Granville Community Calendar

BZBA Minutes October 13, 2011

Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals Minutes

October 13, 2011

6:30 p.m.

 

Members Present:  Rob Montgomery, Bradley Smith, Scott Manno, and Jeff Gill (Interim Chair).

Members Absent: None.

Also Present: Alison Terry, Village Planning Director; Michael Crites, Law Director; Deb Walker, Planning & Zoning Assistant. 

Visitors: Eric Rosenberg, Mary J. Zink, Will Zink, and Bob Ramsey.  

Description of Procedure:

Note:  The items listed on this agenda under New Business are open to the public, but are not public hearings.  Any witness offering testimony or presenting evidence at a hearing shall be placed under oath prior to offering testimony or evidence. The following persons may appear at hearings as parties and be heard in person or by attorney:

(1)        The applicant;

(2)        The owner of the property that is the subject of the application, if the owner is not the applicant or appellant;

(3)        The owner of property that is adjacent or contiguous to the property that is the subject of the application; and

(4)        Any other person who claims that a direct, present injury or prejudice to a personal or property right will occur if the application is approved or denied. 

A person authorized to appear and be heard may:

(1)        Present his or her position, argument and contentions;

(2)        Offer and examine witnesses and present evidence in support of his or her position, arguments and contentions;

(3)        Cross-examine witnesses purporting to refute his or her position, arguments and contentions;

(4)        Offer evidence and testimony to refute evidence and testimony offered in opposition to his or her position, arguments and contentions;

(5)        Proffer any evidence or testimony into the record if such evidence or testimony has not been admitted by the Board. 

New Business:

Eric Rosenberg on behalf of Douglas Feller, 401 North Pearl Street, Application #2011-125

Suburban Residential District-B (SRD-B) – Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD).  The request is for review and approval of a variance to reduce the front yard setback from North Pearl Street and the front yard setback along the shared driveway access from thirty (30’) feet to thirteen (13’) feet to allow for the construction of a two-story addition. 

(Alison Terry, Eric Rosenberg, Bob Ramsey, Will Zink, and Mary J. Zink  were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

Discussion:

Scott Manno stated he would need to recuse himself from voting on both applications submitted by Mr. Rosenberg.  (6:37 PM)  Mr. Manno left the meeting and returned after the Finding of Facts had been decided.  

Eric Rosenberg, stated the drawings of the proposed addition were presented to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Montgomery asked for clarification of the addition in relation to the location of the existing driveway.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the protruding portion would be the garage with the house addition above.  Mr. Montgomery asked if there is already a deck in the existing space.  Mr. Rosenberg stated yes.  Mr. Gill asked if there have been any conversations with immediate neighbors.  Mr. Rosenberg stated he has spoken to all neighbors except the Zinks and they were not present at the Planning Commission hearing.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the Zink home is for sale and they had already moved out of the house when this addition was planned.  He went on to say that the Zink house (to the south) does not have a right to use the driveway.  He also stated the Zink’s were given notice to come to the Planning Commission meeting and they did not appear.  Mr. Rosenberg stated he and the Zink’s “don’t have the best relationship.”  Mr. Rosenberg stated his wife owns the home and they were willing to give an easement to have the driveway come in like it does.  He stated he is purchasing the home at 401 North Pearl Street for his mother and she is 76 years old and needs to have access to a garage.  Ms. Terry provided a copy of the plat map from the Licking County Auditor for the BZBA indicating the location of Mr. Rosenberg’s property, the Zink property, and the location of the property Mr. Rosenberg is purchasing.     

William Zink, 343 North Pearl Street, stated he is the white house to the south of Mr. Rosenberg.  He acknowledged he received notice in the mail about the meeting and he has not spoken with Mr. Rosenberg about this application.  Mr. Zink stated he did not attend the first Planning Commission meeting.  Mr. Zink indicated he is aware that Mr. Rosenberg would like to make some cosmetic changes to the home.  He stated Mr. Rosenberg is threatening him through Mr. Ramsey to prevent him from using the shared drive.  He stated he owns his property and his deed indicated he has access to a shared driveway.  Mr. Zink stated Mr. Rosenberg is threatening him knowing his house is up for sale saying he can do whatever it takes to prevent access.  Mr. Zink stated there is a small shared portion of the driveway and Mr. Rosenberg lives at the top.  Mr. Zink stated he went to the County and looked at the plat map and no one owns the driveway and it has been a shared thing since at least 1952.  Mr. Gill asked Mr. Zink how he feels about the application in regards to the proposed Variance for the bump out (addition).  Mr. Zink stated Mr. Rosenberg contacted his attorney a few days ago and stated that if he derails this proceeding then the deal Mr. Rosenberg wanted him to sign with Mr. Ramsey to have access (even though he feels he already has access) would go away.  Mr. Zink stated he is “flabbergasted I was threatened.”  Mr. Gill indicated that Mr. Zink is within his legal rights to offer an opinion on the proposed variance.  He asked Mr. Zink if he feels there is any way this variance will impede access to his property.  Mr. Zink stated he has concerns that Mr. Rosenberg’s plans are not in line with the neighborhood and he has a very visual concern.  Mr. Zink stated he moved to Granville because of the character of the homes.  Mr. Zink stated that another concern he has is the business that Mr. Rosenberg has located at his house.  He stated there are people coming up and down the driveway and they are clients.  Mr. Gill reminded Mr. Zink that he is obligated to remind him that the BZBA is discussing items only relating to this application.  Mr. Zink stated the proposed variance will not block access, but there is a positioning concern regarding the retaining wall being located right next to the shared driveway.  He stated the retaining wall would have to be moved over for the driveway, so ultimately this would affect access.  Mr. Gill asked if this would come over to Mr. Zink’s property.  Mr. Zink stated yes.  Mr. Gill asked if this has been measured out and how wide is the driveway.  Ms. Terry stated from staff review – it does not appear that access to the driveway would be impacted.  Mr. Zink stated they enjoy the privacy from the existing trees and he asked how they would be impacted.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the hemlock, which is a safety hazard, would be removed.  He stated one or two smaller trees would also come down.  Mr. Zink asked which side of the driveway would be affected.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the west side of the driveway.    

Mary Jean Zink, 821 West Broadway, stated she has ownership in the home at 343 West Broadway.  She stated the proposal by Mr. Rosenberg would possibly affect the integrity of the neighborhood and she wants this preserved.  She indicated she has concerns with the variance.  Mr. Gill questioned why these concerns were not said at the Planning Commission meeting.  Ms. Zink stated she was unaware of the Planning Commission hearing.  Ms. Terry explained the Planning Commission approved the style of the addition pending the approval of the needed variances from the BZBA.  She indicated that notices did get mailed to the Zink property at 343 North Pearl Street.  Ms. Zink stated that if she would have been aware of the Planning Commission meeting she would have attended to view these concerns.    

Bob Ramsey, 399 North Pearl Street, stated he lives at the top of the driveway and has been a lifelong resident in this subdivision.  Mr. Ramsey stated he views this change as a visual improvement to the property.  He stated Mr. Rosenberg bought 395 North Pearl Street and improved it.  He stated the homes in this area are not everyone’s thought of character but these homes are and have been there for quite some time.  He went on to say the proposed improvements would increase the value of properties in this area and he sees no reason to object to the requests.  Mr. Ramsey stated he does not see traffic being affected by the proposed variances.  He also stated the changes would be directly in front of his living room window.   Mr. Gill asked if the proposed bump out would create a blind spot.  Mr. Ramsey stated no - the hazard is Pearl Street.  Mr. Gill asked if he has been in communication with Mr. Rosenberg.  Mr. Ramsey indicated that Mr. Rosenberg has shown him drawings and that he attended the Planning Commission meetings.  

Mr. Rosenberg stated that regarding access, this addition has no impact on the Zink driveway if they had the right to use it, which they don’t.  He estimated the driveway will be located twenty feet from the retaining wall.  Mr. Rosenberg stated there is no access issue at all.  He stated the Zinks do not have a legal right to use the driveway even though they have been using it.  Mr. Rosenberg acknowledged he spoke with the Zink’s attorney and there is no desire on his behalf to file a lawsuit.  Mr. Rosenberg stated he has lived in his house for three years and there has been a standing tradition on the one access point.  Mr. Rosenberg stated it is important to address the issue regarding the driveway because the driveway is in bad shape.  He explained the cost would be broken down between the property owners with 25% due from each party.  Mr. Rosenberg stated he just put $10,000 in concrete on the top part of the driveway.  He stated the Zinks didn’t want to pay to do the bottom.   Mr. Rosenberg stated he wants to help the Zinks sell their house and they need a legal right to the driveway.  He stated if the Zink’s pay the 25% cost for the bottom portion then everybody is happy.  Mr. Rosenberg clarified the driveway is blacktop in the lower area.  Mr. Rosenberg stated that on one side there is discussion on a shared driveway agreement, but this is a non issue for the BZBA.  He also stated the complaints by the Zink’s didn’t come to the floor until after the Planning Commission meeting.  He stated that now when they happen to be discussing the driveway issue they have a problem with the addition. He indicated that first Mr. Zink stated the proposed driveway/retaining wall didn’t impede him, but now he says it does.  Law Director Crites reminded both parties to address questions and comments to the board and not to each other.  Mr. Zink stated he doesn’t understand how Mr. Rosenberg says he doesn’t have rights to the driveway.  He stated he has looked at the deed and he does own the driveway.  Mr. Zink stated he thinks Mr. Rosenberg is implying he exclusively owns the driveway.  Mr. Gill stated the driveway issue can’t be resolved tonight between the two parties.  Mr. Zink stated that Mr. Rosenberg is implying that he is being difficult.  He stated he was unaware that they wanted to repair the bottom of the driveway.  He stated he told his lawyer an improvement such as this would help him sell his house and he just wants to make sure he only pays for ¼ of the total cost.  Mr. Smith stated that Mr. Zink may not want to mention what he has said to his attorney for legal reasons.  Mr. Zink stated that if the variance is granted he would have no recourse once Mr. Rosenberg starts construction.  He stated that based on other things he doesn’t believe Mr. Rosenberg and he is worried the project will be bigger than he has lead on.  Ms. Terry stated that the property would be checked and if the addition is larger than what Mr. Rosenberg proposed, he would have to get an amendment for the change or he could be required to tear down the portion of the structure that is non-compliant.  Mr. Zink stated the proposed retaining wall would prevent larger vehicles from maneuvering on the common driveway and they could be forced to enter his property.  Mr. Smith asked the approximate width of the driveway.  Ms. Terry estimated 20’ 9” wide.  She stated she has seen the plat map and Mr. Rosenberg’s retaining wall location follows what the plat says for the Ramsey subdivision.  Mr. Gill indicated Mr. Zink’s concerns are valid, but it doesn’t look likely that this would happen.  Mr. Montgomery asked how far the corner of the addition would be from the existing blacktop.  Mr. Rosenberg was unsure and stated this is a residential driveway.  Mr. Smith asked to what extent this addition would be visible from Pearl Street or Spellman.  Mr. Rosenberg stated you won’t see most of it in the summer due to the trees.  Mr. Smith asked if the Village can verify if notice was sent to the Zink’s for the Planning Commission meeting.  Ms. Terry stated notice was sent out on August 12th.  Mr. Smith questioned if the easement is by adverse possession.  Law Director Crites stated they have no way of knowing and adverse possession takes affect after 21 years.  Mr. Smith stated the Zinks are suggesting the 20’9” inch driveway is not wide enough.  He questioned what could happen if a court looks at this.  Law Director Crites stated that when an issue involving adverse possession is at play a total action is filed and a determination is made by the court.  Mr. Smith asked if any drainage issues have been raised.  Ms. Terry stated the Planning Commission did address drainage and there were no further requirements made.  She stated the applicant met with the architect, Joseph Galano, Mr. Rosenberg, and Village Service Director, Terry Hopkins.  She stated Terry Hopkins managed storm sewers and that the proposed down spouting and gutter locations would not adversely affect Pearl Street.  Mr. Smith asked if there have been any issues raised regarding emergency access up this private drive.  Ms. Terry stated this isn’t something our emergency services would review with an application like this because they are not modifying the access to the properties.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the proposed wall itself would be over a car’s length and there is no way any car could go onto Mr. Zink’s property and “its just impossible - it couldn’t be done.”  

The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2011-125:

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 FALSE. 

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.  Mr. Gill and Mr. Smith agreed that the proposed variance is substantial.  Mr. Montgomery stated the proposed 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.  Mr. Montgomery stated TRUE.  Mr. Gill and Mr. Smith stated FALSE.

c.         That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.  Each member of the BZBA stated FALSE. 

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 FALSE. 

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. Montgomery made a motion to approve Application #2011-125 as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Smith. Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2011-125: Smith (yes), Montgomery (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 3-0.  Application #2011-125 is Approved as submitted. 

Eric Rosenberg, 395 North Pearl Street, Application #2011-126

Suburban Residential District-B (SRD-B) – Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD).  The request is for review and approval of the following variances:

1)                  To reduce the front yard setback along the eastern property line from thirty (30’) feet to zero (0’) feet to allow ford the construction of a walk and stairs;

2)                  To reduce the side yard setback along the southern property line from ten-and-a-half (10 ½’) feet to six (6’) feet allow for the construction of a walk and stairs; and

3)                  To reduce the rear yard setback along the western property line from six-and-a-half (6 ½’) feet to four (4’) feet to allow for the construction of a stairway from an existing balcony to grade. 

(Alison Terry and Eric Rosenberg, Will Zink, Mary J. Zink, and Robert Ramsey, were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

Discussion:

Eric Rosenberg, stated there is currently no access to the house except through the garage.  He stated they are proposing to take away the old deck and this is specifically for accessibility to the house.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the back of the house is back up against Mr. Ramsey’s property. He also explained the previously approved addition (which utilizes the same setbacks he is proposing) is on the submitted drawings.  Mr. Rosenberg stated there are no access issues with the driveway.  

He stated his home is up 150 feet and it’s a steep grade.  Mr. Montgomery questioned where the line is from 30 feet to 0 feet.  Mr. Rosenberg stated the previous addition was granted to zero for the garage and now it needs to go to zero for the walkway/railing.    Mr. Gill asked Mr. Ramsey if he had any comments regarding the setback being directly along his property.  Mr. Ramsey stated he had no comment.  Mr. Zink stated his only concern is drainage.  He stated they would want to ensure excess water is taken away from his house.  Ms. Terry indicated that staff did not feel drainage would be an issue with this application.  Mr. Montgomery clarified that the setbacks impacted by this project were already impacted by the previous addition.  Ms. Terry stated the zero setback already affectively exists, but for the garage only.  She explained the variance is required for not necessarily the sidewalk, but the stairs.    

The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2011-126: 

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.  Mr. Smith stated TRUE because of the slope in nature. 

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.  The BZBA unanimously agreed that the proposed 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.  The BZBA unanimously agreed 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.  The BZBA unanimously agreed 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. Smith made a motion to approve Application #2011-126 as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2011-126: Montgomery (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 3-0.  Application #2011-126 is Approved as submitted. 

Finding of Fact

Eric Rosenberg on behalf of Douglas Fellers, 401 North Pearl Street,  Application #2011-125

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 give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant. 

 

Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2011-125.  Seconded by Mr. Montgomery.

 

Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 3-0.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2011-125 are approved.

 

Eric Rosenberg, 395 North Pearl Street,  Application #2011-126

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 give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant.  

Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2011-126.  Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 3-0.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2011-126 are approved.  

Mr. Manno rejoined the meeting at 7:35 PM.  

Motion to Approve Meeting Minutes:

Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the BZBA meeting minutes for September 8, 2011.  Seconded by Mr. Manno. Roll Call Vote: Montgomery (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes), Manno (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.     

Other Matters:

Mr. Gill indicated that Fred Ashbaugh has stepped down as Chair of the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals and the board appreciates his time to the panel.  Ms. Terry stated Mr. Gill will step in as Chair and a Vice Chair will be elected at the next meeting.  She stated the vacant position for the BZBA will be advertised. 

Motion to Adjourn

Mr. Manno made a motion to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Montgomery. Motion carried 4-0.  The meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM.    

Next Meeting:

November 10, 2011 (Ms. Terry stated she is unable to attend this meeting and that Ms.                                                 Walker would be attending in her absence)

December 8, 2011

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