MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
JULY 10, 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, Jack DeVore and Tom Anslow. Alternate members Shelly Stively and Jack Zeigler were in attendance, as well as Walter Wehenkel, Township Zoning Inspector, and Matt Montowski, Township Trustee. 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 # 544698 – Roger Newman
Sandra Erwin stated the request is for an area variance for property at 5795 Commodore Drive, also known as sublot 94 & 95 of Harbor Estates Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3” and the request is to allow a variance on a corner lot permitting an attached garage to be built nineteen feet instead of the required twenty-five feet on the second front yard along Swallow Drive and a rear yard setback of seventeen and one-half feet instead of the required twenty-five feet. All fees have been paid, the hearing has been properly published, notifications have been given, and there is no notarized correspondence.
Bryan Baugh asked if any member had a conflict of interest. Tom Anslow stated he was not in attendance at the previous meeting where the case was reviewed. He felt he should remove himself from the discussion. Bryan Baugh asked Jack Zeigler to assume Mr. Anslow’s position on the Board. Jack Devore moved to remove case #544698 from the table. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion was passed.
Mr. Wehenkel stated the application refers to Lots 94 & 95 of Harbor Estates. In reality, Mr. Newman owns lots 93 & 94 of Harbor Estates. The application is in error and should be corrected. The Board acknowledged the correction. Mr. Baugh asked for a representative for the case. No one was in attendance. Sandra Erwin stated she was confused by the flags. It was not clear to her just what was being proposed. The house looks like it was just resided. Vince Lathrop arrived late and stated he was representing Mr. Newman. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Lathrop.
Mr. Lathrop stated the house is presently being sided but that is not part of the request. Mr. Newman would like to attach a garage on the north side of the existing structure to store his recreational vehicle in. A breezeway will attach the new garage to the existing garage. It will be about twelve feet in length. Mr. Baugh asked if the breezeway would be in the area of the concrete walk. Mr. Lathrop stated yes. The height will be kept low. Mr. Baugh stated it was difficult to tell on-site. Mr. Lathrop apologized for the flags. He tried to do the best job he could in identifying what was proposed.
Jack DeVore asked if there would be two garages. Mr. Lathrop stated that was correct. One door would be about 10’ X 12’ and the other 8’ X 10’. Jack Zeigler noted the proportions are not visually correct on the drawings. Mr. Lathrop agreed. Mr. Zeigler asked if the breezeway would be open. Mr. Lathrop stated that it would be. Mr. Baugh stated it would be like a pergola. Mr. Lathrop agreed.
Mr. Baugh reiterated the site was poorly marked. Mr. Lathrop apologized. Mr. DeVore stated it was not marked on Monday morning. Mr. Lathrop stated he put the flags in late Monday morning. Mr. Baugh asked if others in attendance wished to speak on the request. No one did. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public.
Mr. Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the Finding of Fact submitted with the application. The Board unanimously agreed with items 1 to 5 with one Board member disagreeing with the response to questions 6 & 7.
Mr. Wehenkel suggested to the Board that they consider establishing conditions for the variance. He stated the owner seems to accumulate a lot of “things” and stores them on his property. He now is seeking variances in order to store these items inside a building. Mr. Wehenkel’s concern is that he will fill the buildings and then begin to store additional items outside of the buildings. Bryan Baugh asked if the Board had that authority. Mr. Wehenkel stated he believed the Board had the authority as they are looking at modifying the setback requirements to assist the property owner. Establishing conditions for that approval would seem to be a legitimate exercise of the Board’s authority.
Sandra Erwin moved to approve case # 544698 with the condition that no additional storage outside of the proposed garage shall exist. The motion was seconded by Doug Blackburn. Discussion on the motion occurred. Some Board members wanted the condition to be more specific. Other Board members were concerned that it was too restrictive. Mr. Baugh expressed concern that the building might not be completed. Mr. Wehenkel stated a zoning permit is only valid for eighteen months. It would be his responsibility to see that the construction was completed.
Sandra Erwin amended her motion to include the following condition. Material normally stored in an accessory building shall not be stored in the open areas of the lot or within the breezeway. Doug Blackburn agreed to the amendment to the motion and seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously. Tom Anslow assumed his seat on the Board at this time.
Case # 544710 – Dave Kocarek and Linda Ziemnik
Sandra Erwin read the following description of this request. It is for an area variance from Dave Kocarek and Linda Ziemnik for property at 5762 E. Lakeview Drive and also being lots 14 & 15 of White City Beach Subdivision. The property is zoned “R-3”. The request will allow an area variance permitting an addition to be built onto the existing residential structure that will be approximately four feet and one inch from the side lot line instead of the required six feet. All fees have been paid, proper notification given, and there is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict. Jack DeVore indicated that he had a conflict. Mr. Baugh asked Shelly Stively to assume Mr. DeVore’s position for this case.
