Minutes: July 24th, 2013


Matt Montowski
Tony Corona
Roger Riachi
Charles Heck
William Cromer
Tim McKenna
Judy McKenna

Paul Shaw called the meeting to order. For the record, the date was July 24, 2013 and the time was 7:30 PM. Mr. Shaw introduced himself as Chairman of the Catawba Island Zoning Commission. He introduced the rest of the Board in attendance and included Patti Piacentino, Ron Wiseman, Jordan Davenport, Stephen Lonneman, and Curt Baxter an alternate. He also introduced Walter Wehenkel , Zoning Inspector & Zoning Commission Secretary and Matt Montowski, Township Trustee.

Mr. Shaw explained the procedure for the hearing. He welcomed those in attendance. As this is a public meeting, he advised that debates/talking amongst yourselves is not permitted. He asked all attendees to sign the register. Any person wishing to speak should be recognized by the chairperson and identify themselves by name and address for the record. And finally he asked those all in attendance to please be sure their cell phones are turned off. He asked everyone to please join him in standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Shaw suggested the following agenda for the meeting:
1)Application #544716: Optimus Development, LLC requesting a zoning change from R – 1 Residential District to R – 2 Residential District for property located in Section 3 of the Firelands survey, Ottawa County, previously known as Cayman Club Estates per a subdivision plat in March 2004.
He asked the applicant if their request was to the “R-2” zoning district as most of their information implies or to the “R-3” zoning District as referenced on the first page of the application. Mr. Corona stated it was a request to the “R-2” District. The applicant corrected the application page and signed the page. Mr. Shaw proceeded with the balance of the agenda.
2)The reading and approval of our last meeting minutes from March 20, 2013 meeting.
3)Any old business
4)Any new business
Mr. Shaw asked if there were any additions or changes to the proposed agenda. There were none.
He requested a motion to consider Application #544716: Optimus Development, LLC requesting a zoning change from R – 1 Residential District to R – 2 Residential District for property located in Section 3 of the Firelands survey, Ottawa County, previously known as Cayman Club Estates per a subdivision plat in March 2004. Jordan Davenport moved to discuss the rezoning request. Patti Piacentino seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Mr. Shaw asked if any board member has a personal or professional conflict concerning the case. No member identified a conflict.

Mr. Shaw asked Patti Piacentino to read the letter from the Regional Planning Commission identifying the County’s recommendation on the rezoning application. The letter was read and it recommended approval of the change. Mr. Shaw asked Walter Wehenkel if there was any correspondence received on the rezoning request. Mr. Wehenkel indicated there was no correspondence. Mr. Shaw asked Jordan Davenport to read the legal description of the property involved in the rezoning request. Mr. Davenport read the description.

There being no questions, Mr. Shaw asked the applicant to make his presentation to the Commission. He reminded those in attendance to please state their name and address for the record and reminded attendees that one person at a time will speak.

Tony Corona, representing the applicant, started the presentation by reading the letter that was included as part of the application. He stated the letter summarizes what the plans are for the property.
Roger Riachi stated he had nothing to add at this time.

Tim McKenna stated he lives on Concord Circle. He wondered why the name McKenna Lane. Tony Corona stated the owner’s girlfriend’s daughter name is McKenna. Mr. McKenna asked about the water feature that was mentioned in the letter. Mr. Corona stated a small pool is being considered. Mr. McKenna asked how many lots would be created. Tony Corona stated 13 to 14 lots were being proposed and one of those lots could be used for the common area/pool.

Charles Heck stated that he lives on Chatham Drive to the north. He had several questions. He asked if there were any drawings available that showed the lots. He asked about the timeframe to construction. He wondered if homes would be built on order or if speculative homes would be built by the developer.
He stated the property is messed up with the road going down the middle of the property. He understands the developer is competing with other areas but reminded them that they did have a referendum vote in the past on a similar rezoning request. Though there are different players, he believes the outcome may be the same.
Mr. Corona stated he would try to answer all of Mr. Heck’s questions. First, concerning the drawings for the proposed development, Mr. Corona stated that are being developed at the present time. The subdivision layout was created in 1999. There has been a comprehensive process going on to get to this point. Everyone seems very positive now that a development could be successful. The property has been cleaned up. The developers are looking at affordable, not cheap housing, that will serve a group of people looking homes under a half million dollars. The water feature would likely be a small pool for the residents. The square footage in the homes would be between 1,400 and 2,700 square feet. There would be deed restrictions that would involve the building design. The developer would sell the lots to individuals and would offer to build the home they want subject to the restrictions.
Mr. Heck asked about the timeframe. Mr. Corona stated the zoning change needs to be accomplished first. Then a preliminary subdivision plat would be submitted to Ottawa County in September for review. A final plat would follow a month or two later. Mr. Heck wondered when they could see the layout. Mr. Corona stated the only housing type is single family homes on the existing street.
Mr. Heck asked why the rezoning is necessary. Mr. Riachi stated the rezoning will allow the developer to pick up 3 to 4 house lots. That is really the only difference. The units are not condominiums. They will be single family homes. Mr. Corona added that building a speculative home is an option being considered by the developer.
Mr. Heck asked about the timeframe for completion. It takes a lot of money to do a project of this scope. Mr. Riachi stated the property has been purchased free and clear without loans. There are County requirements to be met and the money is available for those expenditures. The homes will be financed by the lot owners unless the developer builds a speculative home.
Mr. Heck asked if there will be a homeowner’s association. Mr. Riachi stated there would be an association. It would prescribe minimum structural standards such as stone on the front of the home, types of windows, etc. Mr. Heck asked if the lot owner can choose his own builder. Mr. Riachi stated the developer plans to be the builder, but in a unique situation, this could be waived to allow the lot owner to use their own builder. Mr. Heck stated that was similar to Colony Club. Mr. Riachi agreed with Mr. Heck. Mr. Heck stated his concern is that the development is next to his house. Mr. Corona stated he understands the concerns being expressed.
Judy McKenna asked about the fence along the south boundary line and if it would be extended along their property on the west boundary of the proposed subdivision. Mr. Corona stated it is definitely a concern against the campground property, but the developer would be willing to meet with property owners to discuss the fence issue. Mrs. McKenna asked about the trees being saved. Mr. Corona stated the developer would like to save as many trees as possible. Some may need to go if they are in the building footprint. Mr. Riachi agreed that as many as possible will be saved.
Mr. Shaw asked for any additional questions or comments. There were none. He closed the hearing to the public. The Commission members discussed the case amongst themselves. Jordan Davenport stated the County supported the rezoning. What they want to do makes sense and is a good idea. Paul Shaw wondered if the improvements are up to date and compliant with County regulation. Mr. Corona stated a few changes/additions will be required, but generally everything is okay. Stephen Lonneman stated he finds himself agreeing with Jordan Davenport’s thoughts. Patti Piacentino agreed with Mr. Lonneman. Mr. Wiseman stated the developer has cleaned up the site. Mr. Shaw stated the rezoning request is consistent with the Land Use Plan recommendations. The developer has a good reputation with the Fairway Villas development.
Mr. Shaw stated a request has been made in Application # 544716 by Optimus Development, LLC requesting a zoning change from R – 1 Residential District to R – 2 Residential District for property located in Section 3 of the Firelands survey, Ottawa County, previously known as Cayman Club Estates per a subdivision plat in March 2004. He asked for a motion on application # 544716. Jordan Davenport moved to recommend approval of the rezoning request. Patti Piacentino seconded the motion.
Mr. Shaw stated a “yes” vote indicates you are in favor of recommending the proposed change in zoning from R – 1 Residential District to R-2 Residential District as requested in Application # 544716 be presented to the Catawba Island Township Trustees for their consideration. A “no” vote indicates you do not favor the proposed change. He polled each Commission member.
Ron Wiseman – yes ; Jordan Davenport – yes; Patti Piacentino – yes; and Stephen Lonneman – yes.

The motion passed and the recommendation of the Commission to the Township Trustees will be for approval of the requested zoning change. The application will be submitted to the Catawba Island Township Trustees for the consideration on August 13, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

He thanked those in the audience for attending and stated they are welcomed to stay if they would like to.

Mr. Shaw requested a motion and second to accept the minutes of the March 20, 2013 meeting as presented. Stephen Lonneman moved to approve the minutes as presented. Patti Piacentino seconded the motion. The motion was passed with Ron Wiseman abstaining from the vote.
Mr. Shaw asked if there was any new business for the Commission. Mr. Wehenkel presented a draft set of regulation concerning special event signs. These are signs put up for a few days to a week to announce things like boat shows. They would be bigger than the 2’ X 3’ temporary signs allowed by the resolution. A general discussion followed. The Commission members will review the draft and submit comments or concerns to Mr. Wehenkel .

Patti Piacentino moved to adjourn the meeting. Her motion was seconded by Stephen Lonneman and passed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Walter Wehenkel