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Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes 2013

Meeting Minutes

01-28-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
02-25-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
03-25-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

March 25, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Steve Hastings Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Tom Ryan Steve Kil
Peter Monix, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order Board of Zoning Appeals meeting of March 25, 2013, at 7:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, with the following members present: Jim Maciejewski, Peter Monix, Ken Schneider, Tom Ryan and Steve Hastings. Staff members present: Steve Kil. Attorney Dave Austgen was present. Greg Volk, Town Council liaison, was also present. Rex Sherrard was present.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Maciejewski stated that next item of business was Election of Officers for 2013. He stated he would entertain a motion for the office of President. Mr. Monix made a motion to retain Jim Maciejewski for President. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for the office of Vice-President. Mr. Monix made a motion to nominate Ken Schneider for the office of Vice-President. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for the office of Secretary. Mr. Schneider made a motion to retain Peter Monix as Secretary. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for Recording Secretary. Mr. Monix made a motion to retain Susan E. Wright for Recording Secretary. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: OCTOBER 22, 2012 MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of the October 22, 2012, meeting, taken by Attorney Timothy Kuiper, pro tem Recording Secretary, with any comments or corrections. Mr. Monix made a motion to accept the meeting minutes of the October 22, 2012, Board of Zoning Appeals as presented. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. MCDONALDS CORPORATION – 9769 WICKER AVENUE DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCES – CHAPTER 15, SECTION 3 FOR SIGNS, AND CHAPTER 3, SECTION F FOR BUILDING LINE – PUBLIC HEARING
Attorney Patrick Lyp appeared before the Board on behalf of McDonalds Corporation concerning the two variance requests, a building line variance and a sign variance. Attorney Lyp stated that Petitioner has submitted Proofs of Publication as well as the appropriate green cards to the Board’s counsel. He stated a sign was also posted on the property as required by the Town’s rules.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Lyp to explain the two variance requests for the Board. The Board was perusing the site plan that was approved at the last Plan Commission meeting.

Attorney Lyp explained that given the configuration of the lots along with the proposed building on the site, the 60 foot setback would not be practical or realistic for the construction of the McDonalds restaurant. He stated Petitioner is requesting a 49 foot setback which would be consistent with other improvements along the same area.

Attorney Lyp stated that the entrance to the south is for Target and the other developments there. He stated going north, in terms of the setbacks of similarly situated buildings, the proposed setback would be consistent with the these buildings as well as with the topography and the layout of the lot. Attorney Lyp stated this is essentially a technical request to have the lot in conformity with the Town’s zoning code.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil explained that this request was made at staff level, and also by the Plan Commission. He stated that due to the configuration of the lot and the size of the building it was necessary to move the building forward to accommodate the drive-thru lanes in the back of the building. Mr. Kil stated that early on in the site planning process, he recommended that Mr. Daniels, McDonalds engineer, request this variance for the purpose of moving the drive-thru lanes to the rear of the building. Mr. Kil stated that the Town is desirous of keeping the US Route 41 street scape aesthetically pleasing, and for this reason, the McDonalds order boards will be moved to the back of the building.

Attorney Lyp stated that Petitioner believes the variance request for the building line change will have no adverse effect on any of the adjacent property owners, nor will it affect the health, safety and general welfare of the community. He stated that the building line variance was being requested to overcome a practical difficulty and, in part, based upon a request by the Town in terms of where the McDonalds restaurant will be placed on the parcel. Attorney Lyp stated that Petitioner believes they have met the criteria the BZA would review for the building line variance.

Attorney Lyp submitted photographs to the Board members. He stated that the photographs were taken from various vantage points on US Route 41, (north and south) today. He stated the photos will give the Board a visual of the sign location placement on US Route 41 in front of the proposed restaurant. Attorney Lyp stated he has also included various comparable signs from other businesses on US Route 41.

Attorney Lyp stated Petitioner’s proposed sign will be much newer, sleeker and also aesthetically pleasing to the community. He stated all of the comparable signs he submitted have some type of internal illumination or electronic function. Attorney Lyp stated that also attached to the Petitioner’s submittal is a conceptual drawing of the McDonalds sign. He stated that the sign will be 10 foot high from grade and approximately 3 ½ feet from the bottom there will be an electronic display. He stated the primary purpose for the electronic display is to provide the public with information about the store, which is going to be a 24-hour McDonalds. He stated that the proposed internally lit sign/electronic sign will allow the restaurant to display information to the public.

Attorney Lyp stated that Petitioner believes the sign will actually enhance the area. He stated that the proposed sign will be a single user, monument sign with a brick masonry foundation. Attorney Lyp stated the proposed sign will have no adverse effects on adjacent property owners nor will it impact the safety of the community. As to the location of the sign, Attorney Lyp stated that the electronic aspect of the sign will be beneficial in terms of the location of the McDonalds restaurant. Attorney Lyp concluded by asking the Board for their consideration of the sign variance request.

Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Kil about the rest of the Petitioner’s building signage. Mr. Kil stated that there is directional signage on the lot for the drive-thru and entrance/exit. Mr. Kil stated that the monument sign meets the Town’s requirements as far as height and square footage. He stated that the Petitioner is really asking for a variance on the electronic component of the sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Lyp stated, for the Board’s reference, that the Dyer McDonalds sign is comparable to what is being proposed for St. John. Mr. Maciejewski stated that there is a stipulation for directional signs.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the directional signage for this site is fairly minimal. He stated there is one small directional sign on 97th Lane and a drive-thru directional sign. Mr. Maciejewski stated there is a limitation in the zoning ordinance for the number of directional signs. He stated if Petitioner is going to exceed the number of directional signs it would fall into the variance request. Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner was fully compliant with the directional signage provisions. Attorney Lyp replied that Petitioner was compliant with the directional signage.

Attorney Lyp stated that Petitioner had also submitted to the Plan Commission their proposed illumination of the entire building and it meets with all of the Town’s codes as far as lighting for the entire facility.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated “one directional sign for the principal and the secondary access to the zoning lot at two square feet per sign.” He noted two signs at each entrance. Mr. Kil stated he always allows for an entrance and exit sign at a business.

Mr. Monix asked if the streets would be renamed. Mr. Kil stated that the street names have been discussed at the Plan Commission several times now.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board has two items to consider, the setback requirement and the signage variance. He asked the attorney if all of the publications were in order for the public hearing. Attorney Austgen stated that the notices have been reviewed and are in order and a public hearing may be conducted.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would open the floor for public comment relative to the McDonalds.

PUBLIC HEARING
Attorney Robert Meinzer, 11015 Ravenwood Court
Attorney Meinzer appeared before the Board. He stated he had filed a written remonstrance. He stated that at the present time he cannot find a signed copy of the lease from his client. Attorney Meinzer stated as a result of not being able to produce a signed copy of the lease he is withdrawing the written remonstrance.

Mr. Maciejewski called for further public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. He asked the Board members if they had any further questions or comments. There was no further comment from the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Austgen should the signed lease referred to by Attorney Meinzer turn up, would it have any bearing on the sign consideration. Attorney Austgen advised the Board that the signed lease referred to by Attorney Meinzer would have no effect upon the Board. He stated that Attorney Meinzer’s withdrawal of the written remonstrance, as made on the record, eliminates any legal impediment or legal consideration for the Board’s processing of their decision.

Mr. Ryan commented when other businesses request a variance for a digital sign the Board generally requests that the business does not use a flashing function for advertising. Since McDonalds is proposing a 24-hour operation, Mr. Ryan asked if there was any way to reduce the power on the electronic sign from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. so it’s not as bright. Attorney Lyp stated he would look into this.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated another element to be considered for the proposed electronic sign is to have messages appear for a certain length of time and avoid scrolling that might distract drivers. Attorney Lyp stated that the sign will not be a constant animation sign. Attorney Lyp stated there will be occasional changes but the sign will not be presenting new information every ten seconds.

Mr. Maciejewski asked approximately where the sign will line up in relation to the Target/Stracks signs that are reflected in the photographs that Petitioner submitted. Attorney Lyp referred the Board to the eighth picture that he submitted to the Board as to the sign placement.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil noted that the proposed sign is basically aligned with the Stracks/Target signs but on the other side of 97th. The line of sight was discussed.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner if the sign was in compliance in size. Mr. Kil stated that the McDonalds sign is an “M” and Petitioner is requesting a small LED component for underneath the “M.” Mr. Kil stated that Petitioner is basically seeking approval of the drawing in front of the Board for the entire monument sign.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner to explain the shift for the roughly 11’ (eleven feet) of building line. He noted if the Petitioner did not have the 11’ (eleven feet) the building could potentially be shifted back but then Petitioner would not be able to have two drive-thrus. Attorney Lyp stated that this is only part of the issue. He stated everything is reliant on the current building line variance request.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings commented that all of the members of the Plan Commission seemed to really like the plan. Mr. Maciejewski asked for any further comments or questions. There was no further discussion.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would handle Petitioner’s variance requests one at a time. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the findings of fact were unavailable and he could not recite them from memory. Attorney Austgen advised Mr. Maciejewski that the Board could consider the action and include the findings of fact at their next meeting.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for the approval of the Developmental Technical Variance, Chapter 3, Section F, a request for a building line reduction from 60’ (sixty feet) to approximately 49’ (forty-nine feet) in accordance with the latest site plan for the McDonalds located at 9769 Wicker Avenue.

(Mr. Kil exits meeting room.)

Mr. Kil re-entered the meeting with the findings of fact document. Mr. Maciejewski repeated that he would entertain the aforementioned motion.

Mr. Hastings made a motion under Chapter 3, Section F, the building line at the property setback for McDonalds be reduced from 60’ (sixty feet) to approximately 49’ (forty-nine feet). Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. Attorney Austgen advised the Board to incorporate the findings of fact. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Hastings to amend his motion to incorporate the findings of fact. Mr. Hastings amended his motion to incorporate the findings of fact. Mr. Schneider seconded the amended motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix – yes. Steve Hastings – yes. Ken Schneider – yes. Tom Ryan – yes. Jim Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion on the Developmental Technical Variance for the proposed McDonalds sign pursuant to Chapter 15, Section 3. Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance, Chapter 15, Section 3, under Signs for the allowance of a reader board sign with the following contingencies, no left to right scrolling, messages to remain for twenty (20) seconds, no flashing, and lowered illumination from the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Mr. Schneider also incorporated the findings of fact in that approval of the variance request would not be injurious to the public health, safety or morals and use of the adjacent property owners will not be affected, and that the strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of the property. Attorney Austgen asked Mr. Schneider to consider rephrasing his motion and omit the words “reader board” that were included at the beginning of the motion.

Mr. Schneider amended the motion as follows: a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance, Chapter 15, Section 3, under Signs for a full color electronic message center in the sign as proposed by McDonalds and Ever Bright Corporation, including the aforementioned contingencies and incorporation of the findings of fact. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Peter Monix – yes. Ken Schneider – yes. Tom Ryan – yes. Steve Hastings – yes. Jim Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

B. JDE, LLC, 9759 WICKER AVENUE, DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR RELIEF FROM CHAPTER 11, SECTION H FOR OUTDOOR SALES AND CHAPTER 15 FOR SIGNAGE – PUBLIC HEARING
Mr. Nick Georgiou, Georgiou & Associates Architects, appeared before the Board representing JDE, LLC, in its Petition for the zoning variance requests, relief from Chapter 11, Section H, for outdoor sales and Chapter 15 for signage. Mr. Georgiou stated that the JDE, LLC is the owner of the four lot subdivision where McDonalds will be located to the south, and the Eenigenburg Water store will be relocated to north of 97th Lane as part of that development.

Mr. Georgiou stated that there are three variances being requested this evening. The first variance request is seeking permission to allow outdoor sales at this site during work hours only when the store is open. The next two items are related to signage. Mr. Georgiou stated that Petitioner is allowed both a ground and a wall sign. Petitioner is requesting an electronic message sign component be added to the ground sign. Mr. Georgiou added that Petitioner is also proposing that his existing sign, or its equivalent, be relocated to the new building.

Mr. Georgiou stated that the project will demolish Sophie’s Bar, and Petitioner will be located behind the 60’ (sixty foot) right of way. He stated that there will be a new building component and the existing warehouse behind the proposed new building will be rehabbed and brought up to current standards.

Mr. Kil informed Mr. Georgiou that the proposed signage for the building will exceed the allowable square footage. Mr. Georgiou concurred. He asked for clarification on the sign matter. Mr. Georgiou wanted to know if the electronic message sign component would be considered part of the square footage. Mr. Kil stated all of the material presented to the Board would be taken into consideration, the electronic message center as well as the Eenigenburg Water sign. He asked Mr. Georgiou to run through the square footage.

Mr. Georgiou started with the ground sign with the digital component. He stated that the height limitation is 10’ (ten feet). He stated that the proposed monument sign would be at 9’ (nine feet), but if he takes the two components of the fixed, illuminated Eenigenburg Quality Water sign, which is approximately 32’ square feet, and the digital portion which is about 26 (twenty-six) square feet it would be an aggregate of 58 (fifty-eight) square feet.

Mr. Georgiou noted that the ordinance allows 100 (one-hundred) square feet aggregate for both the ground and the wall sign. Mr. Georgiou noted that the monument/ground sign has a 50 (fifty) square feet limitation pursuant to the zoning ordinance. Mr. Kil noted that the monument sign square footage limitation is 30 (thirty) square feet.

Mr. Georgiou stated that Eenigenburg’s current wall sign has individual illuminated letters at approximately 100 (one-hundred) square feet. Mr. Georgiou asked about the method of calculating square footage for signage. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the existing wall sign was somewhere between 90 (ninety) and 100 (one-hundred) square feet. Mr. Georgiou concurred. Mr. Kil stated this is twice as much as what is allowed. He noted the Town’s ordinance allows for one wall sign if there is a monument sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated permanent wall signs were allowed a maximum of fifty (50) square feet. Mr. Kil added that the monument sign is limited to thirty (30) square foot. Mr. Maciejewski stated that he calculated the proposed signage at approximate 158 (one hundred and fifty-eight) square feet.

Mr. Ryan asked if the proposed wall signage would be new or just moving the old sign. Mr. Georgiou stated he believed at least the digital portion would be new, and he could not verify if an existing part of the sign would be relocated.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner could downsize the sign in consideration of the electronic component. Mr. Georgiou stated Petitioner is open to discussion on the reduction of the square footage.

Mr. Schneider asked why, after approximately 40 years in business, Petitioner now needs an electronic reader board. Mr. Georgiou stated that the ownership is obviously remaining the same but Petitioner would like to advertise his franchise, Aqua Systems, on the electronic message board along with the other services the business offers. Mr. Georgiou informed the Board that the sign would say “Eenigenburg Aqua Systems.”

Mr. Kil asked if the proposed sign would go in the same location where the existing “Sophie’s Bar & Grill” sign is, as shown on the plat. Mr. Georgiou stated it would be forty (40) feet north of 97th Lane and then back from the right of way. Mr. Georgiou stated he believed the sign would be placed in approximately the same location referred to by Mr. Kil, but he could not swear to it without referring to the topography. He submitted drawings for the Board’s perusal.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would now like to shift to the topic of outdoor sales. He asked if there was a listing of what would be in the outdoor sales. Mr. Georgiou stated that the product currently sold in outdoor sales, “softener salt, water supplies, et-cetera,” will stay the same at the new location. He stated that the one benefit of the new location is that the stock will no longer be present on the US Route 41 frontage after the store moves as the outdoor sales location will be moved around to the north side of the proposed new building. Mr. Georgiou stated the product would only be out during business hours and put back inside at the close of business.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil commented that if the Board considers approval of this they could incorporate the site plan, by reference, to show the location of the outside sales. Mr. Maciejewski stated he wants it to be specific as to what it is going to in outdoor sales, and if it’s salt and water it should be specific to that. Mr. Maciejewski stated that he would also like to see stipulated hours that the product will be outdoors.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen stated that the Town’s code is written as such that the Board can require the Petitioner to submit a written commitment in recordable form containing the conditions set forth. Attorney Austgen stated it may be advisable, in this instance, for a written commitment so that in the event a different scheme occurs the Town Manager and/or the Building Administrator will be able to enforce the conditions set forth. Attorney Austgen stated a written commitment would be simpler than attempting to decipher the decision of the Board. Attorney Austgen recommended that Mr. Georgiou review 3674 1500 Series.

Mr. Hastings asked, relative to public safety, if the Petitioner was still considering two different areas of entrance, through the back and possibly through the proposed pork chop in the front. Mr. Georgiou stated, as of now, the traffic pattern being proposed is a one-way traffic pattern past the drive-thru whether a vehicle is entering in from Earl Drive or 97th Lane.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan noted it would be a “dedicated service lane.” Mr. Georgiou concurred. Mr. Ryan asked if the outdoor sales would be open or covered by a canopy. Mr. Georgiou stated there will be an expanded vestibule to the north side of the building that would allow customers who pull up to be more easily serviced on the new addition at the east/northeast corner of the new addition. Mr. Georgiou stated that Petitioner has made a concerted effort to refocus the traffic through the site and make it one way traffic through the drive-thru area.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the Proofs of Publication were in order. Attorney Austgen informed Mr. Maciejewski that the Proofs of Publication were in order and a public hearing could be properly conducted.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would open the floor for public comment relative to the Eenigenburg Water

PUBLIC HEARING
Fred Barr, 11050 West 97th Lane
Mr. Barr introduced himself to the Board as a business and property owner just east of Eenigenburg Water on 97th Lane. He asked the Board if the existing Sophie’s Bar & Grill sign will be torn down. Mr. Georgiou stated that the sign would be removed. Mr. Barr asked if the proposed new sign would be in the same general location as the existing Sophie’s Bar & Grill sign. Mr. Kil stated that that is what is being proposed.

Mr. Barr asked if the proposed sign would be located in the dedicated frontage. Mr. Georgiou stated that the proposed sign would be moved behind the US Route 41 right of way. Mr. Barr noted that the existing Sophie’s Bar sign is and has been in dedicated frontage for the last 17 years.

Mr. Kil stated, according to the survey, the proposed sign will be on private property. Mr. Barr asked, again, if the proposed sign would be anywhere near the location of the existing Sophie’s Bar sign. Mr. Barr stated, according to his paperwork, this is dedicated property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil and Mr. Barr perused the paperwork and discussed the same. Mr. Kil explained to Mr. Barr that the existing public right of way would be vacated by the Town Council on Thursday. Mr. Barr stated that he would protest that at this point.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Barr to clarify what he was protesting. Mr. Barr stated that the existing sign is on dedicated property. Mr. Barr said until this changes he will protest it because it is in the dedicated property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil explained there was a platted right of way for a public street up in front of the property. He stated that the Plan Commission recommended that the Town Council vacate this right of way in favor of extending Earl Drive at the back. Mr. Kil stated that the Town wants to continue Earl Drive consistent with what exists right now through Stracks and Target. Mr. Kil stated, technically, Mr. Barr is correct.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Barr if he wanted this to remain a dedicated street in the front. Mr. Barr stated he does not want anything to do with the sign being approved in any way, shape or form at this point in time. Mr. Kil explained to Mr. Barr that any BZA action would be contingent on the right of way in question being vacated by the Town Council.

Mr. Barr stated there will be a formal protest for this. Mr. Barr stated that the reason is probably because he’s owned his property in the back for twenty years. He stated that it used to be a gravel road and money came out of his pocket to have the road that exists there now, 97th Lane, installed. He stated he had the road engineered and installed years ago and he’s still paying for it. Mr. Barr stated he wants to have some say so as to what happens with the existing sign; he stated that the Sophie’s Bar & Grill sign should have been removed 20 years ago. Mr. Barr stated, in his view, the whole subject that is being discussed right now should have been dealt with 15 to 20 years ago.

Mr. Barr stated, from his view, the proposed sign will be put in a bad location. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Barr why he held this view. Mr. Barr stated that there are some other things he has in his mind that he does not wish to discuss at the present time. Mr. Barr repeated that he protested the placement of the proposed sign at this point in time.

Mr. Maciejewski told Mr. Barr his protest was made on the record, but he does not understand Mr. Barr’s view. Attorney Austgen, for the record, summarized Mr. Barr’s statement, “You object, but you won’t tell them (Board) why?” Mr. Barr stated he will tell them why he objects, “but do I have to tell them right this minute why?” Mr. Maciejewski stated that this would be the only place where Mr. Barr’s objection could be considered.

Attorney Austgen informed Mr. Barr that the Town Council will have an advertised public hearing to consider the vacation of the dedicated, unimproved public way. Attorney Austgen explained that this is part of the development process, and something had to come first. The parcels had to be reconfigured into a new subdivision with four lots, a new road added, a reconfiguration of property lines and compatibility with what exists already.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he was trying to understand if Mr. Barr’s objection was based on the size of the sign, the location or something other than the public way. He explained that the public way would be vacated.

Mr. Barr stated he could see this piece of property being used a little bit better than the sign being stuck right there. Mr. Barr stated this is not the location for the proposed Eenigenburg sign. Mr. Barr stated that the proposed sign should be located further north. Mr. Kil had Mr. Barr examine the site plan again and showed him the location for the proposed sign.

Mr. Barr stated the location for the proposed sign is bad for line of sight. Mr. Maciejewski stated that this issue would certainly be studied by the Town engineer. Mr. Barr stated that sign will be “busy looking.” Mr. Barr stated Petitioner has the a big sign going out in front and he thinks this should suffice; he stated he does not know why Petitioner needs the monument sign there.

Mr. Maciejewski noted Mr. Barr’s objection for the record. Mr. Maciejewski asked if anyone else wished to address the Board. Hearing no other comments, Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that if the Board was going to require written commitment documentation this portion of the request would have to be tabled. Mr. Maciejewski also noted there was building signage and the ground sign to consider. He asked for any further questions or comments from the Board.

Mr. Georgiou asked if he could clarify the comment relative to the outdoor sales pending submitting specifics of what would be displayed or sold in the outdoor sales area. Mr. Georgiou asked if this proposed outdoor sales plan would be acceptable to the Board. Mr. Ryan stated the location, hours and product must be submitted in writing as well as the fact that the product is moved back inside after hours. Mr. Kil stated he does not think there is an objection to the outdoor sales; he stated that Board is merely asking for the specifics aforementioned in writing.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated the location and size of the outside sales is real clear on the site plan; he recommended that the site plan be incorporated into the record.

Attorney Austgen stated that the Board should direct the Petitioner to submit a written commitment. Attorney Austgen stated another reason for the Board to consider this issue is because the location of the outdoor sales area is located on the north side of the property and, logically, the next commercial building will occur north of this proposed building. He stated the Board is setting the tone for future development that will be set up with the frontage road extension and the opportunity for more like and quality businesses. Attorney Austgen told the Board they had the right, jurisdiction and authority to implement some protective measures such as buffers, screening and lighting. He stated the protective measures will benefit everybody and protect the value of this property and future properties as well.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Georgiou stated, as part of the site development submitted to the Plan Commission, there is a landscape buffer on the north side of the property. Mr. Maciejewski noted there was nothing on the west side of the property to screen the outdoor sales from US Route 41; he asked if a screen on the west side of the property would be something the Petitioner would consider. Mr. Maciejewski recommended that Petitioner consider screening at the start of the pallets on the west side of the parcel.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski recommended that Petitioner consider a formal submission that would include product type, hours of display, screening or buffer at the west edge and address the fact that the product comes in at the end of the day so the submission can be made a part of the record.

Mr. Georgiou asked, for clarification purposes, if this item was going to be deferred to the April BZA meeting. Mr. Maciejewski stated it would be deferred until that time. Attorney Austgen asked Mr. Georgiou to provide a copy of the commitment document in well in advance of the meeting. Mr. Georgiou agreed to this.

Mr. Maciejewski returned to the signage issue. He stated the allowable square footage was 80 (eighty) square feet and Petitioner was at 153 (one hundred and fifty-three). Mr. Maciejewski stated the requirements as 30 (thirty) square feet on the monument sign and 50 (fifty) square feet on the wall sign. Mr. Georgiou stated that Petitioner would rather fight for proposed digital monument sign located on US Route 41 over the building sign relative to square footage.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil remarked that Petitioner’s proposed digital/LED sign was one of the biggest signs he’s ever seen. He stated it’s bigger than the Town’s digital sign. Mr. Georgiou stated Petitioner is open to discussing reducing the size of the sign including the digital portion. He said, in speaking with his client, the monument sign has more importance to him and will be more visible than the wall sign.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Georgiou if he wished additional time to discuss this matter with his client. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the matter could be tabled to the April meeting. Mr. Kil recommended that Petitioner come back before the Board in April with revised and reduced signage for the Board’s consideration. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the size of the sign is an issue for him. Mr. Maciejewski suggested Mr. Georgiou also discuss with his client what type of message he intends to display on the digital sign.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board’s general preference is that the overall square footage of the sign be reduced, including the monument sign and the digital message board. Mr. Maciejewski stated the signage as presented tonight, is over double what is allowed. Mr. Georgiou informed the Board that he would gather additional information on both of the signs and message content relative to the proposed digital sign. He stated he would also discuss reducing the square footage with his client.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to table the Eenigenburg variance requests to the April meeting. Mr. Ryan made a motion to table the two variance requests before the Board to the April 22, 2013, meeting. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

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 8:43 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

04-22-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

April 22, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Steve Hastings Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Tom Ryan Steve Kil
Peter Monix, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for April 22, 2013, 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, Peter Monix, Tom Ryan and Steve Hastings. Staff members present: Steve Kil. Attorney Dave Austgen was also present. Town Council members, Ken Gembala and Larry Bustamante, were also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MARCH 25, 2013 MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to table the minutes for the March 25, 2013, meeting. Mr. Ryan made a motion to table the minutes of March 25, 2013, to the April meeting. Mr. Monix seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

Mr. Kil informed the Board that the May Board of Zoning Appeals falls on Memorial Day. He recommended that the Board members check their calendars and reschedule the meeting.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting for May would be moved forward one week to May 20, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. JDE, LLC., – 9769 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCES: CHAPTER 11, SECTION H, AND CHAPTER 15, SECTION E FOR SIGNS – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Nick Georgiou, Georgiou & Associates Architects, appeared before the Board on behalf of JDE, LLC., requesting approval of two variances that were carried over from the March meeting.

Mr. Georgiou stated that he had consulted with his client regarding the items that were presented and discussed at the March BZA meeting. The Board had recommended shielding/screening of the outdoor sales area and a downsizing of the signs. Mr. Georgiou stated that the Petitioner is proposing a curbed, landscaped and screened area for the outdoor sales on the west side. He stated that an exhibit of the site plan was submitted reflecting the proposed screening of the outdoor sales area.

Mr. Georgiou stated that conditions of the outdoor sales were summarized in a letter to the Board. The letter reflected what product would be sold outside, what time the product would be placed in the outdoor sales area and when the product would be put away. He reiterated that the outdoor sales items would be brought out when the business was open and at the close of business the product would be put away. He stated there would be absolutely nothing left outside after business hours.

Mr. Georgiou explained that the original ground sign submitted was 60 square feet; the ground sign has been downsized to 44 square feet. The original building sign submitted at approximately 100 square feet, the building sign was downsized to approximately 65 square feet. Mr. Georgiou stated that a submittal was made of a revised front elevation so the Board could see the building sign in context with the front of the building; he stated that the size of the sign appropriately fits the front of the building.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the matters before the Board were the downsizing of both the wall sign and the monument sign, and screening for the outside sales display. He asked the members if they had any questions regarding the proposed changes.

Mr. Hastings stated that the site plan reflects that the monument sign is still in the easement. He noted Mr. Georgiou had represented that there is room to push the monument sign out of the easement. Mr. Georgiou stated that this was an error on the document. Mr. Georgiou stated that the sign configuration shown on the site plan is actually the foot print of the existing Sophie’s Bar sign. He stated that the proposed sign is considerably less in width and would be placed behind any easement or frontage.

Mr. Hastings stated that it was his understanding that salt and water would be the outdoor sales products. He asked Mr. Georgiou to define “associated products.” Mr. Georgiou stated he knows what the Petitioner generally sells; he stated his understanding of “associated products” would be filters, bottled water, water softeners and whatever products are sold in the store. He stated that water softeners, salts and bottled water is what is currently sold in the outdoor sales area.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked that the products sold in the outdoor sales should be specifically named rather than leaving it open-ended. Mr. Georgiou stated that “Triple I, (iii) Associated Products” could be deleted from the letter.

Mr. Maciejewski asked what the current business hours of the store were. Mr. Georgiou stated that current business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Mr. Maciejewski asked what type of screening the Petitioner was proposing to shield the outdoor sales area; he noted that the site plan was not labeled. Mr. Georgiou stated that he is trying to avoid visibility issues for the customers going through the drive-through. Mr. Georgiou stated that the landscaping would probably be “shrub level” as opposed to trees for the sake of visibility.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that in the past the Board set forth requirements for Petitioners to adhere to in the operation of the LED center/reader board. He stated that side to side scrolling is prohibited, no flashing, that the message appear for a minimum amount of time, and that the reader board be dimmed at a certain time in the evening so that it is not as bright. Mr. Georgiou stated he does not “believe there’s any issues with that.”

Mr. Schneider noted that at the least meeting they talked about the wording of the Eenigenburg sign. Mr. Georgiou stated that the revised sign is a brand new sign in its entirety. He stated that Eenigenburg’s original sign was what was submitted in the Petitioner’s initial variance application. He stated that the revised sign is significantly smaller.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Georgiou stated that the revised signs that were submitted for the Board’s review were designed by Affordable Signs. He stated that the building sign was significantly reduced by approximately 35 square feet. Mr. Georgiou stated that the individual letters of the building sign would be illuminated. Mr. Maciejewski noted that Petitioner’s first proposal for both of the signs was approximately 158 square feet. Mr. Georgiou concurred. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the revised signs’ have been reduced to approximately 109 square feet. Mr. Georgiou concurred.

Mr. Kil noted that in his review of the revised signage the signs look reasonable and proportionate to the building. He stated that the proposed signs’ square footage are more in line with the Town’s requirements.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the public hearing had been properly continued from last month. Attorney Austgen informed the Board that the Proofs of Publication were in order at the last public meeting and the public meeting was properly continued. Attorney Austgen stated it would be appropriate to solicit any public comment.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. He asked the Board members if they had any further questions or comments for the Petitioner.

Mr. Schneider asked if a completely new sign was designed for the building why did Petitioner not attempt to keep the sign within the size allowed by the Town’s ordinance. Mr. Georgiou admitted that the last sign was overdone. He opined that making the proposed sign smaller would make it difficult to read. Mr. Georgiou stated that the franchise name and trademark is “Aqua Systems” which is included on the revised sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Monix stated that the Petitioner did a good job in downsizing the signs.

Attorney Austgen noted there were two actions for the Board to consider tonight. The first decision is related to the area of the signs, a developmental variance. The second consideration for the Board was related to outdoor storage and display (variance of use and a recommendation to the Town Council). Attorney Austgen recommended that the Board act on these two issues before them separately. He stated that the use variance should include findings for the consideration of the Town Council. Attorney Austgen stated if the Board acts on the variance of use request tonight it would be placed on the Town Council’s agenda for April 25, 2013.

Attorney Austgen stated that Mr. Georgiou was directed to submit a written zoning commitment and/or a contractual commitment related to the outdoor display and storage area. He stated that this would give the Town some controls on the outdoor sales area. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the activities were reflected in the letter. Attorney Austgen stated that a legal document must be presented by the Petitioner and the letter is insufficient. Attorney Austgen stated that written document/zoning commitment he is referring to is set up for signature, notarization and recordation.

Attorney Austgen stated that he had previously cited the statutes for Mr. Georgiou. Mr. Georgiou stated he did not totally understand what was required; he stated that he believed the letter that was presented was adequate. Mr. Georgiou stated that if it was necessary for the Petitioner to submit a proper form it would be done.

Attorney Austgen stated that a contractual commitment under the Indiana Planning Code 36-7-4-1500 Series, is required to be presented, reviewed and acceptable to legal counsel. Attorney Austgen asked that Petitioner’s letter to Mr. Kil dated April 18, 2013, be made a part of the record.

Mr. Maciejeski stated he would entertain a motion for either a favorable/unfavorable or no recommendation to the Town Council for the variance of use for the display and sale of products outside of the store under Chapter 11, contingent upon receipt by the Town of the contractual commitment under Indiana Planning Code 36-7-4-1500 Series and regulations. Mr. Ryan moved to make a favorable recommendation, as just outlined by Mr. Maciejewski, to the Town Council. Mr. Monix seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes.

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

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he would entertain a motion to approve/disapprove the ground sign and the wall sign as presented by Petitioner along with contingencies on the electronic message center as follows: message to appear and disappear with no scrolling, no flashing, message center dimmed between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., messages appear for a minimum amount of ten (10) seconds. Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance for Chapter 15, Section E, signs, for JDE, LLC., at 9769 Wicker Avenue and including the contingencies for the electronic message center as just previously outlined by Mr. Maciejewski. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes.

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

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

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

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Monix made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

05-20-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

May 20, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Steve Hastings Attorney Tim Kuiper
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Tom Ryan Steve Kil
Peter Monix, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for May 20, 2013, at 7:02 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: APRIL 22, 2013, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to approve the meeting minutes from April 22, 2013, if there were no corrections or clarifications. Mr. Monix made a motion to accept the minutes from April 22, 2013, Board of Zoning Appeals as posted. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. NOEL SALINAS – 8775 OAKWOOD DRIVE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A GARAGE ON A LOT LESS THAN ONE ACRE – PUBLIC HEARING
Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Noel Salinas, Petitioner to step to the podium and describe his petition. Mr. Salinas, 8775 South Oakwood Drive, appeared before the Board seeking to build a second garage in the back of his property. Mr. Salinas acknowledged that his property is less than one acre of land.

Mr. Salinas stated that his present garage is 19x20. He stated that it is difficult to fit a large vehicle in this garage, and his wife currently parks in the existing garage. Mr. Salinas stated that he would like to purchase a new vehicle but he does not want to do so unless he can park the new vehicle in the proposed garage.

Mr. Salinas stated that there is presently a shed located on his property. He stated that the shed is not large enough to house a vehicle. Mr. Salinas is proposing to tear down his existing shed and build a 25x26 garage. He stated that this is the reason he is seeking a Developmental Technical Variance.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that Petitioner’s existing garage is 19x20. Petitioner concurred. Mr. Salinas stated that the existing garage is attached to the house.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked how Petitioner would access the proposed garage. Mr. Salinas stated that the proposed garage would be accessed off of Oakwood (aka 120th). Mr. Salinas stated that access would be off of the side of the proposed garage.

Mr. Salinas pointed out for the Board the location of the proposed garage. Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Salinas how he came up with the size of the proposed garage. Mr. Salinas stated that pursuant to the Town’s zoning, the garage cannot exceed 1,100 square feet. He stated that the proposed garage would be at a “weird angle” but he is attempting to make it proportionate with his deck. Mr. Salinas stated he generated all of the CAD drawings himself.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that Petitioner stated access to the proposed garage would be off of Oakwood; he asked if the Petitioner was referring to Villa Road. Mr. Salinas stated access would actually be off of Oakwood. Mr. Maciejewski asked if the plat was wrong. Mr. Salinas stated that the name of the street has been changed. He stated that there were several different names for the street now known as Oakwood Drive.

(Board members examining documents.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were going to be two driveway entrances. Mr. Salinas concurred. He stated both driveways would be on Oakwood Drive. Mr. Salinas explained that the entrance closer to Oakwood Drive, as reflected on the plat, is the driveway leading to the attached garage. The driveway for the proposed garage would be located on Villa Road/Oakwood Drive.

Mr. Schneider asked for the wall height of the proposed garage. Mr. Salinas stated that the wall height in the proposed garage would be eight foot (8’). He stated he wanted to use six foot (6’) trusses. He intends to use pneumatic trusses. He stated that the garage would have an 8/12 pitch in order to use the pneumatic trusses. Mr. Salinas stated that he would like to use the attic area in the proposed garage to store pool accessories, holiday decorations, et-cetera, as his house has no basement.

Mr. Schneider asked if the Petitioner planned on using the same exterior materials on the proposed garage that was used on the house so they match. Mr. Salinas stated that the garage would match the house. He stated that the proposed garage would have a fairly new siding material that looks like stone (but is plastic) on the front for aesthetic appeal.

Mr. Hastings asked how tall the garage would be at its maximum. Mr. Salinas stated that the proposed garage would be approximately 15’ at its highest point. Mr. Hastings remarked that the garage will create a lot of water shed; he asked Mr. Salinas if he planned on installing gutters so the water would be taken out to the front of Oakwood. Mr. Salinas stated that this could be accomplished. He stated that he will install gutters on the proposed garage.

Mr. Hastings asked if Petitioner planned on storing anything else in the proposed garage attic other than what he already told the Board. Mr. Salinas stated the proposed garage would house one vehicle and the remainder of the garage would contain a little shop area. Mr. Salinas stated he did not do any commercial work so he would not be working out of the proposed garage.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Kuiper if all of the publications and notices were in order for the public hearing. Attorney Kuiper stated that all notices and publications were in order for a public hearing to be properly held. Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing for comments from the audience.

PUBLIC HEARING

Jerry Shallon, 12095 Oakwood
Mr. Shallon stated he has not seen any diagrams of the proposed garage. He asked how from the curb the proposed garage would be.

Mr. Salinas stated the proposed garage would be exactly where the shed is now, and he would be able to park his car on the driveway without blocking the views. Mr. Salinas showed Mr. Shallon drawings of his proposed garage.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if anyone else in the audience wished to address the Board.

Andrew Kmetz, 12164 Oakwood
Mr. Kmetz stated he has lived on south Oakwood for 50 years. He stated he has a copy of the original covenants. Mr. Kmetz stated that the original covenants stated that the covenants cannot be changed. He asked the Board if this was true.

(Mr. Kmetz submits document for the Board’s review.)

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kmetz stated there is a limit to the number of buildings allowed to be built. Mr. Maciejewski stated after skimming the document submitted by Mr. Kmetz, he does not see anything in the covenants that would prohibit someone from building a garage. Mr. Kmetz asked Mr. Salinas why he had a large amount of lumber stored alongside his home, and he asked him what it was for.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Salinas stated he works for the East Chicago Housing Authority and he does not own any businesses at the present time. Mr. Salinas stated he is going to do some new landscaping and redo his driveway. He stated they are trying to make the house visually pleasing. Mr. Kmetz stated he wanted to ensure that there would be no business being operated out of the house with all the associated activity that goes along with running a business out of one’s home.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for any other public comment.

Mr. John Rainwater, 8737 North Oakwood Drive
Mr. Rainwater noted that the Petitioner’s home is zoned single family residential, and not business. Mr. Maciejewski concurred. Mr. Rainwater stated that St. John Plumbing was running the plumbing company out of his home at some point, and then there was the cement guy. Mr. Rainwater reiterated this is a residential neighborhood.

Mr. Rainwater stated that his only concern is that no construction and/or business be run out of the proposed garage and no parking in the street. Mrs. Salinas stated that there would be no business run out of the proposed garage.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Rainwater asked the Board, if, in the event Petitioner started to run a business out of the proposed garage the neighbors had a right to complain about it. Attorney Kuiper advised Mr. Rainwater in the event that a business was being run out of the proposed garage he should call the Building Department. Mr. Salinas assured the Board that he has no intention of running a business out of the proposed garage.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ruben Sanchez, 12025 South Oakwood Drive
Mr. Sanchez asked the Board if there were any size limits on the proposed building. Mr. Maciejewski stated that there are size limits. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Petitioner is bound by square footage and he is under the allowable square footage with the proposed garage.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper explained that by Petitioner building the proposed 25x26 garage, he will reach the Town’s allowable amount of square footage.

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

Mr. Maciejewski stated after hearing some of the concerns during the public hearing, if the members are inclined to consider granting the Developmental Technical Variance to the Petitioner, they should consider attaching a contingency that no business will be operated out of the proposed garage. Attorney Kuiper noted, for clarification of the record, to add to the motion the contingency that the existing shed should be removed.

Mr. Maciejewski stated if there were no further questions or comments, he would entertain a motion to approve or disapprove the developmental technical variance and any contingencies that might be added. Mr. Schneider made a motion to grant Petitioner’s request for a

Developmental Technical Variance for construction of a garage on less than one acre, at 8775 Oakwood Drive with the following contingencies: the proposed garage will not be used to for commercial purposes and/or to run a commercial business, the existing shed shall be removed and not relocated elsewhere on the property and access to the attic on the proposed garage will be through the interior of the garage with no exterior stairs and/or ladders added. At Mr. Hastings recommendation, Mr. Schneider added the following contingency to his motion: the proposed garage to be constructed with gutters and downspouts to provide proper drainage toward Oakwood Avenue in order to eliminate excess water from draining on adjoining neighbors’ property. Mr. Monix seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes. Peter Monix – 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 stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Monix made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0).

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

06-24-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

June 24, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes "AMENDED"

Jim Maciejewski, President Steve Hastings Attorney Tim Kuiper
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Tom Ryan Steve Kil
Peter Monix, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for June 24, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MAY 20, 2013, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first order of business was approval of the meeting minutes from May 20, 2013. He stated if there were no amendments to the minutes he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes as circulated. Mr. Monix made a motion to approve the meeting minutes from May 20, 2013, as posted. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. PROVIDENCE LIFE SERVICES, 10800 PARK PLACE – SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR LONG TERM CARE/SKILLED NURSING FACILITY – MR. JEFF COURTNEY
Mr. Jeff Courtney, representative for Providence Life Services, appeared before the Board seeking a special exception to operate a skilled nursing facility at 10800 Park Place. He stated that the Petitioner has submitted binders with explanations with much more information than what was required. He stated that the Petitioner wanted to make sure that the Board had plenty of information concerning the development of the parcel at the Gates of St. John on Park Place.

Mr. Courtney had a PowerPoint presentation that he showed the Board. He pointed out the original parcel that was presented back some years ago when the developer planned for the Independent Living, Assisted Living and skilled nursing. Mr. Courtney informed the Board that since that time, the developer has purchased Out Lot 1470. He showed them renderings of the entryway at US Route 231.

Mr. Courtney showed the floor plan for a 10 bedroom unit; an open floor concept, resident rooms are on the outer perimeter of the building, a living room, dining room, den and kitchen. The 10 resident units will have five staff members per floor. These staff members will take care of all of the residents’ needs including cooking, cleaning and nursing requirements. He explained there is a higher level of personal care for skilled nursing.

Mr. Courtney stated this was a brief overview. He reiterated that the binders that were submitted to the Board members included more information. Mr. Courtney stated he would be happy to answer any questions from the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was an exhibit that combines the new plan with the old plan. Mr. Courtney did not have a copy of a combination of the original site plan combined with the site plan submitted to the Board. Mr. Courtney stated he believed that the old plan was included in the binder that was submitted to the Board.

Mr. Kil informed the Board that this matter would be back before the Plan Commission in the event that the Board of Zoning Appeals approves the special exception. Mr. Courtney informed the Board that the entryway at US Route 231 was the dividing line. The site plan that reflects the skilled nursing is south of the entry way. Mr. Courtney explained that the entryway would be the dividing line between the skilled nursing and the assisted living/independent living.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Courtney informed the Board that the independent living and assisted living site would remain the same. Mr. Courtney explained that creating the separation between the two lots will actually assist the Petitioner in the financing process.

Mr. Courtney stated that a marketing study will commence since the last market study is now outdated. After the market study is completed a feasibility study will be conducted. He stated that if the market study and feasibility study confirm his beliefs, the Petitioner will pursue financing. Mr. Courtney stated his hope is that financing is secured and construction would commence in spring of 2014.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the Petitioner’s plan would change if the market study determined something else was in order. Mr. Courtney stated that the market study will most likely drive the need for skilled nursing; he stated he did not think there would be an issue on the need for the skilled nursing services in the area. Mr. Courtney stated that the market study would most likely indicate the amount of beds needed. He explained that due to the small house concept, the developer is not locked into a larger footprint. Mr. Courtney stated that initial plan is to come out of the ground with three buildings, 50 beds, and as the need increases further development would commence.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner was seeking a special exception only on Out Lot 1417. Mr. Kil stated that the ordinance requires that a skilled nursing facility requires a special exception. Mr. Kil stated that the special exception is being sought for Out Lot 1417.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that the notices and publications were in order for the public hearing to be properly held at this meeting.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would open the floor for a public hearing. He asked anyone from the audience who wished to address the Board relative to the special exception being considered for the skilled nursing facility should step forward, state their name, address and comment for the record. Mr. Maciejewski called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski reminded the Board that they were considering approval and/or disapproval of a special exception variance and then forwarding either a favorable or unfavorable to the Town Council. He asked if there were any further questions on this matter. There were no further questions or comments from the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to approve or disapprove the request for a special exception variance for the skilled nursing facility at 10800 Park Place.

Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the special exception for the long term/skilled nursing facility on the new Lot 1417 at 10800 Park Place, and send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Schneider – abstain. Mr. Maciejewski – yes. The motion was carried (4/1/0).

B. SYNDICATE DESIGNS – 9123 WICKER AVENUE – VARIANCE OF USE FOR OPERATION FOR A TATTOO PARLOR
Mr. Richard Kivo and Mr. Terry Ward, owners of Syndicate Designs, appeared before the Board requesting a variance of use for the operation of a tattoo parlor. Mrs. S. Ward, president of Syndicate Designs, was also present. Mr. Ward stated that he was the secretary of Syndicate Designs and that their business is based out of Illinois.

Mr. Ward stated that Syndicate Designs has two tattoo parlors in Illinois, Crybabies Tattoos and Piercings is located in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and will be open for two years on July 15, 2013; the second tattoo shop is The Basement Ink, Oak Forest, Illinois, operating for the past 12 years. Mr. Ward stated he got his start at Basement Ink in 2003. Mr. Ward informed the Board that his associate, Richard Kivo, has been tattooing for over 25 years.

Mr. Kivo stated that he is a resident of the Lake Hills subdivision in St. John. He stated that the company has decided to expand into St. John because this area has not been touched by the tattoo industry. Mr. Ward stated that the closest reputable tattoo shop to St. John is located in Crown Point. Mr. Kivo stated that they would like to open something new. He stated that the Town of St. John has a lot to offer.

Mr. Ward noted that the tattoo industry has drastically changed. He stated that his shop tattoos more college students, veterans and professional men and women than anyone else. Mr. Ward states that the business has six employees, men, women, Caucasian and Latino. He stated that three of his employees are combat veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Mr. Ward stated that they would like to bring their industry to this direction.

Mr. Ward stated that St. John is still growing and that is one of the reasons that they chose the Town to establish their business. He stated that there are many businesses that allow tattoos to be displayed at work.

Ms. Kirstin Duffy, CPA/attorney, for Syndicate Designs, also appeared before the Board. Ms. Duffy stated that the business is an “S” corporation that was formed in Illinois. She stated she was retained at the start of 2013. She stated that gentlemen before the Board are good at the art of tattooing. Ms. Duffy stated that the Petitioners use all safe procedures in the tattooing process. She stated that there was over $80,000.00 in revenue last year in their Chicago Heights facility. She noted that a report was run by the business and in 2013, the business had 65 customers from the St. John area.

Mr. Ward explained that the average tattoo takes anywhere from one half hour to five hours per session. He stated that some tattoos take 30-plus hours that are broken down into five hour sessions. Mr. Ward stated that having a tattoo parlor will enhance the revenue of business around it. Mr. Ward showed the Board a map of the areas where potential customers are travelling from to get their tattoo.

Mr. Ward stated that the tattoos are designed with one-time use, sterile, disposable equipment. He stated that no tools are reused. He stated that the tattoo business is regulated by the State to ensure continuing education is maintained on blood borne pathogens, spills, proper clean up after each procedure. He stated that the tattoo artists are tested on these procedures regularly. Mr. Ward stated that the art work speaks for itself. He stated it is their hope to bring the tattoo business up to the modern age.

Mr. Ward stated he would be happy to answer any questions from the Board. Mr. Kivo stated that they hold a yearly fundraiser is held in May, Autism Awareness month, and are active in other fundraisers.

Mr. Maciejewski asked about business hours. Mr. Ward stated that business hours are 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. six days a week, and on Sunday, a skeleton crew.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil informed the Board that the business is located right behind St. John Sports. Mr. Schneider asked how many employees the business would start out with. Mr. Ward stated that the proposed business would have four tattoo stations and a piercing station with five employees.

Mr. Schneider asked if special HVAC equipment was required to run the business. Mr. Ward stated that no ventilation is required for the tattoos. He stated that the main thing is the business is run like a doctor’s office in that there is proper disposal of all sharps through a company such as SteriCycle.

Mr. Hastings asked about the parking spaces. Mr. Ward noted that there was parking behind the business. Mr. Kil stated that the entire mall parking would be available for customers. He stated that there are no parking issues at this location.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any other questions. There were no further questions from the Board. Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that the notices and publications are in order for a public hearing to be properly held.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for a public hearing; he asked anyone present who wished to address the Board relative to the proposed Syndicate Designs to step forward state their name, address and comment, for the record. Mr. Maciejewski called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he would entertain a motion for an approval/disapproval on the request for special use for Syndicate Designs located at 9123 Wicker Avenue, along with a favorable/nonfavorable recommendation to the Town Council.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the conditional use variance request for Syndicate Designs, 9123 Wicker Avenue, with a favorable recommendation to the Town Council and with the following contingencies: hours of operation for the business be limited to Monday through Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sundays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., all licensing requirements must be met before occupancy can be granted.

Mr. Maciejewski noted there was no second to the motion and the motion died for lack of a second. Mr. Monix seconded Mr. Schneider’s motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Ryan – no. Mr. Maciejewski – yes. The motion was carried (4/1/0).

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

There was no public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Monix made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

07-22-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
08-26-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

August 26, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes "AMENDED"

Jim Maciejewski, President Steve Hastings Attorney Tim Kuiper
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Tom Ryan Steve Kil
Peter Monix, Secretary    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for August 26, 2013, at 7:01 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JUNE 24, 2013, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first order of business was approval of the meeting minutes from June 24, 2013. He asked the Board members if they have had a chance to review the minutes. He stated with no questions or comments, he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes as presented.

Mr. Ryan noted a change on the first page; the first page reflects that he was absent from the June 24, 2013, meeting but he was present. Mr. Ryan stated he would make a motion to approve the minutes with the aforementioned change. Mr. Monix seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. SUNCREST CHRISTIAN CHURCH – 10009 PARRISH AVENUE – SEEKING A SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A 30X 50 SPORT COURT ON CHURCH GROUNDS
Mr. Randy Parish, representative of Suncrest Christian Church appeared before the Board seeking a special exception for the installation of a 30x50 sport court. Mr. Maciejewski requested that Petitioner give a brief summary on why the church was seeking a special exception.

Mr. Parish stated that the church is seeking a special exception in order to pour a concrete pad off of the corner of the church building, which sits on 46 acres. He stated that the church building is approximately right in the middle of the parcel.

Mr. Parish explained that the student ministry meets once a week. He explained that approximately one hour before the student ministry meets, the kids are outside “blowing off steam,” playing basketball on the parking lot. Mr. Parish stated that portable basketball hoops are rolled outside into the parking lot.

Mr. Parish stated that the church intends to launch a Thursday service starting in September, therefore, using the parking lot for basketball will no longer be an option. Mr. Parish informed the Board that the church views the proposed sport court as an opportunity to provide an outside space that the church currently does not have. He stated that the proposed sport court would give them a place to roll the portable hoops outside and play basketball in the warmer months. Mr. Parish stated that the proposed sport court will also give the staff an opportunity to go outside. He intends to place a picnic table on the proposed sport court so that the staff can eat lunch outside if they so desire.

Mr. Parish stated that the church does not intend to permanently mount anything on the sport court including hoops or lights. He stated the proposed sport court will simply be a concrete pad sitting in the grass.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner to show the Board the location of the proposed sport court. Mr. Parish had submitted a picture reflecting the proposed sport court’s location for the Board’s perusal.

(General discussion ensued.) Mr. Parish stated that he would probably pour a sidewalk to the proposed sport court from an existing sidewalk. Mr. Maciejewski asked how many days per week the proposed sport court would be used. Mr. Parish stated it would be used on Thursday nights for no more than 45 minutes to an hour before the church program starts.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was a chance that sports activities would increase on the proposed sport court. Mr. Parish stated he did not anticipate an increase in sports activities on the proposed sport court. Mr. Parish stated the proposed sport court would be a nice addition especially with a picnic table placed there for meetings, lunches and just an opportunity for staff to get out of the building.

Mr. Parish stated that the proposed sport court is a low budget project and will never have any permanent fixtures placed on it. He stated that permanent fixtures are cost prohibitive. Mr. Maciejewski asked if any of the Board members had questions for the Petitioner. There were no questions from the Board members.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that notices and publications for the public hearing were in order for the public hearing to be properly conducted. Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing and called for public comment. There was no public comment on Suncrest’s request for a special exception. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that part of the Board’s approval may contain provisions that would prohibit any permanent fixtures from being installed on the proposed sport court. Mr. Parish agreed with the Board’s position.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion for approval/rejection of Suncrest Christian Church’s request for a special exception to erect a 30x50 sport court. He stated that the Board would be making a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council on behalf of Suncrest Christian Church’s request for a special exception.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council on behalf of Suncrest Christian Church, 10009 Parrish Avenue, for a special exception to erect a 30x50 sport court, contingent upon no permanent fixtures, i.e., basketball hoops, lighting fixtures be affixed to the sport court. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

B. ST. JOHN EVANGELIST SCHOOL – 9400 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENT TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR THE INSTALLATION OF AN ELECTRONIC LED SIGN

Mr. Michael Libovich, business manager for St. John Evangelist parish, appeared on behalf of Petitioner, St. John Evangelist School, before the Board. Mr. Libovich stated that Petitioner is requesting a developmental technical variance in order to install an LED sign not to exceed 10’ tall from the grade, nor exceeding 30 square feet.

Mr. Libovich explained that the proposed LED sign will be placed where the parish’s current sign is located in front of the school. Mr. Libovich stated that the proposed sign will be two sided so it can be viewed from the north or south.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner to explain to the Board how the 30 square feet was calculated. Mr. Libovich stated that the square footage of the sign was based on materials and information that Petitioner received from the Town. Mr. Maciejewski noted the discrepancy reflected on the drawing (8’X5’). Mr. Libovich stated that the proposed sign, 3’X10’, will not exceed the square footage set forth in the Town’s ordinance.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner to describe the type of messages that would be depicted on the proposed LED sign. Mr. Libovich stated that the primary purpose of the sign would be to depict school activities but not exclusively. Mr. Libovich stated that the sign might advertise parish activities also, for example, the Spring Fling or the parish festival. Mr. Libovich stated that Petitioner would like to use the proposed LED sign in order to get a broader reach for the church activities.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider estimated that Petitioner would end up with an approximate 24”-30” reader board. Mr. Libovich concurred. He stated that the proposed LED will include the school name along with the reader board and will not exceed 30 square feet. Mr. Kil recommended that the Petitioner specify a square footage rather than a dimension, which would be more realistic if all facets of the sign were considered.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked about the sign lighting. Mr. Kil noted that the sign would be internally lit not externally lit. Mr. Maciejewski commented that the Board, as a rule, tries to adhere strictly to the ordinance in terms of electronic message boards in the commercial district.

Mr. Maciejewski stated in many cases, the Board will not allow an LED sign, or allows them only with restrictions. He stated that some of the restrictions are related to the LED aspect of the sign in that messages must appear for a certain period of time, no scrolling or flashing and dimming the sign at a certain period of time at night in order to avoid extensive glare. Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner if these restrictions had been considered or addressed at all, or whether or not these types of restrictions would be acceptable to Petitioner. Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner would find acceptable whatever guidelines the Board sets forth with regard to the proposed LED sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper noted restrictions that the Board had placed on the Shrine of Christ’s Passion, no side to side movement, messages to stay on for six seconds and no flashing.

Mr. Hastings asked about the proximity of the sign to Joliet Street. Mr. Libovich stated that he did not have the answer to Mr. Hastings question, but he would be willing to check. Mr. Hastings stated he was looking at the sign’s visibility as a safety issue. Mr. Hastings opined that anything that distracts a driver is a problem. Mr. Hastings stated if the Board were to approve the sign, he would advise that the sign be turned off by 9:00 p.m.

Mr. Libovich stated that the operation of this particular proposed LED sign will fall under his purview. He stated he would be responsible for controlling the times, colors, et-cetera. Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner would consider turning the sign off at night. Mr. Libovich stated that Petitioner wants to be a good neighbor and would follow the direction of the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner what hours of operation were being considered for the proposed sign. Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner had not considered keeping the sign on all night. He stated that Petitioner wanted to check with the Board and its neighbors on the sign’s hours of operation. Mr. Libovich stated that Petitioner would be amenable to whatever hours of operation the Board decides upon.

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that the legal notices and publications for the public hearing were in order and a public hearing could be properly conducted this evening. Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

The Board discussed hours of operation for the proposed LED sign. Mr. Ryan suggested hours of operation from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mr. Kil commented that these hours of operation are basically the same hours that the Town adheres to for their sign. Mr. Maciejewski asked if these hours of operation were acceptable to Petitioner. Mr. Libovich was agreeable to the 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. hours of operation.

Mr. Maciejewski outlined the parameters for the proposed LED sign as follows: hours of operation 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., no right to left movement, no flashing and messages must appear for no less than six seconds. Mr. Libovich stated Petitioner finds these contingencies acceptable.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated that if there was any way that the sign could be dimmed, he wanted to pursue this matter. He stated that Mr. Kil could investigate this aspect of the sign’s use and handle the matter at his discretion.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that this matter was before the Board for their consideration to grant or deny the Developmental Technical Variance being sought by St. John Evangelist School.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the developmental technical variance requested by St. John Evangelist School, 9400 Wicker Avenue, with the following contingencies: not to exceed 30 square feet, must be internally lit LED, no flashing, no scrolling, no side to side movement, messages to appear for no less than six seconds at a time, hours of operation from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and if possible, dimming the sign at night. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider – yes. Mr. Monix – yes. Mr. Hastings – yes. Mr. Ryan – yes. Mr. Maciejewski – yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0).

C. ST. JOHN EVANGELIST CHURCH -10701 OLCOTT AVENUE – DEVELOPMENT TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR INSTALLATION OF AN ELECTRONIC LED SIGN

Mr. Libovich appeared before the Board on behalf of Petitioner, St. John Evangelist Church seeking a Developmental Technical Variance for the installation of an electronic LED sign. Mr. Libovich explained to the Board that this sign would be located outside in front of the church where the mass schedule is currently posted. The proposed sign would be in front of the concrete but not attached, at a height not to exceed the ledge at approximately 4’ and not to exceed 30 square feet.

Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner was going to request 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. hours of operation but Petitioner would comply with the hours of operation as set forth in his previous request. Mr. Libovich stated that Petitioner has no plans to use any outstanding or loud colors on the sign, and will comply with dimming the proposed electronic sign if possible.

Mr. Libovich stated he has been working with a couple of the neighbors who would be directly impacted by the proposed sign if it is approved. He mentioned a resident who lives on the corner of 107th who would be able to see the sign from his front window and a second window. Mr. Libovich stated he has talked to this particular resident on a couple of occasions and assured the resident that he would work with him in order to minimize the glow from the sign into his residence.

Mr. Libovich stated that he canvassed the neighborhood twice and handed out letters to a number of residents in the neighborhood but not all of them. He mailed the letters he could not hand deliver. Mr. Libovich indicated that the mailing documentation was given to Mr. Kil.

Mr. Libovich stated that the church wants to be a good neighbor. He stated that the same contingencies placed upon the sign at the school location would also be acceptable to the church for their proposed sign. Mr. Libovich stated that the sign would be used strictly to advertise activities of the church including a mass schedule, special masses, concerts, Holy Days of Obligation and any other special activity at the church.

Mr. Maciejewski asked what the distance from the stone the proposed sign would be mounted. Mr. Libovich stated he believed that distance to be between 6”-10” in front of the stone. He stated that the sign will look as though it is a part of the church. Mr. Libovich stated that the sign would be controlled by the church but managed by him.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that in residential districts, signs specifically listed as church bulletins are not to exceed 12 square feet. Mr. Libovich remarked he was not aware of this requirement. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the 30 square foot signs were for use in commercial districts.

Mr. Kil noted that this was the first time an electronic LED sign has been requested for placement in a residential district. Mr. Kil stated he was aware of the square footage requirement, but Petitioner was asking for a variance for the same. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the variance would be in addition to the request for a developmental technical variance. Mr. Kil concurred.

Mr. Maciejewski asked again about the content of the proposed sign. Mr. Libovich replied the sign would depict mass schedules, Holy Day schedules and any other church activities. Mr. Maciejewski asked what type of viewing the Petitioner anticipated at this sign versus the sign that was just considered on U.S. Route 41. Mr. Maciejewski explained that his question was relative to the number of people who might view this sign, see an event and then decide to attend the event. Mr. Libovich stated that several parishioners are in the neighborhood. He also noted that traffic going into and out of the church has increased due to the relocation of the “Our Lady” statue. Mr. Libovich stated that this sign would be viewed by many people going into and out of the church property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked why the sign was not being affixed to the existing wall. Mr. Libovich responded that he was not entirely sure of the reason but he would gather this information. Mr. Kil stated his understanding is the sign will not be affixed to the stone for the reason of “ease in installation.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Libovich stated that having the same message on the sign may not work if there were multiple activities on the same day. He stated the ability to depict a message for longer than six seconds was very acceptable to Petitioner

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Libovich to elaborate on the notion of the color scheme for the sign matching the wall. Mr. Libovich explained that the colors used for the verbiage on the sign would be yellows and creams as opposed to a bright blue or bright white. He stated that Petitioner’s intent is for the sign to match the color of the stone. He explained to the Board that he has had discussions with the residents about this aspect of the sign and is willing to work further on this issue with the resident(s).

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil remarked that an earth-toned cabinet was to be constructed for the sign that would match the existing stone. He also noted that if a full color LED sign is used there will be a full spectrum of colors that can be programed to match the color of the existing stone. Mr. Libovich concurred.

Mr. Libovich stated that he has talked with the resident across the street who would be impacted by the sign. He stated he would seek this resident’s opinion regarding the brightness and hues of the sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated he is very concerned that the appearance of the sign would look like “a complete afterthought” in front of the stone wall with the limestone piece. He stated, in his view, the proposed sign is not integral with the design of the entrance. Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner’s intent is to match the existing stone and make the sign look good and pleasant. Mr. Libovich conceded that the proposed sign was not a part of plan when the church was dedicated in 2005. Mr. Libovich stated the sign has been under discussion for over a year.

Mr. Maciejewski noted how heavily and how many hours the Board has struggled over LED signs appearing even in commercial districts, and the Board is now faced with the dilemma of scrutinizing an LED sign for a residential district. Mr. Maciejewski concurred with Mr. Kil in that this was a first request for an electronic sign in a residential neighborhood. Mr. Maciejewski stated he has big concerns about placing an LED sign in a residential district.

(General discussion ensued)

Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner would do whatever it takes to be a good neighbor. He stated he has pledged to work with the resident across the street from the sign if it is installed.

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that the legal notices and publications for the public hearing were in order and a public hearing could be properly conducted this evening. Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing. He requested that everyone who wished to comment state their name and address for the record.

PUBLIC HEARING

Jim Green, 10571 Knickerbocker Court
Mr. Green stated he lives due north of the church. He stated that he is in total agreement with Mr. Hastings earlier comments in the matter of the proposed sign in front of the school. He stated that the proposed LED sign will be a huge distraction.

Mr. Green stated that residents are still trying to get used to using the roundabout, which was not mentioned at all. He stated that children play in the middle of the roundabout and there are pedestrian walkways entering into the roundabout. Mr. Green opined that the proposed LED sign in the neighborhood will be a huge distraction.

Mr. Green stated that he is thinking of the entire community of Weston Ridge. He stated the proposed LED sign will pose a safety issue with the children playing in Weston Ridge. Mr. Green stated that the proposed LED sign is totally unacceptable to him and other neighbors he has talked to are also opposed to the LED sign.

Mr. Green cited a portion of the Town’s lighting guidelines. He stated that “B.2” states that any illumination shall not cause any distraction or hazards in a zoning district. He stated he does not see any way around this guideline.

Mr. Green stated that the residents are already dealing with a turnabout, the clock tower and now a proposed LED sign. He reiterated that he is adamantly opposed to the LED sign in front of the church.

Tammy Green, 10571 Knickerbocker Court
Mrs. Green stated that she and her husband moved to St. John in 2006 and built a home in Weston Ridge. She stated that the town they were living in was no longer appropriate for raising a family. Mrs. Green stated that they were aware that the church was being built behind them when they built their home.

Mrs. Green states she loves looking at the church as it is very beautiful. She stated she is now faced with the prospect of looking at a sign in her neighborhood that advertises strip malls. She stated this is a neighborhood and she does not want a commercial district being brought into the residential district.

Mrs. Green stated she is getting nervous about St. John now. She noted that a tattoo parlor has been recently established in St. John, and now LED signs in a residential district. Mrs. Green stated that in the event a currency exchange comes to Town it will be time to start looking elsewhere to live. Mrs. Green urged the Board to “vote no” for the proposed LED sign.

Nancy White, 11877 West 107th Place
Ms. White stated she lives in the Woods of Weston Ridge. She stated she is a member of the parish. She asked what the purpose of the sign would be. Ms. White stated that the parishioners do not need a sign to know what goes on in the church as they already have this information.

Ms. White stated that the LED sign would detract from the elegance of the church. She asked the Board members if they would like to see the a glowing LED sign in their own neighborhood. She said that the fact that the sign will not be attached to the church is horrifying because it will look like an afterthought.

Ms. White asked the Board to “vote no” to the LED sign.

Tammy Setlict, 12344 West 108th Lane
Ms. Setlict stated she is a resident of Weston Ridge and serves as Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Property Owners Association. She noted that there are presently problems in the community with the proper use of the roundabout and distracted driving. She stated that a sprinkler system near the clock tower was destroyed by vandals. Ms. White stated the proposed LED sign will possibly be a target of vandals. She stated that the proposed LED sign is not appropriate for a residential district.

Ms. Setlict stated that the LED sign will be a distraction for drivers using the roundabout. She concurred with the Greens in that there are several children playing in the middle of the roundabout and pedestrians walking to the clock tower and people walking pets.

Ms. Setlict reiterated that the LED sign will be a distraction and is not appropriate for a residential district. She stated that the sign is also redundant to the sign being proposed in front of the school.

Michael Bond, 10550 Knickerbocker Lane
Mr. Bond stated he and his wife walk their dog several times a day to the clock tower and it’s a lovely walk. He stated that the clock tower has become a meeting place, or “park” for several residents of Weston Ridge.

Mr. Bond stated he is dead set against the LED sign for a couple of reasons.

Mr. Bond stated the first issue is public safety; he stated trying to cross over to the get to the clock tower is, at best, dangerous. He stated that visibility at Olcott is sometimes obscured and the 20 mph speed limit is not obeyed. Mr. Bond stated that the proposed LED sign will be a huge distraction for this area.

Mr. Bond stated that the church is a lovely landmark and he thinks the addition of an LED sign would be “ugly.” He opined that the church does not lack visibility. He stated that a better place for the LED sign would be to place it at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion.

Jennifer Wolf, 10764 Northcutt
Ms. Wolf stated she often walks to the clock tower with her young child and her dog. She stated she believes the addition of the LED sign would be a safety issue especially for children. She stated, she too, has observed distracted or confused drivers in the roundabout and the LED sign will only add to the chaos and confusion. Ms. Wolf asked the Board to “vote no” to the proposed LED sign.

Harry Sharp, 12305 105th Circle
Mr. Sharp stated that safety would be the main issue if the LED sign is approved. He stated that the sign will pose a distraction and danger to both drivers and pedestrians. He asked the Board to “vote no.”

Rich Setlict, 12344 West 108th Lane
Mr. Setlict stated he is a resident of Weston Ridge and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Property Owners Association. He stated that he agrees with the several people who have commented about safety. Mr. Setlict stated that the sign would not be highly visible. He stated many people are stymied by the use of the roundabout. Mr. Setlict stated that the sign does not belong in a residential district and it would be an added distraction that is not needed.

Mr. Setlict stated that he does not see a need for the LED sign especially with all that is going on in the area. He reiterated his concern with the safety.

Richard Pankey, 10883 Hawthorn Drive
Mr. Pankey states he was one of the first residents in Weston Ridge, and he moved to St. John because it was a good place to raise kids and grandkids. Mr. Pankey stated he would not repeat everything that was said tonight, but he agrees with everyone, “ditto.”

Mr. Pankey stated when you are crossing to go off the clock tower area you have to be look very carefully when crossing the street. He stated his wife attends the church. Mr. Pankey stated that the church is beautiful and good for the neighborhood, but it is in a residential district.

Mr. Pankey stated he travels a lot for his job and he has never seen one church with a sign like the one that St. John Evangelist is requesting. He stated he is surprised that they have never finished etching the mass times on the beautiful marble/granite/stone wall. He stated that the church has his blessing to finish this wall and perhaps seek lighting for this area.

Mr. Pankey reiterated that this is not a commercial area. He stated if the church needs a sign to advertise they can advertise at the old church or at the proposed school sign on U.S. Route 41. Mr. Pankey asked the Board to “vote no” for the proposed sign that the church is requesting.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Attorney Kuiper stated that a written remonstrance was received from Michael Forbes, 12466 West 105th. Attorney Kuiper read the remonstrance into the record. In summary, Mr. Forbes was opposed to any type of LED sign being placed in an established residential district.

Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board. He asked the Petitioner to step forward.

Mr. Kil stated he knows the area in question extremely well but does not have data on traffic accidents on the roundabout at the present time. Mr. Kil states he understands what the residents are saying.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Petitioner had any comments on the public feedback he heard tonight. Mr. Libovich stated that the Petitioner followed the ordinance guidelines. Mr. Libovich stated he respected the comments made tonight by the residents.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Ryan made a motion to deny the developmental technical variance for the LED sign. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. (Audience applauds.)

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

Mr. Maciejewski informed the Petitioner that the request for the developmental technical variance was denied.

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

Mr. Schneider asked about railroad track equipment being stored on Joliet Street.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated he would look into this matter. Road closings were discussed.

THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

There was no public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. 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 8:23 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

09-23-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
10-28-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals

October 28, 2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Tim Kuiper
Ken Schneider, Vice-President   Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for October 28, 2013, at 7:02 p.m. Mr. Maciejewski requested a moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance in remembrance of Board member, Pete Monix, who recently passed away.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

(A moment of silence was observed.)

Mr. Maciejewski, speaking on behalf of the Board, stated that Mr. Monix’s dedication and loyalty to the Town was greatly appreciated. Mr. Maciejewski stated Mr. Monix would be missed as friend and colleague on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: AUGUST 26, 2013, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first order of business was approval of the meeting minutes from August 26, 2013. He asked the Board members if they have had a chance to review the minutes. Mr. Maciejewski noted a few amendments to the meeting of August 26, 2013. Starting on Page 4 and all subsequent pages where the Petitioner’s name “Lubovich” appears should be spelled “L-I-B-O-V-I-C-H.” Mr. Maciejewski also noted on Page 7, fifth paragraph, the matter before the Board was a Developmental Technical Variance which the Board took action on and it was not a recommendation to the Town Council.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes as amended if there were no further amendments and/or corrections. Mr. Ryan made a motion to approve the minutes with the corrections noted. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0).

NEW BUSINESS:

A. NICK AND JUSTINE FURTEK – 9404 DEWEY PLACE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE – CONSTRUCTION OF FENCE OVER THE SIDE BUILDING LINE

Mr. & Mrs. Furtek appeared before the Board seeking a Developmental Technical Variance for construction of a fence over the side building line. Mr. Maciejewski asked the Petitioner for a brief explanation of their request for construction of the fence over the side yard building line.

Mr. Furtek, Petitioner, stated that they are fencing in their yard for their dogs. He explained that they intend to go off of the side of the house, keeping in line with the sign and the pump house, and continue the fence around the entire yard. He stated that the fencing would be 4’ aluminum fence with a wrought iron look. Mrs. Furtek stated that the fencing that they chose is in compliance with their Homeowner Association covenants.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the fencing on the east side would line up with the pump house. Mr. Furtek concurred. He stated that the fence would go to the end of his property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that Petitioner has a 30’ building line that they are seeking relief from. He noted there was no dimension for the fence reflected on the sketch. Mr. Maciejewski asked if the fence would end at the 20’ line or beyond that. Mr. Furtek stated that the fence would go to the property line. Mrs. Furtek submitted an estimate from the fence company for the Board’s review.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the proposed fencing would follow the property lines on the north and west sides. Mr. Furtek informed the Board that he lives next door to his parents. He said the fence would turn by the pump house, go to the property line and come up to the lot line.

Mr. Schneider asked about gates. Mr. Furtek stated that there would be a gate towards the pond and a gate on the west side of the fencing. The sidewalk on Blaine Street was discussed.

Mr. Ryan asked Petitioner if he would object to placing the fence at the 10’ increment. Mrs. Furtek stated that they would lose quite a bit of their property. Mrs. Furtek explained that the massive signs installed by Olthof are further out than their proposed fence. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the monument sign is situated approximately 20’ off of the property line.

Mr. Furtek stated he would prefer to fence in as much yard as possible for his use. Mr. Ryan recommended that the Petitioner use the 20’ building line. He stated he is not in agreement with the drawings that Petitioner(s) presented at this time.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that he spoke to Mr. Kil and Mr. Kil had no objection to the proposed fence. Mr. Furtek stated he was no architect and he may have confused the fence dimensions. Mr. Maciejewski recommended that the fence should be placed at 22’ building line rather than 32’ feet building line. Mrs. Furtek stated that the confusion on the building lines arose from the sketch they received from the fencing contractor.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan noted that the 20’ utility easement may preclude placing the fencing there. Mr. Furtek concurred. Mr. Ryan asked about the color of the proposed fencing. Mr. Furtek stated that the color of the fencing is tan.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board’s recommendation for placement of the fence is 22’ from the house. The Petitioners agreed.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Kuiper if the notices and publications were in order for the public hearing. Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that the notices and publications were in order for a public hearing to be properly conducted tonight. Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the Board to consider approval or disapproval of the Developmental Technical Variance. He asked that the motion include the layout of the fence. Attorney Kuiper noted that any variance that is granted that places the Petitioner into additional easements towards Blaine Street, that the Petitioner may be subject to a utility company coming through and removing the fence. Mr. Furtek commented that he noted many flags in his yard when he pulled the first permit. Attorney Kuiper explained that the utility company/cable company easement rights were superior to Petitioners in the event the fence is placed on the easement.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance to construct a fence over the side building line at 9404 Dewey Place, with the stipulations that the tan, 4’ high, aluminum, picket fence on the east side of the property cannot be more than 22’ away from and parallel to the foundation of the home, and with no gates to be placed on the east side of the fence. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion.

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

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

OPEN THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

There was no public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Ryan made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0).

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

11-25-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
12-23-2013 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
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