing this. Ms. Terry stated that this matter would not need to be heard by the BZBA if the business were to remain in the primary structure. Mr. Gill asked if the number of students has increased since they moved the business to the rear structure and he asked if the noise levels or parking needs have also increased. Mr. Dickerman stated no and he stated that the only employee is Patty Dickerman. Mrs. Dickerman stated that she prefers to have no more than five students during each session. Mr. Dickerman went on to say that there is not outside activity while the children are on the property. Mrs. Dickerman stated that the environment is that of an educational center and this is not daycare. Mr. Dickerman stated that if the parking is the issue and this makes or breaks him being allowed to run the business out of the rear structure – he will not let clients use the driveway and they can use on-street parking.
Ms. Hoyt asked if the parking issue would be the same if the business were to be located back in the primary structure. Mrs. Dickerman stated yes. Ms. Hoyt asked if being denied access to the rear right of way and only utilizing the front driveway would hurt the business. Mr. Dickerman stated that the busy times of day on North Pearl Street tend to be during school drop off and pickup and it can be difficult to back up on North Pearl Street during these times. He went on to say that he can fit three cars in his driveway, but two fit more comfortably. Mr. Dickerman stated that his neighbor to the north has allowed them to use their driveway, but they do not want to do this any longer.
Ms. Hoyt remarked that the matter before them is for a temporary permit and she questioned if the applicant will continue to run the business out of the primary structure after the thirteen (13) month time span. Mr. Dickerman stated they will not run the business out of their home because his wife will be completed with her graduate degree and will either look for a full-time position or run the tutoring sessions elsewhere in the Village. Mrs. Dickerman also stated that they have looked at running the business elsewhere, but at this time it is not financially feasible. Ms. Hoyt asked what guarantee there might be for the neighbors that they wouldn’t be back before the BZBA requesting another variance. Mr. Dickerman stated that he would guess the variance would be voided after thirteen (13) months. Mrs. Dickerman stated that it is her preference to be employed by a school district, rather than self-employed after the thirteen (13) month time frame.
Mr. Ashbaugh questioned if parking in the driveway would be considered “stacked parking.” He stated that he recalled an application for a home on Broadway and North Pearl Street where they did not permit stacked parking. He questioned if the driveway itself can be considered for parking. Ms. Terry stated she would need to further research this.
Mr. Heim explained that the matter before the BZBA is to decide if the home business is permissible in the rear structure and this is ancillary to the parking situation. He stated that he is aware of letters sent by neighbors regarding the parking situation and Officer Dixon (of the Granville Police Department) has tried to remedy this. Ms. Hoyt stated that the parking issues will remain the same whether the business is located in the primary structure or the accessory structure.
Kim Clark, Old Farm Road, stated that she has lived in Granville for three years and she has three children – one who is tutored by Patty Dickerman. Mrs. Clark stated that Mrs. Dickerman is able to provide a service that no one else in the area is able to provide and she believes she is a very good teacher. Mrs. Clark also stated that she sees it as a great value to have the educational environment located outside of the home in the rear structure.
Marjorie Hickey, 211 South Main Street, stated that she has lived in Granville for eighteen years and she and her husband previously owned the Village Baker shop. Mrs. Hickey stated that her six year old son attends Mrs. Dickerman’s program and he is has allergies so it has been very beneficial for her to send him to class in the rear structure.
(Mr. Heim swore in Don Contini at this time.)
Don Contini, 315 North Pearl Street, stated that he is affected by the actions of the applicant because he is the neighbor who is getting blocked in. He stated that he has not complained of the business being located in the home before because no one was using the right of way for parking. Mr. Contini stated that he purchased his home on North Pearl Street nineteen (19) years ago and he didn’t think he would have a school located in his backyard. Mr. Heim questioned if Mr. Contini was stating that he is bothered by the noise and the cars. Mr. Contini stated yes.
