MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
MAY 8, 2013
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Board members in attendance were Bryan Baugh, Doug Blackburn, Sandy Erwin, and
Jack DeVore. Chairman Baugh requested alternate member Shelly Stively to replace Tom Anslow on the Board who was absent. Jack Zeigler, alternate members, Walter Wehenkel, Township Zoning Inspector, and Matt Montowski, Township Trustee were also in attendance.
Mr. Baugh read through the procedure to be followed for the meeting. There were no questions concerning the procedure by those in attendance.
Mr. Baugh asked the secretary, Sandy Erwin, to read the information for the first case.
Case # 544667
The area variance request was submitted by William and Laurie Halm for property at 5844 E. Twinbeach Road and also known as portions of sublots 34 and 44 of Gem Beach, Plat 4. The property is zoned "C-4". The request is to allow for a reduction in the front yard setback for a comer lot from twenty-five feet to seven and one-half feet, a reduction in the rear yard setback
from the required thirty-five feet to twenty-two feet and a reduction in the side yard setback from five feet to three feet. The applicant is proposing to construct a new residence on the lot after removing the existing cottage. All notifications were made and publication occurred as required.
There is no notarized correspondence.
Bryan Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest surrounding the case. There were none.
Bryan Baugh asked who was present to discuss the case. The applicant, William Halm, introduced himself. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Halm.
Mr. Halm stated the secretary pretty well stated his request. There is a cottage on the property that the family has enjoyed for many years. His kids now have kids and the cottage only
contains 800 square feet which is good for 3 or 4 people, but gets pretty crowded with more people and reduces the fun. The Gem Beach area is a great place for kids with the beach and the
The family looked at other options such as going upward. The structure is all brick with no wood support and the architects would not sign off on supporting a second floor. Though it is
not a preferred option, adding onto the back was the only option available.
Jack DeVore stated the east side of the cottage appears to be on the property line. Mr. Halm stated that was incorrect. There is space between the cottage and the property line. Mr. De Vore
asked if the red flags were on the property pins. Mr. Halm stated that they were. Mr. DeVore stated the existing fence appears to be attached to both structures. Mr. Halm stated that it was and that the chain link fence to the south is not on the property line. Mr. DeVore asked if the existing shed would be removed. Mr. Halm stated that it would be removed. Storage is being built into the proposed cottage. Mr. Halm added he is lucky to be on a double lot so that some grass area will remain. The family wants to retain as much as possible.
Doug Blackburn asked about a drawing of the proposed structure. Mr. Halm stated the footprint would be identical in the front, but would be extended on the south. Mr. DeVore asked about the
concrete in the front of the existing cottage. Mr. Halm stated it would be rebuilt with a porch.
Bryan Baugh asked if there would be a door on either side of the cottage or on the south side. Mr. Halm stated there is an entrance on the south. Mr. Baugh asked if steps would be required. Mr. Halm stated it would be built to grade.
Mr. Baugh asked if others in attendance wanted to cross examine Mr. Halm. No one did. Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing to the public.
Doug Blackburn stated his only concern is the closeness of the structure to the property owners to the south. He acknowledged it is Gem Beach and the lots are small. Mr. DeVore noted that if
you look down the south boundary line, there are garages with a similar setback. Bryan Baugh asked about the side lot line against Utility. Mr. Wehenkel stated it is considered a second front yard because it is a comer lot. Therefore, the setback is 25 feet and not 5 or 10 feet. There were no other questions.
Mr. Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board listened to the responses from the applicant to each question and agreed with all seven responses. Doug Blackburn asked if the applicant was considering enclosing the front porch. Mr. Halm said he has no plans at this time to do it, but he would have something hanging on the west side to block the sunset. Mr. Blackburn stated the Board could condition the variance to require it to remain open. Walter Wehenkel stated the front porch complies with setbacks requirements and has a roof over it and was calculated into the lot coverage. He would have to issue a permit in the future if it were requested, unless it was conditioned by the variance approval. Mr. Wehenkel asked if the porch and roof extend west of the cottage wall. Mr. Halm stated it did not. Mr. Halm wondered why the Board would consider placing such a condition on the variance. Mr. Blackburn stated the Board is granting significant exceptions to the regulations through the request. It might be appropriate to maintain some openness in appearance. He is not saying the Board will, but identifying the Board could consider the option of restricting it. .
There being no further discussion, Mr. Baugh asked for a motion on case # 544667. Sandy Erwin moved to approve the request as stated in the application. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Case # 544670
Bryan Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the information concerning the second case. Mrs. Erwin stated the applicants are Yvonne Parrot and Robert & Suzie Troxel for property at 5469 E. Foxhaven Drive and also known as sublot 3 of Foxhaven Subdivision A. The property is zoned "R-2". The request is to allow for an accessory building to be constructed on the rear of the lot that contains 1088 square feet instead of the permitted 750 square feet with a building height of eighteen feet versus the allowed fifteen feet. The existing accessory building will be removed.
