Granville Community Calendar

Planning Minutes 5/23/05

May 23, 2005

Members Present:   Jack Burriss (Vice Chair), Tim Riffle (Chair), Tym Tyler, Tom Mitchell, Jackie O'Keefe, and Carl Wilkenfeld
Members Absent: none 
Visitors Present:  Please see attached list of 42 names.
Also Present:  Chris Strayer, Village Planner
The Chair swore in all those who planned to speak
Citizens Comments:  none

New Business:

Dan Rogers, 210 East Maple Street - Site Improvements
Application was tabled at applicant's request.

Village of Granville - Front Doors
Application was tabled at applicant's request.

New Business:

Sharon Sellito, 224 South Prospect Street - Fence
 At our last meeting we approved a similar application for a fence 2' from the neighbor's property.  GPC approved it but later Ms. Sellito asked for it to be on the side and rear lot lines because this would preclude trees being cut down.  Having a 2' gap would attract undesirable matter.   She also is asking for a 48" picket fence rather than a 72" fence. 
 Barbara Franks, neighbor and wife of Dan Rogers, said she and Ms. Sellito have talked and come to a decision that should be better if instead of running the fence along the back line, she would tie in to the existing fence. Mr. Rogers will repair the hole in the fence, and he will extend the fence down to the property line.  Ms. Sellito will not have a fence along the back yard.  Ms. Sellito said she will do the sides and tie it in with the Rogers fence, so it would have to go to the lot line. If a need arises for a fence along the rear lot line, Ms. Sellito will come back to GPC.  Ms. Franks said there is a 72" fence along the back property line.
 Ms. Franks was concerned about the fact that with both fences abutting each other, painting the inside would be difficult.  Joe Hickman had told Ms. Sellito that in order to maintain the fence, it must be taken down. 


Borough Company, 233 South Mulberry - Modification

 Originally approved as windows, the modified plan specifies a chimney and fireplace, since the applicant feels the view of a solid wall is undesirable.


Granville Golf Course Company, Onnen Court

 This application continues the road into the cul-de-sac and includes 5 new lots. The engineer has filed his report, and was concerned about water and sewer and the need for sidewalks, but these things can be worked out.  The Fire Department has concerns with the design and size of the center island in the cul-de-sac and would like to prevent parking in the cul-de-sac. 
 Ms. O'Keefe wanted to know more about the parking restrictions and was told visitors could park in driveways.  She asked why couldn't the road be configured to allow parking and fire trucks.  Mr. Mitchell thought there should be ample room for cars and fire trucks the way it is.  You don't want to see such a wide expanse of concrete in a subdivision.  Also, parked cars have a traffic-calming effect. 
 Bob Kent introduced Jeff Carr, Engineer, who said if they have to do away with the island they can do so.  (Mr. Burriss wants the island left in.) This is a 27' cul-de-sac, wider than other cul-de-sacs and exceeding fire department standards.  Mr. Strayer said our Fire Department has their own standards.  Mr. Carr said they can decrease the center island and allow parking on one side only and still get the width the fire department demands.  Mr. Carr said they can work with the engineer on this.
 GPC members would like to see a copy of the Fire Department standards.
  Mr. Strayer said there is a sidewalk extension on the east which can be continued.  Bob Kent said when the plat was laid out there were no sidewalks in the circle because there were only 5 houses there.


Fairfax Homes, 931 Newark-Granville Road - Preliminary Plat

 {Mr. Burriss recused himself from this application.}
 A preliminary plat for Tall Pines Subdivision was presented before a group of about 40 concerned citizens.  The traffic study has not been approved by the Village Traffic Engineer, and the Fire Department has concerns over the number and location of hydrants.  The Village Engineer has not submitted his recommendations.  Developer Harold Lieberman wishes to build 17 home sites on 11.4 acres. The road would be private with two 10' lanes and detention basin in the middle of the cul-de-sac with 50' radius.  Water and sewer lines would be extended to the property. Ms. O'Keefe didn't see how the traffic report could be of any help to us if incomplete.  Apparently there were some errors. The Law Director said the Traffic Engineer said it was basically satisfactory but if other information is needed, he should get it.  He will go on record as saying he is satisfied with the conclusion. 
 Mr. Strayer said the Fire Department would like to see more hydrants.  They were also concerned about the detention pond in the road.  They need 20' minimum and these are 12' lanes.  Byrd and Bull is a civil engineer, not a traffic engineer.
 Ms. O'Keefe wondered whose judgment are we to take.   The Law Director said GPC does not approve preliminary plats unless all information is there and traffic does not increase to the detriment of the community.  GPC makes this decision. 
 Alan Voris, Traffic Engineer, said they prepared an abbreviated study.  They did a turn-lane analysis but did not provide a report.  They are going to hire a third party consultant to do an imperial study.  They have not seen a report from the Fire Department, but they will address all their concerns.  He would ask for conditional approval based on all these questions.

 The Chairman opened the discussion to the floor, limiting comments to 5 minutes.

 Att. Steve Mershon spoke on behalf of 5 people and said this plan does not comply with Village Codes. 
 Virginia Abbott felt a fire truck could not get in there.  She would like to know more about the original covenants, especially where it said the lots were not to be subdivided.
 Father Enke said Section 1 of the Plat Book provides that no more than one house shall be on any lot.  These rights run with the land.  Restrictions shall only be made with the consent of the residents.  No more than one house can be built on any lot without our consent.   We will not consent to lift restrictions on the unbuilt lots.
 The Village Planner said restrictive covenants were not approved by the village as part of the original plans, so this would be a civil case between the residents.  The Village did not approve covenants along with the subdivision.  It needs to be approved by the people before it can be sent to the county.
 The law director said that is correct.  There would be conditions we would require. Nothing in our code approves subdivisions of lots subject to deed restrictions.  You cannot plat over a plat; you have to go through Common Pleas Court.  The burden is upon the developer.  There is a vacation chapter. 
 Ms. O'Keefe said this agreement was made in good faith, and there are deed restrictions in contracts.  The developer is asking to break this.
 The Law Director said we do not interpret deed restrictions as a village and GPC.  This is between the parties involved.  GPC can turn this down or table it because we need to determine whether they are in fact required to go through a plat vacation.  We need to determine whether those laws apply to us as a municipality and whether the deed restrictions are something we need to look at.
 Ms. O'Keefe asked whether a municipality can negate a private contract by its action, and the Law Director said as a general rule, No, because they can't abrogate contracts.  The contract is not binding on GPC.  We are not enforcing the contract and are more concerned about private rights.  If this meets our code, we can approve it.
 Mr. Mitchell thought they may need to go through a different procedure for vacating the existing document.   The Law Director said if we approve it, we would have two plats on record.  We can table this and let the Law Department look at it.
 Mr. Riffle thought that since there is a lot of confusion, we can't really apply this.
 Mr. Mitchell said we can table this and go on record saying this is how we should proceed.
 Mr. Gorry, Law Director, said the legal issue is that the statute has a procedure for vacating a plat.  Our policy has always been that a plat on top of a plat invites problems.
 Cathy Evans's driveway is right across the street and she wants to see this denied.
 Mr. Tyler thought we could approve or table the application and can base our decision on what the code allows us to do.  He is firmly against it.
 David Goldblatt said Newark-Granville is already a bumper to bumper bypass and that is incompatible with the bike path.  A lot of walkers and bikers use the sidewalk. The Village should take a larger view of things not just this particular situation.
 Maureen Severson lives east of this site and the noise problems and tree removals concern her.  Her house would be devalued by this project.
 Kathleen D. is concerned with safety for her children and the difficulty now of making left turns.  This project is not acceptable to her.
 Susan Lithauser wondered when Newark-Granville went from a beautiful residential street to a bypass?  The traffic gets busier and busier, and she wondered what precedent are we setting. 
 Steve Tunicliff thought Newark-Granville was turning into a freeway instead of a residential street.  Properties are becoming devalued.
 Dena McKinley is concerned that several neighbors provided the covenants to the village over a week ago and she would have thought these things would have been looked at before this.  The ½-acre lots are inconsistent.  School enrollment will increase by another classroom.  We are fighting this on the outskirts of the village, but we should not have to fight it within the village.  Traffic got worse after River Road closed.  There are drainage issues.  Water flows down to Howard Dellard's home.  If they grade the land away, he will get the runoff.  Tall pine trees will be removed.  This subdivision has been laid out with the specific intent to circumvent the original plan. 
 Regina Cenevera agrees.  She lives directly in front of Howard Dellard, and when she bought her home, she was told about the covenants and that only 3 extra homes could be built down there.  They don't want to lose the natural beauty and set a precedent. 
 Jim Siegel, from Tree and Landscape Committee, has not had an opportunity to look at the plat and does not know how much weight this would carry, but the committee needs an opportunity to look at it soon.
 Bruce Kramer thought it would be irresponsible to tell a person they can buy a house and be safe, but streets are not wide enough to accommodate a fire truck.  To have told people they would only build three houses is irresponsible.  The increased traffic would bring safety issues.
 Brian Barkett lives on Denison Drive and when they bought, they were not told there would be possibly 17 more homes built.  The traffic is not difficult but left-turn lanes can be hard.  Lots of people walk on Denison Drive to get to the bike path. He feels the quality of life will be destroyed in this town with this development.  All over the county we see profits of capitalism at the expense of social values.
 Barbara Franks brought up the lot coverage and wondered how they can get 17 houses on three lots and not exceed lot coverage.  Granville is a small town and the people who live in it run it.  People here tonight do not want the development, only the ones who are developing it do. 
 Tim Hughes was concerned about the private road, which does not have to meet village standards.  A few years down the road it will need to be resurfaced and sewer issues will arise.  They will want the village to take the road over, and he does not want the burden.  He thinks the property should be kept as is.  Two or three can be built on the lots, and that would be plenty.  Schools would be impacted-34 kids, 34 cars.  He questioned the timing of the traffic study. Regarding the restrictive covenants (dedication of protective covenants), these do not hold weight in the village, but they are protective to the property owner.
 Being in real estate, Tim Hughes looks at protective covenants and shows them to purchasers.  Now he is glad he is not the realtor who sold Father Enke's house to him and told him there would be three houses and all of a sudden there are 17 proposed houses.   This is not fair.
 Dina McKinley, neighbor, is opposed to the plat.
 Ann Gillie, from Newark-Granville Road, agrees with everyone.  They purchased the house because of the location and the beauty of the area.  They redid the house and are concerned about property values in the neighborhood.
 Craig Henry said the spirit of the authors of the covenants has been violated. This embraces what Granville was trying to establish in acquisition of the property.  The traffic has increased.  Those who reside in Granville should weigh more heavily than the desires of one developer. 
 James Adam Conway's property abuts the applicant's property. He has about 8 acres and is concerned about the property values and the increase in numbers of children, safety, and traffic issues.
 Scott Emery thanked all of the GPC members.  This is a code issue for you but when it does come to a vote he hopes it will be denied.
 Ron Davis, from Bryn Du feels the restrictive covenants are there and should be adhered to.
 Steve Mershon, Att., said it's not GPC's job to sue the developer.  He wants to put out of their mind that if something is minimally compliant, they have to pass it.  But this development plat does not comply with your code.  They got by by saying it's a private lane, not a street.  But a street includes both, and when they took the plat they said it had to be 90' width.  But the code calls for 90' on a city street.  In five years they will come back asking for a city street. ~ The developer is trying to put in streets that do not meet your requirements for not less than 60' in right of way.  This one is only 50' if you say that the 8' gravel drive is required in the ROW.  The developer can go for a variance but they have not. ~ Road width 26' with parking is required in the code.  They propose 10' width and no parking, so the fire department cannot get in. ~ The developer wants to avoid putting in sidewalks and street lighting and planting tree lawns.  It's cheaper if you don't have to put in sidewalks, and the cost is borne by the public.  It's not right to transfer development rights from the developer to the public.  Nothing in your code says that private roads should be developed to cover standards from city streets and private roads. ~Your driveway has to be 300' from a public intersection, but this is 160' from Denison Drive.  Ninety feet frontage is required on a public ROW. ~ They are supposed to disclose common areas and design the plan to preserve natural vegetative areas, but they are cutting down the tall pines.  This is not consistent with public welfare (1113.03). ~ The traffic study timing was not accurate, and they said there was no construction going on, but that is not true. ~ Access management requires minimum location between driveways, and this is not followed (1117.02). ~   It is not GPC's obligation to enforce covenants but what is fair to the property owner.  By denying this application you are not harming the developer.  Mr. Mershon would ask that GPC either deny the application or ask the developer to withdraw it rather than just table it.
Mr. Riffle closed the session to public comments.

Mr. Riffle had a few comments:  He questioned the price of the $500,000 houses; ~ he wants to preserve the tall pines; ~ this is on a state route and the only other developable property is to the east; ~ we will accommodate the fire department; ~ the road is a county road but not private; ~ his idea is not to segregate the community ~ he would like to talk with everybody and not make enemies.
Mr. Riffle does not feel comfortable with all the traffic information provided and not knowing how legally we stand on this. 
 The Law Director requested tabling.  These restrictions are covenants and we assumed this plat after it was recorded in the township.  So now we have a bit more complicated situation.  This is a private road.  The plat does not accept dedication of the road.  He needs to read the covenants and see what is in there.  It does say there should be one house per lot.  The village assumed the covenants.  That complicates the situation because it was his understanding the plat did not.
 Mr. Mitchell said if we assume the covenants into the village ordinances, doesn't that restrict us from approving the plat?
 Mr. Gorry said it may not.  He has to read these and determine what they say.
 Mr. Wilkenfeld said if there are GPC members who think there are enough other issues tonight to vote, is Mr. Gorry suggesting we do not do that?  Yes, he wants to study the covenants some more.  If this plan violates subdivision regulations, you cannot approve it.
 Mr. Mitchell thought the issue of private vs. public road was significant, and he has not heard the developer suggest he would be willing to make it a public road.
 Ms. O'Keefe said will these people be informed with enough time to come to another meeting?    Mr. Gorry said if you want public notices for your next meeting; tell the village what you want us to say.  Mr. Wilkenfeld would like everyone on the list notified and all the names on the petition that was delivered tonight.   This will be in the Public Notices in the Sentinel, in the Library, and outside the village office.  Assuming this will be on the agenda June 13, there is no need for mailed notices.  Given the absence of one member on the 13th, the developer asked for a hearing on June 27.


Mecham and Apel, South Cherry Valley Road - New building

For a multi-use single-story building next to Bob Evans, the applicant is seeking a 12,000 sq.ft. retail area.  The engineer was unable to submit a report on the existing plat.  The traffic engineer called Mr. Strayer and was unable to submit his report, but he indicated this application was not thorough and complete and did not include the current traffic volume nor the entire area and intersection.  The traffic study was not in accordance with village guidelines.  Mr. Strayer said we do want to meet with the developer and discuss a new traffic study.
Mr. Wilkenfeld said we discussed the LCAT report and the report to Village Council at the April meeting.  The other thing he would like to see is views of the property more than just the aerial view.  There are significant trees out there.
Mr. Strayer indicated LCAT said: (1) the first is a permanent fix to the intersection, a compact diamond similar to Route 37 intersection.  The state has neither funded the study nor construction.  It should be completed by 2025 or before; (2) another project as a temporary fix is a way to make a study with a no-build scenario, no left turns, and continuous flow intersection.  Then they will move forward.  This is temporary until financing can be found.  This intersection is below ODOT acceptable standards.  Traffic is increasing rapidly even now.
Mr. Riffle asked about lot coverage and was told by Mr. Strayer it is 47.5% and the requirement is 40%.  We are granting a density bonus up to 5% but we would still need a variance or find a way to reduce that.
After Mr. Mitchell asked if they were going for a variance, Mike Hughes said they would try to find a way to reduce it to 5%.  To make this work better and increase maneuverability, a variance probably would have to be granted.
Mr. Riffle said we still need a variance and traffic study, and Mr. Wilkenfeld still has concerns about the vegetation.
Mr. Hughes showed the trees to be removed.  They will keep trees on the south end and will take down trees along Rt. 16.  On the east there will be a retention pond so trees will remain.
Mr. Wilkenfeld suggested having more signs and more trees and Mr. Tyler wants fewer signs and keep in just a few trees. 
Mr. Burris said in our work session he had strong feelings of a three-dimensional relationship, that it be not a flat plane but have some gables, but he does not see any on the plat.   The other comment is that we had a discussion that somehow have a pedestrian connection with Bob Evans so people could walk there.  We would want sidewalks included.  Mr. Hughes thinks this is a great idea.  Mr. Burriss also had concerns about dump trucks being able to serve the dumpster, and Mr. Hughes said they pushed it back as far to the east as possible.  Mr. Hughes said they can either back out or go out this way {showed on the plan}. 
Mr. Hughes said they don't have all the details on trash and lighting put together yet.  They will try to match Bob Evans's lights.  Mr. Burriss would like more Granville style lights even though they do not necessarily match those of Bob Evans.  Your building is articulated in detail, and we would like to see a consistency, the detail of lighting is one of those things that we either tie in with the building or not and we would prefer that it do so.  We want to upgrade the lighting and give it more connection.  He asked whether the dumpster would have a drain for the hose and was told it will slope into a drain.
Mike Hughes shared other details:  It will have a flat roof for air conditioning units. ~ Wiring will be underground. ~Gas meter is on the east. ~Gas meter will be screened. ~ Sidewalks will be 10'. They were not proposing to sprinkle the building. ~Signage planning is not complete. ~ Tenants go all the way through the building. ~ Spandrell glass. ~ No trucks allowed in the rear. ~Landscaping will tie in and complement the building.
Mr. Tyler said the more trees along the Bob Evans border the better and to help buffer neighbors, Mr. Riffle wants to see a wall plan, a three-dimensional plan, and a lighting plan.



Closing Comments by the Law Director:  We are required to enforce our code.  If something is not in the code, we cannot deal with it.  We can't look at deed restrictions.
 On the other hand, if a deed restriction is incorporated into a plat, then the condition that you put on a plat that restricts becomes part of our code.  So we look at the plat and it says "deed restrictions are incorporated into the plat" and we must enforce them.
 The courts have told us we have to try to control applause. This is a public hearing not a hearing based on the opinions of the audience.  The reason is that you are not allowed to rely on public opinion to make a decision.  You rely on testimony of witnesses who say things relevant to what we are considering.  So, say, "We have got a big schedule, so please hold your applause."
 Mr. Gorry is going to determine to what extent are the deed restrictions part of our code.  Is it a public or a private street?  Our code does not regulate private streets.  If it's a public road, we have more control. 

Next Meetings:  June 13 (Mr. Tyler will be absent) and June 27
Adjournment:   10:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Betty Allen Hullinger

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