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Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes 2014

Meeting Minutes

01-27-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
02-24-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

March 24, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

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

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for February 24, 2014, at 7:03 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, Steve Hastings and Paul Panczuk. Tom Ryan was absent. Steve Kil was absent. Attorney Kuiper was also present.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first order of business for the Board was election of officers for 2014. He stated he would entertain motions for the positions of president, vice-president and secretary.

Mr. Ken Schneider made a motion to nominate Mr. Maciejewski to serve as president of the Board of Zoning Appeals for 2014. Mr. Steve Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a nomination for the position of vice-president. Mr. Maciejewski made a motion to nominate Mr. Schneider to serve as vice-president of the Board of Zoning Appeals for 2014. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a nomination for the position of secretary. Mr. Schneider made a motion to nominate Mr. Hastings to serve as secretary of the Board of Zoning Appeals for 2014. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: OCTOBER 28, 2013, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the meeting minutes of the October 28, 2013, were before the Board for their review. He asked if there were any changes or clarifications to the minutes.

Mr. Maciejewski stated with no amendments being made to the October 28, 2013, Board of Zoning Appeals meeting minutes, he would entertain a motion for approval. Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. ALSIP HOME & NURSERY - 10255 WICKER AVENUE DELVOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE, CHAPTER SIX, SECTION J- 1 (VARIANCE FROM MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS).

Mr. Brian Laffoon, representative of Eric Goetz Master Builder, lnc., appeared before the Board on behalf of Petitioner, Alsip Home & Nursery, seeking a waiver of Developmental Technical Variance (Ch. Six, Sec. J-1).

Mr. Laffoon apologized for the Petitioner's absence. He informed the Board that Petitioner, Alsip Home & Nursery, is proposing to construct a 48x104 post-frame building. He stated that this building would be used for basic storage, a shop and a small office area. Mr. Laffoon stated that this building would house the Alsip Home & Nursery employees who work in bulk sales. He stated at the present time, they are operating out of a small hut.

Mr. Laffoon explained that the Petitioner is requesting that the Board consider their request to waive the requirement of a brick facade on the post-frame building. He explained to the Board that post-frame construction is not conducive to a brick facade. Mr. Laffoon stated that the location of the building will be approximately 550 feet off of the road.

Mr. Laffoon stated that there is the potential that a second story may be added to the proposed building in the future. He stated that Petitioner proposes to rough-in a restroom for the future.

Mr. Laffoon stated that the proposed post-frame building would also be used as a shop to work on Alsip's equipment.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for an approximate cost for the proposed project. Mr. Laffoon estimated the cost of the proposed project would be $130,000.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Laffoon estimated the cost for a simple, four-foot wainscot across the end at $3-$5,000. He stated that he did not have any other available estimates on costs for bricking an entire wall but it would be considerably more. Mr. Maciejewski asked if the costs of the brick were investigated at all. Mr. Laffoon replied that costs on brick had not been investigated in detail.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Laffoon to describe Petitioner's hardship related to Developmental Technical Variance, (Chapter 6, Section J-1). Mr. Laffoon stated that the most significant hardship would be having to place a brick facade on the proposed post-frame building. He explained that there will be no poured footing around the perimeter of the building. Mr. Laffoon stated that a post-frame building would have to have a steel bracket fastened to it or a trench must be dug in order to anchor the brick.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings remarked that there is not one building in the entire subdivision where Alsip Home & Nursery is located that does not conform with the three brick )) requirement. He noted that the brick does not have to be applied entirely to all sides but it is required for the front facing. Mr. Hastings cited Eenigenburg Water as an example; he stated that Mr. Eenigenburg was required to apply brick to his new building.

Mr. Hastings stated that although there would be an extra costs involved) there is a way of applying the brick to the proposed, post-frame building.

Mr. Hastings opined that in order to approve the project, he would require the brick. He noted that the brick requirement for Alsip Home & Nursery's proposed building would be in conformance with the brick requirements at Strack & Van Til and all of the other stores in this location.

Attorney Kuiper stated that the Town's ordinance states that brick is required on all exterior walls. Mr. Maciejewski noted that brick was required on "the entire surface area of every exterior wall".

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Laffoon stated that he would confer with Petitioner about bricking the 48' end wall that faces Wicker Avenue. He stated it would not be conducive to brick an entire post-frame building of this size.

Mr. Hastings stated that all of the other buildings in this location were required to adhere to the brick requirement. Mr. Hastings opined that the brick requirement in this subdivision was no secret, and was a good code for the Town to adhere to.

(General discussion ensued.)

For the record, Attorney Kuiper noted that tonight's meeting with a public hearing was advertised for the January 27, 2014, Board of Zoning Appeals meeting which was continued due to a lack of quorum. He stated that the public hearing was properly continued and could properly conducted tonight.

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

Mr. Maciejewski stated that it is difficult to maintain a standard in the commercial district, from the Board's perspective, if waivers are allowed. He concurred with Mr. Hastings in that the brick requirement for this location (Route 41 corridor) is well-established.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that he understands Mr. Laffoon's stance relative to bricking a post-construction building, but noted a post-construction method it is not the only way to put up a building. He stated that he was not certain he understood why the brick requirement would be a strict hardship.

Mr. Laffoon stated that Petitioner did not feel it would be cost-effective to brick the post-construction building, especially when considering what the building will be used for.

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the proposed building will be in plain view in the main parking lot of the facility. He stated that the brick requirement addresses the aesthetic part of the ordinance, and the Town's intent to maintain the aesthetics in the commercial district. Mr. Maciejewski opined that the greater good of the Town must also be taken into consideration.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the west and the south elevations of the proposed building would be considered for masonry, but some consideration of no masonry may be given to the east face of the building, and possibly even the north side dependent upon the landscaping.

Mr. Panczuk concurred with the Board members. He stated precedent must be considered. Mr. Panczuk opined that, at a minimum, three walls must be brick-covered. He opined that the whole point of the ordinance was to improve things. He stated he may consider a brick waiver for the east wall. Mr. Panczuk noted that the proposed building's location will be at the very front of Alsip's back lot.

Attorney Kuiper recommended that Mr. Laffoon request a deferral on this matter in order to give him time to confer with his client and come up with an alternative plan. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Laffoon if he wished to defer this matter. Mr. Laffoon stated he wished to defer this matter.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to defer the matter of the request of Alsip Home & Nursery for a Developmental Technical Variance, (Chapter Six, Section J-1) to the next regularly scheduled meeting in order for the Petitioner to explore various options for treatment of the facades as discussed. "So moved," by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

OLD BUSINESS:

There was no Old Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski noted there was no one present to give public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. "So moved," by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Schneider seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

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

A TRUE COPY

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

03-24-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

March 24, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

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

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for March 24, 2014, at 7:04 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, Steve Hastings, Tom Ryan and Paul Panczuk. Attorney Kuiper was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: FEBRUARY 24, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the meeting minutes of the February 24, 2014, were before the Board for their review. He asked if there were any corrections or comments. The Board members had no corrections or comments.

Mr. Maciejewski stated with no corrections being made to the February 24, 2014, Board of Zoning Appeals meeting minutes, he would entertain a motion for approval. Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. ALSIP HOME & NURSERY – 10255 WICKER AVENUE DELVOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE, CHAPTER SIX, SECTION J-1 ( VARIANCE FROM MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS). CONTINUED FROM FEBRUARY MEETING.
Mr. Maciejewski informed the Board that he was contacted by Mr. Kil, Town Manager, that Alsip Nursery would not attend tonight’s meeting to represent their plan. He stated that Alsip Nursery has requested a deferral to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to defer Alsip Home and Nursery, if there was no objection, to the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Attorney Kuiper noted that if there is no other business before the Board in April, Alsip Home & Nursery would be placed on the May agenda or the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to defer Alsip Home & Nursery until the next regularly scheduled meeting. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. ALDI – 9921 EARL DRIVE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE TO INCREASE THE SQUARE FOOTAGE OF THE EXTERIOR WALL SIGNS.
Mr. Maciejewski noted the next item on the agenda for the Board’s consideration was Aldi, 9921 Earl Drive, seeking a developmental technical variance to increase the square footage of their exterior wall signs.

Mr. Mike Schacht, Director of Real Estate, Aldi’s, and Mr. Terrence J. Doyle, Doyle Signs, Inc. appeared before the Board on behalf of Aldi’s.

Mr. Doyle stated that the Petitioner, Aldi, requested the variance to permit the use of Aldi’s current marketing strategy for exterior identification signs. He stated that the Aldi’s store is set back 400’ from Route 41. Mr. Doyle stated that the current Aldi’s sign is very small in relation to the size and set back of the building.

Mr. Doyle stated Petitioner is proposing new signs on both the west and south elevations. He stated that the proposed signs will replace two existing signs. Mr. Doyle stated that the proposed signs will occupy 98 square feet in sign area for each sign.

Mr. Doyle informed the Board that Aldi’s is also proposing to add two additional red architectural panels to the top and lower area of the façade so that the building will match the Tractor Supply elevation. He stated that the Petitioner believes the proposed signs are reasonable and appropriate, and more in proportion to the size of the building and to the existing Tractor Supply sign next door.

Mr. Doyle stated that the new signs will be an asset to the community and improve the visibility of the Aldi store to potential customers.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for the size of the current signs. Mr. Doyle stated that Aldi’s current sign is 6’3”x7’5.5”, which encompasses an area of approximately 46’ square feet.

Mr. Maciejewski noted when the development was brought into the Town as a whole, agreements were made with the developer that stipulated square footage of signs/sign allowance for the entire development. He stated a certain square footage was stipulated for the Aldi parcel. Mr. Maciejewski stated that this square footage requirement should have been transferred to Aldi when the property was purchased and developed.

Mr. Schacht informed the Board that he did not handle the development itself at the time of purchase. He stated that Aldi was very much aware of the sign requirements at that time. Mr. Schacht opined that the current Aldi sign looks like a postage stamp on the large façade. He stated that a better job could have been done five years ago had Aldi approached the Board of Zoning Appeals at that time.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that Aldi was allowed 160 square feet of footage per the stipulation with the developer. He noted that the sign package was thought out quite diligently at the time. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the Petitioner is not even taking advantage of all of the allowable square footage at the present time. He stated that if a sign package had been developed more in keeping with the 160’ square feet allotment, the Petitioner would not even had to have appeared before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Schacht reiterated that he did not handle the development, and he was not aware of the 160 square foot allotment.

Mr. Doyle reiterated that the square footage of each sign was approximately 98 square feet, the food market sign is a little over 22 square feet and the Aldi logo is approximately 76 square feet.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked Petitioner if it was possible to consider a small reduction in order to comply with the square footage requirements. Mr. Doyle noted that in order to adhere to the 160 square feet, each sign would have to be reduced to 80 square feet. Mr. Doyle stated that Aldi logos are in standard sizes. He stated that the sign being proposed is the next standard size to be placed on the extremely large façade.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the signs were custom. Mr. Doyle stated that the signs are not custom. Mr. Schacht informed the Board that the Aldi signs come in 4x5, 6x7, and 8x9.5 sizes.

Mr. Hastings remarked that one of the signs would be facing south. He asked if this sign could be cut down, or just keep the existing sign in this location.

Mr. Schacht stated that if he was not able to increase the front sign without increasing the side sign he would probably keep both of them the way they are for symmetry’s sake. He stated if the signs were viewed at an angle and they were different sizes it would look “very strange to have a smaller sign on one side, a larger sign on the other.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated he was hoping to be able to come to some quick accord on hitting the square footage without having to vary it because it was thought out quite diligently at one time. Mr. Schacht stated, “There’s no doubt about that.” Mr. Maciejewski stated it is very difficult for him to decide to throw out a previous decision of the Board when so much deliberation went into it. Mr. Maciejewski stated it seems that there should be some methodology at 160 square feet that would satisfy Aldi as being better visually without the Board having to throw out the prior deliberation.

(General discussion ensued.)

Various view points of the Aldi signage were discussed.

Attorney Kuiper recommended that Mr. Maciejewski open the public hearing. Mr. Maciejewski asked if the notices and publications for the public hearing were in order. Attorney Kuiper noted that the notices and publications for the public hearing were in order for tonight’s public hearing to be properly conducted.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing. He called for public comment. Mr. Maciejewski directed the speaker to state their name and address for the record before beginning with their comments.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue

Mr. Bugariu stated he has been a resident of St. John, Indiana, since 1976. He opined that Aldi is trying to improve their building and he thinks their request should be granted.

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 asked the Board if they had any other questions or comments. Mr. Hastings asked if there was an estimate on the size of the Tractor Supply sign. Mr. Panczuk remarked that the notes mention “243 square foot,” he stated he was not sure this was the actual sign or the allowance for Lot 3.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper remarked that there were several deliberations that went into the subdivisions, including the Stracks, Target and Peoples Bank subdivision, the subdivision where Aldi is located, and the subdivision immediately to the south. He stated all three of these subdivisions were given consideration for overall signage for each one of the lots.

Attorney Kuiper remarked that certainly some consideration could be given for trying to make the building more uniform with the Tractor Supply, including the additional façade that Aldi is putting on.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Aldi signage is not all 160 square foot on the front. He stated he would be more concerned about what it looked like from Route 41 if it was a hideous billboard. He stated that Aldi is splitting the sign, which makes it more of a challenge. Mr. Panczuk stated he could agree with Aldi wanting their signs to be in symmetry. He stated that the signs are unique, but tend to look uniform if you look at the drawings.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would also take into consideration the “food market” lettering; he stated it’s a little less like signage and not as intrusive.

Mr. Panczuk opined, although he was not a part of past deliberations, he didn’t think the original deliberations considered the side signage. He stated that the signage on the side makes sense.

Mr. Hastings remarked that the Aldi store is quite a way back from Route 41; he stated the sign is small.

Mr. Maciejewski stated as far as the brand goes, he asked if the use of the “food market” signage was essential to Aldi. Mr. Doyle informed the Board that the food market sign is the new branding.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schacht stated that the new prototype stores have signage not much different than what is being shown to the Board. He stated that there is a tower, or in this case, a façade, with signage on both sides and it includes the “food market.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated if there were no further questions or comments, he would entertain a motion either for or against Aldi’s request to vary, considering it as presented tonight with no changes, keeping in mind the findings of fact.

Mr. Ryan stated he was going to make a motion to deny. He stated he prefers that they stay within the 160 square feet.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if he wanted further discussion. Mr. Ryan stated he would just make the motion to deny the variance as presented. Mr. Maciejewski asked for a second.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if he could second the motion. Attorney Kuiper stated Mr. Maciejewski could second the motion. Mr. Maciejewski seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- no. Mr. Schneider --- no. Mr. Hastings --- no. Mr. Ryan --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion failed (3/2). Ayes --- two. Nays --- three.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if anyone would like to make another motion. Mr. Panczuk asked if there was any more discussion; he wanted to know what was in the Board members’ minds. Mr. Maciejewski stated he was looking for a little compromise on this matter and he is not hearing any.

Mr. Maciejewski opined that he believed the signage matter was pretty deliberately set up and that the tenant knew what they were getting when they came into the development. He stated for the minor difference that the Board has discussed, he would have thought that a sign package could have been put together that adhered to the Board’s previous decision. He stated that he believed that this compromise would also have hit Aldi’s goal of cleaning up the proportions.

Mr. Panczuk stated he was really reluctant to go back on the deliberations. He stated that the thing that sways him is the side signage. Mr. Panczuk stated he had a feeling when the signage was considered it was being considered from a frontal view and how it would impact Route 41.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated it doesn’t, in his mind, mean that the way the sign has been presented by Petitioner is the only way that they can come up with a sign. He stated a custom sign could be made to meet the proportions, or a variation of what was presented, or even both sides not being symmetrical. Mr. Maciejewski stated he does not know that there has been this level of thought put into this signage, other than ‘here’s what we do everywhere else.’ He also noted that the proposed signage exceeds what was agreed upon when the property came into the Town.

Mr. Panczuk stated he valued Mr. Maciejewski’s opinion, and that is why he was seeking more information.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated that he has not heard anything from Aldi that they would consider alternatives to bring the sign into compliance with the square footage that was previously set out.

Mr. Panczuk noted that the size of the building seems to swallow up the sign as well. He stated that there is a lot of blank real estate between the Aldi sign and the Tractor Supply signs.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the Petitioner if they had considered a custom sign. Mr. Doyle stated that a custom sign was not considered because they cost more money.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Doyle stated that Petitioner spent a lot of money and came seeking a variance because they thought they needed a variance. He stated the Board is now telling Petitioner they don’t need a variance. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the Board can’t control that. Mr. Schneider stated that doesn’t start up here.

Mr. Doyle stated that Petitioner presented what they thought was the best proportioned sign for the building and the set back. Mr. Schacht stated when he looks at the drawing and looking at the whole of the two stores across, proportionately, what Petitioner is presenting is correct and what the signage should look like.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he’s hearing that the Petitioner made the selection based off the standard size. He stated that he is not accepting the proportion argument when the only choice is “A” or “B” and Petitioner is just choosing the larger of the two. Mr. Schacht stated Petitioner’s stance is that this one sign happened to fill the need of the façade.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that if anyone wanted to make a motion to approve, it would be appropriate at this time to do so, or it would also be acceptable if someone wished to make another motion with some sort of change that would also be appropriate.

Mr. Schneider asked Petitioner if they were dead set against having two different sized signs. Mr. Schacht stated that he did not think it would look appropriate. Mr. Maciejewski stated he did not disagree with Mr. Schacht on this point; he stated that it would have to be two different signage approaches and giving up on the symmetry.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve Aldi’s request for the sign variance as presented, Item 5A. He opined that Aldi’s has been good to the Town and what they are doing is a suitable retrofit to the building. Mr. Panczuk opined that the signage looks proportionate. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. Tom Ryan --- no. Steve Hastings --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- no. The motion was carried (3/2). Ayes --- three. Nays --- two.

Mr. Doyle and Mr. Schacht thanked the Board.

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was anything under Old Business. There was no Old Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski noted there was no one present to give public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski adjourned the meeting.

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

A TRUE COPY

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

04-28-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

April 28, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Paul Panczuk Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Ken Schneider, Vice-President of the Board of Zoning Appeals, chaired the meeting in Mr. Jim Maciejewski’s absence. He called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for April 28, 2014, 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: Ken Schneider, Steve Hastings, Tom Ryan and Paul Panczuk. Jim Maciejewski was absent. Attorney Austgen was also present. Mr. Rex Sherrard was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MARCH 24, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Schneider noted that the meeting minutes of March 24, 2014, were before the Board for their review. He asked if there were any comments or questions. The Board members had no corrections or comments.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. ROBERT WERNERSBACH, 9779 TULIP LANE, DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE, SIDE YARD VARIANCE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A FENCE OVER THE BUILDING LINE – PUBLIC HEARING.
Mr. Schneider noted that the first item on the agenda was a Developmental Technical Variance request for construction of a fence over the building line at 9779 Tulip Lane.

Mr. Wernersbach, Petitioner, appeared before the Board. He informed the Board that he was seeking a side yard and back yard variance from the building line. He told the Board that he lives on a corner lot with a “rather large building line.” Mr. Wernersbach informed the Board that he was getting ready to build a pool and was hoping to get a variance to bring the fence towards the sidewalk. He brought photographs of homes in his subdivision within a few blocks of his residence with fence placement comparable to what he is requesting.

Mr. Wernersbach explained that he would like to go about three feet from the sidewalk on the side yard and one foot in the rear yard. Mr. Schneider stated that the Board did not need to see the pictures at the present time. Mr. Wernersbach reiterated he would like to place the fence within three feet of the sidewalk on the side yard, and one foot in the back yard.

Mr. Schneider asked what type of material the proposed fence would consist of and how tall the proposed fence would be. Mr. Wernersbach stated that the fence would be a vinyl, maintenance-free, six foot fence. Mr. Wernersbach stated that he has not yet decided on the exact style of the fence.

Mr. Schneider asked the Board members if they had any questions. Mr. Ryan noted from the drawings, it appears that the Petitioner is going over the utility easement. Petitioner directed the Board’s attention to the location of the utility easement.

Mr. Kil stated that he had discussed the rear building lines in this subdivision with the Board previously. He stated that they should not pay attention to the rear building line. Mr. Kil explained that there is a front yard and side yard building line on the corner lot. He stated Petitioner is requesting a side yard building line on Aster Cove. Mr. Kil stated his understanding is that Petitioner intends to stay three feet off of the sidewalk, which is Petitioner’s property line.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Wernersbach explained to the Board that he does have a 12x12 shed, which is moveable.

(General discussion ensued.)

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

Mr. Schneider asked if Petitioner intends to start erecting the fence in the near future. Mr. Wernersbach stated that he has already started drawing plans for the back yard; he stated he is hoping to have the project completed “pretty soon.” He acknowledged that the permit for the pool and fence is only valid for sixty days.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer the Developmental Technical Variance for a fence over the building line at 9779 Tulip Lane.

Mr. Panczuk had a question. He noted there were many variances before the Board tonight. He asked if there was past precedent for the setback distances for fencing. Mr. Panczuk stated his concern is how near the fence is to the sidewalk. Mr. Kil explained that there have been several variances considered for fence setbacks; he stated that it depends upon the location of the fence. Mr. Kil commented that the Board has approved setbacks of anywhere from three to five feet.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to approve the variance at 9779 Tulip Lane provided that there is a three foot set back from the sidewalk and that the shed stays inside the fenced-in area of the yard. Mr. Ryan stated that landscaping would be nice as well, but he could not give specifics. The findings of fact were incorporated into the motion by reference. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Tom Ryan --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0).

B. ROBERT COVERY – 9660 LEE PLACE – DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE – SIDE YARD VARIANCE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A FENCE OER THE BUILDING LINE – PUBIC HEARING.
Mr. Schneider announced that the next item on the agenda for the Board’s consideration was a Developmental Technical Variance for construction of a fence over a building line at 9660 Lee Place.

Mr. Robert Covery appeared before the Board seeking a Developmental Technical Variance off of his building line. He stated he had a built-in pool installed last year.

Mr. Covery requested a variance of 10 feet off of the sidewalk, about halfway up to his house. He stated that the fence would cover up a “little bit of eyesore,” by enclosing the pool filter, heater and air conditioner alongside the house.

Mr. Covery submitted pictures to the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked about the height and color of the fence. Mr. Covery stated that the fence would be “sand colored” and six feet high.

Mr. Panczuk asked the Petitioner what was located on the northwest corner of his property; he stated it looked it was being cut out from the fence.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Covery stated that this was a utility box located in the back corner of his property. Maintenance of this area was discussed. Mr. Kil noted that the Petitioner would need to maintain this area around the utility box as it was located on his property. Mr. Covery concurred.

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

Mr. Hastings asked if there were plans for landscaping. Mr. Covery stated he would rather not put landscaping in if he didn’t have to because it would be more stuff to maintain, but there would be grass.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer a Developmental Technical Variance for a fence over the building line at 9660 Lee Place. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance for a fence over the building line at 9660 Lee Place. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Mr. Panczuk amended his motion to include the findings of fact, by reference, and contingent upon the proofs of publication being in order. Mr. Hastings reaffirmed his second to Mr. Panczuk’s motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0).

C. WADE CUNHA – 14285 WEST 94TH AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A FENCE OVER THE BUILDING LINE – PUBLIC HEARING.
Mr. Schneider stated that the next order of business for the Board’s consideration was a Developmental Technical Variance at 14285 West 94th Avenue, for a fence over the building line.

Mr. Wade Cunha appeared before the Board seeking a Developmental Technical Variance for the construction of a fence over the building line. He stated he wanted to build a fence beyond the building line. He stated that he submitted a plat that reflects the fence will be erected within 10 feet of the property line. Mr. Cunha stated that this request falls within the subdivision’s covenants.

Mr. Cunha asked the Board if it would be possible to erect the fence within five feet of the building line contingent upon the approval of the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Mr. Schneider stated that the fence placement within five feet of the building line would be a matter that would have to be addressed by the Petitioner with his HOA. Mr. Kil recommended that that resident “live with the covenants.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked for the height of the fence and the material it would be made out of. Mr. Cunha stated that the proposed fence would be a six foot aluminum fence and not a privacy fence. He explained to the Board that the fence is aluminum but looks like wrought iron.

The gate location was discussed. Mr. Cunha stated that he would like to put a fence on the Calumet Avenue side of the fence, a gate on the east side facing the front, and possibly one gate in the back.

(General discussion ensued.)

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

Mr. Schneider asked if there were any other questions or concerns. The Board members had no comments.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer the Developmental Technical Variance for construction of a fence over the building line at 14285 West 94th. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance for a fence over the building line at 14285 West 94th Avenue, incorporating the findings of fact, by reference, and contingent upon the proofs of publication for the public hearing being in proper order. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0).

D. KEVIN GROOMS – 12648 WEST 101ST AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE – SIDE YARD VARIANCE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN ADDITION TO HOME – PUBLIC HEARING
Mr. Schneider noted the next order of business for the Board’s consideration was a Developmental Technical Variance for construction of an addition to a home located at 12648 West 101st.

Mr. Kevin Grooms appeared before the Board seeking a Developmental Technical Variance for the construction of an addition to his home. He informed the Board he originally built the house and it sits on a hill with a narrow driveway.

Mr. Grooms stated that, over the years, it keeps “eroding back” so he wants to put a retaining wall right on the lot line using the ten foot setback that is currently there.

Mr. Grooms informed the Board that there are no properties or homeowners on the west side of his residence. He proposed building an addition to the residence which consists of a two car garage stall and a family room in the back at the same time he is building the retaining wall.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil explained the location of Petitioner’s house is next to the Town’s lift station property. He stated that there are no residents in the area that could be adversely affected by the proposed addition.

Mr. Grooms submitted a photograph to the Board. He informed the Board that he has hired an architect and the addition will have a stucco and stone front which will tie in nicely with his existing residence. He stated that the addition will look like it is a part of the original dwelling.

(General discussion ensued.)

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

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer the Developmental Technical Variance for the side yard variance and construction of an addition at 12648 West 101st. Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the Developmental Technical Variance for the side yard variance and the addition at 12648 West 101st, incorporating the findings of fact, by reference, and contingent upon the proofs of publication for the public hearing being in proper order. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Steve Hastings --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0).

E. LIL RASCALS DAYCARE – 8621 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE FOR REPLACING OLD SIGN WITH ELECTRONIC LED SIGN.
Mr. Schneider stated that next order of business before the Board was Lil Rascals Daycare, 8621 Wicker Avenue, for consideration of a Developmental Technical Variance to replace the old sign with an electric LED reader sign.

Mr. Geoff Resney, Petitioner, appeared before the Board seeking a Developmental Technical Variance to replace the old Lil Rascals sign with an LED reader sign. Petitioner stated that he wishes to modernize the existing sign. He stated that he wanted to get rid of the old message board and replace it with an LED reader sign.

Mr. Schneider asked what the size of the LED sign would be. Mr. Resney stated that the current sign is 38x80. He stated that he wanted to find a sign to replace the old sign directly. Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Resney if he knew the dimensions of the existing overall sign. Mr. Resney stated he was not sure of the dimensions of the sign.

Mr. Schneider asked about the size of the proposed LED sign. Mr. Resney stated that the message board portion of the sign would be switched out. Mr. Resney stated that the proposed LED sign may be a little smaller. He stated that the overall width may be reduced.

Mr. Resney informed the Board that the sign will not be fancy. He stated that the proposed sign be will one color. Mr. Resney stated that his current sign is bright white at night. He stated that the proposed sign will eliminate some of the light issues because only the letters will be illuminated on the LED sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Resney what content the LED sign would display. Mr. Resney stated that pre-school season, daycare season and summer camp season would be advertised. Mr. Resney stated community-type messages would also be posted, but the sign would not be for rent.

