Granville Community Calendar

BZBA Minutes January 14, 2016

Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals

Minutes

January 14, 2016 7:00 p.m.

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

Members Present: Roll Call: Kenneth Kemper, Larry Burge, Neal Zimmers, Bradley Smith and Jeff Gill.

Members Absent: None

Also Present: Debi Walker, Acting Village Planner, Michael King, Law Director

Visitors: Barbara Franks, Dan Rogers, Andy Franks, Sam Sagaria, Barrett Lawlis, Ben Rader, Bob Johnson, Tim Hughes, Chris Avery, and Jodi Melfi

Citizen Comments: None.

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:

  • The applicant;
  • The owner of the property that is the subject of the application, if the owner is not the applicant or appellant;
  • The owner of property that is adjacent or contiguous to the property that is the subject of the application; and
  • 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:

  • Present his or her position, argument and contentions;
  • Offer and examine witnesses and present evidence in support of his or her position, arguments and contentions;
  • Cross-examine witnesses purporting to refute his or her position, arguments and contentions;
  • Offer evidence and testimony to refute evidence and testimony offered in opposition to his or her position, arguments and contentions;
  • Proffer any evidence or testimony into the record if such evidence or testimony has not been admitted by the Board.

Mr. Gill shared that at the close of the December BZBA meeting, Board members came to a point where they had to table Application #2015-23 in the hopes of having time for further deliberation on the testimony presented. Mr. Gill added that at this time, the Board chooses to adjourn to deliberations. Mr. Burge moved to adjourn to deliberations at 7:02 p.m., seconded by Mr. Zimmers.

Roll Call Vote: Kemper (yes), Burge (yes), Zimmers (yes), Smith (yes) and Gill (yes). The Board went into deliberation.

The Board returned to the Chamber at 7:22 p.m. Mr. Gill called the meeting back to order.

Old Business:

119-123 South Prospect Street – Barbara Franks - Application #2015-23: The property is zoned Village Business District (VBD) and is located within the Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD). The request is for review and approval of a variance to reduce the required number of parking spaces from four (4) parking spaces to zero (0) parking spaces for the additional occupancy of the first floor only of the rear accessory structure for a restaurant use, and totaling seven hundred sixty-eight (768) square feet of space.

Discussion:

Andy Rogers, 210 E Maple Street, stated there have been a total of 67 parking variance applications and to date none have been denied. Mr. Gill stated the Board would not be taking further testimony, that portion of the hearing was closed.Mr. Gill inquired of the Board for any statements to be shared with everyone, post deliberations.

Mr. Zimmers offered his opinion, reading a statement for the record. He began by stating Barbara Franks, the business owner, testified that she wants to regain patron seating she felt was taken away from here by an earlier Village order; that she had lost considerable revenue ($220,000); and that she felt the Village had not stopped the expansion of other (similar) businesses in the Village Business District.

Andy Rogers, also an owner, claimed a parallel between Taco Dan’s location, and a restaurant located on North Prospect Street, at the December BZBA meeting, and felt they are being discriminate against in parking for expansion. Mr. Zimmers stated that, in his opinion, there are a lack of physical similarities in the North and South Prospect locations.

Mr. Zimmers continued by stating, Law Director King said limited handicapped usage would be hard to enforce; that given past dealings with the owners, they cannot be trusted. Mr. Zimmers continued stating that Ms. Franks and her former attorney admitted that if one ‘handicapped’ individual used the expanded facility, everyone in their party would be able to use it as well. He continued stating that would open the door to easy abuse. He then read a definition of the term ‘disability’ according to the ADA. He added he is also unsure if the owners would comply with the limited handicap seating (should the parking variance be granted); he personally sees the request to accommodate handicap customers as a subterfuge for overall business expansion.

Mr. Smith added that he would be making comments following specific criteria. Mr. Gill stated that the Board had taken all testimony at their last meeting, had decided to carry over the matter in order for members to digest the considerable discussion and evidence and were ready to review the criteria related to the request.

The BZBA reviewed the following Standards and Criteria during their discussion of Application #2015-23:

a. That special circumstances or conditions exist which are peculiar to the land or structure(s) involved Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill. Mr. Smith added that all buildings in the District suffer from the same types of problems that predate ADA accessibility and that he doesn’t find anything unique in this particular situation and which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning districts. Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.

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 stated, 4 FALSE; 1 TRUE (Mr. Smith).

The factors to be considered by the Board in making this determination are:

  • Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return; Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.Or whether there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill. Mr. Gill added that the restaurant can continue to operate without the variance.
  • Whether the variance is substantial. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill. Mr. Gill added that he request is from four (4) parking spaces to zero (0) parking spaces.
  • Whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially altered, Mr. Zimmers, Mr. Burge and Mr. Kemper stated TRUE; Mr. Smith and Mr. Gillvoted FALSE, Mr. Smith added that he doesn’t feel it really changes the use of the property or altering the physical appearance; or whether adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as a result of the varianceMr. Smith stated FALSE; all other BZBA members stated TRUE. Mr. Smith added that the reason for his vote is because the variance is for parking spaces, testimony leads us to believe is that people don’t want the building to be used as it is being used at this time, and that he doesn’t feel the variance would make that much of a difference as to whether those properties would suffer substantial detriment Mr. Gill added that his vote because of the court order that governs the shared access and the possible conversion of that access not only for vehicular but personal access to the property.
  • Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage). Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill. Mr. Smith added the applicant testified that she was not aware and again, our tradition norm, which is legally well grounded is that it is know that this is a zoned community and people are aware of the restrictions when they purchase property.
  • Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance. The board members stated 3 True (Mr. Zimmers, Mr. Burge and Mr. Kemper), and 2 False (Mr. Smith and Mr. Gill). Mr. Smith added that he doesn’t feel it can to do what they want to do they need a variance. Mr. Gill also vote false there was a discussion in the spring about adding parking and the discussion was never revisited.
  • 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; all other BZBA members voted FALSE.

c. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. N/A Mr. Smith and Mr. King shared that this question is not applicable as the Board found in question a, there are no special circumstances related to the land or structures.

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, Mr. Zimmers, Mr. Burge, Mr. Kemper, and Mr. Gill stated FALSE; Mr. Smith stated TRUE and added again he feels the most of the concerns discussed are conjectural at this point, Mr. Gill added that the shared drive as the sole access related to the expansion creates true grounds for concern whether we are talking about handicapped accessibility or the general public; and not diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding areas, Mr. Burge and Smith stated TRUE; Mr. Zimmers, Mr. Gill and Mr. Kemper stated FALSE, Mr. Gill added that while the Board appears to be split on this issue, there is concern for that; and not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent properties, Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill; and not unreasonably increase the congestion in public streetsMr. Smith stated TRUE; all other BZBA members stated FALSE; Mr. Smith noted again that the ongoing issue is with parking in the (Core Business) District and that almost every business has that problem, and that we as a Board, nor as a (Village) Council, come up with a solution to the issue. Mr. Gill noted that as he has stated numerous times in the past, it is incumbent on Village Council at some point in the very near future –although he has been making this comment for about four years – to figure out how to address this issue without parking variances and congestion downtown, but promoting business and new opportunity downtown.

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. Zimmers moved to Deny Application #2015-23, seconded by Mr. Burge. Roll Call Vote: Kemper (yes), Burge (yes), Zimmers (yes), Smith (no) and Gill (yes). Motion Passed (4-1) to Deny Application #2015-23. 

New Business: 136 North Prospect Street – Jodi Melfi of Jodi Melfi Design, on behalf of Mathnasium (Diane Curtis) - Application #2015-180: The property is zoned Village Business District (VBD) and is located within the Architectural Review Overlay District (AROD). The request is for review and approval of a variance to increase the maximum number of sidewalk signs allowed per building from one (1) to two (2), to allow the use of a sidewalk sign at 136 North Prospect Street, a.k.a. Mathnasium.

Discussion:

Jodi Melfi, of Jodi Melfi Design, 130 North Prospect Street - #K, Granville, Ohio, stated, the business is a mathematics tutoring facility serving students in elementary through high school. The sign would only be out during business hours and it does not interfere with the pedestrian walk way. The sign would help clients locate the building from Broadway. Ms. Melfi also stated this would be the only sidewalk sign on the North Prospect side of the building; this will be the second sidewalk sign for the building, the first being permitted to Fly Method Cycle, LLC located around the corner at 230 East College Street.

The BZBA reviewed the following Standards and Criteria during their discussion of Application #2015-180:

a. That special circumstances or conditions exist which are peculiar to the land or structure(s) involved Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill, and which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning districts. Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.

b. That a literal interpretation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance would result in practical difficulties for the owner of the propertyThe BZBA unanimously agreed this criteria was TRUE.

The factors to be considered by the Board in making this determination are:

  • Whether the property in question will yield a reasonable return; Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.Or whether there can be any beneficial use of the property without the variance. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the variance is substantial. Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the essential character of the neighborhood would be substantially altered, Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill or whether adjoining properties would suffer a substantial detriment as a result of the varianceMr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage). Mr. Gill stated FALSE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.
  • Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a varianceThe board members voted 1 True, and 4 False.
  • Whether the spirit and intent behind the zoning requirement would be required to be observed and substantial justice done by granting the variance. Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill.

c. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. N/A

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, Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill; and not diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding areasMr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred with Mr. Gill; and not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent properties, Mr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred withMr. Gill; and not unreasonably increase the congestion in public streetsMr. Gill stated TRUE; all other BZBA members concurred withMr. Gill;

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 #2015-180, as submitted. Seconded by Mr. Kemper. Roll Call Vote: Smith (yes), Kemper (yes), Burge (yes), Zimmers (yes) and Gill (yes). Motion carried ­­­(5-0).

Findings of Fact

Old Business: 119-123 South Prospect Street –Barbara Franks - Application #2015-23: Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria. The Board of Zoning & Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with The Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1147, Variances and Chapter 1183, Off-Street Parking and Loading, and hereby gives their approval of Application #2015-23.

Mr. Kemper moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2015-23. Seconded by Mr. Burge. Roll Call Vote: Smith (yes), Zimmers (yes), Burge (yes), Kemper (yes) and Gill (yes). Motion carried (5-0).

136 North Prospect Street –Jodi Melfi of Jodi Melfi Design for Mathnasium – Sidewalk Sign - Application #2015-180: Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria. The Board of Zoning & Building Appeals found the request to be consistent with The Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1147, Variances and Chapter 1189, Signs, and hereby gives their approval of Application #2015-180.

Mr. Smith moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2015-180. Seconded by Mr. Kemper. Roll Call Vote: Smith (yes), Zimmers (yes), Burge (yes), Kemper (yes) and Gill (yes). Motion carried (5-0).

Motion to Approve Meeting Minutes:

Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the BZBA meeting minutes for April 30, 2015. Seconded by Mr. Kemper. Roll Call Vote: Zimmers (yes) Smith (yes), Burge (yes), Kemper (yes) and Gill (yes). Motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Kemper made a motion to approve the BZBA meeting minutes for December 10, 2015. Seconded by Mr. Burge. Roll Call Vote: Kemper (yes) Smith (yes), Burge (yes), and Gill (yes). Motion carried 5-0.

Motion to Adjourn

Mr. Burge made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Mr. Zimmers. Motion carried 5-0. 

The meeting adjourned at ­­­­8:01 p.m.

Next Meetings (Tentative):

February 11, 2016

March 10, 2016

April 14, 2016

 

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