Minutes: September 12th, 2018


SEPTEMBER 12, 2018


Jane Stumbaugh Barb Boebel
Debra Erml Mark Erml
Ed Davis Renee DeVore
Jack DeVore Carol McCumber
Kathy Fic Mary Schroeder
Brian Schroeder Theresa Spitler
Edward Spitler Quintin Smith
DJ Litz Shari Barnes
Bill Barnes Josh Northrup
Sally Hall Chuck Hall
Phil Steinle, Jr. Tamara Waldemar
Rick Smetzer Allen Stryker
Aura Keaton Don Plank
Jacqueline Jasinski David Jasinski
Deborah Meister John Meister
Connie Batterton Mary Coffee
Deanne Kramer

Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Board members in attendance included: Sandy Erwin, Jack Zeigler, Tim McKenna, Doug Blackburn, Alternate Diane Belden and Alternate Flint Heidlebaugh. Todd Bickley, Zoning Inspector and Matt Montowski, Trustee was also in attendance. Chairman Baugh read through the meeting process. He asked if there were any questions concerning the procedure to be used. There were none.

New Business

Miller Bros. Construction, Inc. – Fence, Screen, or Planting Plan

Secretary Sandra Erwin read the facts of the case. The applicant is proposing the construction of a new commercial store at 3147 North East Catawba Road and has submitted a fence, screen or planting plan for review and approval.

No board member had a conflict.

Donald Plank, attorney for the applicant, commented that with variances and conditional uses the Board has standards that must be met. In this particular case, there are no standards, but a review is still required. The proposed plan is a four (4) foot block wall and eight (8) foot fence. The applicant is willing to accept alternatives, especially from the adjoining property owner, who will be looking at the fence.
Ed Davis, engineer with Miller Bros. Construction, reviewed the screening proposal as shown on the site plan drawing. Mr. Davis distributed to the Board members the proposal and additional options. The proposal is a four (4) foot pre-cast wall with an eight (8) foot high privacy fence as shown on the first page. The second page is a cross section of the proposal. The third page is a site plan showing the location of either a six (6) foot vinyl fence or an arborvitae screening. A cross section of the planted screen and the vinyl screen is show on the next two (2) pages, while the last page is a picture of the vinyl fence. Mr. Davis noted that the screening could be a combination of the vinyl fence and planting.

Mr. Plank noted that he had talked to the Assistant County Prosecutor, Daivia Kasper, and she indicated that the fence height restriction would not apply in this situation.

Chairman Baugh questioned the distance from the property line. Mr. Davis indicated that there is four feet (4’) between the pavement and property line. Chairman Baugh questioned if there was enough room for plantings. Mr. Davis indicated that there was enough room for planting, but not with a two (2) foot wide wall. Mr. Davis noted that the wall could not be moved further to the west and there is not enough room for a wall and planting. There is enough room for a fence and planting.

Jack Ziegler questioned if the wall has some benefit. Mr. Davis indicated it does not, that a fence is acceptable as well.

Mr. Plank noted that they did talk to the adjoining property owner who indicated that they preferred a wall. Doug Blackburn questioned the maintenance. Mr. Davis noted that the wall would be possibly built with stone/cement block and Mr. Plank indicated that the owner would maintain the wall.

Mr. Davis reviewed the options that have been presented to the Board: a wall with a fence, a vinyl fence, a planting strip and a fence with a planting strip.

Debra Erml, representing the owners of 5351 E. Bay Pointe Circle, commented that they would prefer a wall so that they would not have to deal with the trash. They would prefer not to have a planting strip since someone would have to take care of it. Mr. Davis noted a cement block wall with a white vinyl fence. Ms. Erml indicated that the grass is dead along the property line. Tim McKenna questioned if it is a problem to construct a vinyl fence with a wall. Mr. Davis indicated that they should be able to construct a vinyl fence with a wall. Sandy Erwin commented that it may better to install landscaping stone instead of grass between the wall and property line.

Quentin Smith, 3575 NE Catawba Road, suggested that the fence be upgraded to a white cedar. Mr. Davis noted that the vinyl fence is plastic and Mr. Smith recommended a wood cedar. Chairman Baugh agreed with Mr. Smith and noted that the residents take pride in the township. Mr. Davis indicated that a wood fence could be constructed, painted white or use treated wood.

Dave Jasinski, 3080 N. Tiara Drive, questioned if a fence would be installed along the south property line. Mr. Davis and the Board indicated that a screening plan is proposed only for the east property line, adjacent to the residential zoning district.
Connie Batterton, 2957 N. Lark, questioned the screening height. The Board indicated that it would be twelve feet (12’) in height. Ms. Batterton questioned the light locations, which were shown using the drawing.

Ed Spitler, 3617 NE Catawba Road, questioned the lighting plan. Mr. Davis reviewed the light locations using the drawing.

Richard Smetzer, 3188 NE Catawba Road, noted that the wall and fence plan exceeds the height requirement of fences as listed in Section 7M of the resolution. The Board and Todd Bickley, Zoning Inspector, indicated that the discrepancy was discussed with the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office. The Assistant Prosecutor indicated that the Board has authority to approve a screening plan even though the plan may exceed the height requirements listed in Section 7M.

Phil Steinle, Jr., 3110 N. Tiara, questioned if the lights would be shut off. Mr. Davis noted that the parking lights are usually programmed to go off approximately one (1) hour after the store closes. Mark Emrl, representing 5351 E. Bay Pointe Circle, noted that he cleans parking lots and that the lights are on a timer and that they are shut off by 11:00 p.m.

Chairman Baugh requested Mr. Bickley approached the Board. The Board discussed Mr. Smetzer’s comments concerning Section 7M and the Assistant County Prosecutor’s recommendation.

John Meister, 3080 N. “A” Street, questioned if the wall would require a support system. Mr. Davis commented that because of the walls height, perpendicular supports would not be required and he is comfortable with the proposed wall and fence.

Mr. Blackburn questioned if the wall and fence could be wrapped around the south end to offer additional protection, possibly in line with the building. Laura Keaton, 3083 NE Catawba Road, commented that although her property is zoned commercial, she is also concerned with trash.

Shari Barnes, 3058 N. Tiara, questioned the dumpsters. Mr. Davis noted that the dumpster will be fenced in at the back end of the property.

Didi Kramer, 1541 N. Starboard, questioned the section of the zoning code that the proposal does not adhere to. Mr. Bickley indicated Section 7M of the resolution, which states that fences shall not exceed seven feet (7’) in height. The recommendation form the County Prosecutor’s Office was reviewed.

Tammy Waldemar questioned why have zoning if not going to follow the code. Mr. Blackburn commented would it be better to have a seven (7) foot fence or a higher fence to properly screen the property. Ms. Waldemar questioned if a precedent is being set. Chairman Baugh indicated that a precedent is not being set. Mr. Ziegler read from the parking section of the zoning resolution which states that loading berths shall be suitably screened or fenced from view as approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Shari Barnes questioned if the dumpster is in the corner and fenced with gates. Mr. Davis identified the dumpster location and indicated it will be fenced with gates, and it will not be visible from the road.

A questioned was asked if the dumpster was a permitted structure or whether it was an accessory structure. Chairman Baugh indicated that it is not a structure, that it is temporary and that it can be moved.

D.J. Litz, 5098 E. Gardner, questioned the construction of the store. Chairman Baugh indicated that the plans show a brick façade. Ms. Litz questioned outside sales. Chairman Baugh commented that the zoning inspector’s letter indicated no outside sales, including ice machines, unless additional parking can be provided.

Discussion was closed to the floor.

Upon completion of Board discussion, Sandy Erwin moved to the approve the following screening plan:

Screening along the east side of the property, 220 feet in length, will consist of four feet (4’) of block and eight feet (8’) of fence, not to exceed twelve feet (12’) in height. The block is to be earth tone tan and the fence is to be synthetic wood with earth tone color.

The screening is to continue along the south side of the property, forty feet (40’) in length, in line with the building. The block and fence is to be the same as required along the east side of the property.

On the east side of the property, 220 feet in length, landscape rock will be installed between the screening and the property line.

The motion was seconded by Jack Ziegler. Motion passed.

Approval of Minutes – August 8, 2018

The meeting minutes from the August 8, 2018 meeting was mailed to each member. Tim McKenna moved to approve the August 8, 2018 meeting minutes. Doug Blackburn seconded the motion. Motion passed.


Jack Ziegler moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Doug Blackburn. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________________ ______________________________
Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary