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Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes 2012

Meeting Minutes

01-23-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
02-27-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
03-26-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals

March 26, 2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski Attorney Tim Kuiper
Ken Schneider  
Peter Monix  
Tom Ryan  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called the March 26, 2012, meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals to order at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with the following members present: Jim Maciejewski, Ken Schneider, Tom Ryan and Steve Hastings. Peter Monix was absent. Attorney Tim Kuiper was present.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Schneider made a motion to retain Mr. Jim Maciejewski as President of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the year of 2012. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0).

Mr. Schneider made a motion to nominate Mr. Peter Monix to the position of Secretary of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the year of 2012. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: NOVEMBER 28, 2011

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of the November 28, 2011, meeting contingent upon any additions, deletions or corrections. Mr. Schneider noted two corrections on Page 8, Mr. Redar should be changed to Mr. Ryan. With these changes noted, Mr. Ryan made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 28, 2011, meeting as circulated; Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. TIM SANDER – 12950 92ND AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE – CONSTRUCTION OF DETACHED GARAGE IN R-1 RESIDENTIAL ZONING

Mr. Tim Sander appeared before the Board seeking a developmental technical variance for the construction of a 24x30 detached garage at 12950 92nd Avenue in R-1 residential zoning.

Mr. Sander stated that the proposed 720 square foot garage is needed to protect him and his wife’s vehicles from the elements. He stated that his home is located on 1.1 acres, and with the addition of this proposed detached garage only 13.6 % of the property will have dwellings on it, well below the allowable 30% lot coverage outlined in the Town’s ordinance. He stated that the 40’ rear yard setback will not be affected.

Mr. Sander stated that there are 32 properties within 300 feet of his property line. He stated that he was able to personally deliver all but two notices. The other two notices were mailed. He stated he had received no objections from the homeowners on this distribution list.

Mr. Hasting asked what type of siding and windows would be used on the garage. Mr. Sander stated that that proposed garage would match the siding on the house. He stated the proposed garage will have a HIP roof to lessen the obstruction for any neighbors. He stated the garage will have a 5:12 pitch.

Mr. Ryan asked about the existing garage. Mr. Sander stated that the existing garage is barely a two car garage with an additional space that is only eight feet deep. He stated that this space allows for storage of a lawn mower and a few tools, but is not large enough to store the four vehicles owned by him and his wife. He stated that they have had vehicles sitting in the driveway the entire winter and this is not the preferred way to treat their property.

Mr. Ryan asked if the proposed garage would be used for vehicles only. Mr. Sander stated that the garage would be used for vehicles only. He stated that he does not own or operate a business from his home and the proposed garage will not be used for any commercial purposes.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the Petitioner owned a motor coach. Mr. Sander stated he did own a motor coach but it is stored in a pole barn located elsewhere.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was a low area where the proposed garage will be built. Mr. Sander stated that he is located on the highest part of the subdivision. He stated that there is a swell behind where the proposed detached garage will be located. He stated that there is an approximate eight feet elevation change before where the proposed garage is to be built and where the culvert is located. Mr. Sander informed the Board that the front of the garage is level but behind the proposed garage is a drop off that leads to the culvert.

Mr. Sander stated that a full elevation has not been completed. He estimated that there is a 16 inch drop from the front corner to the rear corner of the garage. Mr. Sander stated that one non-fruit bearing pear tree will have to be taken out to build the detached garage. He stated that additional landscaping will be placed alongside the proposed detached garage.

Mr. Hastings asked what the distance was from the existing garage to the end of the new proposed garage. Mr. Sander stated that there is approximately 10 feet of overlapping space between the existing driveways. He stated that there will be approximately 22 feet from the back edge of the proposed detached garage to the garage door so there will be enough room to back up the vehicles.

Mr. Schneider asked about the 30 foot length for the proposed detached garage. Mr. Sander stated that he owns a boat that is 28 feet long on its trailer. He stated that he will be bringing the boat home to service it for the winter or prepare it for the spring, but the boat would not be stored there.

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that all notices and publications for the public hearing were in order. Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for the public hearing.

There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. There was no further discussion from the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner if there was any other alternative for storing his vehicles rather than constructing a garage. Mr. Sander stated that he has no alternative storage close enough to be convenient.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the developmental technical variance for a 24x30 detached garage at 12950 92nd Avenue, incorporate the findings of fact and contingent upon Petitioner complying with all of the requirements of the Town’s ordinance related to building of a detached garage. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (4/0).

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

There was no public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski adjourned the meeting. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
Susan E. Wright, Recording Secretary
St. John Board of Zoning Appeals

04-23-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
05-28-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
06-25-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals

June 25, 2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski Attorney Tim Kuiper
Peter Monix  
Ken Schneider  
Steve Hastings  
Tom Ryan  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of June 25, 2012, to order at 7:03 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with the following Commissioners present: Jim Maciejewski, Peter Monix, Steve Hastings, Ken Schneider and Tom Ryan. Staff members present: Attorney Tim Kuiper. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MARCH 26, 2012

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes of March 26, 2012. Mr. Maciejewski stated there was one correction to make under Roll Call, Mr. Monix was absent and Steve Hastings was present. Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the minutes of March 26, 2012, with the aforementioned correction; Mr. Tom Ryan seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. HUNTER ATKINS – 10119 SOUTH BRANCH – SPECIAL EXCEPTION – SPORT COURT IN REAR YARD
Mr. Atkins appeared before the Board seeking a special exception for a sport court in the rear yard of his residence. He stated a slab of concrete is being installed in the back yard for a basketball court. He stated that there would be one basketball goal erected, not a full court.

Mr. Atkins informed the Board that his kids play sports quite a bit. He stated his driveway is really sloped. He stated that Homeowner’s Association has approved the proposed sport court. Mr. Atkins stated that he has pictures for the Board’s review.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any site drawings or diagrams for the Board’s review. Mr. Atkins stated that all he had to submit were the pictures. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board would review the pictures.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Atkins stated he was unaware that he had to go through an approval process with the Board of Zoning Appeals until a stop work order was issued. Mr. Atkins stated that the area would be kept clean. He stated that he has plans to place bushes in the back. He stated he has familiarized himself with the ordinances and there will be no lights on the sport court, and there would be no basketball playing late at night.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was a drawing prepared that reflected how drainage in the area of the proposed sport court would be affected, or how the landscaping would be laid out. Mr. Atkins stated he has no drawing prepared for this hearing, only the pictures. He stated that both corners of his yard have a drain. He stated there would not be an issue with drainage.

Attorney Kuiper stated that all notices and publication are both in order to hold the public hearing. Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for a public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING
Joe Suarez, 8922 Parkside Lane - Mr. Suarez stated that he has never met the Petitioner or his family before so there is no neighbor’s feud going on. He stated he has seen the slab of concrete outside of his back bedroom window. He stated that the slab is 30x40. He stated that he just found out that a sport court was being installed.

Mr. Suarez stated that the neighborhood has an open area back yard. He stated that the houses are really close. He stated that Petitioner’s basketball court is approximately 40’ from his bedroom window at the back of his home. He stated this alone is a good reason for the basketball court to be located on the driveway in the front.

Mr. Suarez stated this will be a very noisy environment with basketballs and kids. He stated that it sounds as if it will be used frequently. Mr. Suarez asked who would police this basketball court and who would authorize when and what time the sport court can be used.

Mr. Suarez stated that he is totally against the proposed sport court. He stated his wife works in a hospital and she goes to bed early. Mr. Suarez stated that it’s something that is not in the subdivision at Lake Hills.

Mr. Suarez reiterated that the proposed basketball court is not a good idea and it is too close to his residence. He stated that there are still lots available for purchase and he believes the proposed sport court would negatively impact future home buyers.

Cindy Malizia, 9781 Rosewood: Ms. Malizia stated she lives across the street from the Hennessys proposed sport court.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that there was a public hearing for the Hennessy matter, slated next on the agenda, and Ms. Malizia would be able to address this matter at that time.

Seth Tambrini, 8936 Parkside Lane: Mr. Tambrini stated he is located directly behind the proposed basketball court. He stated he purchased his home on a Friday and the concrete slab for the sport court was poured the following Tuesday or Wednesday. He stated that he is opposed to the sport court.

Mr. Tambrini stated that he chose Lake Hills because it is a quieter subdivision. He stated that he does not want to see this sport court become the meeting place for the neighborhood kids. He stated that this proposed basketball court would make a fair amount of noise.

Mr. Tambrini stated that Lake Hills has quite a bit of green space already, approximately 168 acres. He stated that a basketball court possibly being located somewhere in the green space is a great idea, but not necessarily in someone’s back yard.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Hastings asked how big the lot was. Mr. Atkins did not know the exact lot size. Mr. Hastings stated it appears by the picture submitted to the Board that the slab of concrete takes up a large chunk of property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked about the distance between the edges of the slab to the property line. Mr. Schneider wondered how much space there would be to place landscaping around the proposed sport court. Petitioner stated he could not provide exact measurements.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for the special exception variance for a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council. He stated that the findings of fact should be included in this motion.

Mr. Tom Ryan made a motion to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for the proposed sport court at 10119 South Branch, and included the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Tom Ryan – yes. Steve Hastings – yes. Peter Monix – yes. Ken Schneider – yes. Jim Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council (5/0).

Attorney Kuiper informed Petitioner that this matter should be on the Town Council agenda for the upcoming Thursday. He directed Petitioner to call the Town Manager to ensure that the matter had been placed on the agenda.

B. PAT HENNESSY – 9792 ROSEWOOD DRIVE – SPECIAL EXCEPTION SPORT COURT ON A VACANT LOT OWNED BY MR. HENNESSY
Mr. Dave Spoolstra, Homes by Dutch Mill Builders, appeared before the Board on behalf of Pat Hennessy, seeking a special exception for a proposed patio/sport court to be located at 9792 Rosewood Drive, a vacant lot. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Spoolstra to detail his intention to the Board.

Mr. Spoolstra stated that the Petitioner owns the empty, wooded lot behind his home, Lot 20. He stated that the Petitioner is proposing to build a 44x43 patio/basketball half court in the center of the wooded lot. Mr. Spoolstra stated the proposed sport court would be located 61’ from one road and 52’ from the other road. He stated that this lot is located on the corner of Rambling Rose Lane and Rosewood Drive.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner had an intention to put a residential structure on this lot. Mr. Spoolstra stated that there would not be any residence built on this lot. Mr. Spoolstra stated that the sport court would be located in the center of the lot and wooded area would surround it.

Mr. Schneider asked about the location of the lot. Mr. Spoolstra stated that the proposed sport court would be due west.

(General discussion ensued.)

The Board had a copy of the survey for their review. Mr. Spoolstra stated that trees will only be cleared in the center, where the proposed patio/sport court would be located.

Mr. Hastings asked if the two lots were enjoined. Mr. Spoolstra was not sure. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Spoolstra to define patio/basketball court. Mr. Spoolstra stated that the Petitioner’s intention is to play basketball on the slab. Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was any other intended use for the property. Mr. Spoolstra stated there is no other intended use for the property. He stated that Petitioner basically owns the one corner.

Mr. Schneider asked if Petitioner had approached the Town about making this lot into a small playground for the subdivision. Mr. Spoolstra stated he wasn’t sure how much the neighbors would like that. He stated that the sport court is centered in the lot with woods all around it. He stated, for the most part, people won’t even be aware that it is there.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications are in order for the public hearing. Attorney Kuiper stated that there are two letters of remonstrance in the file. Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING
Mr. Maciejewski indicated that are two letters contained in the file. The first letter was from Rosewood Estates Architectural Committee. Mr. Maciejewski read the letter into the record. In summary, the letter stated that the Rosewood Estate Architectural Committee does not approve of the proposed patio structure on a vacant lot. The second letter addressed to the Village of St. John was received from the Schwabs at 9791 Rambling Rose Lane; these neighbors reside directly north of the Hennessys. The Schwabs stated that they were totally in agreement with the Hennessy’s proposed usage of their land.

Attorney Michael Muenich, 3235 45th Street, Highland, IN:
Attorney Muenich appeared before the Board on behalf of the Rose Wood Architectural Committee for Phases 1 and 2. Mr. Muenich stated he has filed a formal remonstrance with the Board against the proposed sport court for Lot 20. He referenced that the restrictive covenants of Rosewood Estates prohibit the proposed sport court and state that no non-residential use shall be conducted upon any lot.

Mr. Muenich stated that pursuant to Paragraph 6 of the restrictive covenants no outbuildings shall be erected on any lot except cabanas connected with a ground pool. Any request for variance from the restrictive covenants has to be first submitted to the Architectural Committee for its review and Petitioner has not submitted any such request to the Committee.

Mr. Muenich stated that the Architectural Committee has previously notified the Applicants that it does not approve of the proposed sport court, in Exhibit A, which was the letter that Mr. Maciejewski read into the record.

Mr. Muenich requested on behalf of the Architectural Committee and the residents of the subdivision that the request for a sport court and a special exception be unfavorably recommended to the Town Council.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back to the Board for discussion.

Mr. Schneider asked if the proposed patio/sport court would affect any drainage within the site. Mr. Spoolstra stated the proposed patio/sport court would not affect the drainage.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Tom Ryan made a motion to send an unfavorable recommendation for a special exception at 9792 Rosewood Drive to the Town Council; he included the findings of fact by reference and Attorney Muenich’s written remonstrance. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr.Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

Attorney Kuiper informed Mr. Spoolstra that this matter should be on the Town Council agenda on the upcoming Thursday. He stated Petitioner should confirm this date with the Town Manager’s office.

C. MICHAEL LAZOWSKI – 8770 TAPPER STREET – VARIANCE OF USE HOME BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE AND/OR DISTRIBUTION OF FIREARMS
Mr. Michael Lazowski appeared before the Board seeking a variance of use for a home based business at 8770 Tapper Street. Mr. Lazowski informed the Board that a federal firearms license falls underneath a home based business.

Mr. Lazowski stated he has been a police officer for the past 18 years, two years underneath Chief Frigo in Dolton, Illinois, and the past 16 years as a police officer in Lansing, Illinois. He stated he has been a narcotics detective for the past 12 years and concurrently serves as a SWAT team member for the past 10 years.

Mr. Lazowski stated he is also part of the South Suburban Emergency Response Team. He provided a letter to the Board from one of his commanders. He stated that the SSERT covers over 30 sub-communities of Chicago. He stated that the SSERT is a high risk, hostage and barricaded gunman SWAT team. He stated that the South Suburban Emergency Response Team only responds to high risk calls and serves high risk search warrants.

Mr. Lazowski explained to the Board that the Police Department provides the manpower that are selected and placed on the team. The Department does not provide any other funds for the SWAT team. He stated that fundraisers are held annually in order to raise money for the cost of their equipment, ammunition and armored personnel carrier. Mr. Lazowski stated that the fundraisers are successful but can only cover so much.

Mr. Lazowski stated that the ammunition for sniper practice alone costs over $10,000 a year. He stated that this does not include any ammunition for the operators, gas or any other costs incurred during an operation.

Mr. Lazowski stated that they are looking for ways to save money. He stated that even donations have suffered due to the downturn in the economy. He stated he is a team leader and a trainer for the South Suburban Emergency Response team.

Mr. Lazowski stated it was recommended that he procure his federal firearms license in order to purchase ammunition at dealer cost. He stated that the dealer cost savings on sniper ammunition would be over $2,000 a year. He stated that each operator is required to purchase their own rifles. He stated that approximately 9 percent of the departments actually provide weapons for their operators. He stated that the weapons can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000 and this is a great expense for each operator.

Mr. Lazowski stated that with his federal firearms license he will be able to purchase weapons for the operators. He stated that anything that he purchases from this license will be transferred right into an armored truck or equipment truck. He stated no weapons or ammunition would be stored at his residence.

Mr. Lazowski stated as a federal firearms license holder the ATF requires that he have a safe in his home. Mr. Lazowski stated he does have a Liberty safe in his home controlled by electronic locks. He stated there is no access to the safe unless you know the combination.

Mr. Lazowski stated that nothing will be stored at his residence except the current items that he has to carry with him. He stated he has no plans to turn the home based business into a commercial business.

Mr. Lazowski stated he went door to door and spoke with all of his neighbors. He stated that he explained to them what he intended to do. He stated none of his neighbors have any problems with him obtaining a federal firearms license.

Mr. Lazowski stated that he is seeking to place his business here because Illinois law requires that he have a store front window in order to obtain a federal fire arms license.

Mr. Maciejewski asked how many members are on the tactical team. Mr. Lazowski stated that there are 60 operators in the tactical team. He stated there are approximately 30 upper command staff chiefs, scribes, and logistics. Mr. Maciejewski asked if most of the operators have already obtained their equipment. Mr. Lazowski stated a lot of operators already have their equipment. He stated that equipment gets damaged. He stated that there is rotation in the SWAT team. He stated that one to three new operators are added each year.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if he would anticipate purchasing at least three new rifles per year. Mr. Lazowski concurred. Mr. Lazowski stated that the ammunition would be purchased yearly. Mr. Maciejewski asked how the ammunition was delivered. Mr. Lazowski stated ammunition is delivered in bulk; he stated that the ammunition is drop shipped. He stated that the ammunition must be signed for.

Mr. Maciejewski asked how anyone from the Town would know that he was limited to purchasing three rifles per year or whether he would run a full fledged fire arms dealership out of his home. Mr. Lazowski stated that his neighbors would probably notice a difference in deliveries coming in and out of his house.

Mr. Maciejewski remarked no one from the Town would ever be able to know whether or not he was taking shipments of guns and selling them. Mr. Lazowski stated that the ATF will have records of his transactions; he stated he is not sure if this is public knowledge. He stated he has taken an oath to protect and serve. Mr. Lazowski stated that all he can do is give the Board his word that he does not intend to run a home based firearms distribution business from his home.

Mr. Schneider stated he is not familiar with the firearms laws. He asked the Petitioner if another individual applied for the same type of license if they would be able to sell guns and ammunition out of their house without having to notify anyone. Mr. Lazowski stated pursuant to Indiana law you can go and purchase any type of gun except a fully automatic by just presenting your driver’s license.

Mr. Lazowski stated that in order to qualify for the federal firearms license he had to undergo extensive background checks and rechecks. He stated that the ATF has the authority to come into his home at any time to do a surprise inspection, and gain immediate access to his bookkeeping if requested. He stated that the ATF has many more regulations and controls. He has to keep records of every rifle that he sells for over 15 years.

Mr. Lazowski noted that a person in Indiana with a driver’s license can freely and legally purchase a gun any time they want and sell it at any time that they want. He stated that he could go to Cabela’s right now and purchase a weapon and sell it to any person who has an Indiana driver’s license.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Lazowski stated he has applied for a Federal Firearms Class 3 license. He stated that most of the neighboring Towns do not have the ordinance (like St. John) prohibiting a home based business. Mr. Lazowski reiterated that he does not intend to run a firearms distribution business out of his home. He stated that he is obtaining this license to save money for the SWAT team.

Mr. Schneider asked why other police departments belonging to the SWAT team have not helped to obtain weapons. Mr. Lazowski explained that they could obtain weapons, but not at dealer cost.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan asked how much difference between the police department’s cost for bulk ammunition and his cost. Mr. Lazowski stated that the savings would be approximately $2,000 on the sniper ammunition. Mr. Lazowski remarked that law enforcement agencies receive discounts but not as much as he would with a firearms license.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked if there is a municipal discount. Mr. Lazowski stated that there is a small discount, but not much savings. Mr. Lazowski stated that he would be purchasing items direct from the factory.

Mr. Ryan asked who was paying for the firearms dealer application. Mr. Lazowski stated that the application fee is $200.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Lazowski stated he could tell the Board that the type of ammunition he would be purchasing would be .223 rounds. The type of rifles he would purchase would be based on operator preference.

Mr. Schneider asked about the safety precautions. Mr. Lazowski stated his safe would have to pass ATF requirements for a safe. He stated he also has a 90 pound police German Shepherd. He stated everything is kept locked and safe.

Mr. Hastings wondered why the SWAT team communities don’t get together and purchase a store front for Mr. Lazowski so he could purchase and sell items at a discount. Mr. Lazowski stated he would have to man the store, provide rent and taxes for the store front. He stated this would not be possible with his career.

Mr. Hastings wondered how the Town would regulate Mr. Lazowski’s home based business. He remarked that Mr. Lazowski could decide he wants to go to gun shows and/or sell additional weapons and firearms and store them at his home. Mr. Lazowski reiterated that it is not his intention to run a home based weapons business. He stated he has pledged an oath to the State of Illinois. He stated that the Board is welcome to contact his commanders or anyone else on the SWAT team. He stated all he could do is give the Board his word that it is not his intention to run a home based business.

Mr. Lazowski stated that the ammunition is stored in an equipment truck and this vehicle is stored in a locked building with a security alarm. He stated that this garage is located in Matteson, Illinois. Mr. Lazowski stated as soon as ammunition was drop shipped to him he would transport it to the equipment truck.

Attorney Kuiper noted that the publications and notices were in order for the public hearing. He stated that there were two letters in the file. Mr. Maciejewski Opened the floor for public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Greg Wielogorski, 11926 North Magoun:
Mr. Wielogorski stated he was actually here for another matter but became interested in this item. He thanked Mr. Lazowski for his service. He asked since there were so few deliveries why couldn’t the Petitioner have the items delivered to where the truck is located.

Mr. Lazowski stated the supplies must be delivered to where the license is stationed. He stated that he has attempted to have it delivered to his station, and have a license out of his station but found out the items must be delivered to the licensee’s address.

Mr. Wielogorski remarked with fireworks you have to have a warehouse somewhere off property. He asked if the Petitioner could procure a warehouse and use this address. Mr. Lazowski stated it has to be stored where the license and bookkeeping is kept.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper explained the variance of use to the speaker.

Mr. Wielogorski stated that if Petitioner runs this business out of his house and not as a store then the Town is losing tax revenue. Mr. Maciejewski stated he was not able to ascertain how this business would work. Attorney Kuiper stated there would be no municipal taxes.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment.

Mr. Maciejewski read a letter received from St. John Police Chief Fred Frigo into the record. In summary, Chief Frigo stated he has concerns about the operation of this type of business being conducted from a residential neighborhood, some of his concerns were security related. Chief Frigo invited the members of the Board to contact him if they wished to discuss this matter further. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the other letter contained in the file was received from Coordinator Greg Parevich regarding the South Suburban Emergency Response Team.

Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board for discussion.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he has concerns because he does not feel it is appropriate for the Illinois response team to be looking for an Indiana base of operations to fulfill the purpose described by Mr. Lazowski. Mr. Lazowski explained that the reason this was being done was because of the huge expense.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he fully appreciated the expenses incurred. He stated that he thinks it’s a shame that Petitioner has to fund raise to provide this service to the public. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the South Suburban Emergency Response Team is a service provided to Illinois residents; he stated it is not a benefit to the Town of St. John. Mr. Lazowski stated he provides for his family and pays taxes in the Town of St. John.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if this was a volunteer or a paid position. Mr. Lazowski explained that it is 80 percent volunteer position. Mr. Schneider asked if Mr. Lazowski had discussed this matter with Chief Frigo. Mr. Lazowski stated that he spoke to Chief Frigo who informed him that he did not believe there was any ordinance related to this type of home based business. He stated Chief Frigo also informed him he knew of two people in town who held federal firearms licenses.

Mr. Lazowski stated if Chief Frigo has any concerns about how safe the weapons will be he is welcome to his residence. Mr. Maciejewski stated that it appears that the sale of firearms from a residence is not something Chief Frigo supports. Mr. Lazowski stated that Chief Frigo expressed no concerns to him when he talked to him.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he feels it should be a very defined set of purchases and a very defined set of actions in a manner that should be closely regulated if it is going to occur in the Town of St. John. Mr. Maciejewski stated he is not sure what protocol would have to be implemented for this to happen. Mr. Maciejewski stated another concern is running a business out of a residence.

Mr. Lazowski stated that he would be overseen by the ATF and he is an accredited police officer. He stated he has the proper storage for the weapons and everything is regulated. He stated all of his firearms transfers would be regulated by the ATF and everything is documented.

Mr. Maciejewski asked how many rifles could be stored in Petitioner’s safe. Mr. Lazowski stated he is able to store eight rifles in his safe. He asked how many rifles the Petitioner owns personally. Petitioner stated he owns two shot guns that were handed down to him from his grandfather, a 22 rifle, one 30-30 which is a hunting rifle, and his Glock operation rifle. Mr. Maciejewski noted Petitioner has five rifles at the present time. Petitioner concurred.

Mr. Monix asked if the Petitioner asked if he has ever sold equipment at the gun shows held at the Lake County Fairgrounds. Mr. Lazowski stated he has not sold guns there and is not looking to go into a full time business.

Mr. Maciejewski asked about the storage requirements for the ammunition. Mr. Lazowski stated that the ATF does not have any requirements for the storage of ammunition except to be secured; he stated that the ammunition would not be stored at his residence.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated one of his biggest fears is that someone would catch on to the deliveries at Petitioner’s residence and then the Town would need a SWAT team on Tapper Street. Petitioner stated that he understood Mr. Schneider’s concerns. He stated that his street is not a throughway. He stated he knows all the residents. He stated that he is constantly armed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated that he believes this is for a good cause, but the letter from Chief Frigo concerns him. He stated that Chief Frigo, in a roundabout way, does not approve.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he is looking for a more defined plan, how it would work, how it could be monitored by the Town’s police department. Petitioner stated that the letter from Chief Frigo takes him aback; he stated when he talked to Chief Frigo on the telephone he had no issues at all.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he does not think it’s a question of the Petitioner; it’s a question of what the operation is. He stated that this proposal needs some more definition to it.

Mr. Lazowski stated that everything that he does will be regulated by the ATF. He stated that the ATF will oversee everything that he does, and all of his weapons will be reported properly.

Mr. Schneider stated that he does not want to overrule the Town’s police chief. He stated that the Chief’s concerns are probably more than his concerns.

Mr. Maciejewski referred to Chief Frigo’s letter which stated that some of the Chief’s concerns were security related. Mr. Ryan noted that the thrust of the issue is that Petitioner will be conducting a business of this type out of a residential neighborhood.

Attorney Kuiper and the Board discussed the regulation of a home business. Mr. Maciejewski stated he would like to be able to regulate the business because he is not comfortable with someone else’s definitions. Attorney Kuiper remarked that it is difficult to regulate and approve something that has not been quantified.

Petitioner stated that the neighbors that he talked to voiced approval for his home based business. He stated that if his neighbors had a problem with his proposal they would have been at the meeting.

Mr. Hastings recommended that the Town Council review this matter. He stated that the Council may have more input into the matter as far as regulating the business.

Mr. Schneider asked Petitioner if the matter could be deferred for a month so that he could present a more concrete plan to the Board at the next meeting. He stated that this would also give the Petitioner another chance to talk with Chief Frigo.

Mr. Ryan asked if there was anyone else on the SWAT team who resides in Indiana. Petitioner stated that there are two other residents on the SWAT team but they are not team leaders, only operators. Mr. Lazowski stated that he is on the command staff.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he would accept a motion either for or against the variance of use at 8770 Tapper Street for a favorable and/or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council and including the findings of fact.

Mr. Hastings made a motion to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for a variance of use at 8770 Tapper Street to run a home based business for the sale and/or distribution of firearms, and included the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Monix seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Maciejewski. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

Attorney Kuiper remarked that this matter should be on the Town’s agenda for the upcoming Thursday. He advised Petitioner to call the Town Manager’s office to confirm this.

The Petitioner thanked the Board for their time and stated it was a shame.

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR:

Mr. Wielogorski commended the Board for their work.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Monix made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.)

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

06-25-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Exhibits.pdf
07-23-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals

July 23, 2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski Attorney Tim Kuiper
Peter Monix  
Ken Schneider  
Steve Hastings  
Tom Ryan  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Ken Schneider chaired the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of June 25, 2012, and called the same to order at 7:03 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with the following Commissioners present: Ken Schneider, Peter Monix and Tom Ryan. Jim Maciejewski and Steve Hastings were absent. Staff members present: Steve Kil. Attorney Tim Kuiper was present. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JUNE 25, 2012

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion for the minutes of June 25, 2012. Mr. Monix made a motion to approve the minutes of June 25, 2012 as circulated; Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix –yes. Tom Ryan – yes. Ken Schneider – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (3/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. HUNTER ATKINS – 10119 SOUTH BRANCH – SPECIAL EXCEPTION – SPORT COURT IN REAR YARD
Mr. Hunter Atkins, Petitioner, appeared before the Board seeking a special exception for a sport court at 10119 South Branch.

Mr. Kil explained to the Board that Mr. Atkins appeared at the June Town Council meeting. He stated there was new information submitted at this meeting. Mr. Kil stated that the Town Council considered the additional information submitted by the Petitioner sufficient enough to remand this matter back to the Board of Zoning Appeals for their review.

Mr. Dan Steiner, Steiner Homes, also appeared before the Board on behalf of Petitioner. Mr. Steiner apologized to the Board for wasting their time. He explained that when he sold the house to the Atkins, Mr. Atkins one request was the ability to have a place to shoot baskets.

Mr. Steiner explained to the Board that he sold this house to Mr. Atkins as a spec house. He stated that there is an approximate 8% slope to the driveway. He stated he assured the Petitioner that a sport court would not be a problem, in part, because he did not know the Town’s sport court ordinance existed. He stated the confusion related to the sport court was completely his fault.

Mr. Steiner asked the Board to review the information again. He submitted a survey for the Board’s review. He stated that the Lake Central Homeowner’s Association has already approved a sport court (with no lights) for Mr. Atkins.

Mr. Steiner stated that the proposed sport court is 40x30. He stated that the lot is approximately 42,000 square feet. He stated that the sport court would cover approximately 11% of the lot, the sidewalks and driveway cover approximately 9%, the house covers approximately 19%. He stated that lot coverage is approximately 40% with the aforementioned items, well within the Town’s ordinance requirements for lot coverage.

Mr. Steiner stated that there are two storm sewers on the back of Petitioner’s property. He stated that the grades from the residence behind Petitioner and Petitioner’s home all run to the storm sewers in the back. He stated that there should be no drainage problems.

Mr. Steiner also stated that landscaping would include arborvitae all along the back and the side of the property.

Mr. Steiner stated that one of the neighbors who remonstrated against the sport court at the last meeting had changed their mind. He stated that Petitioner has a list of all of the neighbors who have no objection to the sport court.

Mr. Steiner stated that the proposed 30x40 sport court is comparable in size to a pool. He stated that Petitioner’s children are very respectful. Mr. Steiner cited two sports courts in Town that were previously approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals since 2009.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Steiner stated he does not believe that the proposed sport court will cause any car traffic or congestion. Mr. Steiner stated that St. John is a family oriented community and not a retirement community.

Mr. Atkins stated he is not asking for a community basketball court and he apologized if he left this impression with the Board. He stated that he will be shooting baskets with his son, and his son will be playing 95% of the time by himself. He stated that he keeps a very clean yard and his children are respectful. He stated after speaking with his neighbor behind him, his neighbor has changed his mind and now has no objection to the proposed sport court.

Mr. Atkins informed the Board that there were many neighbors in the audience, old neighbors and new neighbors. He stated that his neighbors are willing to speak on his behalf. He stated that he has never had a problem in the Town of St. John. He stated he previously lived in Edgewood and had a basketball pad there; he stated he never had a problem there. He stated he is willing to work with his neighbors if they need quiet at certain times of the day.

(Mr. Atkins submitted documents to the Board.)

Mr. Atkins stated that there are four lots that adjoin his lot. He stated that all of these neighbors have no objection to the proposed sport court. He stated that there are 14 people who signed the document indicating they are not opposed to the sport court including Eenigenburg Builders and Breck Builders.

Mr. Monix asked about subdivision approval. Mr. Atkins stated he had HOA approval. Mr. Schneider asked how old Petitioner’s son was. Mr. Atkins stated his son was going into eighth grade. Mr. Schneider wanted to know what would happen to the pad in five years. Mr. Atkins stated he has a daughter (in sixth grade) who also plays basketball. Mr. Atkins stated that his neighbors’ children also come over shoot occasionally.

Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications for the public hearing were in order for tonight’s public hearing.

Mr. Kil stated that he reviewed the technical aspects of this matter with Dan Steiner related to lot coverage. He stated that the drainage was reviewed because it was a concern of his. He stated that the Petitioner has two inlets in his back yard and the grade is satisfactory. He stated that Mr. Atkins does not have a shed or pool and has no plans on putting in a shed or pool. Mr. Kil stated that that the Board is simply reviewing a special exception for a sport court.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment.

PUBLIC HEARING

Bill Suarez, 8922 Parkside Lane

Mr. Suarez stated that there are approximately four residences that are affected by the proposed sport court. He stated that the rest of the lots have not been built on yet. He stated that there are three other neighbors who only recently moved into the subdivision within the last month. Mr. Suarez stated that the sport court was denied last month by the Board of Zoning Appeals. He stated the Town Council also denied the proposed sport court. He stated, not being familiar with the operations of the Town Council, he left before the Town Council meeting concluded. He stated that the Town Council was convinced by Petitioner to send the matter back to the Board of Zoning Appeals after he had left the meeting.

Mr. Suarez stated he wanted to reiterate why he was opposed to the proposed sport court. He stated that his property is not adjacent to the Petitioner, but behind Petitioner’s house to the northeast and approximately 30’ away. He stated all of the yards in the neighborhood are wide open. He stated there is no fencing and the lots are pretty close.

Mr. Suarez stated that the slab of concrete that was put in is “just an eyesore.” He stated the sport court is located at a corner near his bedroom. He stated that he believed the bedrooms of his neighbors are also located in the back. He stated that one of the neighbors, who was not present tonight, pointed out the green space that was available for parks where a basketball court could be erected.

Mr. Suarez stated Petitioner has never introduced himself and he has no personal animosity towards Petitioner. He stated that he is against the proposed sport court. He stated that there will be basketballs bouncing, which will echo in the back of the houses.

Mr. Suarez stated that there is an ordinance in place for a reason. He stated if the Board grants this special exception how can they say no to the next person seeking a special exception. He stated his son likes baseball and he would like to install a batting cage in his back yard. He asked if people would be receptive to his son hitting baseballs with an aluminum bat for hours at a time.

Mr. Suarez stated it would not be bad if the neighbors weren’t so close together. He stated that the Board should protect all of the people in St. John, including the neighbors that have not shown up for this meeting but who are opposed to the special exception. He asked the Board to deny Petitioner’s request for a special exception.

Steve DeYoung, 10135 South Branch

Mr. DeYoung stated his lot is directly south of Mr. Atkins lot. He stated that he is neighbors with the Atkins. He stated that he can see the pad when he sits in his back yard. He stated he has no issues with the sport court and he is probably the closest to it.

Mr. DeYoung stated that the Petitioner is planning on putting up some landscaping. He stated that kids should be protected. He stated that the only complainant in the room should worry more about keeping his unfenced pool closed with all of the children in the neighborhood. He stated that complainant’s pool is a bigger worry than the basketball court.

Mr. DeYoung reiterated he is probably the most directly affected by the proposed sport court and he has no problem with it.

Gina Gorino,

Ms. Gorino stated she is with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She stated that she sold the home to the Atkins.

(Ms. Gorino submits plat to the Board.)

Ms. Gorino stated that the plat reflects the exact dimensions to Mr. Suarez’s lot and his bedroom window. She stated that the proposed sport court is approximately 130’ feet from Mr. Suarez’s bedroom window and not 30’ as he claims. She stated that Petitioner intends to install landscaping and Mr. Suarez also has his own landscaping and a 20x40 pool.

Mr. Gorino stated that she has known the Atkins for several years. She stated that the Atkins have been a joy to work with. She stated she lives in Edgewood. She stated the Atkins are a fabulous family. She stated that the Atkins home is very well-maintained. She recommended that Board grant the special exception to the Petitioner. She stated that the sport court will not be an eyesore.

Christine Conroy, 10102 South Branch Street

Ms. Conroy stated that her house is immediately across the street from the Atkins home. She stated that she has lived in the subdivision for four years. She stated that she found the Atkins family to be very quiet. She stated that even when they have guests over at their home they are quiet.

Ms. Conroy stated that she believed that there should be an equitable standard for noise. She stated a basketball court with one or two children will create no more noise than children playing in a pool. She stated that her subdivision has multiple built-in pools.

Ms. Conroy referred that the gentleman who talked about the noise earlier. She stated his family has been enjoying their pool for the past few days during this very hot summer. She pointed out that it gets noisy when people use their pools also. She stated she could hear these neighbors playing in their pool at her house. She stated that if one lives in a family community with swimming pools there is going to be noise.

Ms. Conroy encouraged the Board to apply an equitable standard for noise in a family community.

Todd Hardesty, 10166 South Branch

Mr. Hardesty stated he lives a couple of lots to the south and west of the Atkins. He stated that he is six years younger than Mr. Atkins, who was a basketball player. He stated Mr. Atkins was Northwest Indiana Basketball Player of the Year in his senior year.

Mr. Hardesty stated he went to Lake Central as did Mr. Atkins, and he and looked up to Hunter Atkins. He stated everyone knew who Hunter Atkins was if you were a basketball player. He stated he was a little concerned when he met Mr. Atkins that he would be arrogant. Mr. Hardesty stated Mr. Atkins is one of the nicest guys around. He stated his children are well behaved. He stated the Atkins daughter is a great friend to his two younger daughters.

Mr. Hardesty stated in reference to the gentleman with the problem with the proposed sport court, he recalled a very noisy party with a DJ held by this particular neighbor approximately three years ago. He stated that the music was so loud it kept his two daughters up until two in the morning.

Mr. Hardesty stated that the Atkins home, yard and garage are immaculate. He stated one could not ask for better neighbors than the Atkins.

Dave Malausnic

Mr. Malausnic stated he lives in the tri-town area. He stated he is the head basketball coach at Lake Central. He stated that he also grew up with Hunter Atkins. He stated that he is a little concerned when he hears about a family having trouble putting up a basketball hoop in their yard.

Mr. Malausnic stated he is concerned with the direction that recreational activities are taking. He understands that there is going to be noise. He stated a ball bouncing is like music to him. He stated that as far as the sport court being an eyesore, there is probably a large contingent of people who look at a basketball court and consider it aesthetically pleasing.

Mr. Malausnic stated that be believes that when people are looking for a house that these are the types of qualities that people are looking for, families creating an atmosphere for their children. He stated these types of activities help children succeed in sports and could possibly inspire them to continue on through high school and possibly college. He stated if you take this away there will be a large contingent of people that will not be buying homes in the community, himself included.

Mr. Malausnic stated he has not yet applied for a hoop in his community. He stated if he found out that he could not install one he would probably leave the community. He stated, as a basketball coach, the parks are not conducive. He stated a child has to be able to walk outside of his house, grab a ball for 20 minutes and play ball; he stated this is just how it’s done. He stated if you talk to any successful basketball player they had a hoop on their barn, a hoop in the alley, a hoop on their garage.

Mr. Malausnic stated he has a 6% slope at his house and whenever his son wants to shoot baskets he has to take his truck out of the garage and park it at the end of the drive way to make sure his son doesn’t get hit by a car. He stated as far as safety concerns, this request for a special exception is a “no-brainer.”

Phil (unintelligible)

Phil stated he lives in Edgewood subdivision. He stated he has had a full court basketball hoop in his back yard for 14 years. He stated he would not have moved in here if he couldn’t put the hoop in his backyard. He stated he put this up for his children. He stated he plays also.

Phil stated it kills him that there is even a discussion about putting the proposed sport court in. He stated he would not understand if the Board denied a kid a basketball court in his yard.

Mr. Schneider called for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment and the matter was brought back before the Board. He asked if the Board had any further questions.

Mr. Schneider remarked that one aspect the Board considers is whether or not a hardship exists. He asked Petitioner if a real hardship existed. Mr. Schneider stated that one of his homes had a slope of more than 8% and he had a hoop on it, and he and his boys enjoyed the hoop.

Mr. Atkins stated that at the level that his son plays basketball the driveway is too sloped. He stated someone will get injured. He stated that there are two young boys who would like to come over shoot, and he doesn’t believe they will make a lot of noise.

Mr. Atkins stated that all he is asking for a shooting pad for his son in his back yard. He stated that his son has a passion to get better at basketball.

Mr. Atkins stated that he never dreamed this would even happen. He stated he has been living a nightmare for three months. He stated he travels for his job. He stated that this matter has taken up so much of his time and effort. He stated that there are basketball hoops all over Town. Mr. Atkins stated he would not have bought the house if he knew he would not have the opportunity to put the basketball pad in the back.

Mr. Atkins stated that he thinks the term sport court came about in regard to a sport court; he stated he is asking for a shooting pad. He stated that this basketball pad will not be a lighted albatross. He stated it is for his son to be able to go out and shoot.

Mr. Atkins stated both he and his father played basketball in college. He stated for him to live in a house where his son cannot go out and shoot hoops is a hardship. He stated that his son did not want to come to this meeting tonight because he did not want to go through another meeting. He stated his son is distraught over the entire matter.

Mr. Atkins stated he is a good neighbor. He stated he has kids coming by his home. He stated he is not a problem and has never been. He stated if he did have a problem with a neighbor he would work it out. He stated he does not see the shooting pad ever being a problem.

Mr. Atkins stated he would keep fighting for the special exception so he could place the shooting pad in his back yard for his son. He asked the Board to help him out.

Mrs. Atkins stated that she just wanted to clarify a matter for the Board. She stated that they have not been playing on the basketball court. She stated that her family has been very respectful of the Board and have not put anything out on the basketball court.

Mr. Atkins remarked that he has seen residences with 15 kids out in the driveway at 11:00 p.m. playing basketball because they have a hoop in their front yard with lights.

Mrs. Atkins thanked the Board for their consideration.

Mr. Schneider stated if there were no further questions he would entertain a motion. There was no further comment from the Board.

Mr. Monix made a motion to make a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for a special exception at 10119 South Branch for a sport court. The motion died for lack of a second.

Attorney Kuiper advised the Board that the motion would die for lack of a second, they could accept another motion at this time or Mr. Schneider could second the motion.

Mr. Schneider seconded the motion with the contingencies that there will be no lights on the sport court and all of the landscaping is in place before the basketball hoop is installed.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Ryan – no.

Attorney Kuiper explained that there was no action taken because there must be unanimous approval from this Board tonight because there is a five member Board and it must be a majority of the Board.

Attorney Kuiper stated that the Board could make a motion for no recommendation and send this to the Town Council. He explained that a recommendation must be sent whether it’s favorable/unfavorable/no recommendation. If there is no action he stated that the matter must be continued to the next meeting or until there are more members present.

Mr. Schneider apologized that there were only three members present tonight. He stated the Board could not take any action or make a favorable recommendation to the Town Council due to not having a majority vote. He stated that he would entertain a motion for no recommendation to be sent to the Town Council so that the matter could be sent back to the Town Council.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion for no recommendation to be sent to the Town Council. Mr. Ryan stated he would make that motion. Mr. Monix seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. The motion was unanimously passed by roll call vote to send no recommendation to the Town Council (3/0).

Mr. Schneider stated that since the Board has voted for no recommendation the matter is now being sent back to the Town Council. Mr. Kil informed Petitioner that this matter would be on the Town Council’s agenda for the upcoming Thursday.

Mr. Atkins asked that the Board if a record could be made of all of the people who came to the meeting tonight in support of the special exception. Attorney Kuiper stated that the Town Council will have a record of the proceedings from tonight and the Town Council will be aware of what transpired.

Mr. Kil informed Mr. Atkins that he would make sure that the Town Council had accurate information of what transpired at the BZA meeting.

B. BRIAN AND DEEDEE WILKES – 13990 WEST 94TH COURT – DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE – CONSTRUCTION OF FENCE BEYOND SIDE YARD BUILDING LINE
Mr. Brian Wilkes appeared before the Board seeking a developmental variance for construction of a fence beyond the side yard building line. Mr. Wilkes submitted photographs and a plat for the Board’s review.

Mr. Wilkes stated he is the current owner of the home at 13990 West 94th Court, Lot 17, recorded in Plat Book 92, Page 26. He stated he was asking the Board to consider his request for PVC fencing on his property. He stated that the fence will be no higher than 5’ high at the highest point and no lower than 3’ high at the lowest point.

Mr. Wilkes stated that the fence will extend from the rear west side of the garage west 23’, north 20’ from the rear yard easement, from there at a 45 º angle approximate 27’ to the rear far north easement, will continue east upon the property line and then turn south and continue to the northwest corner of the rear of the home.

Mr. Wilkes stated that the reason he is seeking the fence with this layout is because it will not divide his yard in half and it will continue the harmony. He stated that the proposed fence will satisfy the concerns of his neighbors to the rear who have recanted their remonstrance letter. He stated the proposed layout of the fence will give more square footage of the fenced yard which will provide a safe environment for his two dogs. He stated the proposed fence will also prohibit other dogs from entering his yard and his dogs will be able to run.

Mr. Wilkes stated he also has two 13 year old children who will be playing volley ball in the yard as well. He stated the proposed fence will be conducive to his children’s well-being.

Mr. Wilkes stated that the proposed fence will contain his existing pool. He stated that the outer perimeter of Julia Drive will also have landscaping completed in harmony with the existing structure.

Mr. Schneider asked if the Victorson’s had changed their minds. Mr. Wilkes stated that the Victorson’s were present.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked Petitioner if there was room for the fence along the north property line with all of the existing landscaping. Mr. Wilkes stated there would not be much tear up. He stated the unique situation that exists is that his back yard is the Victorson’s front yard. He stated that his house faces the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Wilkes stated that he has agreed to bring the fence down to a three foot level which would be more aesthetically pleasing for his neighbor. He stated he would then be bringing the fence back on an angle for 27’ so the fence fits the north side.

Mr. Schneider asked about the color and height of the fence. Mr. Wilkes stated that the fence would be white PVC at 5’ and 3’ heights. Mr. Schneider asked if the proposed fence would be 3’ high along Julia Drive. Mr. Wilkes stated that the fence would be 5’ high along Julia Drive. Mr. Wilkes stated that the 3’ high fence would run along the north easement.

Mr. Ryan asked which style of fence the Petitioner was proposing to install. Mr. Wilkes showed the Board the style of fencing he would install. Mr. Schneider recommended that Petitioner should consider installing a wrought iron or imitation wrought iron fence. Mr. Schneider stated a wrought iron fence would not look so bulky. Mr. Wilkes stated he would consider installing wrought iron or imitation wrought iron. Mr. Schneider stated this type of fence would have a smaller profile. Mr. Ryan concurred that the white PVC fencing would have a large profile.

George Lapaluzi

Mr. Lapaluzi stated he is a member of the Bramblewood Homeowner’s Association. He stated for clarification purposes, and without any strong recommendation one way or another, there were some issues that come into play with the proposed fence. He stated that Bramblewood Homeowner’s Association has restrictions on fences.

Mr. Lapaluzi stated he believes the Town’s guidelines call for a fence to be on the building line unless a variance is granted. He stated that the building line, in this case, is right along the side of Petitioner’s existing garage and would go to the back of the yard; he stated this would put Petitioner 30’ off of the sidewalk. He stated he understands Petitioner’s problem with the existing berm that is fully landscaped. He stated that it presents a problem with installing the fence the way Petitioner proposes without having to redo the entire back yard. He stated at the moment there is only one other fence on a corner lot in the subdivision where a variance was granted, on the corner of 94th and Calumet. He noted this fence is 16’ from the sidewalk and Petitioner’s fence will be 7’ off of the sidewalk. He just wondered what these differing fence lines will do to the next person who comes in seeking a variance. He stated that there are 12 additional lots where the Board may be presented with a similar situation because they are situated on a corner.

Mr. Lapaluzi stated that the Bramblewood covenants allows up to 10’ past the Town’s building line as an exception. He stated this would have to be a variance that the Town has granted. Mr. Lapaluzi stated this would place Petitioner 10’ from the sidewalk. He stated what Petitioner is proposing is approximately 7’ foot off the sidewalk. He stated he understands the problem that Petitioner has with the existing berm, which is fully landscaped.

Mr. Lapaluzi asked the Board did grant a variance if it would be specifically for what Petitioner is requesting. He stated that the Bramblewood Homeowner’s Association has a right to step in and ascertain whether the proposed fence is in the best interests of the neighborhood.

Attorney Kuiper announced that the notices and publications for a public hearing were in order. Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment.

PUBLIC HEARING

Art Victorson, 9425 Julia Drive
Mr. Victorson stated he was Mr. Wilkes’ north side neighbor. He stated he was recanting the original objection to the proposed fence. He stated that he and the Wilkes have come to agreeable terms. He stated he was even more pleased to hear that there will not be a white fence but a wrought iron fence instead.

Mr. Victorson stated that the Wilkes are great neighbors. He stated that he was interested in maintaining his property value and safety. He stated that Julia Drive is a bad thoroughfare. Mr. Victorson stated that wrought iron fence 3’ foot maximum height in the front is agreeable, 25’ back from the front sidewalk so long as it is not down his entire front yard.

Mr. Kil stated that he read the covenants for Bramblewood. He stated the Petitioner is aware of Bramblewood’s covenants and restrictions and the fact Petitioner has to deal with the Homeowner’s Association even if a variance is granted by the Board. He stated that the Town operates independent of Bramblewood’s covenants and restrictions. He stated that the Town does not enforce the covenants and restrictions of any of the various subdivisions or Homeowner’s Associations. He stated each subdivision is different. He stated that Board’s decision is not impacted by Bramblewood’s Homeowner Association’s rules and covenants.

(General discussion ensued.)

Craig Librex, 9405 Julia Drive
Mr. Librex he was the original president and CEO of the HOA. He stated that the covenants that were established are actually a part of the deeds. He stated that these covenants and restrictions are tighter than the Town’s ordinances. He stated that the HOA has an architectural committee. He stated that this matter should have been submitted to the architectural committee first. He stated that the architectural board would have sat down and made a decision and then met with the homeowners associated with the property. He stated if the matter had been heard before the architectural committee it probably would not have had to come before the Board.

Mr. Librex suggested that the Board either deny or defer any action on this matter in order to allow the HOA to make its decision.

Mr. Kil acknowledged Mr. Librex’s remarks. He stated that as far as he is concerned, the architectural committee has no bearing on anything that he does, or any permit that he issues. He stated whether the Board approved the variance or not it is contingent upon what the HOA would do. Mr. Kil reiterated that both he and the Petitioner understand that Bramblewood has covenants and restrictions. He stated regardless of what the HOA says, the Petitioner would have to appear before the Board.

Mr. Kil stated that the Petitioner could come into his office and obtain a permit to build a fence on the building line. He stated that it has nothing to do with what is going on here.

Mr. Schneider called for additional public comment.

Mr. Wilkes reiterated that the Board is not here to enforce Bramblewood’s covenants. He stated he does not think that Bramblewood has the right to implement selective enforcement on any covenants on any one person. He stated he has a corner lot that would look worse for the subdivision if his yard was cut in half.

Mr. Schneider called for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Schneider asked if the Petitioner to show him how the fence would be laid out. Mr. Wilkes showed him on the drawing where the fence would angle, and cut through the landscaping.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan asked Mr. Wilkes why he didn’t submit this matter for consideration with the Homeowner’s Association before he came before the Board. Mr. Wilkes replied that he was not aware. He stated he decided to get a fence and went to obtain a permit from the Town. He said since that time he was approached by a representative of the HOA who supplied him with a copy of the covenants.

Mr. Ryan asked Petitioner how long he has lived in Bramblewood. He asked Petitioner if his realtor informed him of Bramblewood’s covenants. Mr. Wilkes stated he was not informed by his realtor of the covenants. He stated he probably had a copy of the covenants at one time. He stated he has apologized and submitted a letter to the HOA informing them of his plans.

Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment.

Mr. Lapaluzi

He stated he communicated with Brian to see if he had a copy of the covenants. He stated this is a common thing that happens with homeowners. He stated that Mr. Wilkes did show him a drawing and informed him that there was no way his committee could hold a meeting to resolve this matter quickly . He stated he was originally looking at placing the fence 3’ off of the sidewalk, which the committee was not in agreement with. He stated a lot of things changed over the weekend. He stated now the committee will sit down and discuss his proposal.

Mr. Schneider closed the floor to additional public comment and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to grant/deny/defer a variance to construct a fence beyond the side building yard. Attorney Kuiper stated that the Board may also want to place contingencies, if the variance is granted, on the type and color of the fencing.

Mr. Ryan stated he would like to see the Petitioner work something out before the Board grants approval. Attorney Kuiper stated that the Board’s approval is independent of the HOA.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to defer this matter until such time as Petitioner has time to submit this matter to the HOA. The motion died for lack of a second.

Mr. Schneider stated that Mr. Ryan’s motion died for lack of a second. He stated he would entertain a motion for a developmental variance for construction of a side yard fence beyond the building line for approval/denial/or deferral.

Mr. Monix made a motion to approve the developmental variance for 13990 West 94th Court with the following contingencies: that the fence be 7’ off of the sidewalk; run at a 45º angle somewhere between 25’ and 27’ feet cutting across the berm; the fence would drop down to 3’ along the north property line; the remainder of the fence would be 5’ foot high; the fence would be wrought iron or imitation wrought iron, picket fence style; and, in black or earth tones.

Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (3/0).

C. JOSEPH KUBIAK – 10749 WICKER AVENUE – SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR THE SALE OF VARIOUS AUTOMOBILES
Mr. Joseph Kubiak appeared before the Board seeking a special exception for the sale of various automobiles at 10749 Wicker Avenue.

Mr. Kil stated that this matter would require a recommendation to the Town Council. He stated that cars were popping up everywhere on Route 41. He stated that Mr. Kubiak is not being ticketed. He stated that Mr. Kubiak has been selling automobiles for a long time. He stated he has no issues with Mr. Kubiak. He stated he informed Mr. Kubiak if he wanted to continue selling cars he had to come before the Board seeking a special exception.

Mr. Kubiak informed the Board that he has cars parked on blacktop at the northwest corner of his shop. He stated he usually has one car sitting on the northwest corner of the parking lot, sometimes two cars. He stated he has two friends who have a dealer’s license. He stated they will occasionally park cars on his lot for them. He stated he also sells his own cars from the lot. He stated if he allows his friends to park a car there he makes a commission when the cars sell. Mr. Kubiak stated he does not have a clutter of cars parked on the corner.

Mr. Ryan asked Petitioner if he would object to a restriction placed on the number of cars that could parked at any one time. Mr. Kubiak stated he would not object.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Monix remarked that the Petitioner runs a very clean business.

Mr. Ryan asked Petitioner if he needed a dealer’s license. Mr. Kubiak stated he does not need a dealer’s license. He stated it is not him selling the majority of the cars; he allows his friends to sell the cars from his lot.

Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications were in order for a public hearing to be held. Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back before the Board. The Board had no further questions.

Mr. Monix made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the special exemption at 10749 Wicker Avenue for the sale of various automobiles with the following contingencies, the cars to be located on the northwest corner of the lot, and not to exceed two vehicles. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Schneider – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (3/0). Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Kubiak’s item would be on the Town Council’s agenda for the upcoming Thursday.

D. RASCAL’S PIZZA – 9623 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE – REPLACE EXISTING SIGN WITH A DIGITAL ADVERTISING SIGN
Vince Frassinone appeared before the Board seeking a developmental technical variance for 9623 Wicker Avenue to install a digital advertising sign. He stated that the digital sign would allow him to advertise the business. He stated that the old sign would be taken down.

Mr. Kil stated if the Board grants Mr. Frassinone’s request he is going to remove the Rascal’s sign and there would only be one Rascal’s sign up. Mr. Kil stated that technically the sign is owned by the Buchanans. He stated that the sign and the two posts belong to the Buchanans.

Mr. Kil stated that Petitioner could erect his own sign, a digital sign. Mr. Kil stated that he informed Petitioner that he would have to take the other old sign down for the Board to consider a digital sign.

Mr. Kil stated Petitioner related to him that his business is fairly new and he runs a lot of specials, events and fund raisers. Mr. Kil stated he advised the Petitioner to seek the developmental variance for the digital sign.

Mr. Schneider asked where the sign would be located. Mr. Frassinone stated that the sign would be located in the center of the building and approximately 4’ away from the building.

Mr. Schneider asked if the sign would sit on a base. Mr. Frassinone stated that the sign would sit on a base with two sides wrapped with metal; he stated the sign is very similar to the Dairy Queen sign. Mr. Frassinone stated that he intends to pour a concrete pad with a base of cultured stone that matches the building with landscaping around it.

Mr. Ryan asked if the sign scrolls or flashes. Mr. Frassinone stated that the sign can flash and scroll and it is full color. Attorney Kuiper noted that there are restrictions on these types of signs. He stated that the message on the sign must be a minimum of six seconds, no scrolling, no side to side messages and no flashing. Mr. Frassinone stated that the sign is programmable. Mr. Frassinone stated he hopes the sign will bring in more business.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated that he is concerned about sign in the event the Petitioner moves. Mr. Kil stated that the Board grants this developmental variance they could make the sign proprietary to this business, and if the owner, Mr. Frassinone, leaves the sign must go with him.

Mr. Frassinone stated he is attempting to get the landlord to landscape the entire building. Mr. Ryan stated that the problem with these types of signs is that they keep rolling down the road.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan stated that the signs can be distracting. He stated that in the event the developmental variance is granted he would like to see the brightness of the sign be controlled and no scrolling left to right and no flashing.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper stated that all notices and publications for the public hearing were in order. Mr. Schneider opened the public hearing and called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. The Board had no additional discussion.

Mr. Monix made a motion to approve the developmental variance to replace an existing sign with a digital advertising sign at 9623 Wicker Avenue, with the contingencies to regulate the digital sign with a minimum of 6 intervals on the messaging, regulation of the brightness of the sign with the dimming feature, no scrolling, no side to side movement, no flashing and the sign must have a decorative stone base. Further the sign is proprietary to Rascal’s Pizza and the sign must be removed if Rascal’s Pizza relocates. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix – yes. Tom Ryan – yes. Tom Schneider – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (3/0).

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR:

There was no business from the floor.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Schneider called the meeting adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 p.m.)

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

07-23-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Missing
08-27-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
09-24-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
10-22-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals

October 22, 2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski Attorney Tim Kuiper
Peter Monix Town Council Liaison, Greg Volk
Ken Schneider  
Steve Hastings  
Tom Ryan  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski chaired the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of October 22, 2012, and called the same to order at 7:04 p.m. Mr. Maciejewski appointed Tim Kuiper as the Pro Tem Recording Secretary for the meeting.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken with the following Commissioners present: Jim Maciejewski, Steve Hastings, Ken Schneider, Peter Monix, and Tom Ryan. Attorney Tim Kuiper was present. Town Council liaison Greg Volk was also present

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JULY 23, 2012

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for the minutes of July 23, 2012. Mr. Monix made a motion to approve the minutes of July 23, 2012 as circulated; Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix - yes. Tom Ryan - yes. Ken Schneider - yes. Steve Hasting- yes. Jim Maciejewski­ abstained. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4-0-1).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Patricia Riner-12011 W. 93rd Ave. Developmental Variance for a side yard variance for the construction of a garage.
Ms. Patricia Riner, Petitioner, appeared before the Board seeking a developmental variance for a side yard variance for the construction of a garage. Ms. Riner explained that the current structure has a flat roof that has been leaking for years, so the roof and the wall have to be replaced and in order to alleviate this problem in the future, a pitched roof needs to be installed. Ms. Riner seeks to install a 22’ x 24’ attached garage that will match the house and will re-use the brick from the current structure. Ms. Riner explained that because the house is located on the lot at an angle, that the proposed garage would meet the 10’ side yard setback at the front northwest corner of the garage, but would extend into the side yard setback as it approached the rear of the garage. The Board members asked questions of Ms. Riner regarding the petition.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications for the public hearing were in order for tonight's public hearing.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. None was made.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for a developmental variance. Mr. Schneider made a motion to grant the developmental variance contingent on the front northwest corner of the garage complying with the 10’ side yard setback and the remaining portion of the garage maintaining a minimum of a 5’ side yard setback from the property line and that the Petitioner must obtain a current survey to submit for her building permit in order to ensure the setbacks are maintained along with the required statutory findings of fact. Mr. Hasting seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix -yes. Tom Ryan -yes. Ken Schneider - yes. Steve Hasting - yes. Jim Maciejewski-yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (5-0-0)

B. Irene Emery-12680 Rosewood Ct. Developmental Variance Construction of fence beyond side yard building line.
Ms. Denise Emery, daughter of the Petitioner, appeared before the Board seeking a developmental variance for the construction of a fence beyond the side yard building line. Ms. Emery explained that her mother was looking to replace the current 4’ high wood fence with a 5’ high vinyl white PVC fence. The fence is dilapidated and the new replacement fence would allow the petitioner's dogs to run outside. A new section of fence on the western boundary of the property as well as gates would be added. The Board members asked questions of Ms. Emery regarding the petition.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications for the public hearing were in order for tonight's public hearing.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. None was made.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for a developmental variance. Mr. Hastings made a motion to grant the developmental variance for the replacement of the wooden fence with a 5' high PVC white fence as requested except that the replacement fence must be at least 3' off of the current sidewalk along with the required statutory findings of fact. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix -yes. Tom Ryan - yes. Ken Schneider - yes. Steve Hasting - yes. Jim Maciejewski-yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (5-0-0)

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR:

There was no business from the floor.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski called the meeting adjourned.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.)

_______________________________________________
Tim Kuiper, Pro Tem Recording Secretary
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

11-26-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
12-24-2012 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
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