Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals Minutes
April 9, 2009
Members Present: Jean Hoyt, Fred Ashbaugh, Rob Montgomery, and Bradley Smith.
Member’s Absent: Jeff Gill.
Also Present: Village Planner, Alison Terry.
Visitors: Mr. and Mrs. Michael Carey, Joe and Karen Hickman, Mr. and Mrs. Dale McCoy, and Art Chonko.
Description of Procedure:
Mr. Ashbaugh 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 and any appeals are heard by Village Council. He stated that any witness offering testimony or presenting evidence at a hearing shall be placed under oath prior to offering testimony or evidence.
Michael Carey, 332 North Granger Street, Application #09-21
Suburban Residential District-B (SRD-B) – Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD)
The request is for approval of a variance to reduce the northern and southern side yard setback from twelve (12’) feet to four (4’) feet and to increase the maximum building lot coverage from 20% to 20.6%, to allow for the construction of a 22’x32’ detached garage.
Mr. Ashbaugh swore in the following individuals who wished to speak in regards to Application #09-21:Village Planner, Alison Terry, Michael Carey, Joe Hickman, and Dale McCoy.
Michael Carey, 332 North Granger Street, read a prepared statement pertaining to his request for a variance. Mr. Carey explained that the new garage would provide vast more utility for him and his family. He stated that on September 25, 2006 he came before a Granville board because he was considering purchasing the property at 332 North Granger and he did this on the advice of his real estate agent. Mr. Carey stated that the conclusion was it would be a reasonable request to build a garage and the board suggested having another work session before proceeding. Mr. Carey stated that he has taken a look around the Village to see other garages to gather a richer set of ideas. Mr. Carey stated that at the advice of Ms. Terry, she said that first he needed the appropriate variances. He stated that he has submitted two building location proposals and the first is to build at the current location and the other is a head in configuration. Mr. Carey stated that he understands that the board must choose one or the other. Mr. Carey stated that originally he believed Option ‘A’ was the only option, but now he sees Option ‘B’ as being a viable option as well. Mr. Carey stated that he has been advised that he should consider building massing in his plans and he believes Option ‘B’ is more massing friendly. Mr. Montgomery clarified that Option ‘1’ or Option ‘A’ is where the existing garage sits and Option ‘2’ or Option ‘B’ goes straight back. Ms Terry stated yes. Ms. Hoyt asked if Option ‘B’ is used - would the existing garage still be removed. Mr. Carey stated yes. Ms. Hoyt asked if Option ‘B’ would require the removal of a tree in the back yard. Mr. Carey stated yes, depending on how far to the west he builds. Ms. Hoyt asked what type of tree that is. Mr. Carey stated he believed it is a Spruce. Mr. Smith asked if a concrete slab for Option ‘A’would be removed. Mr. Carey stated yes and with the removal of all concrete in either option the area would be returned to green space. Mr. Smith stated that the lawn space would increase. Mr. Carey agreed that the lot coverage – green space – would be increased with these proposals. Mr. Ashbaugh asked if the footprint on the house is different than what is in the submitted material. Mr. Carey stated that he wasn’t sure how to measure the footprint but the measurements on the official deed are quite accurate. Ms. Terry clarified that 1575 feet includes the back porch (due to the structure having a roof over it). Ms. Hoyt clarified that the existing garage does not conform to current zoning requirements. Ms. Terry stated that if you remove more than 60% of the structure it loses its non-conformity status.
Joe Hickman, 326 North Granger Street, stated that he is speaking on behalf of his wife and himself. He stated that he has no problem with Option ‘A’ and they really don’t have a problem with the lot coverage increasing from 20% to 20.6%. Mr. Hickman stated that what they would want to make sure of is that it is not a two story building and only a story and a half. He stated that they would like to maintain privacy as well as building massing and he would ask that these specific concerns be passed on to the Planning Commission. Mr. Hickman stated that he does not believe that other two story garages have been approved for this area in the past. He stated that across the street from his home a story and a half garage was approved. Mr. Hickman stated that they would appreciate no windows facing his property due to privacy. He stated that the location of Option ‘A’ appears to be fine, and Option ‘B’ mostly affects his neighbors the McCoy’s. Mr. Hickman questioned if the garage space could be turned into a mother-in-law suite or apartment. Ms. Terry stated that this is not a permitted use in this district. Mr. Ashbaugh asked if the garage gets larger would it bother Mr. Hickman or if the garage is deeper would it bother him. Mr. Ashbaugh stated if the garage were to disappear with the use of Option ‘B’ – suddenly Mr. Hickman could see everything in his neighbors yard. Mr. Hickman stated that he strongly prefers Option ‘A’ because the layout would remain pretty much as is.
Dale McCoy, 338 North Granger Street, stated that he just had a new garage installed a couple of years ago. The concern he has regarding Option ‘A’ or Option ‘B’ is that it is not a two story building and this is the only privacy he has. Mr. McCoy stated that he has no problem with either location as long as it is not a two story building. He stated that the only thing he would be concerned about regarding the two options is that if it is built closer to his side it would be 3 ½ feet (3 ½’) from his property line and he would want to have enough space to maintain his fence. Mr. McCoy stated that he also wanted a two story garage too and was flat out told it wasn’t possible.
Mr. Montgomery asked Mr. Hickman if Option ‘A’ causes him any concerns when maintaining his fence. Mr. Hickman stated no. Mr. Smith questioned if a variance can be granted with conditions. Ms. Terry stated yes that the BZBA can attach additional provisions of approval. Mr. Montgomery questioned if the Planning Commission would be the board addressing the neighbor’s concerns regarding windows. Ms. Terry stated that this can be handled by the Planning Commission or the BZBA can also incorporate this as a condition if they so choose. Mr. Mccoy asked if the second floor would be used for something other than storage and he stated that he too would have concerns with any windows facing his property. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that this should be turned over to the Planning Commission and he questioned if they can overrule any conditions set by the Planning Commission. Ms. Terry stated that they cannot overrule any conditions and she stated that the Planning Commission works within the confines of the variance granted by the BZBA. Mr. Carey stated that it seems as though massing is an over riding issue and the most important thing for the BZBA is to choose the plan that is the most massing friendly. He stated that this could be an issue for the next phase with the Planning Commission. Mr. Hickman stated that he strongly supports Option ‘A’ and he didn’t know until today that the applicant was considering a story and a half structure. He stated that the two story garage was the only massing issue. Mr. Smith stated that he is more comfortable with Option ‘A’ and he would have concerns over taking out a large tree in Option ‘B’ because he likes to keep them when they can. Mr. Smith stated that given the lack of a strong preference by the applicant, he favors Option ‘A.’ Ms. Hoyt and Mr. Montgomery agreed.
The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #09-21 for Option ‘A’:
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. Ms. Hoyt and Mr. Smith stated true. Mr. Montgomery stated that the current structure is within current zoning restrictions.
b. That a literal interpretation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance would result in practical difficulties for the owner of the property. The factors to be considered by the Board in making this determination are:
(1) Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return or whether there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance. Ms. Smith stated that there can be beneficial use of the property without the variance. Ms. Hoyt agreed. Mr. Montgomery stated true.
(2) Whether the variance is substantial. Mr. Montgomery stated that the variance is not substantial with conditions - true. Ms. Hoyt agreed true. Mr. Smith stated that the variance is substantial when viewed against the code, but not when you compare it against other properties in the same zoning area - false. Mr. Ashbaugh agreed with Mr. Smith - false.
(3) Whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially altered, or whether adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as a result of the variance. Each member of the BZBA stated false.
(4) Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage). Each member of the BZBA stated false.
(5) Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction. Each member of the BZBA stated true. The applicant, Mr. Carey, stated that he was not aware of the building lot coverage of 20%. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that the BZBA read this as though the applicant was aware that there was particular zoning set for this property and not necessarily particular criteria.
(6) Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance. Each member of the BZBA stated no.
(7) Whether the spirit and intent behind the zoning requirement would be required to be observed and substantial justice done by granting the variance. Each member of the BZBA stated yes.
c. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. Each member of the BZBA stated true.
d. 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, and not diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding areas, and not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent properties, and not unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets. Each member of the BZBA stated true.
e. In granting a variance, the board may impose any requirements or conditions regarding the location, character, and other features of the proposed uses or buildings or structures as the board deems necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this Zoning Code, and to satisfy the other conditions set forth in Division (d) of this Section. Mr. Smith stated that he is inclined to believe that conditions are not necessary. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that the BZBA should not start imposing conditions and the Planning Commission should do this. Mr. Ashbaugh agreed that the BZBA would prefer it to not be a two story structure. Mr. Montgomery stated that this would be substantial if it were allowed to be more than a one and a half story variance and he wouldn’t vote for it unless there is a condition. Ms. Hoyt agreed with Mr. Montgomery.
Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve Application #09-21 – Option ‘A’ with the condition that the applicant limit the height of the building to one and a half stories and that no windows be permitted above the first story on the southern side of the structure. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Smith (no), Ashbaugh (yes). Motion carried 3-1. Application #09-21 is approved with the above stated conditions.
(Mr. Smith commented that he voted “No” due to the condition with the window restriction.)
Art Chonko/Denison University, 300 Livingston Drive, Application #09-24
Institutional District (ID)
The request is for approval of a conditional use to allow for an addition to the Chiller Plant.
Mr. Ashbaugh swore in the following individuals who wished to speak in regards to Application #09-24:Village Planner, Alison Terry, and Art Chonko.
Art Chonko, Denison University, 1205 North Pearl Street, stated that this structure is used to house the equipment needed to provide air-conditioning for Denison University.
Ms. Terry stated that because this is an accessory building, it requires approval for a conditional use. Mr. Chonko stated that the building is located on the side of the hill and is relatively unseen. He stated that Gwynyth Charma-Huff was notified regarding the exterior modifications because she is a contiguous property owner. He went on to say that she attended the Planning Commission meeting to ask if there would be additional noise pollution and he stated that this would not be an issue. Mr. Montgomery also questioned the level of noise pollution. Ms. Hoyt stated that the building sits low with buffers all around. Mr. Chonko added that there will be less noise than what is currently there. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that this is a pretty straight forward application and it matches the building that is already there and it cannot be seen anywhere off campus. Mr. Montgomery asked if there are any emissions. Mr. Chonko stated that you will see steam off of a cooling tower from water vapor.
The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #09-24:
a) The proposed use is a conditional use within the zoning district and the applicable development standards of this Zoning Ordinance are met. The BZBA unanimously agreed yes.
b) The proposed use is in accordance with appropriate plans for the area and is compatible with the existing land use. The BZBA unanimously agreed yes.
c) The proposed use will not create an undue burden on public facilities and services such as street, utilities, schools and refuse disposal. The BZBA unanimously agreed true it will.
d) The proposed use will not be detrimental or disturbing to existing neighboring uses, and will not entail a use, structure or condition of operation that constitutes a nuisance or hazard to any persons or property. The BZBA unanimously agreed true.
Mr. Smith made a motion to approve Application #09-24 as submitted. Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Smith (yes), Ashbaugh (yes). Motion carried 4-0. Application #09-24 is approved as submitted.
Finding of Fact
The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with the Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1147, Variances and Chapter 1163, Suburban Residential District, and hereby gives approval for Application #09-21/Option ‘A’ with the condition that the building shall be limited to one and a half stories and no windows be permitted above the first story on the southern side of the structure.
Mr. Montgomery moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #09-21. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Smith (abstain), Ashbaugh (yes). Motion carried 3-0, 1 abstention. The Findings of Fact for Application #09-21 are Approved.
The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with the Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1145, Conditional Uses and Chapter 1169, Institutional District, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant.
Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #09-24. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Smith (yes), Ashbaugh (yes). Motion carried 4-0. The Findings of Fact for Application #09-24 are Approved.
Approval of the Minutes
March 13, 2009
Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Montgomery (yes), Smith (yes). Motion carried 4-0. The minutes are approved as amended.
Motion to Excuse Absent Member
Ms. Hoyt made a motion to excuse Jeff Gill from the BZBA meeting on April 9, 2009. Seconded by Mr. Smith. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion to Adjourn
Mr. Montgomery made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Ms Hoyt.
Motion carried 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.
May 14, 2009