Bryan Baugh asked for a representative to present the case. Lee Short introduced himself as the owner’s architect. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Short.
Mr. Short provided some background concerning the request. The owners are moving here permanently. The home was a victim of hail damage from last summer’s storm. The project will be a partial gutting of the structure and a rebuild with addition. The addition is 9’ 9” in depth. That is a strange size, but it works best with the existing home. The addition will be used to expand two bedrooms and add a bathroom. The windows are being designed with cross ventilation in mind. Mr. Short had a floor plan of the addition that he shared with the Board members.
Bryan Baugh asked if the if the area between the garage and the addition was being attached. Mr. Short stated all portions or the building will be attached when the project is completed. Mr. Baugh asked if the attachment between the addition and garage would be like a pergola. Mr. Short indicated that was correct. Mr. Baugh asked if that was included in the lot coverage. Mr. Wehenkel stated the lot coverage would be fine with the pergola.
Mr. Anslow asked who marked the lot with the flags. Mr. Short stated the owner and himself were involved. Mr. Anslow stated he was a bit concerned over the flags going inside and outside of the area. He is most concerned about the setback measurement of 4.15 feet. Mr. Short stated that number comes from a survey prepared in 2001 by BEC Associates. He assumed the survey was accurate.
Mr. Baugh asked if there was any other testimony to be given. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public. Discussion among the Board members continued. Doug Blackburn wondered if the owner had any plans to remove the shrubbery. The owner Dave Kocerak was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Kocarek stated he plans to trim back the shrubbery about one foot. Mr. Blackburn stated his concern is egress to the addition. Mr. Anslow asked for an estimate from the adjoining property owner to the lot line. Mr. Short stated he believed the house was three feet from the line. Mr. Blackburn stated the shrubbery is more decorative than for privacy. Mr. Wehenkel stated even if the shrubbery were removed when the addition was built, it could be replanted in the future.
Mr. Baugh asked the secretary to read the Finding of Fact. The Board unanimously agreed with the responses to questions 3, 5, and 7. There was minor disagreement with the responses to questions 1, 2, & 4. The Board unanimously disagreed with the response to question 6.
Mr. Baugh stated this request is similar to other requests in this area of the township.
Doug Blackburn moved to approve case # 544710 as written. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Jack DeVore assumed his seat on the Board at this time.
Case # 544713 - Michael Mallett
Sandra Erwin read the information concerning case # 544713. The request is for an area from Michael Mallett for property at 3544 N. Surfside Drive and also being in Section 11 of Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-1”. The request would allow a fence height for an entrance gate in excess of the required four feet in the front yard. All fees have been paid, the hearing was properly advertised and there is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked for a representative to speak on this request. Mike Mallett introduced himself and was sworn in by Bryan Baugh.
Mr.Mallett stated he has been experiencing break-ins and stolen property from his construction site by one of his neighbors. He is fencing his entire perimeter of his property. There will be a lower piece and an upper piece of fencing. The gate is a solid iron gate and is very fancy in appearance. The fence is not actually on Surfside Drive, but rather on an easement that services his lot. A discussion concerning fence height and location followed.
Tom Anslow asked how high the actual gate will be from the ground. Mike Mallett stated it is 6’ 2’ to the highest point. Doug Blackburn asked why it was so high. Mr. Mallett stated it is complimentary to the look of the house. Jack DeVore asked if the utility box will be inside or outside of the fence location. Mr. Mallett stated it will be outside. Bryan Baugh stated there are other locations such as the entrance to the Cliffs where fence gates exceed the four feet height restriction. Doug Blackburn noted that the fence will not be readily visible on a line of site from the road. He indicated it would only be about 1’ 2” above the balance of the fence.
Tom Anslow asked if the fence would have a key pad and code. Mr. Mallett stated that it would. Mr. Anslow stated the police and fire departments need to be provided the key code number. Mr, Mallett stated he understood. Mr. Anslow asked if the fence would follow the contour of the land. Mr. Mallett stated it would be level on the front side, but follow the contours on the remaining sides. Mr. Baugh asked for any additional testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public.
Mr. Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the responses to the Finding of Fact questions. The Board members agreed with the responses to questions 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5. There was a majority disagreement with the response to #6 and a partial disagreement with the response to #7 by the Board members.
Tom Anslow moved to approve case # 544713 as per the drawing marked as Exhibit 1A as presented by Mike Mallett based upon the type and style of fence identified. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Minutes
Doug Blackburn moved to approve the minutes of the June 12, 2013 minutes as presented. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed with Tom Anslow abstaining from the vote.
Doug Blackburn moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Sandra Erwin. The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary