Minutes: July 14th, 2010

Catawba Island Township Board of Zoning Appeals

July 14, 2010

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 Bryan Baugh, Jack DeVore, Sandra Erwin, Doug Blackburn, Jack Zeigler, Pat Cerny, Matt Montowski, Ted Athanas, James Miller, Pat Green and Scott Neitz. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the introduction of Board members and a brief overview of the meeting proceedings.

Case # 543534 – James Miller – 3247 N.E. Catawba Road – Zoning C-2
The variance request is for the construction of a 4’ x 4’ directional sign to be placed at 3247 N.E. Catawba Road, Holiday Village, 38 feet from the center line of N.E. Catawba Road and 49.5 feet from the centerline of Twin Beach Road. Property owner is Douglas Alexander.

James Miller, Commodore of the Catawba Island West Harbor Yacht Club, stated the yacht club is located down toward the end of the road and visitors traveling along State Route 53 have a hard time finding it due to the club’s location. He said they are requesting a directional sign, much like the Nor’Easter Club has on Nor’Easter Road directing people from Route 53 to their club. James Miller also showed Board members a picture of the proposed sign which is white with the club’s name and an arrow.

Jack DeVore asked James Miller if he had looked at moving the sign further south. James Miller stated they have looked at moving the sign further south, however there is an asphalt parking lot exactly where they would have to place the sign in order to not be in the right of way. He stated that even further south, beyond the parking lot, would be too confusing because they want people to understand they need to turn down Twin Beach Road and not into the parking lot of the motel.

Jack DeVore said his great concern is that there have been several accidents at that corner and he thinks the sign will create a blind spot. James Miller said the sign could be lowered down to ground level. He said they would be willing to lower the sign to what ever height would be agreeable with the township.

Dale VanLerberghe asked if the club was private or open to the public. James Miller responded no, they were a private club. Dale VanLerberghe asked if in correspondence sent out to members of the club, could information be given to better direct them as to where the club is located. James Miller responded that the members of their club know where the club is. He stated that they are part of three associations whose members have reciprocal privileges with Catawba Island West Harbor Yacht Club and it is the members of the other clubs who would not know where the club is located.

Dale VanLerberghe asked where the various other clubs and associations were located. James Miller responded the associations and their clubs are located from around Lake Erie including from Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, and Windsor, Canada.

Jack DeVore asked if the club had ever considered adding on top of the sign that is there for the Holiday Village. James Miller stated he thought that would be rather strange and possibly confusing due to the location of the sign being south of the facility. He stated they would prefer to have an easy directional sign, much like the Nor’Easter Club sign which tells you to go right down Nor’Easter Club Road.

Dale VanLerberghe and Bryan Baugh asked if anyone knew the history of the Nor’Easter Club sign. Pat Cerny said Nor’Easter Club owns the road and property where the sign is located.

Bryan Baugh asked if they had ever approached Gem Beach about utilizing their large billboard located to the north. James Miller said they were included on the sign at one time but it has since been removed because he believes they want the entire sign to advertise their condominiums.

Doug Blackburn asked if the sign they wanted to construct would be up year round or just a seasonal sign. James Miller responded they could do it either way. He said they are closed in the winter months.

Doug Blackburn spoke about his experience traveling to different yacht clubs and venues and stated they were often not easy to find and sometimes located in the middle of nowhere with no directional signage. Doug Blackburn stated the club could easily advertise in their brochures they were located at Gem Beach and club members could follow the signs to Gem Beach.

A brief discussion took place among Board members. It was determined the case would be continued until next month on August 11. Board of Zoning Appeals members and James Miller agreed to meet at 6:30 p.m. on August 11 at the intersection of Twin Beach Road and State Route 53 to review visibility with the sign installed at various heights and address potential safety concerns. The regular Board of Zoning Appeals meeting will take place immediately following at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room as scheduled.

Bryan Baugh made a motion to approve the May 12, 2010 meeting minutes as presented. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. Bryan Baugh, yes; Sandra Erwin, yes; Doug Blackburn, abstain; Jack Devore, yes; and Dale VanLerberghe, yes. Motion approved.

Jack DeVore made a motion to adjourn the meeting seconded by Bryan Baugh. The motion was carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned.