MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
September 10, 2014
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, Doug Blackburn, Tom Anslow, and Sandra Erwin. Alternate Jack Zeigler was also in attendance along with the zoning inspector, Walter Wehenkel, and Township Trustee Matt Montowski. Mr. Baugh read the meeting procedure. There were no questions on the procedure.
Mr. Baugh then asked for a motion to remove case #668069 from the table. Jack Devore moved to remove case #668069 from the table. His motion was seconded by Mr. Anslow and passed.
Mr. Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the information summary for case #668069.
Sandra Erwin stated the application is for area variances being requested by James and Barbara Stengle for property at 3764/1403 Overlook Drive and also being lots 101 and 103 Catawba Orchard Beach Subdivision. The property is presently zoned “R-3”. The request is to allow area variances permitting an accessory building larger than the required square footage allowed and higher than the allowed maximum height. The proposed square footage of all accessory buildings on the property would be 980 square feet instead of the required 750 square feet with a maximum height of 27 1/2 feet instead of the required 15 feet. All notifications have been made, it was properly advertised, and there was no notarized correspondence. Mrs. Erwin identified there were two pieces of correspondence that were not notarized that were provided to the Board members. One was from the adjoining property owner and the other from the Homeowner’s Association.
Mr. Baugh asked who was in attendance to discuss the variance request. Kevin Kenny introduced himself as Mr. Stengle attorney and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Kenny stated the application is pretty straight-forward. Mr. Stengle wants to build a two-story garage similar to his neighbor’s garage. The contiguous neighbors do not oppose the variance application. The Homeowner’s Association has approved the request on two separate occasions. The owner is proposing to make a significant investment in the property. His family is growing and he needs additional living area.
Jack DeVore asked if there were any architectural drawing. Mr. Stengle was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Stengle stated the drawing were included in his application. Mr. DeVore acknowledged he had these drawings. Mr. Stengle stated the lot was vacant and contiguous to his lot. It was full of weeds and used to store boat trailers. The neighbors had allowed the overgrowth to occur. Mr. Stengle combined the lots by affidavit through the help of Mr. Wehenkel. He will be making a significant investment with a new patio in the rear. He intends to move here permanently in the next few years. The proposed garage will match his house and blend in with the other structures in the area and be a nice addition to the neighborhood.
Mr. Stengle stated his garage is 30’ by 30’ while the neighbors is 27’ by 30’ His garage will be 27 ½ feet tall versus the neighbor’s garage that is 26 ½ feet tall. Jack DeVore clarified the two lots had been combined. Mr. Stengle stated that was correct. Mr. Stengle explained the location of the two lots and stated the vacant lot where the garage is going will actually be bigger that his house lot. Doug Blackburn asked if the affidavit process was completed. Mr. Wehenkel stated it has been recorded at the Courthouse. Mr. Blackburn stated the wording in the Affidavit is a little misleading.
Mr. Anslow asked where the boat trailers that are stored on the lot will be relocated. Mr. Stengle stated he has two of the trailers. The remainder will need to be relocated to the owner’s lots. Mr. Blackburn asked what the second floor of the garage will be used for. Mr. Stengle stated it will be a guest house with a couch, bathroom, and open room. Bryan Baugh clarified the Homeowner’s Association support the proposal. Mr. Stengle stated that was correct.
Bryan Baugh swore in Mark Waltz. Mr. Waltz stated he is on the Homeowner’s Association committee and he cast the lone no vote. The garage that Mr. Stengle is using for a comparison is not legal and was never completed as called for on the zoning permit. Using it as a reference is not the right thing to do. The garage was supposed to be attached to the house but never was attached. His concern is that there are other vacant lots in the subdivision that could result in similar situations and additional variance requests. The struggle is the precedent that is being set by allowing this variance. Other individuals have had to attach their garages in order to have them.
Mr. Anslow was curious how close Mr. Waltz lives to the property in question. Mr. Waltz stated his home is the corner adjacent to the drive and used a map to further reflect his home. Mr. Baugh asked if the concern is the fact that the home is not attached to the garage. Mr. Waltz stated that is his main concern. The Association has stopped others from doing this. His real concern is the precedence it sets. Mr. Baugh stated each case reviewed by the Board stands on its own merit. In this case, the neighbors don’t oppose it, the Association has given its blessing, and a bad situation is being made better.
Mr. Baugh asked for any additional testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing.
Mr. DeVore stated the applicant has room and could attach the garage to the house. Mr. Blackburn asked Mr. Stengle why he was not attaching the garage to the house. Mr. Stengle stated there is a patio on the rear of the house. He would lose the patio and a large tree if he tried to attach it. There is also a slight hill and easement that could be troublesome. If it were attached, the bedroom windows would be blocked. Basically, it would destroy his back yard. It blends in as proposed. It would cost about another $50,000 to attach it to the house.
Tom Anslow asked Mr. Waltz if his main concern was the fact that it was not attached or if the proposed height was the main issue. Mr. Waltz stated the Association By-Laws call for a maximum height of fifteen feet and five feet from lot lines. Mr. Anslow stated the height is the main objection. Mr. Waltz stated just putting garages on individual lots without the residence is contrary to the By-Laws.
Bryan Baugh stated the hearing was closed, but that the Board members could questions the individuals that have testified. He stated he has no issue with either the height or square footage. Sandra Erwin agreed stating it would fit in nicely and look as nice as if it was combined. Mr. Anslow concurred stating the 900 square feet is not a problem. The height is more of a concern for him. In addition, he too has some concern over the language in the affidavit. Mr. Wehenkel stated the language was prepared by the County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Mr. Anslow stated he felt it says minimum zoning size requirements and should say minimum zoning regulations. Mr. Anslow stated the Board can establish additional conditions as part of its approval process.
Mr. Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the Finding of Fact. The Board answered yes to questions 1, 5, 6, & 7. The Board answered no to questions 3 & 4. A majority of the Board answered yes to question #1.
Mr. Wehenkel suggested the Board consider voting on the application as two requests – one for the size and one for the height. After general discussion, the Board felt one motion would be sufficient for the case. Mr. Baugh requested a motion on case #668069. Doug Blackburn moved to approve case #668069 as presented. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of the August 13, 2014 minutes.
Jack DeVore moved to approve the minutes of the August 13, 2014 meeting as presented. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed with Tom Anslow and Doug Blackburn abstaining.
Mr. Wehenkel informed the Board that the Harbor Park Marina Homeowner’s Association had voted at their annual meeting to not receive applications for improvements within Harbor Park Marina Subdivision from October 1st to April 1st of each year. Mr. Wehenkel stated the Board of Zoning Appeals is mandated by Ohio law to meet certain “due process” requirements and he felt the Board could not just delay a variance request based upon the Association’s decision. The Board members concurred with that opposition and requested Mr. Wehenkel prepare a letter to be sent to the Association so stating that position. Mr. Wehenkel stated he would draft a letter and email it to the Board members for their review prior to mailing it to the Association.
Jack Devore moved to adjourn the meeting. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
Bryan Baugh Sandra Erwin