Granville Community Calendar

BZBA Minutes May 9, 2013

Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals

Minutes

May 9, 2013

 7:00 p.m.

 

Call to Order:  Mr. Gill called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

Members Present:  Bradley Smith, Kenneth Kemper, Larry Burge, and Jeff Gill.

 

Members Absent: Scott Manno.

 

Also Present: Alison Terry, Village Planner; Michael King, Law Director.

 

Visitors: Mark and Mia Law, Paul Hammond, Stephen and Jenifer Dennis, Andrew and Monica Doud, Brett Black, Fred Biesecker, and Patty Whisman.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

New Business:

Appeal Hearing, 76 Wexford Drive, Application #2013-40

Suburban Residential District-A (SRD-A).  The applicant is appealing the denial of a zoning permit application related to the height of the fencing surrounding a proposed in-ground swimming pool.  The Village zoning code requires a minimum of a five foot (5’) high fence and the applicants are requesting approval of a four foot (4’) tall fence.  

 

(Alison Terry and Mark & Mia Law were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

 

Discussion: A Court Reporter was present to transcribe the appeal hearing.  A copy of the transcript is available from the Village Planning Department.

 

Mia Law, 76 Wexford Drive, stated she is appealing the Village Planning Department’s decision to mandate a five foot (5’) fence to surround an in-ground swimming pool located on her property.  Ms. Law stated she would like to see the fence height be four foot (4’) high.  Ms. Law stated the Village Code does not specify a height requirement, but it does specify and mandate a fence surrounding any swimming pool. 

 

Ms. Terry reviewed the application and indicated the reasoning for the denial of the Zoning Permit application.

 

Law Director King presented case law where a five-year-old child drowned after climbing a four foot (4’) fence.  He stated the municipality in this case had required all fences surrounding swimming pools to be six foot (6’) high, but it was installed at four foot (4’).  Mr. King proceeded to ask various questions of the applicant related to the securing of building permits and zoning permits for the project.  Ms. Law indicated that she had signed a contract with the swimming pool installer requiring them to secure all applicable permits on her behalf.  She indicated she was not sure if the pool installer had secured the required permits.

 

Ms. Law stated she has also installed a horizontal fence for the pool, which is a lockable pool cover.  She agreed a fence surrounding the pool is necessary, even with the presence of a horizontal fence.  Ms. Law presented recommendations for four foot (4’) fencing from an insurance company and building code association.  She stated the Village Code has undergone recent changes pertaining to fence height for pools, but before these changes the Village Code did not clearly state a recommended fence height and it was left up to the discretion of the Planning Department.  Ms. Law indicated her application would apply to Village Code prior to the recent changes. 

 

Ms. Terry stated all of the permits issued by the Planning Department for the past six years, for fencing surrounding pools within the Village, have been for five foot (5’) fences.  She explained she arrived at the five foot fence height requirement after reviewing an application with the Village Manager and Village Law Director.  Since she issued the first swimming pool permit in 2010 there have been eleven (11) total permits issued for swimming pools and they have all required a five (5') foot minimum fence height. Ms. Terry clarified that the Licking County Building Code Department does not have an application on file for an in-ground pool located at 76 Wexford Drive and that three (3) inspections would be required for the pool installation from Licking County.             

 

Mr. Smith made a motion to affirm the decision of the Zoning Inspector to mandate a five foot (5’) fence requirement surrounding swimming pools pertaining to Application #2013-40.  The motion was not seconded. 

 

Mr. Burge made a motion to reverse the decision of the Planning Director to mandate a five foot (5’) high fence surrounding the swimming pool pertaining to Application #2013-40.  The motion was not seconded. 

 

After further discussion, Mr. Kemper made a motion to reverse the decision of the Planning Director to mandate a five foot (5’) high fence surrounding the swimming pool pertaining to Application #2013-40.  Seconded by Mr. Burge.   

 

Mr. Kemper stated he is not sure he can make a huge case that a four foot (4’) high fence  is less safe than a five foot (5’) high fence.  He stated he is unsure he sees much of a difference.  Mr. Gill stated he believes that if the property is located within the Village proper, without a flicker of question he would uphold a non-capricious, non-arbitrary decision by the Planning Director.   

 

Roll Call Vote to reverse the decision of the Planning Director for Application #2013-40: Smith (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes), Gill (no).  Motion carried 3-1.  Application #2013-40 is approved with a Reversal of the decision made by the Planning Director.

 

Paul Hammond/Tracee Laing, 494 North Granger Street, Application #2013-46

Suburban Residential District-B (SRD-B).  The request is for review and approval of a variance to increase the maximum height of a fence from six (6’) feet to seven-feet-eight-inches (7’8") to allow for the installation of a deer fence, gates and trellises in the front, side and rear yards of the property. 

 

(Alison Terry and Paul Hammond were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

 

Discussion:

Paul Hammond, 494 North Granger Street, stated he is requesting a higher fence than what is allowed by the Code because he wants to protect his gardens from deer.  Mr. Hammond explained he lives on a corner lot next to a wooded lot and golf course.  Furthermore, he stated he believes the seven-foot-eight-inch (7’8") high deer fencing would offer adequate protection from deer.  Mr. Hammond stated the fencing would surround the entire property on all four sides.  Ms. Terry stated the fencing would be as high as seven-foot-eight-inches (7’8”) when incorporating in the height of the wood beams.  Mr. Hammond stated he is proposing a transparent netted fence and it would not appear to be over seven foot (7’) high when you take into consideration the layout of the land.  Mr. Gill asked if there have been any comments by neighbors’ regarding Mr. Hammond’s plans.  Mr. Hammonds stated he had one neighbor come over to review the plans.  He stated this neighbor offered to come to the meeting in support of his application.  There were no neighbor’s present at the BZBA meeting.  Mr. Hammonds stated his fencing proposal is based on deer fencing already approved for a property on West Broadway.  He stated he spoke with this applicant and they have stated the fencing is working great. 

 

The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2013-46:

 

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.  Mr. Gill, Mr. Kemper, and Mr. Burge agreed FALSE.  Mr. Burge stated there are deer throughout the Village.  Mr. Smith stated 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.  The BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE the proposed variance is 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 because of the nature of the neighborhood and the nature of the variance.

 

(4)        Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage).  Mr. Smith indicated TRUE, provisions have been made for the applicant to receive mail with the addition of the fence.  All other BZBA members agreed with Mr. Smith.

 

(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.  Mr. Smith stated TRUE, he does not agree netting fence is acceptable in each and every circumstance within the Village.  Mr. Gill agreed with Mr. Smith.  Mr. Burge and Mr. Kemper stated FALSE. 

 

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. Burge made a motion to approve Application #2013-46 as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Kemper. 

 

Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2013-46: Smith (yes), Gill (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  Application #2013-46 is Approved as Presented.

 

Stephen & Jenifer Dennis, 65 Wexford Drive, Application #2012-47

Planned Unit Development (PUD).  The request is for a variance to reduce the front yard setback from thirty-five (35’) feet to twenty (20’) feet to allow for the construction of a single-family structure. 

 

(Alison Terry, Stephen & Jenifer Dennis, Mr. Biesecker, and Patty Whisman were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

 

Discussion:

Jenifer Dennis, 117 Cambria Circle, explained she and her spouse are under contract for property located at 65 Wexford Drive.  She stated they are requesting a variance so that their new home could be built at a twenty (20') foot distance from the right-of-way. She explained currently a home built on the property would have to be set back thirty-five (35’) feet without the variance.  Ms. Dennis stated she is not sure a home can be built thirty-five (35’) feet back due to the topography of the land.  Ms. Dennis stated they are looking to build a ranch style home with a walk out basement.  Ms. Dennis agreed the lot in question is an unusual lot that is not part of the Ridge, but has the same topography as the Ridge.  Ms. Dennis stated the two homes closest to the lot in question are setback twenty feet (20’), so this is consistent with the houses in the neighborhood.  She stated there is one other lot in this area that is not part of the subdivision.  Ms. Terry explained there is a utility easement on the property and that the front portion of the Wexford Drive subdivision was developed under the Township and later annexed to the Village.  Ms. Terry stated the Ridge was developed within the Village and this lot was not a part of either subdivision and became its own seven acre parcel.  Ms. Terry stated the Licking County Recorder shows the easement moved from the center of the property to the front.  Ms. Terry stated their records show a utility easement through the center of the property.  Ms. Dennis stated there is not a sanitary sewer line currently installed.  Mr. Smith asked if the lot is currently vacant.  He stated the applicant has indicated there is currently trash on the lot.  He questioned if there is not an effective use for the lot other than keeping it wooded.  Ms. Dennis stated she feels it would be difficult to build because of the steep nature of the hill.  Ms. Terry stated there have been other setback variances granted in this area due to the topography.  She stated the only other buildable area on this lot would be to the north.  The topography is different in this area and a home could be located on this portion of the land.  Ms. Terry stated with a sanitary sewer line extended through this property and the topographical challenges the placement of a home is difficult.  Ms. Terry stated a twenty foot (20’) setback seems to be fitting with other homes in the area. 

 

Fred Biesecker, 71 Wexford Drive, stated there was a new home just built in his community.  He explained that on the rest of Wexford Drive they have a decent setback in place for homes.  Mr. Biesecker stated the home currently under construction doesn’t fit in their community.  He stated the terrain is considerably steep.  Mr. Gill asked Mr. Biesecker if he has considered purchasing the lot.  Mr. Biesecker stated yes.  He questioned if a lot split could be applied for from the Planning Commission.  Ms. Terry stated this is a possibility.  Mr. Biesecker stated the homes on the Ridge side are closer to the road and on the rest of Wexford the setbacks are further back.  He explained this lot is not located in the Ridge or the Highlands.  Mr. Biesecker stated he has mixed feelings on the approval of the variance and he does have concerns.

 

Ms. Terry stated the new build Mr. Biesecker is referring to has meet the Village requirements, which it does, other adjacent structures were just set back further than the Village requirement which they are allowed to do.   Mr. Smith asked Mr. Biesecker if he felt approval of the variance would change the essential character of the neighborhood.  Mr. Biesecker stated yes.  He stated the lots left in Granville are going to be hard to build on and the people coming in want the rules to be changed for them.  He stated the rest of the people have had to abide by the rules already in place.  He asked the board to think about this.  He questioned if they should be adjusting things for them and not be consistent with the rest of the Village.  Ms. Terry stated there were variances granted for the Ridge in a lump for numerous properties.  Mr. Kemper stated he agrees with the applicant on the proposed location.  

 

The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2013-47:

 

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 because of the nature of the topography.

 

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 FALSE. 
 

(2)        Whether the variance is substantial.  Mr. Burge, Mr. Smith stated TRUE the proposed variance is substantial.  Mr. Gill and Mr. Kemper stated FALSE 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.  Mr. Burge stated TRUE.  Mr. Gill, Mr. Kemper and Mr. Smith 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.  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 because of the nature of the setbacks on this side of the ridge.

 

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 there are no special conditions.  

 

Mr. Kemper made a motion to approve Application #2013-47 as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Burge. 

 

Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2013-47: Smith (yes), Gill (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  Application #2013-47 is Approved as Presented.

 

Andrew & Monica Doud, 311 East College Street, Application #2013-49

Village Residential District (VRD).  The request is for a variance to increase the maximum lot coverage from fifty (50%) percent to fifty-two (52%) percent to allow for the construction of a new garage and for a driveway reconfiguration.

 

(Alison Terry, Brett Black, Andrew & Monica Doud were sworn in by Mr. Gill.)

 

Discussion:

Brett Black, 2579 Pleasant Crest Court, Newark, stated they are requesting a variance for lot coverage.  He explained they are also seeking permission from Village Council for the demolition of an existing one car garage.  Mr. Black stated a new garage would go in place if the variance is granted.  Ms. Terry stated the request is for a 2% variance from 50% to 52%.  She explained with the removal of the existing garage and reconfiguration of the driveway there will be a total reduction in the current lot coverage on the property from 74% to 52%. 

 

Andy Doud, 311 East College, stated the current building is unsafe and about to fall down.  He stated the proposal would increase the value and look of the property. 

 

The BZBA reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact during their discussion of Application #2013-49:

 

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.  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.  The BZBA unanimously agreed TRUE.   

 

(6)        Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance.  Mr. Smith stated TRUE.  Mr. Gill, Mr. Kemper, and Mr. Burge 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. Smith made a motion to approve Application #2013-49 as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Burge. 

 

Roll Call Vote to Approve Application #2013-49: Smith (yes), Gill (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  Application #2013-49 is Approved as Presented.

 

Finding of Fact

Mark and Mia Law (APPEAL), 76 Wexford Drive,  Application #2013-40

The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals found the request as submitted to the Zoning Inspector in Application #2013-40, the swimming pool will be so walled or fenced as to prevent uncontrolled access from the street or from adjacent properties.

 

Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2013-40.  Seconded by Mr. Kemper.

 

Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (no).  Motion carried 3-1.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2013-40 are approved. 

 

Paul Hammond/Tracee Laing, 494 North Granger Street,  Application #2013-46

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-B, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant. 

 

Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2013-46.  Seconded by Mr. Kemper.

 

Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2013-46 are approved. 

 

Stephen & Jenifer Dennis, 65 Wexford Drive, Application #2013-47

The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with the Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1147, Variances, and Chapter 1171, Planned Unit Development District, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant. 

 

Mr. Kemper moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2013-47.  Seconded by Mr. Burge.

 

Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2013-47 are approved. 

 

Andrew & Monica Doud, 311 East College Street, Application #2013-49

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 District, and hereby give their approval of the application as submitted by the applicant. 

 

Mr. Burge moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2013-49.  Seconded by Mr. Kemper.

 

Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.  The Findings of Fact for Application #2013-47 are approved. 

 

Motion to Approve Absent BZBA Member:

Mr. Smith made a motion to excuse Scott Manno from the BZBA meeting on May 9, 2013.  Seconded by Mr. Kemper.

 

Roll Call Vote: Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes), Burge (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.   

 

Motion to Approve Meeting Minutes:

Mr. Kemper made a motion to approve the BZBA meeting minutes for April 11, 2013 as presented.  Seconded by Mr. Burge.

 

Roll Call Vote: Burge (yes), Kemper (yes), Smith (yes), Gill (yes).  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Motion to Adjourn

Mr. Smith made a motion to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Burge. 

Motion carried 4-0.  The meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.   

 

Next Meeting:

June 13, 2013 (Mr. Gill stated he cannot attend this meeting.)

July 11, 2013

August 8, 2013

 

 

 

 

_____________________________  _______________ BZBA Chairperson, Jeff Gill          

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