Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals
November 14, 2013
Call to Order: Mr. Gill called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Kenneth Kemper, Larry Burge, and Jeff Gill.
Members Absent: Bradley Smith (one position is currently vacant).
Also Present: Alison Terry, Village Planning Director; Michael King, Law Director.
Visitors: Robert E. Boydoh, Pat Taylor and Judy Preston.
Description of Procedure:
Mr. Gill provided a description of the procedure for the meeting as follows:
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.
Robert E. Boydoh, 2667 James Road, Application #2013-138
Open Space District (OSD) – Architectural Review Overlay District. The request is for review and approval of an area variance to two-point-zero-eight-five (2.085) acres.
(Alison Terry, Robert E. Boydoh, and Pat Taylor were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)
Robert E. Boydoh, 2513 James Road, indicated he received a letter from Village Planning Director, Alison Terry, on May 3rd regarding his request for a potential new home. Mr. Boydoh stated this letter indicated that Ms. Terry had reviewed the code and she did not find anything with the development standards section of the code, under minimum lot area, which would prohibit him from building a new home. Mr. Boydoh stated he is owns a parcel in the back plus the two acre parcel in the front. Mr. Boydoh indicated he plans to live on the front property once he constructs a house. He went on to say the back acreage would be used to put together an area for disadvantaged people in Licking County. He stated it would be “a place for people to fish and spend the night in a loving environment.” Mr. Boydoh stated he will have a private home at the front of James Road and he would be managing the property behind him. He also stated the house planned for this area fits within the guidelines and setbacks of the Village 100%.
Ms. Terry explained the request is for an area variance. Mr. Boydoh stated he feels his request is appropriate when compared to the surroundings and it should increase the values of the surrounding properties. He added his plans do not conflict with anything around it. Mr. Gill asked if it occurred to the property owner to divide the property so the front would be five acres and then there would be no variance required. Mr. Boydoh stated yes and he had a soil analysis done which indicted this was the best way to provide safe sanitary sewer. He went on to say the property could be broken up in different ways with four parcels, but this was the best way. Mr. Boydoh stated he had independent people and the Licking County Health Department complete this research. He stated he has approval for water and sewer in the front.
Ms. Terry stated when they looked at splitting anything from the back property there is an existing house and garage which would be required to obtain variances because those existing structures would be located too close to the western and southern property lines. Once you split the lot it would be required to come into conformity and at least three variances would be required. Mr. Gill stated it appears Mr. Boydoh’s request as presented would require the least amount of variances. Mr. Gill agreed the code is complicated when it comes to analyzing and interpreting this request.
Law Director King stated initially when Ms. Terry reviewed the request she looked at the development standards in Section 1165.03 and the only restriction is the five acre minimum lot size, which is limited to farm dwellings or accessory farm buildings. He explained an initial review showed Mr. Boydoh was good to go, but when looking at statute 1165 as a whole, referring to use for a single family residence – this provision provides the parcel cannot be less than five acres for a single family residence. Law Director King stated the five acre minimum should not have been stated in the Permitted Uses Section of the Code, it should have been clearly delineated in the Development Standards which regulates the minimum lot size. He went on to say that Mr. Boydoh reviewed these development standards in the code to get a clear answer and unfortunately information is incorrect. Mr. King also stated the Open Space District regulations were drafted sometime before the 1990’s and have not been updated since. He stated Mr. Boydoh had no way of knowing this because the minimum lot size information was located in the wrong section of the code. Law Director King stated the Village Staff will be recommending an amendment to this Code Section to the Village Council. The amendment to the code should clarify the lot size restriction in the Open Space District. Law Director King stated this area of James Road was annexed into the Village in 2007 and placed in the Open Space District zoning classification at that time. Ms. Terry stated this was just prior to her position as the Village Planner and she believes this zoning classification was selected because the Village wasn't planning on providing public water and sewer to this area. The Open Space District has the largest lot size within the Village Code which doesn't require public water and sewer. Ms. Terry stated the designation of Open Space District was also more in keeping with the zoning in the Township at that time. Law Director King stated that if this application were to be considered a use variance it could not be considered by the BZBA – use variances are no longer permitted in Ohio. He explained use variances have different standards than area variances and this particular request should be analyzed under an area variance standard, because it's really dealing with the minimum lot size not the use of the property. Mr. Burge stated most of the lots in this area do not meet the five-acre rule.
Ms. Terry stated when she did prepared her Staff Report she indicated this property is located where there are other much smaller lots, with existing homes, in close proximity. Ms. Terry stated the request would be in compliance with the normal development standards of the Code, meets all setback requirements and the property owner is proposing the construction of a single-family home footprint of 2,163 square feet within a 38,00 square foot buildable area. Ms. Terry stated staff is recommending approval of this variance for construction of a single family home because it would be in keeping with the overall character of the general area. Ms. Terry stated she received information from the Licking County Health Department and they determined there is enough area on the site for a well and septic system.
The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2013-138:
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 BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE.
The factors to be considered by the Board in making this determination are:
(1) Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return; The BZBA unanimously agreed FALSE.
or whether there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance. Mr. Gill and Mr. Kemper stated FALSE. Mr. Burge stated TRUE.
(2) Whether the variance is substantial. The BZBA unanimously agreed FALSE, 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. Mr. Gill and Mr. Kemper stated FALSE. Mr. Burge stated TRUE. Mr. Gill stated that the property owner had reviewed the development standards in the code related to minimum lot size and those regulations did not require a five-acre minimum lot size for single family residential.
(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. Kemper made a motion to approve Application #2013-138 as presented. Seconded by Mr. Burge.
Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2013-138: Gill (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes). Motion carried 3-0. Application #2013-138 is Approved as Presented.
Pat Taylor, James Road, asked "will this always be the policy that if you don't live next to it, you can't say anything about it?
Mr. Gill indicated the BZBA is required to only hear testimony from parties of interest, that they can't have testimony from someone who has a community interest. He indicated Ms. Taylor can go to the Council to express her concerns when the Village looks at modifications to this Chapter to address the inconsistency of the two sections. That would be an appropriate time for her to voice her objections.
Judy Preston, asked "would you consider it a direct interest if allowing this to happen impacts zoning in other areas of the Open Space District"?
Ms. Terry indicated that would be viewed as a community interest. Mrs. Taylor asked if Mr. Boydoh wants to split the other parcel in the future would that be allowed. Ms. Terry indicated that would be splitting the lot versus an existing lot of record and would be held to a much higher standard by the BZBA. She indicated it most likely would not be granted a variance.
Ms. Terry stated the Village Staff will be working on a proposed zoning code change which would be reviewed by the Village Council. Mr. Gill encouraged Ms. Taylor to attend those Council meetings to voice her concerns, as they are the only authority able to make zoning code changes. Ms. Terry stated she would contact Ms. Taylor about the timing of a zoning code amendment before the Village Council.
Finding of Fact
Robert E. Boydoh, 2667 James Road, Application #2013-138
The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with the Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1165, Open Space District, and Chapter 1147, Variances, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant.
Mr. Kemper moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2013-138. Seconded by Mr. Burge.
Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Gill (yes). Motion carried 3-0. The Findings of Fact for Application #2013-138 are approved.
Motion to Approve Absent BZBA Member:
Mr. Kemper made a motion to excuse Brad Smith from the BZBA meeting on November 14, 2013. Seconded by Mr. Burge. Roll Call Vote: Kemper (yes), Gill (yes), Burge (yes). Motion carried 3-0.
Ms. Terry stated Neal Zimmers name has been submitted to Village Council as a potential person to fill the vacancy on the BZBA.
Motion to Approve Meeting Minutes:
Mr. Kemper made a motion to approve the BZBA meeting minutes for October 30, 2013. Seconded by Mr. Burge. Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Gill (yes). Motion carried 3-0.
Motion to Adjourn
Mr. Burge made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Mr. Kemper.
Motion carried 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.
December 12, 2013