Mr. Resney stated that the proposed LED sign would be used strictly by the Lil Rascals business. Mr. Ryan asked if Petitioner would be receptive to a recommendation of a set number of hours that the sign could be turned on. Mr. Resney stated that he would be amenable to dimming the lights on the proposed LED sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider noted that the current sign, though old, is non-conforming. Mr. Resney commented that the proposed LED sign would be less intrusive than the sign that is there now. Mr. Resney stated he believed the proposed LED sign would add rather than detract from St. John. He stated the proposed sign will enable Petitioner to continue to offering to the community the same service they have been offering for 35 years.

Mr. Panczuk, for clarification purposes, asked for an exact size for the proposed sign. Mr. Resney responded that he did not have an exact size. He stated he has looked at a 36” sign. He stated that the 36” sign would be approximately the same size as what is there now, but slightly narrower.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would like to see a 50 percent reduction in the sign with a single color. Mr. Resney stated that the proposed sign can present three colors with no animation.

Mr. Schneider remarked that he has never been a big fan of reader board signs, and the current sign is non-conforming. He stated that this would be a good time for Petitioner to look into bringing the sign into compliance.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Resney stated that at the present time, Petitioner cannot afford to do any construction to the existing sign. Mr. Resney stated that the sign was moved off of Route 41 quite a bit several years ago. He stated that the sign is not now as visible as it once was. He stated understands what the Board wants, but using his variance request for an LED sign to try and bring the sign into compliance “is not fair to us.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil noted that Petitioner is requesting that his manual reader board be replaced with a digital reader board. Mr. Kil stated that Petitioner could get the same effect with half of the square footage using a reader board. Mr. Kil recommended that the square footage of the proposed reader board be cut down.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Panczuk reiterated that a 50% reduction in the size of the sign would still give the Petitioner letters that are twice as big as what is currently there. He stated the LED sign would also clean up the sign a little bit, without completely making the sign conform. Mr. Panczuk stated he also prefers a single color as it’s more readable.

Mr. Schneider stated he would open the public hearing. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before he Board.

Attorney Austgen noted that was a letter of remonstrance included in the file.

Mr. Schneider re-opened the public hearing and read a letter from Ms. Cecelia Petro, 8541 Fairway Drive. Mr. Schneider stated Ms. Petro could not attend tonight’s hearing, but would like to see the request denied. Ms. Petro requested that in the event the Board approves Petitioner’s request for an LED reader sign, that the Board set parameters for the use of the sign including no animation, no colors, no scrolling and duration of message. Ms. Petro asked that the sign’s brightness and height also be overseen by the Board.

Attorney Austgen recommended that Ms. Petro’s letter be placed into the record, verbatim.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer the request for a Developmental Technical Variance for and LED reader sign at 8621 Wicker Avenue. He stated if a motion is made to approve the variance it should include parameters for the sign’s operation including a maximum height for the sign, no animation, no colors, no left to right scrolling, and a time duration for the message.

(General discussion ensued.)

The size of the LED sign was discussed.

Mr. Schneider stated he was still looking for a motion to approve/deny/defer the requested Developmental Variance for an LED sign to replace an existing letter board sign for Lil Rascals.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the request from Lil Rascals, 8621 Wicker Avenue, with the following: the size of the message board would be not exceed 81”x20”, single color, 30 second duration in message display, no side to side scrolling, dimmed at night with adherence to dimming the sign between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., incorporation of the findings of fact into the record, by reference, and contingent upon the proofs of publication for the public hearing being in proper order. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Steve Hastings --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Tom Ryan --- no. Ken Schneider --- no. The motion was tied. Ayes – two. Nays --- two. The motion tied (2/2). Mr. Kil noted there was no action by the Board.

Mr. Schneider made a motion that the Developmental Technical Variance for Lil Rascals be deferred until next month’s meeting when all five members are present. Mr. Ryan seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote. Ayes --- all. Nays --- none (4/0).

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil noted that the next meeting falls on Memorial Day. The meeting was changed, by agreement of the Board, to Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Petitioner, Mr. Resney, was directed to re-appear before the Board on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

F. EENIGENBURG WATER – 9759 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE FROM NORTH SIDE OF BUILDING TO THE SOUTH SIDE – ATTORNEY BRENT TORRENGA
Mr. Schneider noted that the next item on the agenda was Eenigenburg Water, 9759 Wicker Avenue, seeking a Developmental Technical Variance to move the outdoor sales from the north side of the building to the south side of the building.

Attorney Austgen stated he was a bit confused about this agenda item and how it is listed on the agenda. He stated the agenda references the item being a developmental variance, and then Mr. Schneider described the purpose of the hearing was to solicit approval for outside sales from north side of building to the south side of the building.

Attorney Austgen stated that his understanding is that this is a variance of use and not a developmental variance; he opined that this is an important distinction. He noted this distinction, particularly given the history of the property and the review process that the Board and its predecessors engaged in one year and six days ago. Attorney Austgen stated at that time, the Board conducted a public hearing that created the “use area” for the open display.

Attorney Austgen noted that very carefully referenced in both minutes of the Plan Commission’s April 22, 2013, meeting and Town Council’s meeting of April 25, 2013, the matter was a “variance of use.”

Mr. Kil remarked that “Teri has it wrong on the agenda.” Attorney Austgen asked for verification that the application made was for a “variance of use,” so that the proceeding is held as a “variance of use” matter, as there is different standard of review. Attorney Austgen stated he wanted this matter clarified before the proceedings started.

Attorney Torrenga stated that the application was provided by the Town and the application is entitled “A Petition for Variance.” He stated he was not sure whether or not the matter would appear on the agenda as a use variance or a developmental variance. Attorney Torrenga stated he was fine with the matter being worded either way.

Attorney Austgen stated that it must be verified that the matter has been advertised correctly and the matter is delineated correctly for the purposes and nature of the proceeding. Attorney Austgen noted that “standard review is what counts.” For the record, Attorney Austgen noted that the application is, as Attorney Torrenga suggested, a generic form and represents itself as a “Petition for Variance.” He noted that the application does not distinguish between a developmental variance and a variance of use.

Attorney Austgen noted that the notice references, generically, that there is a variance sought from Ordinance #1483, Chapter 11, Section H. He stated this ordinance deals with purposes of allowing the outdoor sales and display of goods. Attorney Austgen stated he was okay with the proceedings moving forward given that there is a consensus from Attorney Torrenga that the proceeding is a “variance of use” proceeding, and that the applicable standard review will be Indiana Code 36-7-4-918.4.

Attorney Torrenga stated there is no problem with this matter being approached as a “use variance.” He stated he has proposed findings of fact to tender to the Board. Attorney Torrenga stated that the findings of fact meet the requirements of Indiana Code 36-7-4-918.4.

Attorney Torrenga also submitted as an exhibit an amended Eenigenburg Water site plan.

Attorney Brent Torrenga, Schwerd, Fryman & Torrenga, LLC, 825 East Lincolnway, Valparaiso, Indiana, introduced himself to the Board. He informed the Board that he was representing Petitioner, JDE, LLC., the property owner and Eenigenburg Water, the business that operates on the property. Mr. John Eenigenburg, Petitioner, was present. Mr. Al Bartley, Abco General Contractors, was also present.

Attorney Torrenga stated that the site in question is located at 9759 Wicker. He stated that the property is zoned highway/commercial, C-2, and all of the surrounding property is also C-2, commercial, and to the south, property is zoned C-1.

Attorney Torrenga noted that the outdoor sales had already been approved for this property on the north side of the site. He stated that Petitioner is seeking the variance to the south side of the building in order to provide for the outdoor sales of large amounts of bottled water (weighing approximately 54 pounds) and large bags of salt (weighing from 50-80 pounds). Attorney Torrenga stated that these items are placed in a drive aisle where customers can come through, park their car, exit car, enter vestibule into building, meet an employee, discuss the transaction, make a purchase, and then customer and employee load the vehicle. He stated this is a quick and efficient process.

Attorney Torrenga stated Petitioner has served customers in this manner since approximately 1990. He stated that the outdoor sales began in the front of the building. He stated it was determined that the customers would be better served by relocating the outdoor sales to the south side of the building where there is less dirt and traffic.

Attorney Torrenga stated Mr. Eenigenburg has been in business since 1972 and in St. John since 1987. He stated since Petitioner has moved to his new building, long-time customers have arrived at the new building, parked and come inside the business wondering where the outdoor sales are. He stated that the business is being adversely affected by having the sales on the north side of the building.

Attorney Torrenga stated it is important to note that the outdoor sales area is cleaned up and product put away at the end of every business day. Another reason the request to relocate the outdoor sales from the north side to the south side is so important to the Petitioner is because every customer has a choice to visit one of the “large box stores that we’ve got up and down US 41.” Attorney Torrenga stated that outdoor sales is what really sets this Petitioner apart.

Attorney Torrenga stated over the course of the past year and especially this past winter, a few flaws have become apparent to Petitioner, another reason Petitioner is seeking the variance. Attorney Torrenga noted two main differences on the plan that was provided to the Board earlier tonight and the previously approved plan. One, the sales have been moved from the north to the south of the building and, two, a change in traffic flow.

Attorney Torrenga explained the traffic pattern at the outdoor sales area, which is reflected as the “hatched area” on the plan on the south side of the sidewalk, south wall of the building and on the north edge of the southernmost curb is one-way traffic. He stated when the outdoor sales was located on the north side of the building it created a conflict in that traffic would enter the site at the southwest corner, proceed up north and find one of the parking stalls. Attorney Torrenga stated if a parking stall that an individual wanted was not available then “you wanted to go around the building and come to a loop.” He stated that this set-up was causing drivers to have to do three and four point turns to get back around to the south. He stated that this is an “adverse traffic conflict created by having the outdoor sales on the north side of the building,” especially exacerbated when Petitioner holds his Annual Customer Appreciation Day.

Attorney Torrenga stated that there is a second safety issue on the north side of the building; the area is shaded by the building. No amount of clearing in the winter rids the north side of all the ice and snow. The shady areas place both the customers and employees in danger of slipping and sliding while attempting to load the heavy product. Attorney Torrenga stated that Petitioner would like to avoid any slip and fall accidents on the site.

Attorney Torrenga stated for the aforementioned reasons, Petitioner is appropriately requesting that the Board forward a favorable recommendation to the Town Council. He stated he would be happy to answer any questions that the Board members may have.

Mr. Schneider asked if the property could be entered from the street on the east. He asked if there was a mountable curb located there. Attorney Torrenga stated he believed the curb was mountable at this location.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Torrenga stated that the Petitioner is left with access into his business from 97th Avenue and the road to the east. He stated most customers will use the 97th Avenue entrance when pulling off of US 41.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider remarked that Petitioner is worried about traffic yet the whole east side of the business is a wide open parking lot with no traffic control on it. Attorney Torrenga stated that delivery trucks are loaded and parked in this location.

Mr. Hastings asked how customers would get to the south side outdoor sales area unless they go behind the building. Attorney Torrenga stated that most of the access comes off at the driveway located on the southwest corner of the site at 97th Lane.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Torrenga explained that when customers enter at the entrance off of 97th Avenue they proceed north to the parking stalls as depicted on the site plan. He stated if a parking space cannot be found (in the current configuration) the traffic on the north side is totally westbound which makes it necessary to turn around in the middle of the drive aisle to get back out.

The traffic pattern was discussed. Attorney Torrenga stated that customers could enter from the rear of the property, but most of the traffic coming off of US 41 will turn onto 97th and immediately turn into the site.

Mr. Hastings remarked that there has always been a problem with both lanes going in the same direction. He stated that this configuration dictates that the drivers have to navigate the traffic that is coming inbound. Attorney Torrenga noted that there is no customer parking at the rear of the building. He stated that purpose of allowing customers to drive around the building would be if a parking space is passed up one would need to circulate around the building.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that a landscape plan has been approved by the Plan Commission.

Attorney Austgen asked if the BZA members had seen the minutes for the approval that was given last year. Mr. Schneider stated he did not presently have a copy of these minutes. Attorney Austgen noted that reviewing these minutes might answer some of the Board’s questions.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Torrenga informed the Board that he has just learned that the bump-outs that were installed on the north side of the property have presented a real difficulty in plowing the parking lot. Mr. Bartley remarked that elderly people tend to overlook the bump-outs and a couple of cars have run them over already.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated he understood Petitioner’s concerns with ice and snow in the wintertime on the north side of the building. He conceded that it could be dangerous for customers. Mr. Schneider noted in the event the outdoor sales was to be located on the south side of the building, his concern was with a landscape plan or a fence.

(General discussion ensued)

Attorney Torrenga stated that he did not see any remonstrators present this evening, and nobody from McDonalds was present to remonstrate against Petitioner’s request for a variance. He stated that Mr. Eenigenburg has gathered 1,325 signatures from his customers, 524 of those signatures (supporting the variance request) have indicated they are residents of St. John. Attorney Torrenga stated he would tender the document with signatures to the Board.

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

Attorney Torrenga stated as a part of the grant of the variance, Petitioner would be willing to make a commitment to keep the outdoor sales area clean and product put away at night.

Attorney Austgen asked Attorney Torrenga if his client would consider signing the Project Commitment Agreement that has remained unsigned since August or September of 2013 when waivers were granted by the Plan Commission and amendments were made to the April, 2013, approvals granted by the Town following a public hearing. Attorney Austgen stated that there has been no response from Petitioner.

Attorney Torrenga stated he was not aware of this issue. Attorney Austgen remarked that Attorney Torrenga was the second attorney representing Petitioner. Attorney Austgen stated he has not been able to get a response from Petitioner and executing the Project Commitment Agreement was set forth as a condition of approval in 2013 from both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Town Council. He noted that signing of the Project Commitment Agreement was agreed upon at the public hearing.

Attorney Torrenga stated he would certainly look into this matter. Attorney Austgen recommended that past commitments be fulfilled including execution of the Project Commitment Agreement of the developer.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Torrenga stated that he would work on the commitment and the document will be signed right away. Attorney Austgen asked when he could expect the executed Project Commitment Agreement. Attorney Torrenga asked for two to three weeks due to his client getting ready to go out of town. Attorney Austgen stated he would forward the documents to Attorney Torrenga tomorrow.

Attorney Austgen recommended that Attorney Torrenga obtain meeting minutes when the public hearings were held related to Eenigenburg Water.

(General discussion ensued.)

Stacking of product was discussed.

Mr. Hastings stated a good point was made about individuals running into the barriers. He asked Petitioner if he would be agreeable to installing a wrought iron fence. Mr. Eenigenburg stated that he did not want another fence in front of his shop.

(General discussion ensued).

Mr. Eenigenburg said if he had his wishes, he would have himself out in the front of the building, but there is dirt and slop coming in from the road. He stated he wanted his product off to the side where it’s easy to manage and keep it in a little room in order to keep all the dirt out of main office. He stated that the way it is right now, he’s had customers for years and they’re wondering where he’s at with his salt. He stated that he’s had people come in “cross ways and hit a customer or hit another car.”

Mr. Panczuk stated that there should be landscaping because it’s a more visible location. He stated somewhat of a buffer is needed so it’s not just stacks of water at the curb. He stated that the landscaping plan should be revised so that the outdoor sales area does not look like a storage area.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the site is constructed and the only place to situate landscaping right now is on 97th.

Mr. Schneider stated pictures were presented to the Board and the pictures appear to depict a lot bottle storage and a dumpster.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider asked if there were any further questions. The Board had no further questions or comments. Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion for a favorable/unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for a variance of use for outside sales product from the north side to the south side of Eenigenburg Water, 9759 Wicker Avenue. Mr. Schneider stated that if the motion is approved, it should be contingent upon past commitments that must be fulfilled.

Attorney Austgen noted that the commitments must be updated depending upon what additional conditions are added as a consequence of the Board’s consideration and actions tonight.

Attorney Austgen explained to the Board that the commitment is a developer commitment pursuant to the statute to complete the project according to the approval that the Board has given and the conditions set forth therein.

Mr. Schneider stated he was looking for a favorable/unfavorable/no motion to forward to the Town Council. Mr. Panczuk stated he was not on the Board last year so he would be open to any discussion regarding the approval made to place the outside storage on the outside. Mr. Panczuk asked if there was a back story.

Mr. Kil explained what Petitioner is doing right now is what was approved. He summarized the contingencies for the outdoor sales as follows: outdoor sales product was limited to salt and water, product must be taken inside at end of business day and putting landscaping in. Mr. Kil noted that the landscaping has not been placed yet.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated basically it would be just picking up the operation on the north side of the building and moving it to the south side of the building as is.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen noted that the proposed developer commitment references “Exhibit A” attached, which is probably a replacement and should be examined for comparison purposes. He stated examining the documents may help the Board determine the appropriate conditions also.

Attorney Austgen remarked that there is a back story to this matter. He stated that the project was developed in combination with the McDonalds project. He stated that the record will reflect that the location of the open storage on the north side of the building was partial consideration for the entirety of the four lots that comprise this subdivision.

Attorney Austgen stated that everything was agreed upon. He stated, as reflected in meeting minutes, unanimous actions were taken as a consequence of the agreements and the representatives of the property owner and all were in concurrence. Attorney Austgen stated that it was a different group of representatives who checked off on all of the agreements.

Attorney Austgen stated a raw piece of land came in and assessments were made to make the entire subdivision work, where to place things, how to do things, where to cut, where to end, what to leave, how to make it green, how to make it compatible, etc. He stated there was a lot of work done to get to this point.

Attorney Torrenga stated he was not aware of the past approvals and the back story. He stated he could say with certainty that the past winter has been enlightening and practical difficulties have been discovered with the operation of the site per the previously approved plan.

Attorney Torrenga stated that if there are concerns regarding the landscaping, there are extra bushes that were to be planted in front of the building. He stated that the bushes could be brought into the parkway on 97th spanning the length of the outdoor sales area.

Attorney Torrenga stated that Petitioner would be willing to make this landscaping a condition of the recommendation.

Mr. Kil stated that the landscaping in the front should not be moved; he stated that Petitioner should add additional landscaping to the side.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Panczuk stated his concern in moving the outdoor sales area is that it brings it into public view to a much greater degree. He stated that this is why he is looking at the landscaping. He stated that a landscape plan for the green strip along 97th should not be too much of a financial hardship and would improve the looks greatly.

Mr. Kil recommended that Petitioner present a landscape plan to the Board. He noted that Mr. Panczuk did not have the benefit of seeing the previous landscape plan. Mr. Bartley stated he would see if he had a copy of the landscape plan.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan stated that the Board has gone over this matter several times already, and there was a reason why it was requested to be put on the north side. Mr. Kil from said the view of the outdoor sales from 97th was previously discussed at length.

Attorney Torrenga stated, as a time saver, the Petitioner would represent to the Board that a plan could be prepared and delivered to the staff for review to ensure that bushes of at least three feet in height on 97th along the length of the outdoor sales area.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would like to review the proposed landscape plan.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to defer this action until the next meeting, May 28, 2014, until such time as the landscape plan is submitted. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Mr. Panczuk added, by that time, the Commitment Agreement will be in place and signed.

Attorney Torrenga stated that the variance could change the content of the Commitment Agreement. Attorney Austgen concurred.

Mr. Schneider asked all those in favor of the motion to defer this matter until May 28, 2014, signify by saying aye. Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Schneider opened the floor for Old Business. There was no Old Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. The motion was seconded by Mr. Panczuk.

(The meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

05-28-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

May 28, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Paul Panczuk Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Ken Schneider, Vice-President of the Board of Zoning Appeals, chaired the meeting in Mr. Jim Maciejewski’s absence. He called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for May 28, 2014, at 7:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: APRIL 28, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Schneider noted that the meeting minutes of April 28, 2014, were before the Board for their review. He asked if there were any comments or questions. The Board members had no corrections or comments.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of April 28, 2014. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote.

Ken Schneider --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. LIL RASCALS DAYCARE – 8621 WICKER AVENUE – DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE – SIGN VARIANCE FOR REPLACING OLD SIGN WITH ELECTRONIC LED SIGN.

Mr. Schneider noted the first item under Old Business was Lil Rascals Daycare, 8621 Wicker Avenue, seeking a developmental variance in order to replace the old sign with an electronic sign.

Mr. Schneider noted that at the last meeting Petitioner was directed to try and downsize his sign, if possible, in order to come into compliance with the Town’s ordinance on the size of signs.

Mr. Jeff Resney, 8621 Wicker Avenue, St. John, appeared before the Board. He stated he had documents to submit to the Board. Mr. Resney stated that the documents contained specifications for the sign. He stated that he took pictures around Town, and the picture of Standard Bank’s sign is closest to the type of sign he is seeking, a monochrome sign with a message center/temperature sensor.

Mr. Resney submitted a quote to the Board. The quote contained a price to bring his sign into compliance. Mr. Schneider asked if there were any questions from the Board. There were no questions from the Board members.

Mr. Schneider requested that Mr. Resney restate what he was looking for and explain his hardship to the Board. Mr. Resney stated that the Petitioner is facing an economic hardship and also dealt with some family health issues. Mr. Resney stated that modernizing the sign and cleaning it up will help offset the economic hardship that they are still trying to overcome.

Mr. Resney explained to the Board that changing the letters on the old sign, manually, posed a hardship for his wife. He stated that a ladder has to be used in order to change the sign messages and this is a safety issue he would rather not deal with. Mr. Resney stated that the volume of snow during last year hindered changing the messages on the sign and so it remained stagnant.

Mr. Resney reiterated that Lil Rascals is a family business that has been operating in Town for the past 35 years. He stated that the sign will be much easier to change with a remote control. Mr. Resney stated that the proposed sign would be smaller and replace the sign that is already there.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Resney stated that it is not possible for him to replace the entire sign to bring it into compliance at the present time.

Mr. Resney stated that the sign would enable them to keep the school relevant and remind parents to register their children for pre-school, summer camp and day care. He stated if people are not reminded ahead of time on these things, he misses out on the sign-ups. Mr. Resney stated that with the sign up efforts not being as aggressive as they should have be and in addition to the recession this did not help his business. Mr. Resney stated that being able to use the LED sign would enable them to move their messages through and his business would see the benefit.

Attorney Austgen stated he wanted to ensure that the Board is aware that economics are not considered appropriate criteria for fulfilling the condition of hardship. Mr. Schneider agreed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Resney stated that the proposed sign would be nine square feet with 10” letters.

Mr. Schneider asked if there were any questions from the Board. Mr. Hastings noted that Mr. Resney was not going to choose Option A, which entailed replacing the entire sign in order to bring it into compliance. Mr. Resney stated that he could not swing both the LED sign and replacing the sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Panczuk noted that the overall size of the sign has been reduced by a little over 50%.

Mr. Schneider asked if there were any further questions or comments from the Board. The Board members had no further comments or questions.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion on the developmental sign variance for Lil Rascals Daycare, to approve/deny/defer the action.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to deny the developmental variance for Lil Rascals Daycare.

Attorney Austgen asked Mr. Ryan, for the record, to state some reasons for his motion. Mr. Ryan stated that his reasons are the same as they were last month; he does not care for the LED signs.

Mr. Schneider stated that the Board’s deliberations and vote is one of the hardest things they have to go through and it’s also hard on the Petitioner. Mr. Schneider explained that the Board feels that they are protecting the community by not allowing row after row of LED signs. He stated that all the scrolling, flashing and rolling signs give the appearance of the Las Vegas strip.

Mr. Schneider stated that there was a motion on the floor to deny the developmental sign variance for Lil Rascals Daycare; he asked for a second. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- no. Steve Hastings --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Ken Schneider --- no. The motion tied (2/2). Ayes --- two. Nays --- Two.

Mr. Panczuk asked for the floor. He noted that this was not a new business opening but more of a retrofit to an existing sign. He stated he understands the general requirements to bring things into conformance when anything is touched. He stated that this business is not expanding but only retrofitting a sign. Mr. Panczuk stated he is also concerned about the look of the Town. He stated that he has a disdain of signs, and this is not a matter that he takes lightly.

Mr. Panczuk noted that the existing sign is double the size, the letters get changed around and it’s not exactly an attractive sign. He stated that the proposed retrofit will reduce the sign to less than half its present size, will contain a single color and prevent any type of vandalism in the future. Mr. Panczuk opined, overall, the proposed sign would be a good fit for the Town and the aesthetics of the sign.

Mr. Schneider asked if there was a misunderstanding on how the motion was to be voted. Mr. Kil stated that there was a motion to deny and it was seconded, and that motion was defeated three/one. Mr. Kil recommended that the Board entertain a new motion at this point to either approve or defer

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve or defer the developmental sign variance for Lil Rascals Daycare. Mr. Panczuk noted based on everything he just stated, he would make a motion to approve the developmental sign variance contingent upon the following conditions being adhered to: specifications of sign, dimming sign between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., no side to side scrolling, 30 second duration and display of messages, not to exceed the 17x75” size, and incorporating the findings of fact.

Mr. Hastings asked Mr. Ryan if he could make a statement. Attorney Austgen recommended that a second be obtained and then discussion ensued.

Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Mr. Hastings stated at the last meeting he asked Petitioner if he could put the name of the business on the sign, which would bring the size of the sign a little bit closer to conformance as far as its size. He asked Mr. Resney if he would entertain this idea. Mr. Resney stated he understood what Mr. Hastings was saying and he would love to compromise; he stated he can’t see this as being helpful to his business. Mr. Resney stated he can’t think of any other sign in St. John or elsewhere that does not have their name on the sign. Mr. Resney stated it does not make sense to him, business wise, that this could work.

Mr. Schneider stated that there was a motion and a second. He requested a roll call vote. Steve Hastings --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes.

Tom Ryan --- no. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (3/1). Ayes --- 3. Nays --- 1.

Mr. Resney thanked the Board.

B. EENIGENBURG WATER – 9759 WICKER AVENUE – VARIANCE OF USE – OUTSIDE SALES OF PRODUCT FROM NORTH SIDE OF BUILDING TO THE SOUTH SIDE.
Mr. Schneider noted the next order of Old Business for the Board’s consideration was Eenigenburg Water, 9759 Wicker Avenue, for a variance of use, request to move outside sales product from the north side of the building to the south side of the building.

Attorney Brent Torrenga, Schwerd, Fryman & Torrenga, appeared before the Board representing JDE, LLC, Eenigenburg Water. Attorney Torrenga noted the presence of Mr. John Eenigenburg, and Mr. Al Bartley of Abco General Contractors.

Attorney Torrenga noted tonight was a continuation of last month’s hearing. He stated that the Petitioner is seeking permission to move his outdoor sales to the south side of the building from the north side of the building (which was previously approved). Attorney Torrenga stated that this move would reconfigure the traffic flow, and alleviate two safety problems on site. He explained that one hazard is ice that develops in the shadow of the building on the north side and presents a safety hazard to those who are hefting 54-pound jugs of water and large bags of salt. Attorney Torrenga stated that second hazard is a blind spot at the north corner of the building, and for those customers that are trying to find a parking space in the front of the business that proceed around to the back of the building.

Attorney Torrenga stated that Petitioner’s position was explained at great length at the April Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. He stated that the Board chose to continue the meeting until a landscaping plan could be submitted.

Attorney Torrenga stated he has a landscape plan to submit to the Board which reflects how the outdoor sales area on the south side of the building will be screened. Attorney Torrenga submitted copies of the landscape plan to the Board.

Attorney Torrenga directed the Board’s attention to the landscape plan and the outdoors sales area. He directed the Board’s attention to the location where an ornamental iron or aluminum fence along with approximately 30 pygmy shrubs will be placed. He stated that these trees should block the pallets of salt and containers of water that would be stacked at the outdoor sales area.

(General discussion ensued.)

The location and layout of the fencing was discussed.

