Minutes: January 8th, 2014


January 8, 2014


Carl Linn

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Chairman Bryan Baugh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Board members in attendance were Bryan Baugh, Tom Anslow, Doug Blackburn, Jack DeVore, and Sandra Erwin. Alternates for the Board, Jack Zeigler and Shelly Stively, were also in attendance, along with the zoning inspector, Walter Wehenkel. Mr. Baugh read the meeting procedure. There were no questions on the procedure. Mr. Baugh asked Sandra Erwin to read the information summary for the first case.

Case #544789 – Carl & Nancy Linn

Sandra Erwin stated the first case is for area variances being requested by Carl and Nancy Linn for property at 5038 E. Water Street and also known as Lot 5 in Block 1 of Ottawa City Subdivision in Catawba Island Township. The property is zoned “R-1”. The request would allow an area variance permitting the construction of a new accessory building with an overall height of 19 ½ feet with a total square footage area of 1,280 square feet. The permitted height is not to exceed fifteen feet and the allowed square footage is 950 square feet in the “R-1” zoning district. All fees have been paid, it has been properly advertised, and notices have been sent to adjoining property owners.

Mr. Baugh asked if any member had a conflict of interest with the case. Jack DeVore stated he did not receive the case file and did not view the site. He felt he was not prepared to participate. Bryan Baugh appointed Jack Zeigler, alternate, to take his place. Mr. Baugh asked who was representing the Linns. Mr. Carl Linn introduced himself. He was sworn in by Mr. Baugh.

Mr. Linn stated his cover letter pretty much describes his request. The west and south side of the new building would be in the same location as the existing building. It would be two feet wider going to the east and ten feet wider going to the north. The existing garage was built in 1988 and Mr. Linn plans on using the concrete floor and the footers on the west and south sides for the new building.

Mr. Linn stated his wife and daughter have relocated here permanently and he hopes to do so in the near future. He has an existing garage in Bucyrus that has a lift in it and he would like to duplicate it in this building. He also has a boat which is why is he asking for the additional height for the required twelve foot high door to get the boat inside. He offered to answer any questions the Board members might have on his request.

Jack Zeigler asked about the type of construction proposed. Mr. Linn stated it would be steel siding and roofing. It would look like a pole barn, but be finished on the inside. Mr. Zeigler wondered about the appearance of the proposed building in relationship to others in the area. Mr. Linn stated DD is a commercial venture that is located to the south. Miller’s parking lot is to the west. Only the Carstens who live to the east might be impacted. His building will look smaller than the other buildings in the area. Mr. Zeigler asked if there would be one door or two and what the roof pitch would be. Mr. Linn stated there would only be one door and the roof pitch would either be a 4:12 or 5:12 pitch depending upon the final design.

Mr. Blackburn asked if it would aesthetically look like a pole barn or if it would have lap siding. Mr. Linn stated it would have lap siding and be two-toned. He stated his wife will want it to look aesthetically pleasing. Tom Anslow stated he viewed the site and understood the proposal. Sandra Erwin stated she had no questions.

Tom Anslow asked about the lot coverage percentage. The application for zoning permit shows one percentage and the numbers that are written on the auditor’s sheet shows another percentage. Mr. Wehenkel stated the numbers on the Auditor’s sheet are his numbers (20.6%) that he believes are correct.

Doug Blackburn stated the township adopted zoning for a reason. The request is 25% greater than what the zoning regulations allow. He is concerned that this is potentially an issue and a precedence that is being established. The proposed height is also a concern. Tom Anslow stated it is a forty-two percent increase over the current size. Doug Blackburn stated he understands what Mr. Linn wants. He wondered if it will hinder the area and stated it would probably not. Tom Anslow stated the Johnson’s home to the east is far back while the adjoining lot owner (Carstens) house is way up front. With the commercial building and the parking lot, the larger building will not likely be an issue.

Bryan Baugh asked Mr. Linn about the height of the current building. Mr. Linn stated the current building is about fourteen feet high. Mr. Baugh stated he did not think it would look out of place. The requested variances will likely not be noticed. He concurred with Mr. Anslow’s comments concerning the adjoining land uses. Mr. Blackburn stated he understood the adjoining land uses, but was concerned about the precedent. Mr. Baugh stated each variance request must be judged on its own merit.

Doug Blackburn asked Mr. Linn how the height of nineteen and one-half feet was determined. Mr. Linn stated JDM would be constructing the building and that was their recommendation based upon the door height and the lift. He stated he wanted to get it right the first time and not have to come back.

Mr. Baugh asked for further comments. There were none and he closed the public hearing portion of the meeting. He requested the secretary, Sandra Erwin read the Finding of Fact.
The Board agreed that questions 3, 4, 5, & 7 would not be problematic, but disagreed that the variance request was needed based on questions 1, 2, and 6.

Sandra Erwin moved to approve case # 544789 as presented. Jack Zeigler seconded the motion. The motion passed with Doug Blackburn voting no. Mr. Wehenkel told Mr. Linn he could request his zoning permit after February 12th and he should not do any work on the new building until then. Mr. Linn asked if the variance had a time limitation. Mr. Wehenkel stated the variance is not time limited, but the zoning permit will only be good for eighteen months.

Reorganization Meeting

Bryan Baugh identified the zoning resolution requires election of officers at the first meeting of each year. He asked for candidates for Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary. Doug Blackburn suggested Bryan Baugh remain as Chairman. Sandra Erwin agreed. There were no other candidates proposed. Doug Blackburn suggested Jack DeVore remain as Vice Chairman. Tom Anslow agreed with that proposal. No other member was suggested for that position. Tom Anslow asked Sandra Erwin if she was interested in serving as Secretary again. She indicated that she would. Tom Anslow proposed Sandra Erwin as Secretary and Jack DeVore agreed. No other member was proposed for the Secretary position. Doug Blackburn moved to elect the slate of officers as proposed. Sandra Erwin seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Bryan Baugh stated the Board members were all sent a copy of the meeting minutes from the December 11, 2013 meeting. He asked if there were any comments or corrections. There were none. Sandra Erwin moved for approval of the meeting minutes. Tom Anslow seconded the motion. The motion was passed.

Other Business

Jack Zeigler notified the Board that he would not be in attendance at the February meeting. At this time, Mr. Wehenkel stated there was one potential area variance request for that meeting.

Bryan Baugh stated he was pleased with the proposed changes to the Finding of Fact questionnaire and the instruction page. The other Board members agreed. A general discussion followed among the Board members with several additional changes being offered. Mr. Wehenkel will incorporate the new suggestions and get it out to all of the Board members by email. He indicated he will request that the Township Trustees initiate the text amendment at their January 28th meeting.


Doug Blackburn moved to adjourn the meeting. His motion was seconded by Sandra Erwin. The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.


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Bryan Baugh, Chairman Sandra Erwin, Secretary