Granville Community Calendar

GPC Minutes August 8, 2011

GRANVILLE PLANNING COMMISSION

August 8, 2011

7:00pm

Minutes

 

Members Present: Councilmember O’Keefe (non-voting), Tim Ryan, Steven Hawk, Jeremy Johnson, Tom Mitchell, and Jack Burriss.

Members Absent:  None. 

Staff Present: Village Planning Director, Alison Terry, Debi Walker; Planning & Zoning Assistant; Steve Stilwell, Village Manager.

Also Present: Mike Davis, Michael Duffey, Richard Downs, and Bruce Cramer.

 

Citizens’ Comments:

No one appeared to speak under Citizen’s Comments.

 

New Business:

 

537 Jones Road – Bryn Du Mansion- Application #2011-94

Planned Unit Development (PUD) – Transportation Corridor Overlay District (TCOD)

The request is for architectural review and approval of a freestanding sign located at the

southwestern corner of the property. 

 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planning Director, Alison Terry, Bruce Cramer, and Mike Davis.

 

Discussion:

Mike Davis, Kessler Sign Company, indicated that he is representing the applicant.  He stated that they would like to place two signs at each end of the fencing along Newark-Granville Road because the property is not easy to find.  Mr. Cramer later indicated that the address is even more difficult to locate because it is not recognizable by some GPS systems.  Mr. Cramer stated that they would like to have lighting for the signage and it would be on the same timer as the fence lighting.  Ms. Terry went over the copy of information submitted for the proposed signage.  She explained that Mr. Cramer has also presented additional directional signage for the grounds and these would not be visible from the roadway.  Ms. Terry stated that both of the freestanding signs are proposed to be made of  the same type of material and both are two fee three and a half inches (2 ' 3 ½") by eight (8') feet, totaling eighteen point four (18.4) square feet.  She suggested shrinking the sign down to eighteen (18) square feet total to avoid the need for one of the variances.  Ms. Terry explained that the maximum height of the sign is allowed to be six foot (6’) and the applicant is proposing a five (5’) foot high sign.  Ms. Terry indicated that the property is a “tough area” when it comes to the layout.  She stated that cars traveling east cannot see one sign and cars traveling west cannot see one of the proposed signs.  Ms. Terry explained that there is an existing white sign on the utility pole at the intersection of Jones Road and Newark-Granville Road, but the applicant indicated that this is not visible or helpful for locating the property.  Ms. Terry indicated that the applicant has had the sign proposal reviewed by the Bryn Du Commission.  Mr. Cramer stated that MSI, which is who Keith Myers works for, designed the entire sign package for the property.  Ms. Terry stated that the additional signage proposed for the property may be considered incidental signage, especially if it cannot be seen from the right of way.  She indicated that she will have to analyze these signs and see how they fit in the code.  She also indicated that she would need the specific location for these signs to be able to determine this. 

 

Mr. Ryan indicated that the two signs submitted for approval tonight are exactly the same.  He questioned if the applicant would be willing to bring the size of the sign down .4 square feet, to 18 square feet, so the Planning Commission does not have to give an additional variance.  Mr. Davis indicated that this would not be a problem.  Mr. Ryan stated that a variance for the TCOD requirement from six (6) square foot to eighteen (18) square foot would still need to be addressed.  Mr. Hawk questioned if the Photoshop submittal was to scale.  Mr. Davis stated that they cannot Photoshop to scale, but he feels confident that the size is close to the proposed sign.  Mr. Mitchell clarified if the next application is for the same size of sign on the southeast corner.  Ms. Terry stated yes and the application they are currently reviewing is for the southwest corner.  Mr. Mitchell questioned if the Planning Commission were to only grant one sign, which of the two is preferred.  He suggested that the preferred sign application ought to be reviewed and approved first just in case there are Planning Commission members unwilling to grant variances for two signs.  Ms. Terry stated that the second application would have an additional variance for allowing two freestanding signs.   

 

Mr. Johnson made a motion to continue discussion of Application #2011-94 after discussion of Application #2011-95.  Seconded by Mr. Hawk. 

 

Roll Call Vote to Continue Application #2011-94:

Mitchell (yes), Hawk (yes), Johnson (yes), Burriss (yes), Ryan (yes).  Motion carried 6-0. 

 

Councilmember O’Keefe questioned the reason for the second sign.  Mr. Cramer stated that when a car is coming from the west to the east it is difficult to see the sign.  Mr. Cramer stated that the signage is also hidden when it is located on each corner.  Mr. Hawk indicated that it is logical to him to have the two signs when one considers the size of the parcel of land that the mansion is located on.  Mr. Ryan questioned how this property could be so difficult for people to find.  Mr. Ryan questioned if the Planning Commission needed to check with Village Council prior to approving the signage, since the property is a Village owned property.  Mr. Davis stated that there were four pages of people that received notice about the signage and no one is at the meeting objecting to the signage.  He asked if approaching Council is necessary given that at least one hundred people have been contacted about this application and there has been no objection. 

 

The Planning Commission reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact for a Variance during their discussion of Application #2011-94:

 

 

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. Johnson indicated that the orientation of the existing fence makes it difficult to have a single sign.  Mr. Burriss stated that the angle of the signage is less intrusive than what could have been proposed.  Mr. Ryan stated that the parcel is large.  All other members concurred.

    

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 Planning Commission unanimously agreed TRUE.  Mr. Mitchell stated that the additional signage doesn’t “ring true.”  He questioned if two signs are actually needed.  Mr. Ryan stated that traffic coming to the property is both east and west bound.  Mr. Johnson stated that two signs are needed because of the orientation of the property.  He added that traffic cannot see the angled sign from the east and west.  Mr. Hawk stated that not all of the traffic would be able to see just one sign.  

 

(2)        Whether the variance is substantial.  The Planning Commission unanimously agreed that the proposed variance is substantial, but justified.  Mr. Johnson stated that this property has substantial road frontage and therefore the variance would not be 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 Planning Commission unanimously agreed FALSE. 

 

(4)        Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage).  Each member of the Planning Commission stated FALSE.

 

(5)        Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction.  The Planning Commission unanimously agreed TRUE. 

 

(6)        Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance.  The Planning Commission unanimously agreed FALSE.  Mr. Hawk and Mr. Johnson agreed that traffic coming west and east need to be able to see the signage.  Mr. Mitchell questioned if two signs are required in this case.     

 

 

 

(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 Planning Commission stated TRUE.

 

c.         That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.  Each member of the Planning Commission 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 Planning Commission 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.  The Planning Commission agreed that there were special conditions with having the lighting screened and the lighting turned off with a set timer already associated with the fence lighting. 

 

Mr. Johnson made a motion to approve Application #2011-94 with the following conditions and variances:

 

1)         To increase the TCOD maximum requirement for all signs on any zoned lot from eighteen (18) square feet to thirty-six (36) square feet to allow for a freestanding sign; 

2)         To allow the maximum number of freestanding signs allowed in the PUD to be increased from one (1) to two (2);

3)         To require the lighting to be screened with landscaping;

4)         To require the sign lighting be placed on the same timer as the existing fence lighting.

5)         The lighting should be per ‘Exhibit A.’

Seconded by Mr. Hawk. 

 

Roll Call Vote:  Mitchell (no), Burriss (yes), Johnson (yes), Hawk (yes), Ryan (no).  Motion carried 3-2.

 

537 Jones Road – Bryn Du Mansion- Application #2011-95

Planned Unit Development (PUD) – Transportation Corridor Overlay District (TCOD)

The request is for architectural review and approval of a freestanding sign located at the

southwestern corner of the property. 

 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planning Director, Alison Terry, Bruce Cramer, and Mike Davis.

 

Discussion:

Mike Davis indicated that they would be willing to cut the size of the 18.4 square foot signage down to 18 square feet (as was done with the previous application.)  Mr. Cramer stated that the lighting is identical and it would be on the same circuit that the post lights are on.  Ms. Terry questioned what time this lighting goes off.  Mr. Cramer stated around 1:30 AM.  Ms. Terry explained that typically the Planning Commission has limited the hours for lighting by requesting that they be turned off by either 10:00 or 11:00 PM.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked why the fence lighting is left on this late.  Mr. Cramer indicated that some events at the Mansion do not end until at least midnight.  Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if the neighbors have been notified and did the Planning Department hear back from anyone.  Ms. Terry stated that the neighbors had been contacted and they did not receive any calls from anyone.  

 

The Planning Commission reviewed and read aloud the following Findings of Fact for a Variance during their discussion of Application #2011-94:

 

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 Planning Commission unanimously agreed TRUE.  Mr. Burriss indicated that the structure and land in this district is unique being a large structure with a large amount of land surrounding it. 

 

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 Planning Commission unanimously agreed TRUE.  Mr. Burriss stated that it is well known that the property is difficult to find.  He added that establishing appropriate signage for the property would be more beneficial to the district.  

 

(2)        Whether the variance is substantial.  The Planning Commission unanimously agreed that the proposed variance is not substantial.  Mr. Mitchell stated that the Ordinance states that eighteen square feet is permissible in a different section of the code regulating this signage.   

 

(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 Planning Commission unanimously agreed FALSE.  Mr. Burriss stated that the signage is appropriate with the scale of the property and existing fencing.   

 

 

(4)        Whether the variance would adversely affect the delivery of governmental services (e.g., water, sewer, garbage).  Each member of the Planning Commission stated FALSE.

 

(5)        Whether the property owner purchased the property with knowledge of the zoning restriction.  The Planning Commission unanimously agreed TRUE. 

 

(6)        Whether the property owner’s predicament feasibly can be obviated through some method other than a variance.  The Planning Commission 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 Planning Commission stated TRUE.  Mr. Johnson stated that a six square foot sign for this property (allowed by the current TCOD Section of the code) would not be appropriate.

 

c.         That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.  Each member of the Planning Commission 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 Planning Commission 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.  The Planning Commission agreed that there were special conditions per ‘Exhibit A’ and that the signage should be set with the same timer used for the post lighting on the fence, and the lighting should be screened with landscaping.

 

Mr. Johnson made a motion to approve Application #2011-95 with the following conditions and variance:

 

1)         To increase the maximum total square footage of all signs on any zone lot in the TCOD from six (6) square feet to eighteen (18) square feet to allow for the installation of a freestanding sign;

2)         To require the lighting to be screened with landscaping;

3)         To require the sign lighting be placed on the same timer as the existing fence lighting.

4)         The lighting should be per ‘Exhibit A.’

Seconded by Mr. Hawk. 

 

Roll Call Vote:  Mitchell (yes), Burriss (yes), Johnson (yes), Hawk (yes), Ryan (yes).  Motion carried 5-0.

 

335 West Elm Street – Michael and Wendy Duffey - Application #2011-96

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

The request is for architectural review and approval of a rear two-story elevated deck and

installation of French doors on the rear elevation.     

 

Swearing in of Witnesses – Mr. Ryan swore in Village Planning Director, Alison Terry, Richard Downs, and Michael Duffey.

 

Discussion:

Michael Duffey, 335 West Elm Street, submitted a summary sheet of the project to the Planning Commission.  He stated that they would like to elevate the proposed deck that measures 12.9 feet x 12 feet. Mr. Duffey stated that the composition of the decking material would be walnut timber tech.  Mr. Duffey stated that due to the terrain of the lot their objective is to not obstruct the main floor view.  Mr. Mitchell asked if the air conditioning unit would be lowered.  Mr. Duffey stated that the air conditioning unit would move straight down and it is required to have four-foot clearance from the deck.  Mr. Burriss asked what the division for the French doors would be.  Mr. Duffey stated that he hasn’t made up his mind on this.  Mr. Mitchell explained that this would be something that the Planning Commission would need to review.  Mr. Duffey stated that he would agree to match the existing French door divisions of the basement doors on the new doors.  Ms. Terry stated that this application would require a variance from the BZBA from the western side yard setback.  Mr. Duffey indicated that his neighbors did not have any issues with his proposal. 

 

The Planning Commission reviewed the Standards and Criteria pertaining to Application #2011-96:

 

a)                  Is stylistically compatible with other new, renovated and old structures in the Village District?  The Planning Commission concluded yes.  Mr. Burriss stated that this is consistent with other projects approved in this zoning district.   

b)                  Contributes to the improvement and upgrading of the historical character of the Village District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.  Mr. Burriss stated that the proposed detailing of the project is consistent with the style of the house.   

c)                  Contributes to the continuing vitality of the District.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.  Mr. Burriss stated that by contributing to the continuing livability of this structure it contributes to the continuing vitality of the entire district.    

d)                  Protects and enhances examples of the physical surroundings in which past generations lived.  The Planning Commission concluded yes.  Mr. Burriss stated that the proposed changes are stylistically compatible to the house and enhance the house.    

 

Mr. Mitchell made a motion to approve Application #2011-96 contingent upon the western side yard setback variance being granted by the BZBA and that the proposed new French doors match the style of the existing basement door.   Seconded by Mr. Hawk. 

 

Roll Call Vote:  Hawk (yes), Johnson (yes), Mitchell (yes), Burriss (yes), Ryan (yes).  Motion carried 5-0.  

 

Finding of Fact Approvals:

 

New Business:

Application #2011-94: Bryn Du Mansion; 537 Jones Road; Signage

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

The Planning Commission found the request to be consistent with The Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1189, Signage, Chapter 1147, Variances, and hereby gives their approval of Application #2011-94 as submitted by the applicant.

 

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2011-94. Seconded by Mr. Johnson.

 

Roll Call Vote: Mitchell (no), Burriss (yes), Johnson (yes), Hawk (no), Ryan (no).  Motion carried 3-2.

 

Application #2011-95: Bryn Du Mansion; 537 Jones Road; Signage

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

The Planning Commission found the request to be consistent with The Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1189, Signage, Chapter 1147, Variances, and hereby gives their approval of Application #2011-95 as submitted by the applicant.

 

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2011-95. Seconded by Mr. Johnson.

 

Roll Call Vote: Mitchell (yes), Burriss (yes), Johnson (yes), Hawk (yes), Ryan (yes).  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Application #2011-96: Michael and Wendy Duffey; 335 West Elm Street; Exterior Modifications

Approve Findings of Fact and Associated Standards and Criteria.

The Planning Commission found the request to be consistent with The Granville Codified Ordinances Chapter 1159, Village District, Chapter 1161, Architectural Review Overlay District, and hereby gives their approval of Application #2011-96 as submitted by the applicant.

 

Mr. Mitchell moved to approve the Findings of Fact for Application #2011-96. Seconded by Mr. Johnson.

 

Roll Call Vote: Mitchell (yes), Burriss (yes), Johnson (yes), Hawk (yes), Ryan (yes).  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Motion to approve meeting minutes for July 25, 2011:

Mr. Burriss moved to approve the minutes from July 25, 2011, as amended.  Seconded by Mr. Hawk.  Motion carried 4-0.  (Mr. Mitchell abstained.)

 

Other Matters:

Ms. Terry stated that there are some upcoming charter changes that will be on the November ballot.  She stated that one issue is to make the school appointed Planning Commission member an ex-officio representative.  She explained that the Planning Commission would still be made up of five members, but there would now be two ex-officio members who do not vote.

 

Ms. Terry introduced Manager Stilwell to the Planning Commission members.   

 

Ms. Terry stated that there was a hearing scheduled after the last Council meeting regarding the signage for Metropolitan Partners/Verizon.  She indicated that she was not present for the discussion at the Council meeting, but there was some interest by Council regarding looking into an appeal of the signage approvals.  Ms. Terry explained that ultimately it was determined that the Village Manager is the one to appeal a decision of the Planning Commission, and therefore an appeal, by Council at the August 5, 2011 meeting, was not filed regarding the signage.  Mr. Ryan questioned the objection and how this matter came up at the Council meeting.  Manager Stilwell stated that Council questioned how signage in excess of the zoning requirements was approved. Manager Stilwell explained that he does not yet have a pulse of the community and therefore, he wasn’t prepared to appeal the decision. 

 

Councilmember O’Keefe stated that she was not at the special scheduled, August 5, 2011 Council hearing on Friday.  She indicated that she believed the Council was concerned that the sign was too large and concerned about the proposed placement on the roof.  She stated that she explained to Council that the Planning Commission reviewed this matter and decided that there was no other place to put signage. 

 

Mr. Ryan asked if Council had a problem with the monument sign.  He stated that this signage is a reduction in size from the signage that is currently on the property.  Mr. Ryan asked how Council could discuss an appeal without having a full discussion of the matter that was reviewed by the Planning Commission.  Manager Stilwell stated that there is a limited amount of time to appeal an application.  He stated that in addition, this was a difficult set of circumstances, because no one on staff was able and/or available to address any of Council’s concerns at the regular Council meeting.  He explained that this had a “cascading effect” with the Clerk of Council being on vacation, and him being new and not familiar with the application.  Manager Stilwell stated that Council was trying to preserve their right to appeal the decision.  He added that there was not a quantitative value judgment related to the Planning Commission decision.  He stated that it is his responsibility to work with Council regarding the rules and it is possible that some of them are “draconian conservative.”  He added that this may be the case with the TCOD requirements, as staff has concluded that any approval would be difficult without a variance.  

 

Councilmember O’Keefe stated that some Council members indicated that there previously was a fight to keep the signage limited for Arby’s, Bob Evans and Ross' Granville Market conservative.  Councilmember O’Keefe stated that a Councilmember asked the Law Director to provide a time frame of appeal and to advise Council.  Manager Stilwell stated that at that time a pulse was taken of the Council to see if they wanted an opportunity to discuss an appeal and preserve their right to appeal.  Manager Stilwell stated that forty-five minutes before the August 5, 2011 special hearing, it was determined that a Codified ordinance regarding the appeal process had been printed in error after review of the minutes. 

 

Mr. Ryan asked to have the approvals for Arby’s, Speedway, and Bob Evans sent to him.  Mr. Ryan stated that no one from Council contacted anyone on the Planning Commission to ask them about this application.  He added that he finds it bothersome that they looked into an appeal before discussing the matter. 

 

Mr. Mitchell stated that he had to recuse himself from discussion and voting on the Verizon application.  He added that when it comes to sign approvals, especially in the TCOD, the Planning Commission has to grant a variance more often than not.  He went on to say that Manager Stilwell mentioned the words “draconian conservative” and he stated that the Planning Commission has had to give variances because of this and make value judgments.  He stated that there is a lot of scrutiny of each sign application and much discussion. 

 

Ms. Terry explained that there was also a question by a Council member regarding the Planning Commission approval allowing for increasing the size of signage for any zoned lot in the TCOD.  She indicated that she worked with the Council member to explain that this language was specific to this application not to all properties within the TCOD.  She stated that she also explained that the Planning Commission is aware that they cannot change the zoning for the entire district, but simply just this parcel of land. 

 

Manager Stilwell stated that the Law Director also advised Council that they couldn’t discuss the signage for this application until they get to an appeal hearing, so they do not prejudice themselves when hearing the matter.  He explained that by definition they didn’t want to create a situation in the appeal process where they would be deliberating before they heard the evidence. 

 

Mr. Mitchell asked if any resident or the Village Manager can appeal decisions by the Planning Commission.  Ms. Terry stated that anyone who testified as an interested party regarding the application could appeal the decision, or the Village Manager.  She also stated that an individual who felt that they were denied the right to speak can also appeal a decision by the Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission thanked Manager Stilwell and Ms. Terry for updating them regarding this matter.  Mr. Hawk indicated that he wouldn’t have known anything about a possible appeal had it not been for the Sentinel contacting him for a comment.   

 

Administrative Approval:

Ms. Terry stated she previously spoke with the Planning Commission regarding some applications that could be reviewed for administrative approval.  She indicated that she had a list of items that could be addressed.  The list included the following items: air conditioning unit placement, generator placement, driveway conversions, patio installation, step or stair conversions, some roof replacements and fencing.  Ms. Terry asked for feedback from the Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission discussed that significant changes with roofs should not be handled administratively.  Ms. Terry agreed and stated that an example for administrative approval for a roof would be going from 3-tab asphalt shingles to dimensional asphalt shingles.  The Planning Commission agreed.  Mr. Ryan stated that if an application to change slate to asphalt shingles came in – this should go to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Hawk suggested the approval of a consent agenda.  The Planning Commission agreed that professional staff could handle many approvals internally.  Manager Stilwell suggested that he work with staff on proposed text which could allow for administrative approvals.   

 

Adjournment:  7:55 PM

Mr. Johnson moved to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting, seconded by Mr. Burriss.  Motion carried 6-0. 

 

Next meetings:

Monday, August 22, 2011 (Mr. Burriss indicated that he will not be able to attend this meeting.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

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