Mr. Hastings noted that originally Petitioner was directed to place some cover to the front on the north side of the building. He asked if Petitioner had any intention to place landscaping two or three spaces before the sign coming from the north. Mr. Bartley stated that due to main water lines, main electric lines and Comcast being located here, the best option for this space is sod.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Torrenga noted that the front ten feet of the property is a utility easement.

Mr. Hastings stated he had a concern in that it looks like there has been an increase in outdoor sales. Mr. Bartley stated the sale area is the same. He stated there will not be more pallets going along the side. He stated the product will merely be moved away from the front door.

Mr. Kil noted that there is a little spot reflected in the plans by the southwest corner of the front door. He asked Petitioner if he could eliminate this little area from the plan. Attorney Torrenga stated that this area could be removed.

Mr. Schneider noted, in glancing at the original landscape plan, there were trees along with other plantings along 97th Lane. Mr. Schneider requested that the two trees proposed at the southeast corner of the property remain there.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the decorative trees would add some height in this area. Mr. Panczuk stated that he believes these trees were inadvertently omitted from the plan. Attorney Torrenga concurred that at least two trees could be planted in this location.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Board had discussed a four foot fence; he noted that the posts on the drawings in front of him reflect posts that are a little over 4’, but the actual fence height is three foot. Mr. Bartley stated that the fencing should be approximately 42” high.

(General discussion ensued).

Mr. Panczuk asked how high the product will be stacked. Mr. Kil stated that the detail of the drawing reflects that the height of the product will not exceed the height of the fence.

Mr. Hastings remarked that the fencing is a very nice addition. He stated it will still allow people to see the product. Attorney Torrenga stated that Mr. Eenigenburg has been getting customers coming in asking “Where’s the outdoor sales?” He stated this is due to the outdoor sales area being in the same spot for so many decades.

Mr. Panczuk remarked that the traffic flow has been “half corrected” on the latest blueprint. He stated that the south side outdoor sales area reflects two-way traffic, he asked if this was Petitioner’s intent.

Attorney Torrenga stated that the architect was asked to revise the landscaping. Attorney Torrenga noted that the site plan that was submitted last month shows the traffic flow in a one-way westerly direction.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated he would open the public hearing. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Board.

Mr. Schneider asked the Board members for final comments or questions. The Board members had no additional questions or comments.

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to approve/deny/defer a variance of use for outside sales for Eenigenburg Water to the south side of the building. He asked that the motion include the elimination of some outdoor sales near the front of the building, and the addition of two to three trees in the southeast corner remain.

Attorney Austgen informed Vice-President Schneider that before he solicits a motion, the Board has not received a revised, current Developer Agreement. Mr. Schneider stated it was his understanding that this agreement would not be finalized until after the meeting.

Attorney Austgen noted that before the Town Council considers this item there should be a current site plan, landscape plan, and including all of the conditions that were set forth tonight, supplemental to an Developer’s Agreement.

Attorney Torrenga stated that they have no problem adhering to the aforementioned conditions. Attorney Torrenga stated, in the event the BZA were to forward a recommendation to the Town Council, Attorney Austgen and he work out the differences in the Developer’s Agreement and it be signed, and then the Council takes action contrary to the recommendation of the BZA. He stated that then Petitioner may have “spun our wheels a little bit.” Attorney Austgen commented that Petitioner “would not have spun anything, it will be the first time you’re ahead of something in this since it started.”

Attorney Austgen stated that the Town Council will have a document (Developer’s Agreement) in front of them and it would be partial consideration for their deliberative, legislative action. Attorney Austgen stated without having the entire record before them, he will recommend that the Town Council not act on this matter.

Mr. Kil noted that the Town Council meeting is scheduled for June 12, 2014. Attorney Torrenga stated it can be made before then. Attorney Austgen commented that he would review the document and not be drafting anymore. Attorney Torrenga concurred.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to forward a favorable recommendation to the Town Council on the variance of use for outside sales being moved from the north side of the building to the south side of the building for Eenigenburg Water. Mr. Panczuk attached the following contingencies the favorable recommendation: elimination of the product at the southwest corner of the building, adding all of the landscaping that is east of the termination of the fence and receipt of a revised Developer’s Agreement with all said revisions and executed by Petitioner.

Attorney Austgen asked that Petitioner provide a clean document, landscape plan for the exhibit to be provided to the Town Council.

Mr. Panczuk amended his motion to include a revised, dated and completely up-to-date document/landscape plan. Mr. Schneider asked for a second. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Schneider requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Mr. Ryan --- no. Ken Schneider --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (3/1). Ayes --- three. Nays --- one.

Attorney Torrenga thanked the Board.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Schneider asked if there was any New Business for discussion. There was no New Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Schneider closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Schneider stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.)

06-23-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

June 23, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Paul Panczuk Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for June 23, 2014, at 7:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MAY 28, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the minutes of May 28, 2014, were before the Board for their consideration. He asked if there were any comments or corrections. Mr. Schneider noted that on Page 5 of the meeting minutes of May 28, 2014, the second to last paragraph mentions “President Ryan” which should be changed to “Mr. Ryan.”

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any corrections or comments related to the minutes of May 28, 2014. There were no further comments from the Board. Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Hastings made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. SONNY SAHI --- 9031 WINDING TRAIL --- VARIANCE OF USE --- INSTALLATION OF BASKETBALL/SPORT COURT IN REAR YARD --- SONNY SAHI.

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first item on the agenda a request for a variance of use for installation of a basketball court in the rear yard at 9031 Winding Trail. He directed the Petitioner to approach the Board and explain the nature of his request.

Mr. Sony Sahi, Petitioner, appeared before the Board to request of a variance of use so that a shooting pad can be installed at 9031 Winding Trail.

Mr. Kevin Koy, an associate of Petitioner, Mr. Sahi, stated that items of evidence (plans, signed petition) have been brought for submission to the Board. Mr. Koy stated that a great deal of arborvitae will cover and seclude the sport court. Mr. Koy stated that the plans are significant. Mr. Koy stated that it seems the community is in favor of the basketball pad. He stated that a few residents were concerned with whether or not the court would be covered and/or secluded with shrubbery.

Mr. Koy stated it is Mr. Sahi’s intention to use arborvitae and shrubbery to enclose the sport court. Mr. Koy informed the Board that no electricity will be run to the sport court.

Mr. Koy informed the Board that Mr. Sahi went around the neighborhood and sought signatures for a petition. Mr. Sahi stated he went to several homes with a petition entitled “Petition for allowing a basketball shooting pad at 9031 Winding Trail, given that the land in question encompasses an ample 90x193 feet, one of the largest plots of land in Lake Hills subdivision.”

Mr. Sahi stated that three properties in his neighborhood smaller than his lot that already have shooting pads similar in size to what he is proposing. “Given that the land and the layout at 9031 Winding Trail supports the installation of the concrete pad without any visual burden on the neighbors whatsoever due to installation of ample arborvitae, hedge, therefore the following neighbors are not opposed to granting of the variance of 1483 Chapter 3, Section E, from Town Zoning Ordinance at 9031 Winding Trail.” Mr. Maciejewski accepted the petition from Mr. Sahi.

Mr. Koy stated that the third item he wished to address with the Board is the professional landscapers. He stated that the landscaper that will do the work at Mr. Sahi’s is present at tonight’s meeting in the event that the Board has any questions for him. Mr. Koy stated that the landscaper would be willing to speak if the Board finds it necessary.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the Petitioner if he had considered installing a basketball standard in the driveway like many of his neighbors. Mr. Sahi stated he had considered this option. Mr. Sahi stated that he does not have much of a front driveway. He stated that he believes if a basketball standard is placed in the front, the ball will roll in the front yard and somebody will get hit because of the cars going back and forth.

Mr. Koy stated that the driveway is not flat. Mr. Sahi stated he does not feel safe installing a basketball standard in the front of his home. He stated his children play varsity-level basketball and he does not want them to get hurt before their basketball season.

Mr. Sahi stated that other neighbors have swimming pools in their back yards and he is requesting the liberty to install a back yard basketball court. He noted that three people in Lake Hills subdivision already have a back yard sports court.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Sahi how he intends to address the steep grade issues that exists in the rear yard. He noted that plan does not depict any topography. Mr. Sahi stated he wanted to get the Board’s approval before he gathered those details. Mr. Sahi stated that the grade can be addressed by either sloping or a retaining wall. He stated that this would not be a problem.

Mr. Hastings asked about the drainage plan. Mr. Sahi stated that there are two drain sewers in the back of his lot. He stated that a one degree pitch on the shooting pad would be achieved so that the water would drain to the back.

Mr. Hastings stated that the amount of area that is being taken up due to the size of the proposed shooting pad along with the landscaping that will be done means there will be a lot of water coming down the hill. Mr. Sahi stated he is open to ideas.

Mr. Hastings stated he noticed that the retaining socks that were present by Mr. Sahi’s property were mostly moved to the side and the sand and clay was washing into the drain. Mr. Sahi stated that this matter was taken care of.

Mr. Hastings noted that the sports courts are usually back yard to back yard. He stated Mr. Sahi is concerned about the ball running into the street in the front year; Mr. Hastings stated he has the same feeling about the back yard. Mr. Sahi stated that the basketball rim would be facing towards the house rather than facing the street behind him.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Sahi stated that the basketball rim would be facing the house and most of the surrounding pad would be covered by arborvitae. He stated that the drawing reflects that the arborvitae are stacked right next to each other.

