MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
February 11, 2015
John B. Callahan
Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Board members were introduced by Chairman Bryan Baugh and included: Sandy Erwin, Doug Blackburn, Jack DeVore and alternate member Tim McKenna. Jack Zeigler and Shelly Stively, alternate member, were absent. Mr. Baugh then introduced Matt Montowski, Township Trustee, and Patty Cable. Mr. Baugh read through the procedure to be followed for the meeting. He then asked if there were any questions regarding the procedure by those in attendance and there were no questions.
Mr. Baugh asked the secretary, Sandra Erwin, to read the information for the case to be discussed.
Case # 668127
Mrs. Erwin stated that the case is a request for area variances being requested by Suzanne and John B. Callahan for property at 5533 E. Channel Drive and also known as Lot 128 Johnson’s Landing Subdivision B. The property is zoned R-3. The request is to allow area variances permitting the placement of a storage building from the required thirty-five foot front yard setback to thirty-three feet, allow a maximum height variance from the required fifteen feet to fifteen and one-half feet, and to allow an accessory building on a lot that does not have a principal building. The Callahan’s residence is across street from the vacant lot and they would like to build an accessory building to store their boats. All fees have been paid and there is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict with this case and there were no conflicts.
Mr. Baugh then asked who was in attendance to represent this case. Mr. Callahan was recognized and sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Mr. Callahan stated that he would like to build a garage for boat storage in winter as he and his brother-in-law currently have boats stored on Mr. Callahan’s vacant lot. He would like to have water and sewer run to the building as well as gas and electric. His home is too compact for a washer and dryer and he would like to have those in the accessory building. Mr. Baugh asked if Mr. Callahan intended to have a loft or living area in the building. Mr. Callahan had no plans for either a loft or living area, but he would like to have a toilet in the building. Mr. Baugh asked what type of building, and Mr. Callahan responded that it would be a metal building, probably wood framing with metal roof and siding along with garage doors on each end and a man door on one side.
Mr. Baugh stated the main variance request is having an accessory building on the lot without a principal building and that the Board does not review these lightly. Mr. Baugh confirmed with Mr. Callahan that a discussion had occurred with Walter Wehenkel, Zoning Inspector, about combining the two lots. He asked Mr. Callahan if he would be willing to sign an affidavit to combine the two lots, as they are presently not connected in any way. Mr. Callahan stated that he would sign an affidavit to combine the lots. Mr. Baugh then opened the questioning to the Board.
Mr. DeVore wanted it to be clear that Mr. Callahan was combining both lots into one deed. Mr. Baugh stated he was not combining the lots into one deed because they are two separate lots. Mr. McKenna said he is combining the lots so they can’t be sold separately. Mr. Baugh agreed, but stated they would still be two separate lots. The lots cannot be combined in any other way. Mr. Blackburn agreed that a signed affidavit would be appropriate. Sandy Erwin confirmed the lots are separate and divided by the road.
Mr. Blackburn then questioned which road was considered the front of the lot. If it is on Channel Drive, he asked if this building should or could be aligned with the other buildings on the street. Mr. Baugh confirmed that the lot frontage was on Channel Drive. Mr. Blackburn stated that if the front of the building were aligned with the other buildings on the street it would eliminate one of the variance requests. By moving the front of the building back two feet it would comply with the thirty-five foot front yard setback. Mr. McKenna said the rear yard setback is twenty-five feet, so there is room to move the building back and still comply with that setback as well. Mr. Callahan agreed to amend the distance of the front of the building to a thirty-five foot front setback instead of the requested thirty-three feet.
Mr. Blackburn questioned the reason behind the fifteen and one-half foot building height. Mr. Callahan responded that he was concerned about his brother-in-law’s boat fitting in the building. Mr. McKenna stated with the building size of thirty by forty feet and a height of fifteen and one-half feet with a fourteen foot door, the roof would have a standard pitch for that size building. Mr. Blackburn added that the roof is a four to twelve pitch, and asked if it might be a gabled roof to add more interior space. Mr. Callahan stated he wanted to be sure his brother-in-law’s boat would fit, but was somewhat unsure of the height needed for the boat.
Mr. Baugh asked if there were any more questions before he closed the hearing to the floor, and stated again that Mr. Callahan agreed to amend the front yard setback to thirty-five feet with the rear setback now at thirty-one feet. The only concern now is the six inch variance in the height of the building. Jake DeVore said it seemed cut and dried with nothing substantial and he was ok with the six inch height variance. Mr. Baugh stated that he thought it would clean up the lot and it matches other homes and buildings on the street. He also stated the Callahan’s are willing to sign the affidavit to combine the lots.
Mr. Blackburn had one more question. He asked if the goal was to fit two boats in the building. Mr. Callahan feels he has the height needed, but he might think about checking the boats to determine if they will actually fit. Otherwise the Board will make their decision on the requested variance. Mr. Baugh stated if the boat does not fit, Mr. Callahan will need to file another variance request to increase the height. Mr. Baugh asked that Sandy Erwin read the Finding of Fact.
Sandy Erwin read the finding of fact. All Board members were in agreement with the exception of question #6. Mr. DeVore believed there was another alternative available.
Mr. Baugh then asked for a motion, but stated it should include “subject to a signed affidavit”, as well as the amended front yard setback of thirty-five feet. Jack DeVore made motion to accept the variance request as amended requiring a signed affidavit and with the front yard setback of thirty-five feet. Mr. Blackburn seconded the motion. The motion was passed and the variance was approved, pending the signing of the affidavit. (Following the vote, the Callahan’s signed the affidavit combining the two lots on Channel Drive, so they could erect an accessory building on lot 128 that does not have a primary structure.)
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Baugh then addressed the subject of the minutes from the previous meeting in January. Tim McKenna moved to approve the minutes of the January 14, 2015 meeting of the Board as mailed. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed with Doug Blackburn abstaining from the vote.
Matt Montowski spoke briefly about the quarterly Ottawa County township meeting held. There are associate memberships at a cost of $10.00 per person and the membership includes a subscription to the Ohio Township Association. He proposed to the Trustees that the zoning boards might consider the value of attending the meeting along with the information in the magazine and asked the zoning board members to consider doing this.
Bryan Baugh then addressed the concern and precedent established for accessory buildings on lots without a primary structure, but with a neighboring or contiguous lot having the same owner. It is important to maintain consistency to prevent any future conflict. He stated the board’s decision this evening was aided by the use of the affidavit.
Jack DeVore moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Tim McKenna. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Bryan Baugh Sandra Erwin