MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
July 8, 2015
Jack & Ginger Grummel
Brenden & Erin Astley
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, Jack Zeigler, Jack DeVore and Doug Blackburn. Mr. Baugh then introduced Walter Wehenkel, Township Zoning Inspector, and Matt Montowski, Township Trustee. Mr. Baugh read through the procedure to be followed for the meeting. He asked if there were any questions regarding the procedure by those in attendance. Mr. Paul Prete asked about the approval timeframe and the zoning permit timeline. Mr. Baugh stated action would be taken this evening, but no zoning permit can be issued until tonight’s meeting minutes are approved on August 12th.
Mr. Baugh requested a motion to remove case #668161 from the table. Jack DeVore so moved. His motion was seconded by Jack Zeigler and passed.
Case #668161 – Leroy and Shannon Frantz
Mr. Baugh asked the secretary, Sandra Erwin, to read the information for this case. Mrs. Erwin stated the property is located at 1647 N. Anchor Ave and is also known as Lot 82 of Harbor Park Marina in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-4”. The request is to allow area variances from the required side and rear setbacks. The required rear yard setback of 25 feet is being reduced to 18.6 feet and the required side yard setback is being reduced from five feet to one foot. A new home will replace the existing home. All fees have been paid and proper notifications have been made. There was a notarized document that was presented to you last month from the Homeowner’s Association.
Bryan Baugh asked if there was any conflict of interest by any Board member. There was none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss this application. Shannon Frantz introduced herself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Mrs. Frantz presented the Board with a signed copy of the Homeowner’s Association approval for the revised plan. She had bigger size drawings that she laid out on the table for the Board members to review.
Mrs. Frantz stated the pins/flags are based upon a survey that was done. After last month’s meeting they reevaluated the lot and proposed home and decided to shorten the home by two feet. That made a significant difference. The side yard setback is no longer required as they are now five feet off the lot line. The rear yard setback is now at twenty-two feet, three inches instead of the previous measurement of eighteen feet, three inches.
Mr. Baugh asked if there were questions from any Board member. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked if anyone in attendance had any testimony or questions. There were none. Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing.
Doug Blackburn stated the applicant did what they had to do to build a new home on the lot. Bryan Baugh stated the variance request was minimal at this time. Jack Zeigler agreed. Bryan Baugh requested Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board all responded yes to questions #1, #5, and #7. The Board unanimously voted no on questions #2, #3, and #4. There were four yes voted and one no vote on question #6.
Jack Zeigler moved to approve case #668161 as amended with only a rear yard setback variance. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Case #668174 - Kimberly and Bradley Disandis
Bryan Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the information for the second case. She stated the request is for area variances being requested by Kimberly Disandis, Trustee, for property at 2715 E. Sand Road and also known as Lot 20 of Crescent Beach Subdivision B in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3”. The request is to allow an area variance from the required side yard setbacks for a principal building. The required side yard setback of six feet on each side is being reduced to five feet, three inches on each side. A new home will be constructed on the lot if the variances are approved. All notifications have been made and the fees have been paid. There was no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any member had a conflict of interest with this request. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss this request. Mr. Paul Prete introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh.
Mr. Prete stated he is a contractor from Vermillion. He was hired to evaluate the existing structure for either rehabilitation or replacement. Based upon requirements of the federal flood insurance program, the owner decided on the replacement option. Mr. Prete stated he called Mary Gardner, Portage Township Zoning Inspector, last fall and obtained the necessary zoning information and began the design of the new home. This spring when he contacted Mrs. Gardner, she realized the lot was in Catawba Township and not in Portage Township. She sent the owner to see Mr. Wehenkel.
Mr. Wehenkel advised that there is a six foot setback for the zoning district in which the property is located, and therefore, the variance request. The present structure that will be removed is 1’ 7” on one side and 2’ 4” on the other side. So the request is minimal and an improvement over what presently exists.
Bryan Baugh stated the drawing that was submitted is pretty small in scale. Mr. Prete shared a larger version of the drawing with the Board. Mr. Prete stated the existing building is shaded on the drawing and the new building is outlined with bold line. Mr. Baugh noted the drawing clearly shows it is “tight” today on the sides and the new building will make it much better. Mr. Prete stated they are moving it back a bit as well. Jack Zeigler asked if there were any side entrances/exits as stairs sometimes create issues. Mr. Prete stated there are no side exits or stairs.
Jack DeVore asked about the setback from the water. Bryan Baugh stated the drawing shows the existing home at six feet, four inches and the new home will be at eleven feet, five inches. Mr. Prete stated it might be moved back a bit further with the final drawings. Mr. Wehenkel noted the setback from the water is established by the existing structures on each side. That is why it is not included as part of the variance request. Mr. Baugh asked if anyone else in attendance had testimony or questions on this case. No one did. Mr. Baugh closed the public hearing.
Bryan Baugh requested questions from the Board members. There were none. Mr. Baugh stated the request is truly minimal and requested Sandra Erwin read the Finding of Fact. The Board members all voted yes to questions #1, #6, and #7. They all voted no to questions #2, #3, #4, and #5.
Jack Devore moved to approve case #668174 as submitted and presented. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Case #668169 – Gregory Hart, Trustee
Bryan Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the information concerning the third case. Mrs. Erwin stated the request is for an area variance being requested by Gregory Hart, Trustee, for property at 3266 N. East Catawba and also known as parcel number 0131470215895001 in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “C-2”. The request is to allow an area variance from the required side yard setbacks for a principal building. The required side yard setback of 20 feet is being reduced to 10 foot. An existing cooler, previously approved as an accessory structure, will be incorporated into the main building as part of the principal structure.
All fees have been paid and the proper notifications made. There is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest on the request. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss this case. Mr. Lee Short introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Lee Short asked if he could approach the table. He stated the Orchard is becoming a very popular restaurant. The owner, Nikolai Blumensaadt, is in attendance this evening. He is trying to keep up with the growing business. In June, the restaurant added the walk-in cooler. It was permitted as an accessory structure and the necessary permits were obtained. It was constructed in such a fashion that it could be enclosed in the future. If the variance request being discussed this evening is approved, the cooler will be enclosed on the east, west, and south sides and made a part of the kitchen area.
In mid-June of this year, the owner received a zoning permit to construct an outdoor bar and eating area behind the main building. As part of that project, the owner decided to upgrade the parking area and created additional spaces closer to the building. The stone is in place, but it has not yet been paved.
The present request includes enclosing the cooler with the wall being ten feet from the south lot line. He used a drawing to show the roof line of the structure that would cover the cooler. He stated the owner is also fencing in the area out the back door of the kitchen as this area has a tendency to collect items each day that are not appealing to look at. He stated the addition will have barn siding and not vinyl.
Mr. Short stressed that the existing cooler is a legal accessory structure today, but if it is incorporated into the main building as proposed, the variance will be needed. The roof will slope to the south. Any runoff will be handled as well as possible based upon the existing drainage limitations. The outside dining area will absorb some of the runoff now that the asphalt has been removed. The parking area will take its drainage to the west.
Mr. Baugh asked if the Board members had any questions. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked if anyone in attendance had any questions or comments. Bob Pudelski introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Pudelski stated he owns Rudders next door. He had two questions which might be answered by viewing the drawings. Mr. Short shared the drawings with Mr. Pudelski. Mr. Pudelski stated he has no problems with the scope of the project or with the ten foot side setback request. His first concern is over the limitation or scope of the variance. He wondered if it is for this addition only or if a future addition to the building could be built using this variance. Mr. Blackburn stated the only permission the owner would obtain is what is presented this evening. Mr. Pudelski asked if they could come back again. Mr. Blackburn stated if they filed another variance application, it would be considered by the Board at that time.
Mr. Pudelski stated his second concern deals with the drainage and where it will go. There is limited opportunity for the drainage. There is no good outlet available. There is a swale between his property and the Orchard. When they built the patio, the owner was supposed to address the issue. However, the ground and dirt washed into the swale filling it up. It does not drain as well as it used to drain. The water needs to get to State Route 53. Piping would be a much better alternative to the open swale. Landscaping with a retaining wall would improve the situation. Lee Short agreed the present situation was not well designed and a retaining wall is needed to stabilize the bank. Even rip-rap would be a more positive approach. Mr. Pudelski stated his greater concern is for the safety of the customers on the deck if it were to break off or collapse.
Mr. Pudelski stated the Orchard is good for his business and vice versa. Bryan Baugh stated drainage is not really a part of zoning, but rather, a civil matter between property owners. Mr. DeVore asked Mr. Short if he considered the drainage issue when he designed the cooler. Mr. Short stated he was unaware that the Orchard property drained to the east. The removal of the pavement for the outdoor eating area may help and add also additional drainage area for absorption. Green strips might also help with the flow of the drainage. Mr. Pudelski stated there is a low spot in the back corner. Mr. DeVore wondered if a French drain might solve the problem. Mr. Pudelski stated there is no viable outlet to take the water from the French drain.
Nikolai Blumensaadt was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Blumensaadt stated the drainage issue is not up for discussion with this variance request. Mr. Pudelski stated he supports the variance application but still has concern over the drainage issue. Mr. Blackburn stated that once the structure is in place, the two property owners should look at options. A different roof style might help. Mr. Baugh wondered if that might be an option. Mr. Short stated he could look at redesigning the roof. He did look at a French drain. Striping the topsoil and clay and filling it with fractured limestone might get the drop to disappear more quickly.
Mr. Baugh asked for any additional testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the floor and asked the Board members for comments. Jack DeVore stated the only issue seems to be drainage and the Board has little control over it. Mr. Blackburn stated he likes what is being proposed. It cleans it up nicely and the drainage issue needs to be cooperatively solved by the two property owners. Jack Zeigler and Sandra Erwin both agreed with Mr. Blackburn’s comment.
Mr. Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board members all voted yes to questions #1, #5, & #7. They all voted no to questions #2, and #3. Questions #4 had four no votes and one yes vote, while question #6 had three yes votes and 2 no votes.
Jack Zeigler moved to approve case #668169 as presented. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
5700 Twinbeach Road
Mr. Baugh stated the Board received a request to flip the location of the boat storage building at 5700 E. Twinbeach Road. He asked if any Board member had a conflict in considering the request. Mr. DeVore stated he had a conflict and left the table.
Mr. Baugh stated this use variance was approved at the May meeting. Sandra Erwin stated it is being flipped from one side to the other due to electrical issues with Ohio Edison. The building being moved also adjusts the location of the gate. Mr. Baugh stated he requested the adjoining property owners that attended the last meeting be notified of this request, which Mr. Wehenkel did.
Doug Blackburn stated the proposed location might even be better than the original location. Sandra Erwin stated she believed the revision was acceptable. She moved that the approval of case # 668148 reflect the building being moved from the west side of the lot to the east side of the lot. All other conditions established with the original approval shall remain in effect. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. Mr. Lee Short asked if there was a thirty day waiting period. The Board indicated there was not.
5121 Sloan Street
Mr. Wehenkel stated he received a verbal complaint for a fence that he permitted at 5121 Sloan Street. The applicant was Tomi Johnson, who had requested a use variance to rent a single family home for periods of less than thirty days. It was case #668133 and was approved on April 8, 2015. The Board stipulated a 7 foot privacy fence be constructed along the rear of the property. There is no definition for a privacy fence in the zoning resolution. He provided pictures of the erected fence.
When the application was filed for the fence, the owner discussed the appearance of the fence in light of the existing fence to the east. Mr. Wehenkel visited the site and found the fence to the east was about six feet plus in height. Having the Johnson fence almost a foot higher would not be aesthetically pleasing. Mr. Wehenkel listened to the audio tape of the public hearing and there was discussion about matching the fence height of the Miller Boat Line fence, though it was not included in the motion. Mr. Wehenkel authorized Mr. Johnson to build the fence at about six feet three inches to match the Miller Boat Line fence for aesthetic reasons. Mr. DeVore asked what the real complaint was. Mr. Wehenkel stated Mr. & Mrs. Astley are in attendance and could address that themselves.
Mr. Brendan Astley was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Astley stated the fence was supposed to be seven feet in height and is closer to six feet in height. He does not believe it is a privacy fence as he can see through it. He does not want to deal with issues from the renters. The fence is basically pallets that are turned sideways and nailed to support posts. Mr. Blackburn asked why it needs to be taller than it is now. Mr. Astley stated there are weekly renters and he does not want to deal with them. Mr. Blackburn stated he pulled into the driveway and the fence matches the Miler Boat Line fence and he could not see through it. Mr. Astley stated there are lots of gaps in it. He is not getting along with the Johnson’s. He wants a taller fence that also is a privacy fence.
Jack Zeigler wondered if the concerns are over kids, balls, dogs, etc. from the renters or if it is a privacy issue. Bryan Baugh stated in his mind it is a privacy fence. Doug Blackburn added he could hang a tarp on it and you could not see through it. Mr. Astley stated a seven foot high tarp would be acceptable to him. The Miller fence is solid.
Bryan Baugh swore in Erin Astley. Erin asked if a tarp would qualify as a privacy fence. This is nothing more than wood pallets. She wondered what would happen when it falls apart. The previous owner who sold them the property warned them about the Johnsons. She does not want to fight with her neighbors, but feels she needs to draw a line. The Johnson’s are sticking fish onto the pallets. They are constantly pushing issues. When does she speak up for her rights. By being here this evening, she is trying to set policy for future problems or issues. It is just frustrating for her and her husband.
Bryan Baugh stated there are two questions – privacy and height. Doug Blackburn asked if the spaces were closed in, would the height still be an issue. Mrs. Astley stated her concern is over the quality of materials being used to construct the fence. Mr. Blackburn stated there is no definition in the zoning book for a privacy fence. Jack DeVore stated the quality of the materials used to construct the fence is not a zoning issue.
Erin Astley stated the fence should be neighbor friendly. The “ugly” side of the fence should not face toward the neighbor. Jack Zeigler stated the zoning resolution stated exactly that. Mr. Wehenkel noted the Miller Boat Line fence has the ugly side facing towards the Johnsons.
Bryan Baugh stated he would like to take some time to evaluate the items discussed and take a better look at both sides of the fence. Mr. Astley stated he is concerned about the fence and now the complaints about the trees he planted. Mr. Wehenkel stated the fruit trees Mr. Astley planted are in the road right-of-way and will likely be damaged by snow plows and salt. He stated they needed to be moved so that they did not die.
Jack DeVore asked Mr. Astley if the matching height was really an issue or if it was the gaps in the fence. Mr. Astley stated the gaps are more of a concern to him than the height.
Mr. Baugh stated the Board will continue their discussion concerning the fence at its August 12th meeting.
Approval of Minutes
Doug Blackburn moved to approve the minutes of the June 10, 2015 meeting as mailed. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Mr. Wehenkel noted that drainage issues can be included in zoning approvals depending upon the way the Board discussing them. In the Sharon Tuttle case from last year, the Board spent time discussion drainage and identified it as a concern. Their approval of the case included the words “as presented” which means the drainage concerns that were part of the discussion are inherently included in the approval.
The case this evening for the Orchard request clearly delineated and excluded the drainage from the approval. This is probably a better way to handle drainage issues. Mr. Baugh suggested he and Mr. Wehenkel look into this issue. Other Board members wanted to be involved as well. Mr. Wehenkel will work on some options for the Board to consider.
Doug Blackburn moved to adjourn the meeting. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary