Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals Minutes
July 9, 2009
Members Present: Jean Hoyt, Jeff Gill, Fred Ashbaugh, and Rob Montgomery.
Member’s Absent: Bradley Smith.
Also Present: Village Planner, Alison Terry.
Visitors: James Browder, Frank O’Brien-Bernini, and Richard Nevil.
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. Mr. Ashbaugh indicated that any witness offering testimony or presenting evidence at a hearing shall be placed under oath prior to offering testimony or evidence.
James Browder, 122 North Pearl Street, Application #09-60 (Previously Tabled)
Village Residential District (VRD) – Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD)
The request is for approval of a variance to reduce the northern side yard setback from ten (10’) feet to three (3’) feet, to allow for the construction of a 6’ x 6’ shed.
(Mr. Ashbaugh recused himself from discussion regarding Application #09-60 because he is an adjacent property owner. He was seated in the audience. Ms. Hoyt led the BZBA meeting at this time.)
Mr. Gill made a motion to remove Application #09-60 from the Table. Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote: Gill (yes), Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes). Motion carried 3-0. Application #09-60 is removed from the Table.
(Alison Terry and James Browder were sworn in by Ms. Hoyt)
James Browder, 122 North Pearl Street, stated that the variance is required for the placement of the shed. He stated that he would be placing lawn equipment in the shed and it will not be visible from the street. Mr. Montgomery stated that a resident is on one side of his property and Newkirk Design Studio is on the other side. Mr. Gill asked if any adjoining property owners had expressed concerns with this application. Ms. Terry stated that there was not a response by any adjacent or adjoining property owners. Mr. Browder stated that the neighbor to the north offered to come in to testify that she would support the granting of the variance.
The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #09-60:
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. The BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE.
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. The BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE.
(2) Whether the variance is substantial. Each member of the BZBA stated that the variance is not substantial.
(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. The BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE.
(6) Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance. Each member of the BZBA stated false.
(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 TRUE.
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. Each member of the BZBA agreed that there are no special conditions.
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve Application #09-60 as submitted. Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote: Gill (yes), Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes). Motion carried 3-0. Application #09-60 is approved as submitted.
Julie Fudge-Smith, 332 West Elm Street, Application #09-75
Village Residential District (VRD) – Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD)
The request is for approval of a variance to reduce the western side yard setback from ten (10') feet to seven feet eight inches (7'8") feet, to allow for the construction of a porte cochere.
(Mr. Ashbaugh returned as Chair of the BZBA meeting at 7:15 PM.)
(Alison Terry and Richard Nevil were sworn in by Mr. Ashbaugh)
Richard Nevil, 324 East Maple Street, stated that he is representing the homeowner and he drew up the plans.
Frank OBrien-Bernini, 338 West Elm Street, stated that the view from his property will overlook the proposed addition. He indicated that the homeowner did come by and show him the plans. Ms. Hoyt asked if there is parking available along the back side of the home. Mr. Nevil stated no and the area she is referring to is a patio area. Mr. Montgomery asked if the roof top will be the same height as the back porch. Mr. Nevil stated that it would be a little higher than the back porch roof, which is a 3/12 pitch.
Mr. Gill asked if the retaining wall is being considered for the variance. Ms. Terry stated that the retaining wall does not need to be included in the setbacks because it is similar to a fence and it can be located on the property line, therefore a variance is not required. Mr. Ashbaugh asked if the back porch will stay the same. Mr. Nevil stated that they will mesh the new roof into the existing roof line and complete the skirt around the existing deck. Mr. Ashbaugh inquired if there would be any more additional pavers or cement. Mr. Nevil stated no and he indicated that they would be re-establishing the retaining wall. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini stated that he has no objection to the engineering of the proposed project and his only concern would be that his sewer goes down the center of the driveway on the Smith property. He stated that he believes their line is located where one of the proposed posts are. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini stated that he knows nothing more about the sewer line other than it has been in place since 1905 and he asked that this be noted on the applicant’s site plan. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini questioned if the line ever needs to be replaced - how does the village deal with this? Mr. Gill indicated that the proposed porte cochere may not be high enough for a backhoe to get in if work were needed to be done. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini questioned if the applicant has thought about water run-off from the new structure. He stated that there is an old stone wall there that may not be able to support more water run-off. He went on to say that he has no objection as long as an engineer can address and consider these concerns. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini stated that his main concerns are the sewer line and the integrity of the existing wall. Mr. Nevil stated that this water can be directed where they need it to go and gutters will be installed. Mr. Montgomery asked if the water would hit the retaining wall if there were no gutters. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini and Mr. Nevil agreed it most likely would. Ms. Terry suggested that the applicant choose a gutter prior to the Planning Commission meeting so this can be included in the approval. Mr. Gill asked what the Village responsibility would be regarding the placement of the sewer line. Ms. Terry stated that she will speak with Erik Holmquist in the Water Department because she was unaware until this evening that the sanitary sewer line was on the property. Ms. Terry stated that she will have to ask if the Village would want a structure built that ultimately won’t allow access. She agreed that the Village probably doesn’t have an easement in this case and she also questioned if the Village would want to move the existing line. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that the property owner is responsible for the line if it were to break/leak. Mr. Nevil stated that the proposed porte cochere is ten foot high if a backhoe were to be needed. Ms. Terry stated the BZBA Board could either table this application so she can get more information or they can approve it and she will clarify all of the information before she releases the zoning permit. Mr. Montgomery questioned if this application ought to be tabled until the Village has the information from the Water Department. Ms. Hoyt stated she really does not want to see things slowed down for the applicant by making them come back again in a month. Mr. Montgomery stated that if this is approved, there are no safeguards for Mr. O’Brien-Bernini’s request. Ms. Hoyt ultimately agreed with Mr. Montgomery. Mr. Nevil asked if the Village will be able to verify the location of the sewer line. Ms. Terry stated most likely Mr. Holmquist will know and it may be shown in GIS mapping. Mr. Ashbaugh stated that the BZBA is only basing their determination on the variance and not the location of the sewer line. Mr. Gill asked if Mr. O’Brien-Bernini knew the type of piping for the sewer line. Mr. O’Brien-Bernini stated he believed it is a clay pipe.
Mr. Montgomery made a motion to Table Application #09-75 to allow the Village Planner to investigate the sewer line placement underneath the proposed porte cochere. Seconded by Mr. Gill.
Mr. Nevil stated that he does not see this as a zoning issue, but the property owner will have to discuss this matter with their neighbor. Mr. Obrien-Bernini asked if the application could be approved with a condition. Ms. Terry stated yes, but in this situation it would be hard to nullify the variance if it is approved this evening. Ms. Terry indicated that she will go out to the property with the Village Manager and Sewer Department to determine what the Village has the right to do or not do in this case and who would bear the costs associated with the replacement of the line. Mr. Gill stated that the approval of the variance would be addressed by the criteria and in this case he would have to vote ‘No’ on particular criteria he typically would have a ‘Yes’ vote on. Roll Call Vote to Table Application #09-75: Gill (yes), Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (no). Motion carried 3-1. Application #09-75 is Tabled.
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 1159, Village Residential District, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant.
Mr. Gill moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #09-60. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Hoyt (yes), Gill (yes), Ashbaugh (abstain). Motion carried 3-0. The Findings of Fact for Application #09-60 are Approved.
Approval of the Minutes
June 9, 2009
Mr. Gill made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Seconded by Ms. Hoyt. Roll Call Vote: Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Gill (yes), Montgomery (abstain). Motion carried 3-0. The minutes are approved as presented.
Motion to Approve Absent BZBA Member:
Ms. Hoyt made a motion to excuse Bradley Smith from the BZBA meeting on July 9, 2009. Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote: Hoyt (yes), Ashbaugh (yes), Gill (yes), Montgomery (yes). Motion carried 4-0.
Motion to Adjourn
Mr. Gill made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Mr. Montgomery.
Motion carried 4-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.
August 13, 2009