MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 10, 2016 BZA MEETING
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Baugh. The pledge of Allegiance was recited. Mr. Baugh welcomed those in attendance and introduced the Board members and the zoning inspector. He stated Tim McKenna would be filling in for Jack DeVore who is still experiencing some hearing problems. He read the procedure that would be used by the Board for the meeting. There were no questions on the procedure.
Case #008701 – Catawba Point Association
Chairman Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the information concerning case #008701. Mrs. Erwin stated the application is being submitted by the Catawba Point Association for property at 4271 N. Crogan Street and also known as block 7 and part of block 8, Ottawa City Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “C-3”. The request is to allow an area variance from the required front yard setback for an accessory building. The required front yard setback of 60 feet will be reduced to 15+ feet. An existing clubhouse that is nonfunctional, unsafe, and aging will be removed and a new clubhouse built with the same front yard setback that presently exists. Mrs. Erwin also stated that the notifications were made, it was published in the newspaper and there is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was in attendance to represent the application. Mike Wallenhorst introduced himself and was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Wallenhorst stated the Catawba Point Association was incorporated in 1981 when the land was acquired from Frank Parman. Twelve trustees run the association. They try to do the right things for the members. They do it once, but do it right. They have had to make lots of infrastructure improvements on the site, which was costly, but they are now connected to public water and sanitary sewer. They started looking at the clubhouse and researched renovation versus replacement. Structurally, it was just not economically feasible to replace the items that needed to be replaced and would cost around $1,000,000. And it would still be a two-story structure when it was renovated. So they looked at a new one story building. The talked to architects, building officials, etc. until they were pretty confident that his alternative would work.
Mr. Wallenhorst showed some renderings of the building. It is one-story with a classic look and durable building material. They want to locate it in the exact location that the present clubhouse is located. This site has the best visibility of the Lake, it is higher ground and not subject to flooding, and it will retain the middle section for outside park activities. Moving the location of the building would drive up the costs.
Bryan Baugh asked if the flood plain was one of the main reasons for their choice of location. Mike Wallenhorst stated yes. Jack Zeigler asked if it could be shifted to the east more than it is presently proposed to be and still be out of the flood plain. Mr. Wallenhorst stated that if the building was moved to the required 60 foot setback, it would be in the flood plain. But the other real concern is with the visibility as you move to the east as well as the functionality of the common ground. Doug Blackburn asked if the porch n the new building was closer to the road. Mr. Wallenhorst stated it as no closer. Tim McKenna offered the observation that the new plan would be more functional than any renovation attempt. Mr. Wallenhorst stated the membership is getting older and steps are not the preferred method. Ramps create issues as well. The one-story building makes the most sense.
Paul Schroeder was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Schroeder stated he was a part of the design team that was hired by Catawba Point. He stated with the present clubhouse the members have limited protection during periods of bad weather. The new facility will provide a much safer haven for the members.
Chairman Baugh asked for testimony from others in attendance. There was no additional testimony. Chairman Baugh closed the public hearing and asked for Board member comments. Jack Zeigler stated moving it to the south and east would keep it out of the flood plain and they might lose some of the common area, but it would be setback from the road more. Mr. Wallenhorst stated by moving it to the south, the view of the Lake begins to be lost plus you get into intersection problems with the street to the south. Going to the east does get into the flood plain, but it also breaks up the yard or common ground used by the residents for activities. He added the Miller Boat Line is totally supportive of the present plans.
Mr. Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The members all voted yes to questions #1, #5, #6, and #7. The members all voted no to questions #2, 3, & 4. Mr. Baugh requested a motion for case #008701. Sandra Erwin moved to approved case # 008701 as presented. Tim McKenna seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Case # 008704 – Bob Rogers, Conditional Use Request
Chairman Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the case information. Mrs. Erwin stated this is a conditional use request by Ken Spero for the property presently owned by the estate of Robert Rogers at 2268 N. West Catawba Road and being located in Section 3, Lot 3 of Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “A”. The request is to allow a professional office (real estate) containing 1000 square feet to be added onto the existing home in the rear and be used as a conditional use by an individual not residing in the home. All notifications have been made and there is no notarized correspondence for the Board to consider. Chairman Baugh asked if there was any conflict of interest. There was none.
Chairman Baugh asked who was present to address the case. Lee Short, architect, introduced himself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh. Mr. Short stated he is representing Ken Spero on this project. The property is presently zoned ”A” and a conditional use for the “A” zoning district is a professional office that includes real estate offices. Mr. Spero signed an offer to purchase the property with Bob Rogers prior to Bob’s death. The offer was subject to the conditional use being granted by the Board. There will be some improvements made to the property. The landscaping will be updated, the siding looked at and the four existing accessory buildings will be removed from the site. The paved areas will basically remain the same as they are now.
The 1000 square foot office will be attached to the west end of the house, adjacent to the existing deck. It would be a satellite office for Howard Hanna. There should not be more than three people involved in the real estate office. Ken Spero will be one and he will have two support staff members. Mr. Spero is trying to separate his real estate business from his home and is also trying to avoid having customers fight the State Route 163/53 traffic where Howard Hanna’s main office is presently located. Mr. Short used a drawing to highlight the plans for the office, the parking areas, and the buildings to be razed. The location near the intersection with Cemetery Road is always a concern, but there is not a safety issue for this type of low profile office. Bryan Baugh asked about the number of vehicles per day that would come to the office. Mr. Short stated he had no estimates.
Ken Spero was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. He stated the exact hours of operation have not yet been determined. He believed the traffic would be much less than it was when Bob Rogers operated his businesses from the site. He stated the maximum employee base he would see is three support staff and himself. He is looking at building his business on Catawba. He stated John Gangway did not see any issues and the County Engineer, Ron Lajti stated the speed limit on West Catawba was being reduced from 50 m.p.h. to 45 m.p.h. in the fall of 2016 with a widening project of 2 feet in the fall of 2017. Mr. Spero stated he is not concerned with traffic issues.
Doug Blackburn wondered about using the retail shop for the real estate office. Mr. Short stated the water drains to the building and he would guess there may be some structural issues. Mr. Blackburn stated it would just be a substitution of one business for another. Mr. Wehenkel stated a real estate office is a conditional use and a substitution cannot be used because of the conditional use status.
Mr. McKenna asked why the addition would be attached to the house instead of a free standing building. Lee Short stated it would improve the appearance if it is connected and there is less concern over the drainage from the pavement. Mr. Spero stated his only plan at this time is the 1,000 square foot office added onto the house and the removal of the four existing accessory buildings. Mr. Wehenkel asked for clarification on the proposed sign. Mr. Short stated the location of Bob’s existing sign would be used and the size would be compliant with the zoning requirements of 48 square feet. Jack Zeigler asked if the existing sign was being replaced. Mr. Short stated that was correct. Mr. McKenna asked if it would be a lighted sign. Mr. Short stated it would not be internally lighted, but could have floodlights shining on it.
Kathryn Orovets was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mrs. Orovets stated she is the neighbor to the north. She is concerned about commercial zoning being next to her property. She had questions concerning the height of the office addition as well as the appearance on the north side that faces her. If the accessory buildings are being razed, will the area be grass or pavement. Ken Spero stated the area where the buildings are removed will be grass and if trees are preferred, they could be planted. The addition to the home will look residential in appearance and not commercial. Five parking spots would be required for the 1,000 square foot office. Two parking spots are needed for the home. Mr. Short added the present asphalt area can provide the required parking spaces. Mrs. Orovets felt the business would be grandfathered in as Bob ran one there for years. Mr. Baugh stated some business ventures could be substituted, but a real estate office is not one of them. Mrs. Orovets stated another concern would be the house rented out to a family of eight with kids running all over the place. Mr. Spero stated that is not his desire or intent. He hopes it is occupied by a family member.
Rick Smetzer was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Smetzer was concerned about the hours of operation and if the parking lot would require lighting. Mr. Spero stated there would be no parking lot lights and that there would be little business conducted after dark.
Mike Mier was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Mier stated he is the neighbor on the other side. The addition on the back of the building makes sense. Getting rid of the accessory building will improve the appearance. Only having a real estate office on site should not create a problem. Other types of commercial ventures would not be ideal.
Alan Stryker was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mr. Stryker stated it is an old farm house and the new office may not be incorporated to look right. He wondered why a part of the existing home could not be used for the real estate office. Mr. Spero stated the house needs considerable work done to it and the money that will be received through the renting of the home will assist in the cash flow of upgrading it.
Barbara Nichols was sworn in by Bryan Baugh. Mrs. Nichols stated she lives in the Woodlands Subdivision to the southwest. She wanted to know if Mr. Spero had any landscaping plans for the area adjacent to their entrance. She wondered if it would be cleared. Mr. Short stated the Woodlands owns the existing pine trees and the mounds. Mr. Spero stated he would plant additional trees if that was preferred.
Mr. Stryker asked about plans for the proposed addition. Mr. Short stated he has no detailed elevation drawings for the addition. He has a basic floor plan that he shared with Mr. Stryker. Mr. Stryker wondered if the approval process could be delayed until a set of detailed plans was submitted. Mr. Baugh stated it could be delayed. Mr. Blackburn stated that it appears the addition will allow it to blend in with the neighborhood. Mike Mier added that Mr. Short and Mr. Spero have done good work on other projects they have been involved with. Mr. Short assured the group that the roofline will match with the existing roof line. Mr. Stryker stated he felt it should be known before the approval occurs. Mike Mier stated he believed this proposal would enhance the neighborhood. There could be 8 kids living in the home if this proposal is not approved and then it would be a mess.
Bryan Baugh closed the hearing to the public and asked for comments from the Board members. Doug Blackburn stated taking down the old buildings will improve the site. The single story addition would fit in nicely. Sandra Erwin indicated more green space would be established. Tim McKenna stated his thoughts were similar to those already voiced. Jack Zeigler stated taking out the old will improve the site. Mr. Short is known for doing good work and classy looking buildings. Doug Blackburn stated it is a conditional use and conditions can be added if the Board feels they are needed. Tim McKenna stated Mr. Spero is asking for 1,000 square feet of office.
Mr. Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact including the question and the applicant’s response. The Board all voted yes on questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11. They all voted no on questions 4 and 9. There was a split vote on question 8.
Mr. Baugh requested a motion on case #008704. Tim McKenna moved to approve the conditional use as presented with no more than a 1000 square foot real estate office. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. Doug Blackburn asked if the motion was for a real estate office only. Sandra Erwin stated that is what the application is requesting so yes. A vote occurred with all Board members voting yes. The conditional use was approved.
Case #008707 - Kathleen Formanek & Betty Perkins
Mr. Baugh requested Sandra Erwin read the information concerning the variance request. Mrs. Erwin stated the applicants are Kathleen Formanek and Betty Perkins for property at 4779 Marina Ave. and also known as lot 39 Harbor Park Marina Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-4”. The request would allow area variances from the required rear yard setback for an accessory building from 20 feet to 6 feet, a building height variance for an accessory building from 15 feet to 16 feet, and a lot coverage variance from 39% to approximately 41%. All notifications have been made and there is no notarized correspondence.
Mr. Baugh asked if any Board member had a conflict of interest with the case. There were none. Mr. Baugh asked who was present to discuss the request. Kim Miller introduced herself and was sworn in by Chairman Baugh.
Kim Miller stated she works for JDM Structures. The applicants are looking for a 20’ by 24’ detached garage. The rear setback can only be 6 feet based upon the size of the lot. The height will be slightly over the 15 foot maximum but not more than 1 foot over and the lot coverage will only slightly exceed the amount allowed. It is a minimal request for the area.
Bryan Baugh asked Ms. Miller if she had a picture of the proposed structure. Ms. Miller showed the Board a picture of the building from a catalog. Tim McKenna asked if the cupola was included. Ms. Miller stated it was not included due to the height restrictions. Tim McKenna asked if it was for storage or for a garage. Ms. Miller stated it would be a little bit of both. Mr. McKenna asked if the existing shed would be removed. Ms. Miller stated it would be removed. Bryan Baugh noted the compliance committee of Harbor Park Marina has given the proposal its blessing. Mr. Baugh closed the hearing to the public and asked for Board member comments.
Jack Zeigler stated the proposal fits into what is already there. Sandra Erwin agreed. Tim McKenna stated he saw the shed was for sale. Ms. Miller stated it is for sale. Bryan Baugh stated the 41% lot coverage is only slightly over the permitted lot coverage and similar to other requests the Board has seen.
Bryan Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the Finding of Fact. The Board members all voted yes on questions 1, 5, and 7. The Board members all voted no on questions 2, 3, 4, and 6. Chairman Baugh requested a motion on case # 008707. Doug Blackburn moved to approve the variances as requested. Tim McKenna seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approval of the July 13, 2016 Meeting Minutes
Tim McKenna moved to approve the July 13, 2016 meeting minutes as mailed. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion passed with Doug Blackburn abstaining.
Tim McKenna moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary