Minutes: January 14th, 2009

The regular meeting of the Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals was called to order by Chairman Dale VanLerberghe at 7:30 in the conference room. Present were Sandy Erwin, Tom Anslow, Jack Devore, Dale VanLerberghe, Bryan Baugh, and Pat Cerny. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the introduction of the Board members and a brief overview of the meeting proceedings and swearing in all that may wish to speak.

The Board of Zoning Appeals began with a reorganizational meeting. Dale entertained motions for Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary of the Board. Tom Anslow made a motion for Dale VanLerberghe to remain Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals. The motion was seconded by Bryan Baugh. Tom, yes; Bryan, yes; Jack, yes; Sandy, yes; and Dale, abstain. Jack Devore made a motion to retain Bryan Baugh as Vice Chairman. The motion was seconded by Sandy Erwin. Jack, yes; Sandy, yes; Tom, yes; Bryan, abstain; and Dale, yes. Bryan Baugh made a motion for Pat Cerny to remain as Secretary. Jack Devore seconded the motion. Bryan, yes; Jack, yes; Sandy, yes; Tom, yes; and Dale, yes.

Dale VanLerberghe asked for a motion to remove Case #059198 from the table as it was tabled at the last Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on December 10, 2008. Tom Anslow made a motion to remove Case #059198 from the table and Bryan Baugh seconded the motion. Tom, yes; Bryan, yes; Sandy, yes; Tom, yes; Jack, yes; and Dale, yes.

Case # 059198 - Richard and Mary Lopata - 5484 Foxhaven Drive - R-3
Request a side yard setback of 5 feet on the west side of the home instead of the required 7 feet and a 4 foot side yard setback on the east side from the garage instead of the required 5 feet to build a new home in the R-3 district.

Pat Cerny read a letter from Richard Lopata stating, “Please find three corrected drawings from Richard and Mary Lopata for the property of 5484 East Foxhaven Drive. The house and garage are now flagged on all four corners and set to the variance we are applying for. The porch is marked with “lime green” flags. Also enclosed is a sketch of the tentative view of the front of the house, which one of your trustees requested. See you at the January 14 meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thank you for your assistance. Best Regards Richard Lopata”.

Pat Cerny also read a letter from one of the neighbors addressed to the Board, “As I will be unable to attend the hearing scheduled for January 14, 2009 regarding the request for a variance from Richard and Mary Lopata who purchased the lot at 5484 Foxhaven Drive from me, I would like to express my opinion on said request. Being the current owner of 5476 Foxhaven Drive and the neighbor to the immediate West of this lot it was never my intention to have any type of dwelling situated closer than the current zoning allowed. The Lopata’s never expressed any intention of trying to change the current zoning which all of the residents abide by. It would appear that the placement of the new home on this lot is distinctly different from the general appearance of the homes on Foxhaven Drive and I cannot support this request for such a variance. Thank you for considering my position on this matter. Judy A. Roy”.

Dale VanLerberghe reminded the Board a letter was also received and read at the last meeting from Mr. Melvin Fenger, 5468 E. Foxhaven Drive.

Dale VanLerberghe asked Mr. and Mrs. Lopata what they would like the Board of Zoning Appeals to know about this meeting that the Board did not know at the last meeting.

Richard Lopata said that he had pinned the four corners and laid out the complete garage as requested by the Board at the last meeting. Dale VanLerberghe asked Mr. Lopata where he believed the house will be setting in comparison to the other houses on the street as far as alignment goes. Mr. Lopata responded “straight in line” and then added “actually set back a little further from the road to allow for the chimney.” Dale VanLerberghe clarified back two feet and Mr. Lopata said that is right. Mr. Lopata said the last meeting they were in attendance the measurements on the drawing were not correct because they were measured from the center of the road instead of from the right of way. He added now they have 75 to the right of way and then the other 15 feet to the center of the road.

Dale VanLerberghe asked Mr. Lopata what his reason was for having the garage four feet instead of five. Mr. Lopata responded the reason was basically to give them a little more room in between that area and the other person was about three feet away from his property and he didn’t think it would be fair to just move it over without getting a variance.

Bryan Baugh said the two feet on the front yard is going to make a difference but he still has not changed his mind from what he said at the last meeting. Bryan Baugh told Mr. Lopata he thinks he has three feet to move it together without the variances and then he would be right there. Bryan Baugh told Mr. Lopata he thinks the house looks great and will be an added addition. Mr. Lopata shared a picture of the lot and what the property looks like with Board members.

Tom Anslow read from the Zoning book, “the area variance is the departure from the provisions of the Zoning Resolution relating to setback, sideyard, height…the variance relates to the physical characteristics of the property. Strict enforcement of the zoning requirements for the specific lot would present “practical difficulties” basically making the property unusable.” Tom Anslow said he sees no obstacles out there at all.

Bryan Baugh made a motion to approve Case #059198 as presented. Tom Anslow seconded the motion. Yes to approve and No to deny. Bryan, no; Tom, no; Sandy, no; Jack, no; and Dale, no. Dale VanLerberghe informed Mr. and Mrs. Lopata their request was not approved as presented.

Bryan Baugh made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 10, 2008 meeting seconded by Tom Anslow. Bryan, yes; Tom, yes; Jack, abstain; Sandy, abstain; and Dale, yes.

Sandy Erwin made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Jack Devore seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned.