Granville Community Calendar

Planning Commission Minutes June 9, 2008

GRANVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION

June 9, 2008

7:00pm

Minutes

 

Members Present: Gina Reeves, Lyle McClow, Tom Mitchell, Tim Ryan (Chair), and Jackie O’Keefe (non-voting).

Members Absent: Jack Burriss.

Staff Present: Village Planner, Alison Terry, and Assistant Law Director Allison Crites.

Visitors Present: Jack Thornborough, Becky Wagner, Melissa Hilton, Melissa Engel, Sharon Joseph, Laura Evans, James Hartzler, Sharon Joseph, Robert and Tracee Karaffa, Richard Downs, Susan Asano, Jane Karaffa, Linda Lynch, Dan Dobbelaer, and Dr. Fred Karaffa.

 

Citizen’s Comments:

No one appeared to speak under Citizen’s Comments.

 

Old Business:

 

Application #08-44 on the June 9, 2008 agenda - submitted by Ed and Donna Jenkins was withdrawn by the applicant.

 

Application #08-47 on the June 9, 2008 agenda – submitted by Centenary United Methodist Church requested tabling the application until July 14, 2008. 

 

311 North Pearl Street, Robert and Tracee Karaffa, Application #08-54

SRD-B (Suburban Residential District) – AROD (Architectural Review Overlay District)

The application is submitted by Robert and Tracee Karaffa for architectural review and approval of solar panels to be located on the southern roof exposure. 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry, Robert and Tracee Karaffa, Richard Downs, Linda Lynch and later Laura Evans, Dan Dobbelaer, and Fred Karaffa were invited by the applicant to give testimony.

 

Discussion regarding Application #08-54:

Tracee Karaffa, 311 North Pearl Street, submitted letters from adjoining property owners in support of the solar panels installed on her home.  The letters were submitted by Faith A. Wilson at 230 Summit Street and Robert Dold at 305 North Pearl Street.  Mrs. Karaffa stated that each property owner adjoining her property has submitted letters stating that they do not object to the installation of the solar panels.  Linda Lynch, 1340 Welsh Hills Road, stated that she drives by 311 North Pearl Street everyday and you really have to be looking to even notice the solar panels.  Mr. Ryan clarified that the Planning Commission is not assessing whether or not the panels can be seen from the roadway and they must make a decision on the panels after the fact that they have already been installed.  Ms. Lynch stated that a second point she would like to make is regarding the historical character of the home and the installation of solar panels.  Ms. Lynch stated that she has noticed homes with gas meters, air-conditioning units, generators -  and these are not historical in nature.  Ms. Lynch stated that progress is history making and solar panels are the future.  She added that she believes a gas meter on someone else’s home is the same thing as having solar panels.  Laura Evans, 226 South Main Street, stated that she has solar panels on her home and they have saved her many dollars over time.  She stated that she is a local historian and she believes that the application by the Karaffa’s comes at a good time to have a discussion regarding solar panels.  Ms. Evans stated that the only problem she sees with the Karaffa’s application is the fact that they didn’t come to the Planning Commission first before installing them.  Dan Dobbelaer, 1558 Horns Hill Road, Newark, stated that the First Baptist Church in Granville is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine alternative ways to heat the 16,000 square foot church and he is in favor of solar panels.  He stated that solar panels show that we have a progressive community.  Ms. Reeves asked if the home on South Main Street that has solar panels is the home mentioned at the previous Planning Commission meeting.  Ms. Terry stated yes.  Mrs. Karaffa added that the Elementary School in Granville also has solar panels on ½ of the building – not located in the AROD District.  Mr. McClow asked the savings incurred with solar panels.  Mrs. Karaffa stated that their solar panels have not been on long but they make four times the energy that they consume and she estimates 1/3 savings.  She added that the payback is not financially feasible at the time – when you compare the upfront costs.  Richard Downs, 40174 Loudon Street, discussed several types of solar energy including passive solar architecture – which he has on his home.  He stated that Ms. Evans home on Main Street has solar panels that offer 1/3 savings and he has 60% savings with the solar technology on his home. 

 

The Planning Commission reviewed the Standards and Criteria pertaining to Application #08-54:

 

a)      Is stylistically compatible with other new, renovated and old structures in the Village District.  Mr. McClow stated that it all depends on how you define the word “new” regarding Criteria “a.”  Mr. Mitchell stated that he had a discussion with Ms. Terry to see if the Planning Commission has any latitude on interpreting the criteria and it is his belief that they have complete latitude.  He went on to say that he sees solar panels as a utility – just as gas meters or air-conditioning units.  Mr. McClow stated air-conditioning units are required to be screened.  Mr. Mitchell stated that they often are not screened though.  Ms. Terry explained that the Code does not state the criteria SHALL be considered, but rather the final decision should include review of these criteria.  Mr. Mitchell stated that he can justify solar panels because they are not permanently disfiguring the historical nature of the home.  He stated that is a matter of thinking…solar panels are stylistically compatible and this works for him.  Mr. McClow stated that solar panels are attached to the home 365 days per year.  He stated that he does not believe they are stylistically compatible because the integrity of the historical nature of the home is compromised.  Mr. Ryan stated that he is for solar panels but he is not sure that they meet the criteria set forth in the Code as it is today.  Mr. McClow stated that the Ordinances ought to be changed.  Ms. Terry stated that it takes time to do this because you have to have Council write the new language and hold public hearings.  Ms. Reeves stated she is torn on this particular criteria.  She stated that she agrees with Mr. Mitchell that the solar panels are not destroying or impairing the historic nature of the home.  Ms. Reeves stated that there is also another example of solar panels already in the AROD.  Mr. Ryan stated that he does not believe solar panels are compatible with other structures in the AROD District, but he can also see weighing this particular criteria less than some of the others.

b)      Contributes to the improvement and upgrading of the historical character of the Village District.  Mr. Mitchell stated that history is alive – and work in progress.  He stated that they will see more applications like this and he feels the Karaffa’s ought to be congratulated for spending money that they know wouldn’t be coming back to them soon.  He went on to say that they are making the community better and he wouldn’t mind seeing solar panels on every home in Granville.  Mr. McClow stated that he does not believe solar panels fit this criteria.  He stated that he is for progress, but in this particular case the solar panels do affect the character of the home.  Linda Lynch stated that she has lived in Granville all of her life and she asked if the Planning Commission member’s want to see Granville remain in a bubble - never moving forward.  Dr. Fred Karaffa, 339 Goose Lane, asked if this application is denied – does this mean we will never see solar panels in Granville?  Ms. Terry explained that the denial of this application does not mean solar panels will not ever be allowed.  She stated that Council can change the Code by Ordinance and this application can also be appealed to Council and approved, remanded, revoked or denied.  Ms. Terry stated that the Planning Commission is charged with determining whether or not the Ordinances – as currently written – allow for solar panels.  Dr. Fred Karaffa also asked if there is a legal definition for the word “enhance.”  Assistant Law Director Alison Crites stated that she does not believe the word “enhance” has been litigated in Granville and she reminded anyone giving testimony that this is a quasi-judicial proceeding.  Mr. Ryan stated that his opinion regarding Criteria b is that they have to be very careful on what they allow in the AROD District.  He stated that solar panels may very well upgrade the heating and electrical components, but he does not know how they contribute to the historical character.  Mr. Mitchell stated that it would be best if the Ordinances were modified and given a liberal interpretation of Criteria b – he sees solar panels as warranted. 

c)      Contributes to the continuing vitality of the District.  The Planning Commission unanimously concluded yes based on solar panels being a  renewable energy source.

d)      Protects and enhances examples of the physical surroundings in which past generations lived.  The Planning Commission concluded that the improvements help protect and enhance the structure.  Mr. Mitchell stated that solar panels will protect and enhance the home and they also improve the environment.  Ms. Reeves stated that she stands by her previous comments and the solar panels so not detriment the trees.  Mr. McClow stated yes to Criteria d.  Mr. Ryan stated that if solar panels were not put on would the house decay – no.  However, he stated that it appears the consensus to Criteria d is yes.  

e)      Roof Shape:  The solar panels are mounted directly to the roof and follow the same pitch as the existing standing seam metal roof.

f)        Materials and Texture: The solar panels are a new source of energy and environmentally sensitive and the color of the solar panels are consistent with other materials used on the home.

g)      Use of Details: The applicant installed solar panels on the southern roof exposure of their standing seam metal roof and they are consistent with the roof because they are not larger than the existing roof nor do you see any overhang. 

 

Mr. Mitchell made a motion to Approve Application #08-54 with the following condition: 

1)         That any plant material that dies of natural causes or is removed would be replaced with a similar species with a similar growth size for all trees along North Pearl Street.

 

Second by Ms. Reeves. 

 

Roll Call Vote: McClow (no), Reeves (yes), Mitchell (yes), Ryan (no). 

Motion carried 2-2.  No action taken.  

 

No action was taken regarding Application #08-54.  Assistant Law Director Crites stated that she would research what further action can be taken regarding Application #08-54.

 

 

New Business:

 

115 North Prospect Street, Sharon Joseph, Application #08-56

VBD (Village Business District) – AROD (Architectural Review Overlay District)

The application is submitted by Sharon Joseph for a change of use from Category “E”: Retail Outlets to Category “C”: Business and Professional Offices, specifically for an insurance office. 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry and Sharon Joseph.

 

Discussion regarding Application #08-56:

Ms. Terry explained the requirements for the Change of Use for Business and Professional Offices.  She stated that the parking requirement would be less than the requirement for Retail Outlets.  Ms. Terry stated that for all intensive purposes – the application is permitted.  Sharon Joseph was available to address any questions or concerns by the Planning Commission. 

 

Ms. Reeves made a motion that Application #08-56 be approved as submitted.  Second by Mr. Mitchell.

 

Roll Call Vote:  Mitchell, Reeves, McClow, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Application #08-56 is Approved as submitted. 

 

 

115 North Prospect Street, Melissa Hilton, Application #08-57

(VRD) Village Residential District, (AROD) Architectural Review Overlay District

The application is submitted by Melissa Hilton, and the property owner is Sharon Joseph.  The request is for a projecting wall sign.   

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry, and Melissa Hilton.

Discussion regarding Application #08-57:

The Planning Commission discussed the requirements for Signage. 

“As regulated by the sign regulations, signage will be most significant in communicating the character of the building.  Signage should be discreet and minimal.  Signs oriented to the pedestrian should be small in scale; those oriented toward automobile traffic may be larger.  Color should be subdued, and where appropriate, the architectural character of the sign should be consistent with that of the building.  Signs flush on the building face are in many cases preferable to projecting signs.” 

Ms. Terry stated that the applicant would like to install a rectangular HDU foam sign to be placed on an existing wrought iron projecting arm.  The applicant, Melissa Hilton, 776 Westwood Drive, Newark, stated that the actual green on the sign will be a little more subdued than what is depicted in the printed example. 

 

Ms. Reeves made a motion to approve Application #08-57 as submitted.   Second by Mr. Mitchell.

 

Roll Call Vote: Reeves, Mitchell, McClow, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Application #08-49 is approved as submitted. 

 

317 East Elm Street, Melissa Engel, Application #08-58

VRD (Village Residential District) – AROD (Architectural Review Overlay District)

The application is submitted by Melissa Engel and the request is for approval of a rear yard six foot privacy fence. 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry, and Melissa Engel.

 

Discussion regarding Application #08-58:

Melissa Engel, 317 Elm Street, stated that she attempted to have discussions with both neighbor’s on each side of her regarding her plans, but one neighbor is out of town.  She stated that the Hartfield’s showed no objections to the privacy fence.  Ms. Engel stated that she would like to stain the fence dark chocolate brown on each side.  The Planning Commission noted that the finished side of the fence is to face the neighbors. 

 

The Planning Commission reviewed the Standards and Criteria pertaining to Application #08-58:

 

a)      Is stylistically compatible with other new, renovated and old structures in the Village District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes and stated that other privacy fences have been approved in the same zoning district.

b)      Contributes to the improvement and upgrading of the historical character of the Village District.  The Planning Commission concluded that there are other homes with fences offering privacy in backyards.

c)      Contributes to the continuing vitality of the District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

d)      Protects and enhances examples of the physical surroundings in which past generations lived.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

e)      Materials and Texture:  The applicant is proposing a wood “dog ear” style fence which is a natural material.

f)       Use of Details: The applicant is proposing construction of a six (6’) foot wood privacy fence to be “dog ear” style with chocolate brown stain.  The Planning Commission concluded that the overall design is appropriate.

 

 

Ms. Reeves made a motion to approve Application #08-58 with the following conditions: 

            1)         That the applicant shall be required to place the finished side of the fence facing each of the neighbors to the west, east, south, and north. 

 

Second by Mr. Mitchell.   

 

Roll Call Vote:  Mitchell, McClow, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Application #08-58 is Approved with the above stated condition. 

 

203 North Plum Street, James Hartzler, Application #08-59

SRD-B (Suburban Residential District) – AROD (Architectural Review Overlay District)

The application is submitted by James Hartzler and the request is for approval involving replacement concrete sidewalk with a brick pavers sidewalk in the front yard.  The sidewalk is a private sidewalk.

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry, and James Hartzler.

 

Discussion regarding Application #08-59:

James Hartzler, 203 North Plum Street, reviewed his plans for the sidewalk.  He stated that he collects brick pavements and he hopes to use some brick pavers from Burg Street.  Mr. Hartzler stated that Mike Flood of Albyn’s Landscape will be doing the work.

 

 

 

The Planning Commission reviewed the Standards and Criteria pertaining to Application #08-59:

 

a)      Is stylistically compatible with other new, renovated and old structures in the Village District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

b)      Contributes to the improvement and upgrading of the historical character of the Village District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

c)      Contributes to the continuing vitality of the District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

d)      Protects and enhances examples of the physical surroundings in which past generations lived.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.

e)      Enhancement of Pedestrian Environment: The Planning Commission stated that the removing of the broken concrete and replacement with antique street pavers will strongly enhance the environment in front of the historic home.  The applicant also plans to use some pavers from Burg Street. 

f)        Use of Landscape Design: The removal of broken concrete and replacement with antique street pavers will improve the landscape design in front of the historic home and provide a strong connection between the street and home. 

g)      Materials and Textures: The applicant has indicated that they want to remove the existing concrete sidewalk and replace it with antique street paving bricks laid in a modified running bond pattern.  The applicant further indicates that most of the proposed pavers are identical in size and appearance to those which formed the surface of Burg Street until 2006.

 

Mr. Mitchell made a motion to Approve Application #08-59 as submitted.  Second by Ms. Reeves. 

 

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Application #08-59 is Approved as submitted.

 

222 South Main Street, Doug and Becky Wagner, Application #08-60

VBD (Village Business District) – AROD (Architectural Review Overlay District)

The application is submitted by Doug and Becky Wagner and the request is for approval for a freestanding sign. 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planner, Alison Terry and Becky Wagner – and later Laura Evans.

 

 

Discussion regarding Application #08-60:

Ms. Terry stated that the proposed sign is six square feet and twelve square feet is permitted by Code.  Becky Wagner stated that the sign would be cream with black lettering and the post is very close to the post at the veterinary office next door.  Mr. Ryan asked if there would be any up-lighting.  Ms. Wagner stated no.  Laura Evans, 221 South Main Street, stated that she is an adjacent property owner.  She stated that she has no objections to the sign but she does question if patrons will mistakenly enter her driveway – rather than the driveway for the retail shop.  Ms. Evans asked if she could put up a private driveway sign if this becomes a problem.  Ms. Terry suggested that Ms. Evans contact her if she notices patrons utilizing her driveway and they can work together on this matter.  Mrs. Wagner stated that she would be willing to work out any problems regarding cars entering the wrong driveway.  

 

The Planning Commission reviewed the Standards and Criteria pertaining to Application #08-60:

 

The Planning Commission discussed the requirements for Signage. 

“As regulated by the sign regulations, signage will be most significant in communicating the character of the building.  Signage should be discreet and minimal.  Signs oriented to the pedestrian should be small in scale; those oriented toward automobile traffic may be larger.  Color should be subdued, and where appropriate, the architectural character of the sign should be consistent with that of the building.  Signs flush on the building face are in many cases preferable to projecting signs.” 

The Planning Commission indicated that the applicant would like to install an oval shaped wood sign to be placed on a Premium Cast “S” Post System made of aluminum.  The proposed sign will be very similar in style to the sign on the neighboring property for Granville Veterinary Clinic. 

Materials and Texture:  The Planning Commission indicates that they would like to install an oval shaped wood sign to be placed on a Premium Cast “S” post system made of aluminum.

 

Ms. Reeves made a motion to approve Application #08-60 as submitted.  Second by Mr. McClow.

 

Roll Call Vote:  Mitchell, Reeves, McClow, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Application #08-60 is approved as submitted. 

 

 

Finding of Fact Approvals:

 

New Business:

Application #08-56:

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-56.  Second by Ms. Reeves. 

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Application #08-57:

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

Ms. Reeves moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-57.  Second by Mr. Mitchell.

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Application #08-58:

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-58.  Second by Mr. McClow.

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Application #08-59:

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

Ms. Reeves moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-59.  Second by Mr. McClow.

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Application #08-60:

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

Ms. Reeves moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #08-60.  Second by Mr. McClow.

Roll Call Vote: McClow, Mitchell, Reeves, Ryan.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

 

Motion to Approve absent Planning Commission Members:

Mr. Mitchell made a motion to excuse Jack Burriss from the June 9th Planning Commission meeting.  Second by Mr. McClow.  Motion carried 4-0.

 

Approval of the Minutes:

May 27, 2008

No action taken.

 

Adjournment: 8:55 PM. 

Ms. Reeves moved to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting, seconded by Mr. Mitchell.  Motion carried 4-0. 

 

Next meetings:

June 16, 2008 (Special Hearing on Proposed Zoning Code Changes)

June 23, 2008

July 14, 2008

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