Mr. Baugh asked is any Board member had a conflict with this case. There were no conflicts.
Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the case. Mr. Troxel introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Mr. Troxrel stated the family acquired the property several months ago. It was really a "no brainer" when it became available as he and his wife wanted to be close to his mother-in-law who owns the adjoining lot. He and his wife live in Athens, but will soon be relocating here. There is little storage on the lot and it backs up to Foxhaven. Mr. Troxel stated he had
communication with Mr. Baker of Foxhaven concerning his plans and Mr. Baker had no objections.
Mr. Troxel stated he wants the new building to look good and not look like a pole barn or something similar. The existing accessory building would be removed. He would like to store
his boat in a building in the rear instead of in his driveway. The impact of the building would not be significant in his opinion.
Sandy Erwin wondered how he would get his boat back to the building as there appears to be ery little side yard area. Mr. Troxel stated he could get it through the side yard into the rear.
Sandy Erwin stated there doesn't appear to be that much room between the lot line and the existing house. Mr. Troxel stated his mother-in-law owns the lot and house to the west so there
is plenty of room. Mr. Baugh stated that could be a problem if the lot were sold in the future. Mr. Troxel stated his brother will acquire it in the future. Mr. Devore asked if access from
Foxhaven was possible. Mr. Troxel stated Mr. Baker gave him permission for delivery of building supplies, but not for a permanent access. Mr. DeVore indicated he does not see sufficient space to get the boat to the rear and asked how much space there was. Mr. Troxel stated there was at least seven feet.
Mr. Devore asked Mr. Troxel if he considered the option of moving the structure away from the rear lot line and more in the middle of the lot. Mr. Troxel stated he considered it, but his wife was not in favor of that option. He asked for a height of eighteen feet in his variance request, but the actual height is seventeen feet and two inches. Doug Blackburn stated his bigger concern is the requested square footage of over a thousand feet when the maximum permitted if 750 square feet. Mr. Baugh asked if the cupola was included in building height. Mr. Wehenkel stated he considered it an ornamental feature. He likened it to chimneys and TV towers. Mr. Troxel showed pictures of multiple buildings on other lots in the area and stated his would be under one roof. Doug Blackburn stated he was unaware of whether those buildings were pre-existing to zoning or built after zoning. All that is certain is that they exist today.
Bryan Baugh asked if the lot calculation numbers were correct. Mr. Wehenkel stated he believed they were correct. It is a 14,000 square foot lot. Mr. Baugh asked for any additional testimony from those in attendance. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public.
Mr. Blackburn stated the Board recently had a similar request from a gentleman on Linda Drive.
The Board denied his request. Sandy Erwin stated that lot was not the same as this situation.
Mr. Blackburn stated he does not have a problem with it, but doesn't want to open it up to similar request all over the township. Sandy Erwin stated this lot is significantly larger than most. Mr. Blackburn stated larger acreage does not necessarily allow bigger accessory buildings. Mr. Baugh stated he looked closely around the neighborhood. Most buildings are of similar size, though the height may not be as great. Mr. DeVore stated he is concerned over the access for a boat to get to the rear of the lot. The height issue also concerns him. It is a two story versus a one story building.
Mr. Blackburn stated the garage door is on the west side. Mr. Troxel stated that was correct. He wondered if the door could be flipped so that the door is on the east side or if the building could be centered on the lot. Mr. Troxel stated that is possible. Mr. Wehenkel stated that based upon the dimension of the lot and of the existing house, there is not much difference in space on either side lot line. Mr. Blackburn stated it really is not a zoning concern as to where he locates the building or door.
Mr. Baugh asked about the need for the height. Mr. Troxel stated his boat has antennae and outrigging. It is difficult with an eight foot door and that is why he wants a twelve foot door.
Mr. Baugh stated his concern is mote over the size than the height of the proposed building. Mr. Blackburn stated it is not substantial when you look at the lot size. Jack DeVore agreed. Mr. Blackburn reiterated his concern is over the precedence it may set.
Bryan Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board agreed with the responses to all seven questions with some disagreement on questions # 2 and 3. Mr. Baugh asked for a motion on case # 544670. Doug Blackburn moved to approve the request as presented. Shelly Stively seconded the motion. The motion passed with Jack DeVore abstaining.
Approval of April 10, 2013 Meeting Minutes
Jack Devore moved for approval of the meeting minutes as mailed. Sandy Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed with Shelly Stively and Doug Blackburn abstaining.
Mr. Wehenkel presented information on a request for a pavilion at 4330 E. Cliff Road that was being proposed. He requested an interpretation of the setback requirements. The owner, Joan
Copeland, and her builder were in attendance and described the proposed structure and its location. The Board determined the proposal was consistent with the zoning regulations and
directed the zoning inspector to issue the zoning permit.
Sandy Erwin moved to adjourn the meeting. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 8: 1 0 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman