MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
June 11, 2014
Mary Lue Carroll
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Vice-Chairman Jack DeVore called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Board members in attendance were Doug Blackburn, Jack DeVore, and Tom Anslow. In the absence of Bryan Baugh and Sandra Erwin, the Vice-Chairman requested alternates Jack Zeigler and Shelly Stively participate as Board members for the meeting. The zoning inspector, Walter Wehenkel, and Township Trustee Matt Montowski were also in attendance. Mr. Devore read the meeting procedure. There were no questions on the procedure. Mr. DeVore then asked Shelly Stively if she would serve as secretary for the evening and she agreed to do so. Mr. DeVore asked Shelly Stively to read the information summary for the first case.
Case # 668032 Mary Lue Carroll
Ms. Stively stated an area variance is being requested by Mary Lue Carroll for property at 1371 Orchard Beach Drive and also known as sublot 28 of Orchard Beach Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3”. The variance request would allow area variances permitting the placement of an addition to an existing structure that is twenty two and one-half feet from the front lot line instead of the required thirty-five feet. All fees have been paid, the hearing has been properly advertised and there is no notarized correspondence.
Jack DeVore asked if any Board members had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. DeVore asked who was in attendance to present this case to the Board. Mary Lue Carroll introduced herself and was sworn in by Mr. DeVore.
Ms. Carroll stated her daughter presently resides in the home. She wants to put an addition onto the house to give her daughter some additional room. The area involved in the variance is presently a porch which will be removed and the addition would go in its place across the front of the house. Doug Blackburn asked if they were basically going to enclose the porch. Ms. Carroll stated that is about it.
Mr. DeVore stated he was a bit confused with the flags on site. Shelly Stively stated she too was confused. Ms. Carroll stated the flags were identifying the edge of the steps and not the porch. The steps stick out further into the setback. Doug Blackburn asked if the homeowner’s association of Orchard Beach has reviewed the request. Mr. Wehenkel stated it was approved by the association and he received an email from its President, but he did not include it in the packets and he apologized for that. Mr. Blackburn stated there is no view that would be blocked by the addition being enclosed. He did not see any real issues. It was a good design and he just wanted to know the association’s position on the proposal.
Jack Zeigler asked if the structure will be rebuilt from the ground up. Dan Leidheiser is the contractor for Ms. Carroll and he was sworn in by Jack Devore. Mr. Leidheiser stated it would be built from the ground up with a new footer. The intent is for it to be heated and used as living space. Tom Anslow stated the design should blend in well with the other homes in the area who have experienced a similar situation.
Mr. DeVore closed the hearing to the public. He asked Shelly Stively to read the Finding of Fact. The Board agreed with the responses to all of the questions except #6. The Board unanimously disagreed with the response to that question.
Jack Zeigler stated it would be a nice addition. He asked if the property pins were located. Mr. Leidheiser stated there was no survey done. He found two of the pins on the lot corners. He used those pins to arrive at the measurements. Doug Blackburn stated it is just a front porch enclosure and a survey would be a bit of an expense. Mr. Anslow stated it was a very modest request.
Mr. DeVore asked for a motion on case #668032. Doug Blackburn moved to approve case
#668032 as submitted. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of the May 14, 2014 Meeting Minutes
Mr. DeVore stated the minutes had been mailed to everyone and he asked if there were any corrections. There were none. Doug Blackburn moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shelly Stively seconded the motion. The motion passed with Tom Anslow abstaining.
Mr. Wehenkel stated he had a question of interpretation of the zoning regulations and asked for the Board to consider the issue and give him their opinion. The question dealt with condominiums in the “C-4” Commercial District. His understanding and interpretation is that condominiums in the commercial districts may be rented out on a weekly basis. Condominiums in the residential districts are restricted to rental of thirty consecutive days to the same occupant.
The basis of Mr. Wehenkel’s interpretation is that weekly rentals by the nature are commercial.
Lee Short was present and introduced himself. He stated he is working with a client who has an accepted offer to purchase the former West Harbor Yacht Club subject to zoning approval. The property is zoned “A”. His client is interested in dividing the existing building into three or four residential condominium units. He would sell one of the units and rent out the balance. A rezoning request has been submitted for a change in zoning from the ”A” District to the “C-4” District. The public hearing will be on June 25th.
The client is interested in the “C-4” zoning district as it is consistent with the other zoning in the area. Mr. Wehenkel’s interpretation that weekly rentals are not an option in the”R-4” zoning district supports the present rezoning request. It is unlikely that three or four condominiums units could all be sold, but very likely they could be rented. Mr. Short needs to know if the Board feels Mr. Wehenkel’s interpretation is correct.
There was much discussion and analysis of the zoning resolution by those in attendance. There was no question that weekly rentals in the residential district would be prohibited. The township’s intent was to preserve property values by requiring that when they amended the zoning resolution. There was also consensus among the Board members that weekly rentals would certainly qualify as a commercial venture. It was likened to a hotel/motel venue that is allowed in the commercial districts. The Board felt the resolution did not directly state that rentals of multi-family units were permitted, but felt it was inferred by its commercial nature.
The Board agreed with the zoning inspector’s interpretation that weekly rental of multi-family housing units (condominiums) would be allowed in the “C-4:” zoning district. Mr. Short thanked the Board for its time.
It was moved by Doug Blackburn that the meeting be adjourned. Shelly Stively seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary