Minutes: September 2nd, 2009

Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals

September 2, 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 Jack DeVore, Dale VanLerberghe, Sandra Erwin, Bryan Baugh and Pat Cerny. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the introduction of Board members and a brief overview of the meeting proceedings.

CASE #543473 – Gregory and Linda Peiffer – 1310 N. Orchard Beach Drive – R3
The request is for an area variance to move an existing structure to another parcel with a second floor of living space being 560 sq. ft. instead of the required 750 sq. ft.

Greg Peiffer said he began discussing the project with Pat Cerny back in March when the property was resurveyed and given its own parcel number. He said he went to Pat Cerny at a later date and obtained the permit to move the home and do the construction. He visited the Ottawa County Building Authority, Regional Planning, and the Auditors office. The Building Inspection approved everything as well. Greg Peiffer said after all the approvals he let contracts in the amount of $38,000 thus far thinking, as everyone said they were grandfathered in because it was an existing structure and they were moving it only 120 feet.

Greg Peiffer said the structure’s interior square footage would not make an impact on the area or neighborhood since it was being moved such a short distance. He said one of the reasons they were moving the structure was because it is the oldest home in Orchard Beach. Mr. Yackee lives directly behind Greg Peiffer and is the current owner of the property. Greg Peiffer purchased the structure from Mr. Yackee and agreed to move it to his property. The move has begun. Greg Peiffer said Mr. Schadewald, who owns property behind him and is also their neighbor to the east, first raised the question of the 560 sq. ft. being 190 sq. ft. short of the required 750 sq. ft. Greg Peiffer said he would like to point out that if the variance is not granted, their only relief at this point is to add an addition on to the house to meet that square footage requirement. He said it is an economically unfriendly thing to do and a neighbor unfriendly thing to do because Mr. Schadewald will loose his entire view of the lake as it is now. Greg Peiffer said adding an addition is self defeating in two ways monetarily and also from the standpoint it just doesn’t make them a very good neighbor.

Dale VanLerberghe asked Greg Peiffer when the excavation first started. Greg Peiffer said the excavation started approximately three weeks ago.

Chris Schadewald, 1308 N. Orchard Beach, asked how it’s determined whether a structure is two stories or a story and a half. Pat Cerny read the definition from the Zoning Resolution.
Greg Peiffer said the County Auditor listed the home he is moving as a two story house according to the official property record card.

Dale VanLerberghe asked Chris Schadewald if his question had been answered and his response was “No”. Dale VanLerberghe said if the Auditor has the home listed on the tax property record as a two story home that is what the Board of Zoning Appeals would go by.

Dale VanLerberghe asked Chris Schadewald what his concern was with whether the house was one and a half stories or two stories. Chris Schadewald said it would answer the zoning requirements issue. If the house is a story and a half the variance has to be for the first floor square footage not the second floor.

Bryan Baugh asked how many square feet were going to be on the first floor garage. Greg Peiffer said there would be 864 square feet on the first floor. Bryan Baugh said if there is 864 square feet on the first floor and 768 square feet on the second floor the house meets the requirements because the Zoning Resolution states if the house is two or more stories, the first two have to be 750 square feet or more which it is.

Chris Schadewald said he did not think it included porches, breezeways, and garages. Pat Cerny said it is still okay for him to ask because it is based on square footage for land use. Bryan Baugh said the way he reads it under item #7-Dwelling Size the first two floors cover the requirements of the zoning code. Dale VanLerberghe said Chris Schadewald’s question is do we consider the garage as a first floor or is the second floor the first floor and then that would make this a story and a half because the third floor is not a full floor. Bryan Baugh said he thinks you have to include the garage because it’s considered square foot coverage whether you live in it or not. The garage is still part of the footprint of the building.

The Board of Zoning Appeals discussed the issue and determined they all agree the house in question is considered a two story.

Dale VanLerberghe read correspondence concerning the case from William and Jessica Zuffall, 772 Kingston Way. In the letter William Zuffall stated they have no objection to the project and are excited to see an improvement of this magnitude taking place across the street from their property. He further went on to the say that the Pfeiffer’s maintain their current home with the utmost care and they rest assure that the relocation of the house will bring improvement and increase property values to theirs and the adjacent properties. The fact that the current house lacks the required square footage does not materially affect the neighborhood and the fact that the current home is the oldest in Orchard Beach actually adds to the charm and preservation of the local landmark. William Zuffall asked in the letter to please consider the letter a vote in favor of granting their requested variance.

Dale VanLerberghe closed the case to the floor. Bryan Baugh stated he is not even sure there is a need for a variance according to the way he interprets the zoning regulations and therefore has no objections to the request.

Jack DeVore made a motion to approve case #543473 as presented. Bryan Baugh seconded the motion. Bryan Baugh, yes; Sandy Erwin, yes; Jack DeVore, yes; and Dale VanLerberghe, no. Case #543473 is approved.

Sandy Erwin made a motion to approve the minutes as presented from the July 8 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. Jack DeVore seconded the motion. Jack DeVore, yes; Sandy Erwin, yes; Bryan Baugh, abstain; and Dale VanLerberghe, yes.

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