Ms. Hoyt questioned if the BZBA had the authority to approve the variance with the condition that the right of way behind the home not be utilized. Ms. Terry stated that they can certainly approve the variance with or without conditions. Ms. Hoyt asked Mr. Contini if he would be in agreement to the applicant keeping the business in the rear of the structure if the right of way were not used. Mr. Contini stated that he would still appeal the decision because of the noise and the fact that he lives in a residential area and that he does not believe it is appropriate to run a school in this zoning district. He stated that he is very concerned that if a school is approved – what would be next? Mr. Heim thanked Mr. Contini for his comments and he stated that the BZBA board received his letters. Mr. Contini stated that he wished to make a few more comments. He stated that the applicant is selling them a story when they say that they have to tear down the classroom in their living room and dining room each week and this isn’t so. They have a separate TV room that was used previously when the Home Occupation was conducted out of the front structure. He stated that clients could back out onto Pearl Street and practically everyone who lives on Pearl Street has to back out. Mr. Contini stated that there were not any issues prior to the applicant using the rear structure and he believes “it is just plain stubbornness on the Dickerman’s part to have people start parking there.” Mr. Contini stated that ever since the family moved in he has helped them in many cases and they have taken advantage of the situation. Mr. Contini stated that if they had not asked for the variance, the BZBA would not be hearing from him. He stated that he has no problems with Mr. and Mrs. Dickerman’s children or her teaching other children how to read – but “not at his inconvenience so they can convenience themselves.” Mr. Contini stated that he used to sit on this board and he is aware that this is not permissible by Village Code. Mrs. Dickerman stated that no one is standing around on Mr. Contini’s property and they are always located on her property when arriving or exiting. She stated that Mr. Contini’s car is not being blocked in and she questions if he is offended because of the crossing of the right of way or the use of their property to back up. Mr. Contini stated that clients are in the right of way and the right of way is to be left free and them being there affects his ability to back out.
Mr. Gill questioned how to proceed from this point forward. Law Director Crites stated that the Board must go by the criteria presented by Ms. Terry that is part of the Code. He stated that the BZBA is required to look at each request for a variance based on these factors (criteria.)
The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #08-26:
a) That special circumstances or conditions exist which are peculiar to the land or structure(s) involved and which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning districts. Each member of the BZBA stated that they did not see any special circumstances. No.
b) That a literal interpretation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance would deprive the applicants of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district under the provisions of the Ordinance. Each member of the BZBA answered No.
c) That the special conditions and circumstances do not results from the actions of the applicant. Each member of the BZBA answered No.
d) That the granting of the variance will not confer on the applicant any undue privilege that is denied by this Ordinance to other lands or structures in the same zoning district. Mr. Gill questioned if the proposed time frame by the applicant puts this in a gray area. Each member of the BZBA stated that it did not put this in a gray area and each member answered no to any undue privilege.
e) That the granting of the variance will in no other manner adversely affect the health, safety and general welfare of the persons residing or working within the vicinity of the proposed variance. Mr. Heim stated that he believes the general welfare may be affected. Ms. Hoyt stated that she does think it would affect the general welfare. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that statement (e) is false. Mr. Gill stated he would answer a “light no” to statement (e).
Mr. Gill stated that with some regret he moves to deny Application #08-26. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Ashbaugh (yes), Gill (yes), Hoyt (yes), Heim (yes). Motion carried 4-0. Application #08-26 is denied.
Finding of Fact
Ms. Hoyt moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-26. Seconded by Mr. Gill. Roll Call Vote: Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Gill (yes), Heim (yes). Motion carried 4-0. The Findings of Fact for Application #08-26 are Approved.
Approval of the Minutes
March 6, 2008
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Seconded by Mr. Ashbaugh. Roll Call Vote: Gill (yes), Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Heim (yes). Motion carried 4-0. The minutes are approved as presented.
Motion to excuse a Member’s Absence:
Mr. Gill made a motion to excuse Amber Mitchell from the BZBA meeting. Seconded by Mr. Ashbaugh. Roll Call Vote: Hoyt (yes), Gill (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Heim (yes). Motion carried 4-0.
The applicant, Mr. Dickerman, inquired on the appeal process. Ms. Terry explained that a letter would be sent to him explaining that he has ten (10) days to appeal the ruling by the BZBA. She stated that the appeal process would go before Village Council. Mrs. Dickerman asked if she would be unable to teach from her garage (rear structure) until the appeal process has gone through. Ms. Terry stated that they would not be able to use the rear structure for the purpose of teaching or a school. Mr. Gill stated that the BZBA is bound to rule according to the Code.
Motion to Adjourn
Mr. Gill made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Mr. Heim. Motion carried 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.
April 15, 2008
May 8, 2008