Minutes: April 10th, 2013

APRIL 10, 2013


L.D. Petersen
Aaron Kunzen
Tom Harpster
Tom Glaze
John Bacik
Matt Montowski

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, Tom Anslow, Jack Zeigler, Sandy Erwin, and Jack DeVore. Absent were Board members Shelly Stively and Doug Blackburn. Walter Wehenkel, Township Zoning Inspector was 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 # 544657

The applicants are Aaron & Julie Kunzen for property at 1561 N. Compass Ave. and known as Lot 110 Harbor Park Marina Subdivision in Section 3, Lot 2 of the Township. The property is presently zoned “R-4”. The request would allow an area variance from the existing rear yard setback requirements of twenty feet to eight feet six inches adjacent to Compass Avenue. The applicant is proposing to replace an existing manufactured with a stick built home and will maintain all other setbacks except in the rear yard. All fees have been paid and all notices given. There is no notarized correspondence.

Mr. Baugh asked if any Board members had a conflict of interest concerning the case. There were no conflicts. Mr. Baugh asked who was in attendance representing the application. Aaron Kunzen introduced himself as the applicant. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Kunzen.

Mr. Kunzen stated he has some updated plans to share with the Board. He is removing the existing trailer on the lot. He is having a new Schumaker one-story home installed on site. He is requesting a waiver to 8.5 feet from the street so that he will be in line with his neighbors. He wants to maximize the space available in the rear and adjacent to the water. He might add a deck on the water side in the future, but there are no plans to do it at this time.

Jack Zeigler asked Mr. Kunzen if there would be an entrance on the side. Mr. Kunzen stated there would not be a side entrance. Mr. Baugh asked if there were sliding doors. Mr. Kunzen stated there are no sliding doors on the side. There are sliding doors on the water side, but that will simply step down to grade until he builds a deck. Mr. Wehenkel stated the deck in the future would require a permit and meet setbacks and lot coverage requirement in existence at that time. Mr. Baugh asked about the distance on the water side. Mr. Kunzen stated it was 41 feet in depth.

Jack Zeigler questioned the twenty-five foot setback versus thirty-five foot setback. Mr. Wehenkel stated Harbor Park has always used twenty-five feet as the setback requirement. The Township has worked with the homeowner’s association on that matter. Jack DeVore asked what will happen with the existing shed. Mr. Kunzen stated the shed would be eliminated. Bryan Baugh asked where the steps going into the house are located. He had difficulty locating them on the drawing. Mr. Kunzen stated the steps are actually inside the porch area that is shown on the drawing. Mr. Baugh asked if there was a mobile home there presently. Mr. Kunzen stated there had been one located on the site, but it was recently removed. Mr. Baugh asked if Mr. Kunzen had approval from Harbor Park. Mr. Kunzen stated that he submitted his plans and they were approved.

Jack Zeigler asked how the water from the trailer drains. Mr. Kunzen stated it is supposed to drain to the water, but the sea wall might have messed it up a bit when it was replaced in 2008.
Tom Anslow confirmed the shed would be removed. Mr. Kunzen stated that was correct. The new home would prevent vehicles from being in the street easement. Mr. Baugh stated that has been a problem in some locations in the past. Mr. Wehenkel reiterated the deck will require a variance for lot coverage and perhaps setback when and if it is constructed in the future. Mr. Anslow stated that would be necessary if the deck was more than six inches off the ground. Mr. Kunzen stated he appreciated knowing that.

There being no questions from the audience, Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing portion. He requested the secretary read the Finding of Fact. Sandy Erwin read each question and the applicant’s response. The Board agreed with the responses to all of the questions except #6. The Board members felt there were alternatives.

Tom Anslow stated he felt the request was a modest request. He made a motion to approve case # 544657 as submitted. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Case # 544659

Mr. Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the information on this request. Mrs. Erwin stated the request is from Thomas & Keely Harpster for property at 3047 N. Hatteras Drive and also known as Lot 7 of Catawba Place Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The request is to allow an area variance permitting the reduction of the side yard setback from ten feet to nine feet. The lot is a vacant lot and the variance will allow for the construction of a new home with a three car garage on the lot. All notifications have occurred and all fees have been paid. There is no notarized correspondence.

Bryan Baugh asked if there were any conflicts of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was in attendance to represent the case. Tom Glaze introduced himself as the father of Keely Harpster and representative of the case. Mr. Glaze was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Glaze stated the request is relatively straight forward. The lot is 95.05 feet wide and the proposed house is 76 feet wide. With a 10 foot setback on each side, there is a 1 foot waiver required. The request is for the south side of the lot. The front and rear setbacks are fine. The area where the one foot waiver is being requested is adjacent to Mr. Glaze’s lot.

Tom Harpster raised his hand to speak. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Harpster. Mr. Harpster stated there is a house to the south and the lot to the north is vacant. The homeowner’s association in the subdivision has reviewed the plans and approved them. Jack Zeigler confirmed the association has approved the plans.

Jack DeVore, Tom Anslow, and Sandy Erwin all stated this is a clear cut request and the adjoining property owner to be impacted by the variance supports the request. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing as there was no additional testimony to be given. He asked Sandy Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board members agreed with all seven responses given by the applicant. Mr. Anslow stated this is not a big deal. It is a nice neighborhood and the Board’s purpose is to grant a little leeway when appropriate. Mr. Zeigler added that the waiver is on the father’s side. Jack Zeigler moved to approve case #544659 as submitted. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Case # 544662

Bryan Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the information on this case. Mrs. Erwin stated the
Request is for an area variance from John and Kathleen Gorbach for property at 5792 E. Woodland Drive and also known as Lot 27 of White City Beach Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is presently zoned “R-3” Residential. The request would allow an area variance permitting the reduction of the rear yard setback from twenty-five feet to six feet and to increase the lot coverage from the permitted thirty-six percent to thirty-eight percent. The purpose of the variances is to allow an addition to the rear of the existing dwelling that would square off the structure. The notifications have been made and all fees have been paid. There is notarized correspondence that was included in each Board member’s packet.

Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was in attendance representing this case. John Bacik introduced himself as the applicant’s architect and agent. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Bacik.

Mr. Bacik stated he prepared the plans for the owner who only wants to square up the structure. Sandy Erwin asked about the old water pipe in the rear of the house. Mr. Bacik stated he was not sure about the pipe. Jack DeVore stated it was the old waterline when the association provided the water to the structures. It has been abandoned since the regional water system was installed.

Jack Zeigler asked about the back entrance and how it will be incorporated into the expansion. Mr. Bacik stated a new foundation would be put under it and it would be reconstructed. Mr. Zeigler stated the whole area would be rebuilt. Mr. Bacik stated the addition would have the same roof line as the existing shed. A dormer may be added, but that would be the only difference. Jack Devore asked where the location of the entrance would be located. Mr. Bacik stated it would be on the south side where it is now on the west side. Mr. DeVore wondered if being on the south side it would increase the variance request due to steps. Mr. Bacik stated one step up may be necessary. Mr. Zeigler stated the area is presently pretty level. Mr. Bacik stated that if a step were necessary based upon final elevation, the entranceway could be moved to the west where there is plenty of setback area. Jack Zeigler stated adding a six inch step on the south side would be okay as it is not considered a structure if it is six inches or less in height. Tom Anslow stated the concern with steps is for fire-fighting purposes and separation for equipment. A general discussion followed on the step requirements and possible locations.

Mr. Baugh reiterated the Board position concerning the steps. If located on the south side of the structure, it cannot be greater than six inches in height. A pad at grade would be okay. If more than six inches in height, the steps would need to be moved to the west side. Mr. Wehenkel asked Mr. Bacik if he wanted to amend his application. Mr. Bacik stated he did not want to amend it.

There being no further questions or testimony, Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing. Mr. DeVore stated there is nothing outstanding concerning the request except for the step issue. Jack Zeigler agreed with Mr. Devore, as did Sandy Erwin and Tom Anslow. Mr. Baugh asked Sandy Erwin to read the Finding of Fact submitted by the applicant. The Board agreed with the responses provided to all of the questions except question #5. The Board felt the owner was aware of the zoning restrictions.

Jack DeVore moved to approve case # 544662 as submitted. Sandy Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Devore moved for approval of the minutes of the March 13, 2013 meeting. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. It was noted that the word “bathroom” was misspelled on the second line of the second page. Mr. Wehenkel stated he would correct that issue. The motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Mr. Baugh stated that Dan Peterson was present earlier this evening to discuss a lighted sign for the Resurrection Lutheran Church. It would be an electronic message center which the township does not allow. A similar request was made a few years ago and denied. The Board had a general conversation concerning these signs and whether the zoning resolution should be amended to allow them. The Board felt it was not the type of sign that would be good for the township. Many businesses including marinas would want to incorporate them. The consensus would be that these signs should be considered on a case by case basis.


Mr. DeVore moved to adjourn the meeting. His motion was seconded by Sandy Erwin and passed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

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Bryan Baugh Sandra Erwin