Minutes: June 25th, 2014

Minutes of the Catawba Island Township Zoning Commission Meeting
June 25, 2014


Matt Montowski
Jack DeVore
Flint Heidlebaugh
Lee Short
Deborah & John Meister
Diane Price
John Pekar
Jack & Ginger Grummel
Terry Delia
Greg Hart

Chairman Paul Shaw called the meeting of the Catawba Island Township Zoning Commission to order at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Shaw introduced the rest of the Commission members in attendance. They included Jordan Davenport, Vice Chairman, Stephen Lonneman, and Ron Wiseman. He also introduced Walter Wehenkel, the Zoning Inspector and Zoning Commission Secretary, and Matt Montowski, Township Trustee. Mr. Shaw noted that Curtis Baxter was not in attendance and requested alternate Tim McKenna assume his seat on the Commission for the evening.
Mr. Shaw welcomed those in attendance and stated the Zoning Commission appreciated their interest. He stated this is a public meeting, so debates or talking to each other would not be permitted. He asked if those in attendance had signed the register. He identified that any person wishing to speak must be recognized by the chairperson and identify themselves by name and address for the record. He requested that all cell phones be turned off or muted. He then requested all those in attendance stand and join in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Shaw suggested the agenda for the meeting be as follows:
1) Application #668034: Croghan Colonial Bank rezoning request for Lots 24, 32, & 41 of Gem Beach 2 (presently the vacated Yacht Club) from the “A” district to the “C-4” district.
2) The reading and approval of our last meeting minutes from February 26, 2014 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.
Mr. Shaw requested a motion that the Commission consider Application #668034: Croghan Colonial Bank rezoning request for Lots 24, 32, & 41 of Gem Beach 2 (presently the vacated Yacht Club) from the “A” district to the “C-4” district. Jordan Davenport so moved. His motion was seconded by Stephen Lonneman and passed unanimously.
Mr. Shaw asked if any member of the Commission had a personal or professional conflict concerning the case. There were none.
Mr. Shaw read the recommendation letter from the Regional Planning Commission. The Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request. Mr. Shaw asked Mr. Wehenkel if he had any correspondence on the case. Mr. Wehenkel stated several people were in or called, but he had no written correspondence.
Mr. Shaw stated there was no legal description with the application. Mr. Wehenkel stated there was no metes and bounds description as the lots are platted lots in an existing subdivision.
Mr. Shaw asked the applicant to present his case to the Commission. Lee Short introduced himself as the architect. His client, Terry Delia, is the purchaser of the property. Mr. Delia was in attendance. Mr. Delia has made an offer to purchase the property contingent upon the zoning changes and variances being approved by the Township. Croghan Colonial Bank presently owns the property.
Mr. Short stated the plan is to convert the building into a triplex condominium. The second story unit would be about 3,000 square feet and it would be offered for sale. The first floor would have two units that would contain 1,500 square feet each and these units would be rented. In addition, the single story portion of the existing building will be converted into a garage for the owner of the second floor unit. The existing shell will not change. Windows will be added on the back side. The inside will be renovated.
Mr. Short showed a profile picture and drawing to the Commission members and then to the audience. The curb line in the front of the building will be reestablished and a total of thirteen parking spaces will be retained. Two parking spaces per unit are required. The balance of the front area, about 40%, will be turned into green space. The green roof will be retained, but new windows will be installed. A stair case to the second floor will be added on the outside. Mr. Short stated variances would be required for the conversion to occur, but the zoning change needs to be approved first.
Jordan Davenport stated the original application stated five to six condominium units, but the applicant has now stated three. Mr. Short stated the original plan was downsized when the second floor unit was considered for sale. The owner’s goal was to create a smaller impact by selling the second floor as one unit and renting two units on the first floor. The applicant met with Mr. Wehenkel several times looking at all of the alternatives. Rentals in the “R-4” District are not allowed and so “C-4” was the logical choice. There is a lot of “C-4” zoning in Gem Beach.
Tim McKenna asked if there would be other changes to the outside of the building besides the windows. Mr. Short stated the building does not meet any setbacks, lot coverage, etc, but there are no additions planned to the structure.
Mr. Shaw opened the discussion up to those in attendance.
Diane Price of 3030 A Street stated she lives behind the building. There is a back door and there is very little room between the door and the lot line. The door was needed for access. Mrs. Price wondered what would happen to the door with the renovation. Mr. Short stated the redevelopment plan falls under the Ohio Residential Code for building permits. Only one door is required for access so that back door will likely be eliminated. Windows will likely be added, but will serve bedroom and should not create issues for the neighbors. Mrs. Price asked about the gutter on the back of the building. They drain onto the ground and ultimately into the yards. She wondered if the roof was changing. Mr. Short stated there would be no changes to the building including the roof. Mrs. Price stated that the Yacht Club put in perforated pipe to help with the drainage. She hoped that the new owner would reexamine its functionality. Mr. Short state he was not surprised by Mrs. Price’s request. He stated the owner would evaluate the situation and look at possible solutions. Mrs. Price asked if there were any plans for the rear four and one-half feet. Terry Delia said there are no plans right now. There is a garden there. Mrs. Price said there is up to the wall. Mr. Delia said there are no plans where the garden is located.
Deborah Meister stated she lives at 3080 N. A Street. She asked about the air conditioning units in the four foot space behind the building. She said they are loud and their bedroom faces that direction. She asked if they will be replaced. Mr. Short the air conditioning units would likely go away and smaller units would be installed to replace them which are much quieter. Only one will be needed on the north end with the balance moved to the seven foot side. Mrs. Meister asked if the door would stay. Mr. Short stated it would likely go away. The building on that side was built without windows and Mr. Delia will be adding windows to that side.
Ginger Grummel of 2950 Bluff Ridge Drive stated she supports Terry’s plan for the redevelopment of the building, but is concerned with the need for commercial zoning. Mr. Short stated the commercial zoning is required for the rental of the units on a weekly basis. The “R-4”, “R-5”, “R-6” and “PUD” Districts were all looked at as alternatives to the “C-4” zoning, but they prohibit weekly rentals. To grant a variance for weekly rentals in one of those districts would allow other properties to request a similar variance. Ginger Grummel stated if the property is changed to “C-4”, and the project is not successful, her concern is what uses could be put into the building. Mr. Wehenkel stated any use that is listed as a permitted use could go into the building, subject to meeting the other zoning regulations.
Jordan Davenport asked for a clarification from Mrs. Grummel as to her major concern. Mrs. Grummel stated parking is her major concern. Paul Shaw stated people need to come in to the township, discuss their plan and get permits. Mrs. Grummel stated the property would already be zoned commercial. Stephen Lonneman likened it to a “chicken and egg” scenario. The rezoning is required to allow the redevelopment. The Commission needs to believe the proposal is feasible and take the request on good faith. A risk exists, no matter what the zoning classification might be. Deborah Price asked why the change is needed in the first place. It is grandfathered in. There have been weekly rentals for years in Gem Beach. Jordan Davenport stated he read the permitted uses in the present “A” zoning district and multi-family dwellings are not listed. Therefore, the zoning change is necessary.
Ginger Grummel asked if there are other options available to accomplish the proposal. Mr. Wehenkel stated a use variance could be requested to allow multi-family in the “A” district. Changing to a residential district that allows multi-family dwelling was already discussed and would like open “Pandora’s Box” with a flood of other projects wanting to go to weekly rentals. Ginger Grummel stated she would support Terry Delia in the use variance option.
Flint Heidelbaugh of Twinbeach Road stated he is in support of Terry Delia’s proposal and the rezoning request. It is a good project and will fit in well within the neighborhood. Terry Delia stated the reason he is before the Commission is the fact that the property is not zoned commercial. The bank thought it was commercial. The real estate agent listed it as commercial. It was only after the offer to purchase was made that Mr. Wehenkel was consulted and it was discovered that the property was zoned “A”. Someone made a mistake.
John Pekar stated he too is in favor of the proposal. He has property that is zoned “A”. With a use variance, if you give it to one person, you have to give it to everyone. He believes the “C-4” district is the correct way to go.
There being no other comments from the audience, Mr. Shaw closed the discussion to the floor. Mr. Shaw asked for discussion among the Commission members. Jordan Davenport stated it is a large building on a small lot in the “A” district. There is quite a mixture of zoning in the Gem Beach area. A “C-4” zoning near a marina makes sense and it meets what Catawba Island is trying to do in the land use plan. It is a logical use of the property and building. The “C-4” zoning is not controversial. Ron Wiseman agreed with Mr. Davenport’s statement entirely. If the zoning is changed and the plan is not followed, they cannot convert back to another use without meeting the zoning requirements. It is a good plan. Stephen Lonneman stated he is in agreement with everything that has been said. This project is one street over from a condominium project. Tim McKenna stated the proposed change is better than the exception that has been discussed and he believes the applicant intends to proceed with the project.
Paul Shaw stated the request has been made in application #668034: Croghan Colonial Bank rezoning request for Lots 24, 32, & 41 of Gem Beach Subdivision 2 (presently the vacated Yacht Club) from the “A” district to the “C-4” district. He requested a motion on application #668034. Jordan Davenport moved to recommend the requested rezoning be approved. Ron Wiseman seconded the motion. Mr. Shaw stated a “yes” vote indicates you are in favor of recommending the proposed change in zoning from the “A” district to the “C-4” district as requested in Application # 668034 be presented to the Catawba Island Township Trustees for their consideration, a “no” vote indicates you do not favor the proposed change. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Shaw stated the proposed application will be submitted to the Catawba Island Township Trustees for their consideration. The date of this meeting is July 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
At this time, we will move on to the approval of our prior meeting minutes from the February 26, 2014 meeting. Those of you in the audience are welcomed to stay, if you like. Mr. Shaw requested a motion on approving the minutes. Tim McKenna moved to approve the minutes as mailed. Ron Wiseman seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously with Ron Wiseman abstaining.
Jordan Davenport moved to adjourn the meeting. Stephen Lonneman seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

Walter C. Wehenkel