MINUTES OF THE CATAWBA ISLAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
December 9, 2015
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: Jack Zeigler, Jack DeVore, Doug Blackburn and Tim McKenna, Alternate. Mr. Baugh then introduced Walter Wehenkel, Township Zoning Inspector. Chairman Baugh requested Jack Zeigler serve as secretary in the absence of Sandra Erwin. 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 # 008628 – Kevin and Lisa Hoy
Chairman Baugh asked Jack Zeigler to provide the information for the first case. Mr. Zeigler stated the request is for area variances being requested by Kevin and Lisa Hoy for property at 5675 E. Twinbeach Road and also known as sub lot #8 Twin Beach Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3” Residential. The request would allow area variances from the required front yard setback from 35 feet to 15.5 feet, rear yard setback from 25 feet to 9 feet, side yard setback from 5 feet to 4.9 feet, and lot coverage from 36% to 47.5%. The variances would allow an enclosed covered porch to be built over an existing concrete pad in the front of the cottage as well as a garage/mechanical/laundry space to be added to the rear of the cottage. All fees have been paid and there was no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. Jack DeVore stated that he did and took a seat in the audience. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the request. Lee Short, architect, introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Short requested permission to approach the Board and share some drawings with them. Mr. Short stated the owner was present and that he and his wife have owned the structure for about 15 years. It is presently a duplex rental and the Hoys are looking at making it into a four bedroom single family dwelling for their own use. Mr. Short stated they examined various options including a tear down and rebuild and a second floor over the existing structure, but both of these options became cost prohibitive.
The variances would allow a garage and breezeway to the rear of the structure which is to the north with the enclosed porch on the south side of the structure. Mr. Short admitted it is a substantial request when you look at the lot coverage. The front yard setback of 15.5 feet that is proposed puts the renovated structure behind the existing structures to the east and west. Front yard averaging could have been an option, but the applicant decided to just include the front yard setback as a part of the variance request. The side yard setback request is similar to others in the neighborhood. The rear yard is slightly further back than the existing cottages to the east. He stated there are no site line visibility issues for the neighbors to the east backing out of their driveways. The substantial lot coverage is the direct result of the tapered lot and really not caused by the owner, but rather the pre-existing lot.
Bryan Baugh asked for clarification concerning the site line and the garage and street. Lee Short stated the proposed garage is 9 feet off the property line. Lee stated he pulled his vehicle into the lot where the garage was to be built and he was 22 feet off the edge of the pavement. There is off-street parking in the front yard and maybe a space in the driveway. Mr. Baugh asked if both of the existing storage sheds were being removed and Mr. Short stated that they were being removed. He added that the concrete block will be refaced. Mr. Zeigler asked if a survey was done. Mr. Short stated there was a survey done in the last few months and the flags truly reflect the lot corners.
Chairman Baugh asked for additional testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public and opened it up to discussion by the Board members. Doug Blackburn questioned the lot coverage calculation. He believed it was about 51%. Lee Short explained his numbers and the math he used to calculate the lot coverage he requested. Mr. Blackburn did not have his calculations with him. Bryan Baugh stated it is a substandard lot and that the neighborhood has a lot of lots with similar coverages to what was requested. Tim McKenna agreed and stated as you travel to the east there are a lot of similar situations.
Mr. Blackburn agreed that the proposal would enhance the area, but he was concerned the coverage was too much. He asked if the garage could be made smaller or if the porch could remain as it is now. Bryan Baugh stated he believed the site line down the road was acceptable. Mr. Blackburn agreed looking down the road it might be okay, but stated it is not up close. Mr. McKenna stated the lot next to it is almost a mirror image of what is being requested. Lee Short added that the DeVore cottage is slightly in front of the proposed frontage.
Jack Zeigler stated the garage is in the rear. There is some traffic that does exist in the rear as well as kids on bikes. Two cars have a difficult time passing one another on the paved surface. It is very limited in terms of space. Kevin Hoy was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Hoy stated he wished to maximize the potential of the cottage and the garage addition. He could live with the option of not enclosing the front porch and simply adding a roof over the pad. Mr. Blackburn stated it would still be considered as lot coverage with a roof. Mr. Zeigler stated he is more concerned with the rear than the front. Mr. Short stated he tried to maintain the site line while designing the garage addition. Mr. Hoy questioned the site line and car question being raised. Mr. Zeigler stated his concern was if you pull onto Woodland Dr. and there is a car coming from the east, is there clear visibility. With the proposed garage, he wondered if the car coming from the east would be seen. Mr. Hoy stated the traffic moves slowly on the streets He has grandkids and is not worried about them getting hit by a car. Mr. Baugh stated he rides his bike in the neighborhood in the summertime. The houses are close to the paved surface, but he just does not see the concern.
Tim McKenna asked if the lot coverage is similar to other lots. Mr. Blackburn stated this lot is an odd shaped lot. Lee Short added there are a number of 60 feet by 60 feet lots in the Gem Beach area and that it is always problematic. Many lots have a higher than permitted lot coverage. Mr. Baugh added the lots were designed for summer cottages. Mr. Hoy reiterated the other options were cost prohibitive, which is why the current proposal was selected.
Mr. Baugh requested Mr. Zeigler read the Finding of Fact. The Board members all voted yes to questions #1, 2, 5, and 7. They all voted no to questions #3 and 4. Question #6 had two no and 2 yes responses.
Chairman Baugh requested a motion for case #008628. Tim McKenna moved to approve the variances requested as presented. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed two yes votes to one no vote.
Jack DeVore resumed his seat at the table.
Case – Resurrection Lutheran Church
Chairman Baugh requested Jack Zeigler read the case information for the next variance request. Mr. Zeigler stated the applicant is the Resurrection Lutheran Church for property at 2370 N. East Catawba Road and also being located in Section 3, Lot 12 of Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “A” Low Density Residential and is the Resurrection Lutheran Church/John Braun park property. The request would grant an area variance from the size of accessory buildings permitted from 950 square feet to approximately 3,600 square feet. A new storage building containing 1,920 square feet is proposed to be built. There was no fee charged by the Trustees for this variance request. There was no notarized correspondence. Mr. Baugh asked if there was any conflict of interest. There were none.
Chairman Baugh asked who was present to discuss the request. Larry Schultz introduced himself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh. Mr. Schultz stated he has been working at John Braun park for over twenty-five years. Over the years, additional equipment has been added. There is a need for room for more equipment. Presently the equipment is stored in five different locations around the park which is inconvenient to say the least. The new building would centralize equipment under one roof. Mr. Schultz shared some drawing with the Board members.
Mr. Baugh asked for additional testimony. There was none. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public. He opened discussion to the Board members. Jack DeVore stated he felt the building would be a nice improvement. He stated the building looks very nice. Mr. Blackburn agreed stating the community benefits from this facility. He asked if the existing garage would remain. Mr. Schultz stated that it would remain. Tim McKenna agreed that the new building would be a great improvement.
Mr. Baugh requested Jack Zeigler read the Finding of Fact. The Board answered yes to questions #1 and 7. They voted no to questions #2, 3, 4, and 5. There was one yes vote and 4 no votes to question #6.
Mr. Baugh requested a motion for the Resurrection Lutheran Church variance request. Doug Blackburn moved that the variance be approved as presented. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Case # 008630 – John and Celenea Brewer
Bryan Baugh requested Jack Zeigler read the information concerning this case. Mr. Zeigler stated the application involves an area variance being requested by John and Celenea Brewer for property at 3104 N. Dorothy Drive and also known as sub lot #11 of Lemmerman Meadows Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-3” Residential. The request would allow an area variance from the required rear yard setback from 25 feet to 13 feet. The variance would allow an existing single wide manufactured home to be replaced with a new double wide manufactured home. All fees have been paid and there was one piece of non-notarized correspondence that has been provided to the Board members.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest with the case. Mr. DeVore stated he did and sat in the audience. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the request. Heather McCurdy introduced herself and was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.
Ms. McCurdy stated she is in attendance on behalf of Clayton Homes and the applicant. The current single wide mobile home is being replaced with a new model. To fit it on the lot and keep it in line along the street, a rear yard reduction is needed from twenty-five feet to thirteen feet. Mr. Baugh asked if the shed to the south will be removed. Ms. McCurdy stated that it would be removed.
Tim McKenna stated the existing garage is only eight feet from the lot line. Ms. McCurdy stated that was correct and it is legally located, as an accessory building can be closer than a principal building. Mr. Zeigler noted a couple of nice trees will have to be removed. Ms. McCurdy acknowledged that was correct and stated it was unfortunate.
Mr. Baugh requested additional testimony. There was none. Mr. McKenna stated it was a nice upgrade of the housing. Jack Zeigler agreed. Mr. Blackburn also agreed and stated that looking down the rear of the adjoining lots, he saw no problems with this request.
Mr. Baugh asked Mr. Zeigler to 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, and 4. Three voted yes to question #5 and one member voted no.
Mr. Baugh requested a motion on case #008630. Doug Blackburn moved to approved the variance request as presented. Tim McKenna seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Jack DeVore returned to his seat at the table.
Case #008622 – Phyllis Sours
Chairman Baugh stated the Board wanted to readdress this application before acting on the minutes as there have apparently been some changes to the site that might impact the Board’s decision. The cottage was going to have an addition attached to it according to the testimony given during the variance hearing, but now the cottage has been razed and the lot is vacant. He asked who was present to address the situation. Mike Prosser introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh.
Mr. Prosser stated that Mrs. Sours is in attendance along with her three daughters and the contractor, Dan Cosic. The contractor started to remove the roof as part of the reconstruction as the floor of the cottage had to be raised about a foot and a half. The cottage is built of block crete. When the roof was being removed, the block crete walls began to collapse. The collapsed walls were cleaned up and it was determined the existing structure could not be saved.
The work was started to beat the bad weather. The foundation is still there and it will be used for the new structure. The slab is undermined in spots so that will be repaired as well. The plan was to use the existing walls and renovate which is why lot coverage was smaller than allowed. If they had planned to remove the structure, they could have built a bigger cottage and requested a lot coverage variance as well. The front setback averaging would allow the new structure to be placed where it is now. The rear yard setback is bigger than averaging would allow.
Mr. Prosser apologized for proceeding before the permit was issued, but the situation was unforeseen. The applicant was not trying to deceive the Board. He understands the Board members were concerned with the demolition permit being obtained prior to tonight, but the mess had to be cleaned up and the permit was needed to accomplish that.
It is fortunate that the structure did not fall down based upon the condition of the block. Mr. Baugh questioned if that was obvious before the roof was removed. Mr. Prosser said it was not. Tim McKenna confirmed the same size building footprint would be used for the new structure. Mr. Prosser stated that was correct. The footers are good and will be reused. Mrs. Sours wanted to maintain the appearance with the original structure, but unfortunately that could not occur.
Mr. Baugh summarized it is the same footprint, the same foundation, and the same size structure as submitted with the variance application. Mr. Prosser stated that was correct. Mr. McKenna asked if it would be two stories. Mr. Prosser stated that it would be two stories. Mr. DeVore stated if it is not changing the footprint, he sees nothing outstanding concerning the original variance and the present proposal.
Mr. Baugh asked if another motion was needed. Mr. Wehenkel stated if they amend their previous action, it would not go into effect until after the January, 2016 meeting. If the Board believes the previous variance granted is still valid based upon the circumstances, they only need to approve the minutes. No action was taken. Chairman Baugh thanked the applicant for attending the meeting.
Approval of the November 11, 2015 Minutes
Jack DeVore moved to approve the minutes as mailed. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Wehenkel asked if February or March would be best for zoning training. It would be held the night of the Board’s regular meeting at 5:00 or 5:30 and the start time of the meeting would be moved to 7:30. The Board members felt February would be preferred. Mr. Wehenkel stated he would contact the Prosecutor to check his schedule.
Doug Blackburn moved to adjourn the meeting. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary