MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
October 14, 2015
George & Tracy Jacin
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, Doug Blackburn and Tim McKenna, Alternate. 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. There were none.
Case # 008610 – George & Tracy Jacin, Trustees
Chairman Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the information for this case. Mrs. Erwin stated the request is for area variances being requested by George and Tracy Jacin, Trustees, for property at 5127 E. Dane Ave and also known as sublot 13 of Danevang Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “C-2”. The request would allow area variances from the required side yard setback and lot coverage requirements to allow an awning to be placed over an existing driveway. The required side yard setback is 5 feet and the request is for a reduction to 10 inches. The allowed lot coverage is 39% and the applicant is requesting a lot coverage of 52.93%. All fees have been paid and notifications mailed. There is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any member of the Board had a conflict of interest concerning the case. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to address the request. George Jacin introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Mr. Jacin stated he hired a contractor to erect the awning. He was unaware a permit was required and assumed the contractor had addressed those issues. He stated he was going to personally do some home improvements on another structure he owns on Dane Avenue and called the zoning office to determine what was needed. He scheduled an appointment and the zoning inspector drove out to that address. At that time, the zoning inspector saw the awning being constructed on the other home owned by him and his wife. The zoning inspector questioned him about the awning at their meeting. Mr. Jacin stated he thought the company got the permit.
Mr. Jacin stated he did not build the house that the awning was being connected to, but purchased it. He stated he asked for permission from the homeowner’s association to install the awning and that permission was granted. The builder never said anything about getting a zoning permit. Bryan Baugh asked who the builder was. Mr. Jacin stated it was Daycraft. Mr. Baugh asked when the Jacin’s purchased the home. Mr. Jacin stated it was in 2010. Mr. Baugh asked if the Jacins owned other lots in the subdivision. Mr. Jacin stated that they did own several properties.
Jack Devore stated the property must be jinxed. He stated a previous owner needed an after the fact variance for an accessory building. Now the present owner needs an after the fact permit for the awning. Mr. Blackburn stated he has similar thoughts as Mr. DeVore. Mr. Jacin stated he was not aware of the need for a zoning permit to be obtained.
Mrs. Erwin stated she was appreciative of the efforts made to address any drainage issues that might result from the installation of the awning. Mr. Zeigler stated it bothers the Board members when these things happen. Mr. Jacin stated he was getting permits for the home improvements he was going to make. He just thought the company did that. There was nothing in his contract stating it was his responsibility to get local zoning/building permits. Mr. Zeigler stated the variance requests are for substantial setback and lot coverage changes. Mrs. Erwin stated the lot coverage does not concern her as the driveway was already there. She stated she realized the definition of lot coverage does not include driveways, but it still is not a concern to her. She reiterated the owner is taking care of the drainage from the awning.
Bryan Baugh stated the Board is always skeptical about variance requests that are “after the fact” requests. The request looks substantial in his mind, though he noted there are similar awnings in the subdivision. Mr. Blackburn asked the owner if he was finished with the improvements. Mr. Jacin stated that he was finished. Mr. Blackburn stated fire protection is his greatest concern as there is limited space between the adjoining buildings. The lot coverage is not irrelevant with the concrete already in place. He asked if the owners had any intentions to close in the area under the awning. Mr. Jacin stated there were no such plans. The awning was installed only to allow them to get out of the rain and hot sun. The house has four bedrooms and they do not need additional living space. Mr. Blackburn asked about screening. Mr. Jacin stated that was not planned.
Mr. Wehenkel stated the applicant sought the approval of the homeowner’s association and it was granted in early September. The appearance was that they were trying to comply with regulations. Mr. Wehenkel talked to the adjoining lot owner and he was not opposed to the awning. Mr. Wehenkel talked to the President of the homeowner’s association requesting better communication and teamwork in the future for building projects.
Chairman Baugh swore in Tracy Jacin. Mrs. Jacin questioned if the previous owner had a zoning permit for the shed. Mr. DeVore stated he did not, just as in the case of the awning. The same circumstances existed then that exist now.
Mr. Baugh asked for any additional testimony. There was none. Chairman Baugh closed the hearing to the public. He asked for any additional Board comments. There were none. He requested Sandra Erwin read the finding of fact. The Board members all voted yes to questions #1 & #7. They all voted no to question #3. The majority voted yes to questions 2 & #6 and the majority voted no to questions #4 and #5.
Chairman Baugh requested a motion for case #008610. Mr. Blackburn moved to approve case #008610 with the stipulation that it could never be enclosed or screened and that no landscaping be planted along the property line that it adjoins. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a 3 to 1 vote.
Approval of the September 9, 2015 Minutes
Mr. Baugh asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 9, 2015 meeting. Jack Zeigler moved to approve the minutes as mailed. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Mr. Baugh stated the zoning inspector had requested the Board members inspect the landscaping installed at 5700 Twinbeach Road. The zoning inspector wanted to make sure the Board’s requirements for landscaping were being met. Three Board members stated they had reviewed it and felt it was acceptable. Mr. DeVore stated several adjoining neighbors stated it was fine with them.
Mr. DeVore noted that if another similar request was submitted in the future, the Board may want to consider a greater front yard setback to eliminate some of the appearance of an industrial setting. Mr. McKenna stated the Board approved the building as it is located to eliminate boat storage in front of it. A general discussion followed concerning abandoned boats in marinas and the problems they create not only for the owners of the marina, but for township zoning. The conclusion was it would be a monumental task to try and enforce regulations dealing with abandoned boats.
Jack DeVore moved to adjourn the meeting. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary