Minutes: September 14th, 2011


SEPTEMBER 14, 2011

The regular meeting of the Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals was held on September 14, 2011 in the conference room. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bryan Baugh at 7:30 p.m. Other Board members present included Tom Anslow, Doug Blackburn, Jack DeVore, Sandra Erwin, Dale VanLerberghe, and Jack Zeigler. Zoning Inspector Walter Wehenkel was also in attendance along with Township Trustee, Matt Montowski. John Luscombe was in attendance representing the applicants, Michael & Janet Finn.

Chairman Baugh described the procedure that would be used during the meeting. He requested Sandra Erwin read the first case. Sandra Erwin stated the first case was an area variance being requested by Michael and Janet Finn. The application is number 543678. The property includes lots 54, 55, 56, and 57 of Catawba Cliffs Subdivision. The request is for a front yard setback from forty (40) feet to thirty-two and one-half (32 ½) feet. The setback from the edge of the pavement will be forty-nine (49) feet. The hearing has been properly advertised.

Chairman Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. No Board member did.

Chairman Baugh asked the representative for the Finns, John Luscombe, to stand, raise his right hand, and be sworn in. Mr. Luscombe then presented information on the variance request using a larger drawing and photographs. The proposed screen porch is one story with an octagon shape and a metal roof. It was designed to match the architecture of the home. Dormers will be added to the second story attic area and the main structure will be reshingled.

The porch meets the five (5) foot side setback, but is seven and one-half (7 ½) feet into the front yard setback of forty (40) feet. The porch would be forty-nine (49) feet from the edge of the pavement, which was of interest to the Cliff’s Association during their review. Bryan Baugh re-stated that the Cliff’s Association has reviewed the request and approved it. Mr. Luscombe stated that was correct. Mr. Luscombe offered to answer questions.

Dale VanLerberghe asked about the patio area that exists. Mr. Luscombe stated the patio would be removed and the proposed addition would fit over it. The stone on the addition will be the same as the patio and hopefully it can be incorporated.

Bryan Baugh asked if the addition would be attached under roof. John Luscombe stated there would be a little connector. It will have removable screens with acrylic panels to close it off when desired. Mr. Luscombe added the adjoining property owners were all advised of the addition and were not opposed to it.

Dale VanLerberghe stated he felt no ones view would be blocked. John Luscombe stated that was correct. Mr. VanLerberghe stated individuals do not live on the lakefront to have their views blocked and the Board of Zoning Appeals doesn’t grant variances with those results.

Jack Devore stated the applicant did a great job of pinning/flagging the lot. It was very easy to see what was being proposed.

Doug Blackburn asked if this property was before the BZA several years ago. It might have been for a mother in-law suite. Dale VanLerberghe stated he did not believe it was before the BZA. John Luscombe stated there is a guest house on the property. Doug Blackburn asked if the guest house was included in the lot coverage calculation. John Luscombe stated it was included. Doug Blackburn asked if it was the same or different. John Luscombe stated it was the same. Walter Wehenkel stated the request was included in the lot coverage calculation. He offered to get the file to check on the previous variance request mentioned by Mr. Blackburn.

Tom Anslow stated the request is pretty cut and dry. Bryan Baugh requested Jack Devore read the Finding of Fact. Mr. Devore summarized what the applicant had submitted. The Board agreed that they were in agreement with the statements in the submitted Finding of Fact. Dale VanLerberghe noted the applicant did a good job in addressing all of the questions on the Finding of Fact. Tom Anslow stated it was refreshing not to read statement about the impacts on property values.

Bryan Baugh closed the discussion to the public. Doug Blackburn wondered if there were any constraints placed on the property by the previous variance. Tom Anslow stated it would be unusual if there were constraints. Walter Wehenkel left the room to get the case file. Upon returning he stated there was no previous variance for this property in the file.

Tom Anslow moved to approve the variance as requested in case #543678 for a thirty-two and one-half (32 ½) front yard setback for fourteen (14) feet in width. Jack Devore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Bryan Baugh asked if there were any corrections to the August 10, 2011 meeting minutes. There were none. Doug Blackburn moved to approve the meeting minutes. Tom Anslow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Bryan Baugh thanked Walter Wehenkel for the email on the Rodriquez property. It is good that the trailer is being moved. The neighbors, the Howells, were a bit concerned as they crossed their property bringing it in. Mr. Wehenkel stated they would probably cross it taking it out.

Bryan Baugh requested the variance application be amended to include a place for security codes for the gated communities. Mr. Wehenkel apologized to the Board for not noting it in his letter. He was sure the application could be revised to include it.

A general discussion on reasonable accommodation and handicapped ramps followed. Mr. Wehenkel will provide additional information as soon as it is finalized. Basically, individuals with handicaps do not need to seek a variance from the BZA if they need to make improvements to their property required by their handicap.

Jack Devore moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

____________________________ ______________________________
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary