MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
SEPTEMBER 12, 2012
Olsie & Scott Keils
Darrin & Linda Holman
Brenda and James Brahier
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Board members in attendance were Bryan Baugh, Sandy Erwin, Tom Anslow, Doug Blackburn, and Jack Zeigler. Shelly Stively called and stated she could not be in attendance and Jack DeVore was on vacation. The zoning inspector, Walter Wehenkel, was in attendance as well as Township Trustee Matt Montowski. Mr. Baugh read through the procedure to be followed for the meeting. There were no questions. Mr. Baugh asked the secretary to read the first case.
Case # 543778
Sandy Erwin indicated the case involved a variance request from Dennis McGee for property at 4571 E. Linda Drive in Section 3 Lot 5 of Catawba Island Township and also known as lot 19 in Krempas Golf and Lakeview Subdivision. The request would allow for an area variance from the existing requirement for maximum square footage for an accessory building from 950 square feet to 1,368 square feet and for the maximum height for an accessory building from 15 feet to 16 feet. The applicant is proposing to build an accessory building in which to store his personal property. There is no correspondence and proper notification has occurred.
Bryan Baugh asked if any Board members had a conflict of interest. None did. Mr. Baugh swore in the application, Dennis McGee. Mr. McGee stated his house has no basement and no attic. He has lots of stuff and many hobbies. He does not have enough storage areas for his things. He has two motor vehicles and would like to store them inside as well. He felt the accessory building would solve his problem.
Doug Blackburn indicated the request is pretty substantial. There is nothing like it in the neighborhood. The precedence of such a large building in the area concerns him.
Bryan Baugh asked if the green flags on site marked the outside of the building. Mr. McGee stated it includes the six foot porch or lean-to on the west side of the building. The actual building is six feet shorter. Tom Anslow asked why a height of sixteen feet was required. Mr. McGee stated he would like to have an electric lift in the garage to work on his car. With insulation, etc. there is not enough room with a fifteen foot peak. Car antennas create issues as well as ceiling lights in the garage.
Sandy Erwin asked about the access to the garage. Mr. McGee stated there is eleven feet between his house and lot line which will be more than adequate. Jack Zeigler confirmed that the entrance to the accessory building would face Linda. Mr. McGee stated that was correct. Mr. Zeigler asked about the type of building. Mr. McGee stated it would be a pole barn as there is concern about bedrock in the area. A pole barn is cheaper with this size building. The use of concrete block drives up the cost significantly.
Bryan Baugh asked if there were any other questions from the Board. There were none. He asked if others in attendance had questions for Mr. McGee or the Board. Carol Clemons, an adjoining property owner, was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Ms. Clemons stated Mr. McGee is a good neighbor, but she does not want an oversized building on the lot. She fears it will impact her property values. Sandy Erwin asked where Ms. Clemon’s house is located. Ms. Clemons stated she lives on the lot adjacent to Mr. McGee to the west. There being no other comments, Bryan Baugh closed the public hearing.
Doug Blackburn stated he understand what Mr. McGee is trying to do, but the environment of the neighborhood will change with a pole barn as it just does not fit in. He can do an accessory building and gain his much needed storage space, but this building is big. Bryan Baugh asked Mr. McGee if he thought about other options. Mr. McGee asked what those options might be. Mr. Baugh stated he could attach the building to the house. Mr. McGee said that was not really an option as he would lose his deck and porch.
Mr. McGee wondered what concerned the Board. Mr. Baugh stated the building, as proposed, was just too big and would not fit into the neighborhood. Mr. McGee stated he couldn’t put a shed back there when it was zoned “R-1” and the developer, Mr. Rofkar, was looking at selling his land. He really did not expect to get the building he asked for, but figured he would make the submission. Mr. Anslow responded that he might have wasted $250 and the Board’s time. He could build a 950 square foot building, but he rolled the dice and spent the money. Mr. Zeigler stated it is just out of proportion in the neighborhood. Mr. McGee stated he guessed that means he builds a 950 square foot building with a fifteen foot height.
Sandy Erwin read the Finding of Fact submitted by Mr. McGee. The Board agreed with the responses to questions 4 & 5 and disagreed with the responses to questions 1-3 and
Bryan Baugh asked for a motion. Doug Blackburn moved to approve case # 543778. Tom Anslow seconded the motion. The vote was 4-0 against the passage of the motion. The variance was denied.
Sandy Erwin read the case information which involves a variance request from Scott & Olsie Keils for property at 1906 N. West Catawba Road in Section 3 Lot 2 of Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-1” and the request is to allow for an area variance from the existing requirement for a side yard setback from ten feet to two and one-half feet for a principal building. The applicant is proposing to divide his house lot into two house lots and two principal buildings presently exist. There is no correspondence and proper notification has been given.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict. There were no conflicts. Bryan Baugh swore in Scott and Olsie Keils. Scott Keils handed out a map that highlighted the situation. He just found out after the property was recently surveyed that the land area between the structure and the platted road is less than he thought. The larger home on the lot has been sold. He would like to split the lot into two parcels and when the surveyor did his work, the need for the variance was determined. He meets all of the other zoning criteria and he really doesn’t have any other options with the existing home and the property line. He is asking for consideration from the Board.
Bryan Baugh asked if the house was sold. Mr. Keils stated the sale of the house is under contract and he would like to sell off the larger house and return the smaller structure. Mr. Baugh asked if the request was denied, if the sale of the larger house would be lost. Mr. Keils stated it would be lost. Bryan Baugh stated it was pretty clear in the field where the edge of the lot was in relationship to the structure. Mr. Anslow agreed that there is a hardship with the request. Jack Zeigler agreed stating there are only 2 ½ feet no matter how you look at it.
Mr. Baugh asked for other comments or questions. There being none, Bryan Baugh closed the public hearing. He asked Sandy Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board agreed with all of the applicant’s responses except for question #2 where there was some disagreement.
Bryan Baugh requested a motion on case # 543780. Tom Anslow moved for approval of the variance as presented and drawn on the submitted documents with no consideration given to any future expansion. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 4-0 vote.
Case # 543781
Bryan Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the case description. Sandy Erwin stated the case involves a variance request from Darrin Holman for property at 5475 E. Mabel Drive in Section 3 Lot 15 of Catawba Island Township and also known as Lot 5 in Eastview Subdivision. The property is zoned “A”. The request as submitted would allow for an area variance from the existing requirement for maximum square footage for an accessory building from 382 square feet to 576 square feet, for the maximum height for an accessory building from 20 feet to 26 feet, and the maximum lot coverage from 30 percent to 34 percent. The applicant is proposing to build a second floor on the accessory building for use by his family members as a guest house as well as adding a second floor to the principal building. There is no correspondence and all notifications have occurred.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh swore in Lee Short, architect for the Holman’s.
Mr. Short gave a brief introduction concerning the neighborhood and the Holman’s situation. Mabel Drive is a neighborhood in transition. Many of the homes are going from one-story to two story homes. The Holman’s have several kids and grandkids. When everyone comes to visit, it is pretty crowded.
Mr. Short stated the lot coverage request is actually to 35% and not 34% as previously stated. There were some minor changes that caused that increase. The accessory building is adding a second floor, but the stairway to service the second floor is on the outside of the building. The second floor of the accessory building will serve as a guest house for family members.
Bryan Baugh asked about the height of the house. Mr. Short indicated there will be a widow’s peak and a second floor added to the original residence. The existing sunroom will be removed and converted to living area and a second story built over the area where the sunroom was located. A detailed floor plan was shown to the Board members. He then described the accessory building as having a 22 foot by 22 foot second floor with an outside stairway on the east side of the building. It will be an efficiency type unit.
Jack Zeigler asked if the front deck was coming off. Mr. Short stated that area will be closed in with a covered entranceway. Bryan Baugh asked about the setbacks for the accessory building. Mr. Short indicated it would be 5 feet off the west property line and 8 feet off the rear lot line which is property owned by Boater’s Point and used for boats. Many of the homes are being converted to two-level homes.
Bryan Baugh swore in Darrin and Linda Holman. Doug Blackburn stated the footprint of the house does not concern him, but the accessory building raises some concern. Linda Holman stated that to go up with the house and not the garage will make the garage look out of place especially against the Boater’s Point property. Bryan Baugh stated the character of the neighborhood is going upward. Tom Anslow agreed as it relates to the homes, but added not many garages are going up to this height. Linda Holman stated there are two on the street already. Darrin Holman added that the reasoning behind the accessory building is to give his 30 year old son the guest house. Linda Holman stated her son needs his own space especially when the grandkids are visiting. There is still a lot of green space left on the lot. Linda Holman added that the building behind them is pretty ugly to look at. Lee Short stated he tried to get it to 20 feet, but it just would not work. Bryan Baugh stated he doesn’t have a problem, with the height.
Tom Anslow was concerned that by closing in the front deck/porch, the Holman house will not line up with the other homes on the street. He also felt that the deck does not establish the existing front yard setback line. Linda Holman stated that they are lining their house up with the blue house. She added there are three homes towards the East Road that are not in line. The proposed addition will be in line with the covered porch. Tom Anslow stated they are also adding a second floor as well as closing in the first floor.
James Brahier was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Brahier lives four homes down from the Holman’s. The Holman’s have maintained their property very well over the years. The proposed enclosure in the front would not block anyone’s view. Several homes are setback further than the Holman’s home. They are certainly not disturbing anything with the garage addition in the rear. It butts up against the former Treasure Cove Marina property. Doug Blackburn stated the house is the first thing you see when you turn onto Mabel Drive. Lee Short stated that are many cottages that are set back further than the Holman’s cottage.
Jack Zeigler stated he does not have a problem with the footprint of the house. However, the proposed garage looks like a second home. He stated the home is 29 feet wide and the garage is 25 feet wide. Lee Short stated the roof pitches will match and it will look better than having two different roof pitches. Darrin Holman stated the heating & cooling systems in the present home will be used for the second floor of the garage. New heating and cooling systems will be installed in the home.
Bryan Baugh asked for any additional comments. There being none, Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing.
Tom Anslow asked if this was not creating a multiple family dwelling situation. Mr. Wehenkel explained hat a guest house is permitted with a single family home. It cannot be rented or leased as a separate living unit and must be occupied by family members. Used in that fashion, it is not a multiple dwelling situation. Mr. Anslow stated he has no issues with the garage as proposed. His issue is with the front setback and using the deck as the front of the structure. Mr. Wehenkel stated the Board requires individuals with decks to get variances if they are too close to the lot lines. The Board has always considered decks as part of the structure. That is why Mr. Wehenkel interpreted the deck as the existing front setback line when he accepted the application. He has used that interpretation in other cases, and if he is doing it incorrectly, he was not aware of that.
Sandy Erwin read the Finding of Fact submitted by the applicant. The Board agreed with answers to questions # 3, 4, 5, & 7, but some members disagreed with the responses to questions # 1, 2, and 6. Doug Blackburn asked Mr. Wehenkel if the neighbors were notified. Mr. Wehenkel stated those that were required to receive mailed letters received them and it was also in the newspaper as required. Mr. Blackburn stated it would not appear that they do not object to the request as they are not in attendance.
Sandy Erwin moved to approve application #543781 as amended with the 35% lot coverage and the stipulation that the guest house may never be rented out or used as a separate dwelling unit. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. Bryan Baugh called for a vote on the motion. Sandy Erwin voted yes, Jack Zeigler voted no, Doug Blackburn voted yes, and Tom Anslow voted no. As Chairman Bryan Baugh broke the tie voting yes. The motion passed by a 3-2 vote.
Approval of Minutes
Jack Zeigler moved to approve the minutes of the August 8, 2012 meeting. Tom Anslow seconded the motion. The motion was passed.
Sandy Erwin moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman