MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
August 13, 2014
John and Deborah Meister
Rebecca & John Collins
Paul & Claudia Jaskulski
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Board members in attendance were Jack DeVore, and Sandra Erwin. In the absence of Tom Anslow, Chairman Baugh requested alternate Jack Zeigler to participate as a voting Board member for the meeting. The zoning inspector, Walter Wehenkel, and Township Trustee Matt Montowski were also in attendance. Mr. Baugh read the meeting procedure. There were no questions on the procedure. Mr. Baugh then asked Sandra Erwin to read the information summary for the first case.
Case # 668058 – John & Rebecca Collins
Sandra Erwin reported that the first variance request is being submitted by John and Rebecca Collins for property at 4721 Schoolhouse Road and also being in Section 3, Lot 5 of Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “A”. The variance request is to allow an area variance permitting the second floor of a proposed home to be less than the required square footage. The requirement is 950 square feet on the second floor and the request is for 504 square feet. She stated that all notifications have been made and there was no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any members of the Board had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss this request. John Collins introduced himself. Mr. Baugh swore in Mr. Collins.
Mr. Collins stated the lot is on Schoolhouse Road but it is only fifty feet in width where most of the lots are one hundred feet in width. The size of the lot limits the choice and size of the housing unit he can build and recoup his investment. Mr. Collins stated he initially thought the square footage required was 1,400 square feet. However he later realized the requirements are different for a two-story house versus a one-story house. He needed 950 square feet on each floor for the two-story house. He wants to get rid of the travel trailers on the lot and have a home that will enhance the neighborhood.
Chairman Baugh asked if he has floor plans. Mr. Collins did and presented the floor plans to the Board. There was discussion concerning the porch and the roof line. He discussed the open area on the second floor that would allow open viewing to the first floor. Mr. Baugh asked for clarification of “north” on the sketch that was filed with the application. Mr. Collins showed the north location. He indicated he has plenty of depth as the lot is 200 feet deep, but only 50 feet wide.
Mr. Baugh asked if the lot had been surveyed. Mr. Collins said it was surveyed by the previous owner. He found several pins and tried to talked to the survey company who did the previous survey, but they have apparently gone out of business. He assured the Board that the home will meet the setback requirements. Mr. Baugh suggested Mr. Collins get a survey just to be sure. The courts have required foundations to be moved when they are improperly located.
Chairman Baugh stated there appeared to be a sewer pump in the middle of the lot. Mr. Collins stated the lot is served by both public water and sanitary sewer. Mr. Baugh asked about the drive approach. Mr. Collins stated it would be to the west. The existing shed out front will be removed. Mr. DeVore stated the shed in the rear looks like it is close to the lot line. Mr. Collins stated it is actually ten feet off of the property line.
Jack Zeigler asked about the red flag in the corner near the road. Mr. Collins stated it was offset as he could not put the flag in the asphalt. He marked the edge of the lot with paint in the street. He still needs to find the front stake on the west property line. He will need a metal detector he thinks.
Mr. Baugh asked if there would be steps on the east or west sides of the house. Mr. Collins stated there would be no outside entrances on the sides, just windows. He will use the slab for the recreational vehicle as part of the crawl space. He really likes the proposed floor plan and believes it will be a good addition to the township.
Mr. Baugh asked for testimony from those in attendance. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing and requested the secretary read the Finding of Fact. He reminded the Board to consider not only the applicant’s responses, but also their observation in the field and the testimony.
Sandra Erwin read the Finding of Fact. The Board unanimously answered yes to questions #1, 2, 6, and 7. The unanimously disagreed or answered no to questions #3 and 4. There was one yes and three no responses to question #5.
Mr. Baugh asked for a motion on case # 668058. Jack DeVore moved to approve the request as submitted. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Case # 668065 – Roy and Lori Devore
Bryan Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the case information. Mrs. Erwin stated the applicants are Roy & Lori DeVore for property at 5517 Channel Drive and also known as Sublot 126 of Johnsons Landing Subdivision B in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3”.
The request would allow area variances permitting a larger accessory building than permitted in the zoning district as well as a location closer to the rear lot line than allowed. The allowed square footage for an accessory building is 750 square feet and the proposed square footage would be 1,512 square feet. The required rear yard setback is 25 feet and the request is a 19 foot rear yard setback. All notifications have occurred and there is no notarized correspondence.
Chairman Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. There were no conflicts. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the request. Roy Devore introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh.
Mr. Devore started he has a home across the street from the lot involved in the variance request. It presently has a pole barn on it and he would like to make it bigger. Mr. Baugh asked why Mr. Devore needed to make it larger. Mr. Devore stated he wanted to store his boat in it. Mr. Baugh asked if the proposed structure would be similar to the existing building. Mr. Devore stated it would have the same roof line. Mr. Baugh asked if the access would be from Channel Drive. Mr. Devore stated that was correct. There would be no rear access.
Jack DeVore asked if the applicant had any building plans. Mr. Devore stated he did not have building plans yet. Sandra Erwin stated the exterior would match the existing building. Mr. Devore stated that was correct. He stated the steps on the sides of the building would be at grade. Mr. Baugh asked if they were elevated. Mr. Devore stated no.
Chairman Baugh asked for other testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public.
Mr. Baugh stated there are 2 or 3 homes to the west and there are already storage building similar to the one proposed on those lots. Sandra Erwin noted there are trailers piled up to the east. Mr. Zeigler concurred that the proposed addition would match up with the other existing structures.
Chairman Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board members voted yes to questions #1, 6, and 7. They voted no on questions 3 and 4. There was disagreement with questions #2 and 5. Question 32 being mostly no responses and question #5 being mostly yes responses.
Mr. Baugh asked for a motion on case # 668065. Sandra Erwin moved to approve the request as presented. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Case #668067 – Croghan Colonial Bank
Mr. Baugh asked the secretary to read the information on the next case. Sandra Erwin stated the applicant is Croghan Colonial Bank for property at 3058 Carolina Street and also being lots 24, 32, and 41 of Gem Beach Subdivision #2 in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “C-4”. The request would allow area variances permitting an existing building to be converted into residential condominiums. Variances from the required lot area requirement, variances from the front, side, and rear yard setbacks, as well as a lot coverage variance, are being requested. All notifications have been made and there is no notarized correspondence. A letter from Jack & Ginger Grummel was left in the Township Hall and shared with the Board members.
Mr. Baugh asked if any member had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the application. Lee Short introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Lee Short stated he is the architect and the potential owner, Terry Delia, is also in attendance. Mr. Delia has an offer to purchase the property from the bank if the variances are approved. Mr. Short stated the building is the former West Harbor Yacht Club. The building will be converted into three condominiums. The second floor will contain about 2,800 square feet with one condominium which will be offered for sale. The first floor will contain two condominiums units of about 1,400 square feet each with present plans for renting these units. He stated he does not have floor plans at this time.
There are presently nineteen parking spaces. Several of these will be converted to green space with a total of nine parking spaces remaining. In addition, the three car garage at the north end will go with the second floor unit so there will be a total of twelve spaces. The existing blacktop will be removed and grass planted in its place.
Mr. Short said the variances are needed because of the preexisting building. The setbacks and lot coverage cannot be met. The front yard setback will be altered with the addition of the stairway for the second floor unit and will now be at 10½ feet. The second floor will also have balconies with a five foot area needed for the supporting structure. The color of the building will be changed, but the roof color will remain.
Sandra Erwin asked why the lot coverage is increasing to 44%. Mr. Short stated the requirement is 39% and what presently is in existence brings it to 44%. Mr. Short stated they will also be replacing windows. It is a tough property to work with for other uses.
Chairman Baugh started the lot was well marked and the plans were well prepared. Sandra Erwin stated the presentation was quite clear and concise. Mr. Baugh asked for testimony from those in attendance.
John Meister introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Meister stated he lives on North A Street. He asked if there would be any balconies on the east side of the building facing A Street. Mr. Short stated the only balconies planned would face Carolina Street.
Mr. Meister stated the conversion will benefit the neighborhood and it makes sense.
Diane Price introduced herself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Ms. Price stated she is directly behind the proposed condominiums. She wondered if any back door into her yard were proposed. Mr. Short stated there is about 4½ feet between the building and the lot line. However, no doors to exit the building on the east are planned. There will be additional windows installed in the west side of the building.
Chairman Baugh asked for additional testimony. There was none. The public hearing was closed.
Jack Zeigler asked about access to the first floor units. Mr. Short showed the entrance locations to the Board members. The stairs will be for the second floor unit. There is a wheelchair lift on the inside of the building for the second floor unit as well. Jack DeVore stated the conversion will be a great improvement for the area. Bryan Baugh agreed saying it will be a good use of the old building.
Bryan Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to review the Finding of Fact. The Board members answer yes to questions #5 and 7. The Board members answered no to questions #3 and 4. On questions #2 and #6 the Board members voted 3 no and 1 yes and on question #1 the vote was 3 yes and 1 no.
Chairman Baugh asked for a motion for case #668067. Sandra Erwin moved to approve the variance requests as submitted. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Case # 668069 – James and Barbara Stengle
Walter Wehenkel requested this case be continued. The Catawba Orchard Beach Subdivision Homeowner’s Association has not had the opportunity to review the plans. Therefore, the Board should not take action. Jack Devore moved to table the request until the September meeting. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Minutes of the July 9, 2014 Meeting
Sandra Erwin moved to approve the minutes of the July 9, 2014 meeting as mailed. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Mr. Wehenkel stated he had received a call from Mark Messa of the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission concerning a proposed lot split at 1838 N. West Catawba Road. The property was rezoned in 2004 and a lot width variance was requested and grant by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) in October of 2004. The parcel was proposed to be divided into two lots. If the split were to be approved, one of the lots would have a principal building on it and the other lot would only have an accessory building on it. Mr. Messa stated that would be in violation of the zoning regulations and he cannot approve it unless the Township grants permission for it to occur.
Mr. Wehenkel stated the minutes of the 2004 BZA meeting do not reflect any discussion concerning the accessory building. The lot for which the lot width variance was requested was the lot with the accessory building. The drawings that were submitted for the variance for lot width showed the accessory building on the lot without a principal building. Mr. Wehenkel asked the Board members if they believe the intent of the BZA in 2004 was to allow the lot split with only the accessory building located on it.
After reviewing the minutes and the drawing, the Board concluded that the Board had to have knowledge of the accessory building without a principal building and by approving the lot width variance, accepted this condition as well. They requested Mr. Wehenkel contacted Mr. Messa and authorize the lot split to proceed.
Sandra Erwin moved to adjourn the meeting. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary