Minutes: October 13th, 2010


October 13, 2010

The regular meeting of the Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals was called to order by Chairman Dale VanLerberghe at 7:30 in the conference room. Other Board members present were Jack Devore, Bryan Baugh, Tom Anslow, and Doug Blackburn. Alternate Board members present included Sandra Ervin and Jack Ziegler. Others in attendance included George Wight, Sharon Wight, Zach Baugh, Wyatt Bangy, Leah Evans, Jeff Baney, and Walter Wehenkel.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the introduction of the Board members and a brief overview of the meeting proceedings by Chairman VanLerberghe. All those in attendance were sworn in by Chairman VanLerberghe. Mr. Wehenkel was introduced as interim zoning inspector as Pat Cerny had resigned. Mr. Wehenkel would be taking the minutes of the meeting.

Chairman VanLerberghe read the summary of case # 543592. It is for a reduction of the rear yard setback in the “A” Low Density Residential District from forty feet to thirty feet for property located at 2767 N. Muncey Drive and also known as Lot 10 of Sugar Rock Harbor. The owners, George and Sharon Wight wish to place an addition onto the existing home and incorporate the tool shed into the garage area.

Chairman VanLerberghe noted there was no notarized correspondence for consideration. He did identify that the Catawba Island Club had submitted a letter supporting the request. None of the Board members identified their participation would constitute a conflict of interest.

Chairman VanLerberghe offered the applicant an opportunity to address the Board. George Wight introduced himself and his wife, Sharon. The house was built in 1965 by his parents. It is a small home. George and Sharon had left the area for 19 or 20 years and recently returned to the home. They would like to expand its living space.

Mr. Wight stated there are three reasons for the expansion. First, it will increase their living space. Secondly, it will improve the property and its value. And thirdly, by incorporating the tool shed into the garage, the accessory building in the rear of the property will be removed and that will improve the visual appearance. They have looked at alternatives ways to address the issue, but it is a complex building, and the option submitted is the best alternative.

When Mr. Anslow visited the site he had a conversation with the applicant. Mr. Wight indicated Mr. Anslow believes the stairs are located in the setback area. Mr. Wight was willing to modify his variance request from thirty feet to twenty-six feet to include the stairs. He recalculated the lot coverage with the open patio square footage included. He stated it is still below thirty percent. Chairman VanLerberghe stated that if the patio is off the ground it must be part of the lot coverage calculation. Mr. Wight agreed.
Chairman VanLerberghe offered the opportunity from others in attendance to address the Board. No one was interested in doing so. The public discussion was concluded. Chairman VanLerberghe asked for Board member comments.

Doug Blackburn stated that his opinion was favorable. The addition is a good step for the homeowner and it is a plus for the view with the shed removed. Tom Anslow stated there is not much encroachment into the rear yard. The neighbor is not impacted and would be hard pressed to oppose it. The request is not unreasonable. Bryan Baugh stated it was not a substantial request. The back yard encroachment is not detrimental to the neighbor, the delivery of governmental services in not impacted, and there are not many other options for the site. The proposal is a good alternative, as the need for a variance cannot be prevented.

Chairman VanLerberghe stated he appreciated the markings in the field. They certainly help the Board members understand the request when they visited the site. The proposed roof peak will blend in nicely and it has been planned very well. This addition will be done prior to a neighbor constructing, so they will have full knowledge at the time of their decision to build.

Bryan Baugh asked Mr. Wight how soon the shed would be removed. Mr. Wight indicated it depends upon the construction schedule. The material in the shed needs to be incorporated into the addition. His best guess would be in the spring of 2011. Bryan Baugh reiterated that the shed would be removed. Mr. Wight stated that he was definitely removing it so that the back yard would look like the front yard.

Doug Blackburn questioned if any motion that is made should include the shed demolition in it. Bryan Baugh stated he thought that the motion should include a statement concerning the shed. Tom Anslow asked if the motion needed to also address the steps(s). He wants to keep the steps in the approved location, but is concerned where the structure ends and the steps begin. His concern is that in the future the steps might be removed and the structure extended.

Chairman VanLerberghe stated that the Board could grant the variance to twenty-six feet and that is it; steps or no steps. Mr. Wight suggested the variance could be granted at thirty feet to the wall with the necessary steps to reach the ground or he was not opposed to a twenty-six foot setback that would include the steps.. Bryan Baugh stated he would be comfortable with either option.

Chairman VanLerberghe questioned if such an action is really a concern or issue in this case. The consensus was that it was not an issue in this case. Doug Blackburn recalled a case in Gem Beach where the addition was build without the necessary steps to exit the addition. Tom Anslow doubted anyone would want to construct a four foot deck in the back of the house in place of the steps. Chairman VanLerberghe stated that lot coverage could also be used in other cases to control such an enclosure.

Mr. Wight thanked the Board members for their consideration of the request. Chairman VanLerberghe closed the discussion to the public.

Bryan Baugh moved to approve application #543592 as amended to twenty-six feet to include the steps and with the condition that the small shed to be removed within eighteen months from the approval of the variance application. Tom Anslow seconded the motion.

The vote on the motion was taken: Mr. Baugh, Yes; Mr. Anslow, Yes; Mr. Devore, Yes; and Mr. Blackburn, Yes. The motion passed and the variance was approved.

Mr. Wight asked about proceeding with the addition. Chairman VanLerberghe stated the variance approval does not go into effect until the minutes of the meeting are approved. That will occur on November 10th. Mr. Wehenkel stated Mr. Wight could begin dealing with the County permit process, but that the zoning permit is a prerequisite of getting a building permit.

Chairman VanLerberghe requested a motion to approve the minutes from the September 8, 2010 meeting. Jack Devore moved to approve the minutes as presented. Bryan Baugh seconded the motion. All members voted yes on the motion to approve the minutes.

Walter Wehenkel presented copies of the application and supporting documents concerning a variance request on Cliff Road which will be on the November 10, 2010 Board’s meeting agenda. Chairman VanLerberghe questioned if that was the only issue on the agenda. Mr. Wehenkel stated it was at the present time, but the deadline would be around the 27th of October for purpose of the public hearing notice.

Jack Devore moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

Dale VanLerberghe, Chairman

Motion made by ___________________ to approve. ____________________ seconded the motion.

Vote on the motion: ______________________ _____

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