Mr. Koy stated that the Petitioner had the landscaper present tonight in the event that the Board wanted to question him.

Mr. Sergio Gutierrez appeared before the Board from Wilkinson Crete Quarry. He explained that the arborvitae that will be placed around the shooting pad are approximately 6’ tall and 24” in diameter. He stated that this proposed arborvitae will be able to cover some of the street.

Mr. Gutierrez stated he does not have the exact amount of arborvitae that will be installed, but he believes the number to be 22.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Sahi stated that the arborvitae could be considered for all of the open areas on the shooting pad.

Mr. Maciejewski asked how the grade change would be dealt with. He remarked that one percent across the court will not suffice. Mr. Sahi stated that there would be a retaining wall. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the retaining wall was not reflected on the plans. Mr. Sahi stated he could work on the grading plans for submission to the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski speculated that there would need to be two retaining walls to level the grade change. Mr. Sahi stated he could not address the retaining wall issue presently; he stated he would have to consult with his architect.

Mr. Koy stated that Mr. Sahi wants to make the grade. Mr. Hastings remarked that the Board received four plans for the proposed sport court. Mr. Sahi stated that he is trying to keep his neighbors in consideration as well as adhere to all of the Town ordinances.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings voiced his concern about the ball being able to get through the arborvitae. Mr. Sahi stated that if the Board would prefer that a fence be installed, he would be amenable to it.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Sahi stated he was not told to bring a grading plan to the meeting. He stated that he did all of the required work so that he could send green cards out to his neighbors. Mr. Sahi stated he would have brought the grading plan with him if he had been told to do so.

Mr. Sahi stated that the grading issue will be addressed, and he will also install a fence if directed to do so by the Board. He stated that he wanted to dress-up the shooting pad by placing arborvitae around it.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings asked if the Petitioner was assuming that the plants would deaden the sound. Mr. Sahi stated that he did not see that there would be a sound issue any more than when his neighbors are swimming.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Sahi stated that sport court would be used primarily by him and his two sons. Mr. Koy stated that the architect has chosen a softer pad that will presumably have lesser sound.

Mr. Panczuk asked Mr. Sahi to expound on the material to be used for the shooting pad. Mr. Sahi stated that the coating on the shooting pad would be VersaCourt. He stated that VersaCourt is used nationwide. He stated it’s not as loud as concrete and does not hold water.

Mr. Kil noted pools, patios, decks, sports courts and other accessories cannot exceed 15% of the lot coverage. He stated that Mr. Sahi is getting real close to the 15%. Mr. Kil stated that the proposed sport court is 1350 square feet. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Sahi should calculate the square footage of his plans. Mr. Sahi stated he was willing to work with the Town if need be.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil directed Mr. Sahi to calculate the square footage he would be using for this project, in the event the Board needs to address this issue. Mr. Sahi stated he does not have the entire square footage tonight, but he would obtain it. Mr. Koy stated that Petitioner, working with his architect, would make sure that the fifteen percent lot coverage was adhered to.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that Mr. Schneider found there was roughly 13’ of grade change. Mr. Schneider concurred. Mr. Schneider stated that from the southwest corner of Petitioner’s lot up to the corner of the house has approximately 13’ of grade change.

Mr. Schneider commented that he wished that Petitioner had brought in a grading plan. He stated that if a retaining wall was put up at the end of the court, there could be six foot of exposed wall. Mr. Sahi stated that the retaining wall would not be seen because it would be located up by the patio area.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that this would only go so far. He stated that the curb up would still have to be addressed. Mr. Maciejewski stated two retaining walls would be needed. He stated that the second retaining wall would be closest to the curb. Mr. Maciejewski noted that a six foot tall arborvitae would probably be only a few feet of above the retaining wall at the court level.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated one way to address the grade would be to build retaining walls and apply a tier system to the yard. He stated that the retaining wall would have to be placed along the conservation easement and push the court forward. Mr. Kil stated that if the retaining wall goes above three feet, in order to stop the balls from escaping, an aluminum rail would have to be placed on top of the retaining wall. In addition, to the retaining wall and the fence the trees would be above the fence and then the court.

Mr. Schneider noted that landscaping would then have to be added to the conservation area. Mr. Kil stated that swales would have to be established on each side of the lot so the water would drain properly to the street.

Mr. Koy stated that Mr. Gutierrez has experience with landscaping and hardscaping. Mr. Sahi concurred that two retaining walls would be needed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that if a nice block retaining wall is put in place, they would only have to concentrate on covering the court. Mr. Gutierrez stated that the retaining wall would be comprised of Tennessee stone.

Mr. Sahi stated that he would not be cheap about landscaping. He stated that the landscaping would be done within the parameters set forth by the Board.

Mr. Koy stated that once the sport court is done, Mr. Gutierrez will go to work with the landscaping and it will be beautiful within a matter of a few weeks.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any other questions or comments. There were no further comments. Mr. Maciejewski asked if all of the notices and publications were in order for a public hearing. Attorney Kuiper stated that the notices and publications for a public hearing were in order so that a public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Attorney Kuiper noted, for the record, that there were two written remonstrances received.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Maciejewski stated any member of the audience who wished to address the Board relative to this matter should come forward and state their name, address and comments for the record.

Sergio DeMarco
Mr. DeMarco stated he owns the property immediately south of Mr. Sahi. He stated his only concern was whether or not the sport court would be a fenced in area. He asked about the location of the hoops.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the hoops would be located towards the house. Mr. Sahi stated that there would only be one hoop. Mr. Maciejewski stated, according to the sketch, the hoop would be 36.5’ away from the house.

Ron Reido, 9059 Hillside Drive
Mr. Reido stated his residence is almost immediately behind Petitioner, Mr. Sahi’s residence. Mr. Reido stated his concern is waking up in the morning and hearing a basketball bouncing, and he stated he is a basketball fan. He stated that this is not what he thought he was buying into, a basketball hoop in his front yard.

Mr. Reido stated the landscaping and no lighting would be very important to him. He stated he agrees that there is a steep grade at Mr. Sahi’s residence.

Mr. Reido stated that he does not want to face six feet of concrete wall; he stated that look of the finished court would be his main concern. Mr. Reido stated as long as his concerns about lighting, landscaping and drainage are addressed and the Board is satisfied, he has no opposition to the proposed sport court.

Chris Cooper, 9017 Winding Trail
Mr. Cooper stated he is Mr. Sahi’s next door neighbor. He stated that Mr. Sahi has been very up-front with him as far as his intentions with the basketball court, the landscaping and any concerns he may have had. Mr. Cooper stated that based upon the plans that he has seen, he is not opposed to the sport court.

Mr. Cooper stated that he appreciated Mr. Sahi being up front and including him and his wife in the discussions. He stated it was a pleasure talking to Mr. Sahi.

Dinesh Shamar, 9025 Crooked Bend
Mr. Shamar stated he lives on the first street when entering from 91st Street. He stated that Mr. Sahi is a long-time family friend. Mr. Shamar stated he is fully supportive of Mr. Sahi’s proposed basketball court. He stated his son plays basketball also.

Mr. Shamar stated that Mr. Sahi is willing to spend money in order to do everything that the Town requires him to do. He reiterated his support for the basketball court.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Maciejewski noted the two letters of remonstrance, for the record. The first letter was from Mr. & Mrs. Jim Petarka, 9005 Hillside. The Petarkas are opposed to the request. Their opposition is based on aesthetics, the court facing their front yard from the rear yard of the Sahi property, not conforming with the aesthetics of the subdivision, balls rolling and leaving the yard and any lighting.

Mr. Maciejewski acknowledged the second letter received from Mr. Joseph O’Karaka, 9023 Hillside Drive. Mr. O’Karaka is opposed to the installation of a back yard basketball court based upon the court not conforming to the aesthetics of the subdivision, potential damage from basketballs leaving the property. Mr. O’Karaka suggested a front yard basketball court be considered.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that these are the two remonstrances received. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the remonstrators were not present tonight.

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

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any additional questions or comments.

Mr. Schneider noted that the neighbor with the pool to the north of him has a “forest of trees.” Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Sahi if he removed many trees from his lot when he built. Mr. Sahi stated he did remove trees from his lot due to the fact that there are superstitions related to having the large trees. He stated trees can be situated on either side of the lot, but not directly behind the lot or in front of his door. Mr. Sahi stated this is one of the superstitions of his religion. Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Sahi what his religious affiliation was. Mr. Sahi stated he was a Sikh.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that there will have to be changes to the plan pursuant to the discussions had tonight on the grading, topography, retaining walls and placement of plantings. M. Maciejewski stated if there was any large objection, the Board members should vocalize it now. He stated that there was no reason for Mr. Sahi to acquire all of the plans if there was no chance for approval of his request.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the Board if they wished to see plans on the grade changes, drainage and landscaping. The Board members were in agreement that they would like to review additional information, as requested, before any vote is taken on this matter.

Mr. Panczuk stated he had a few comments regarding some of the revisions Mr. Kil had recommended. He stated that the Board needs to see the landscaping, and it will have to be a tiered system. Mr. Panczuk stated that the court will probably have to be moved at least 10’ closer to the house. He stated that there should be some flat space adjacent to the court for landscaping and maybe a small rail type of fence.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil recommended that Mr. Sahi revise his landscaping plan to reflect all of the changes that were discussed tonight, grading, swales between the lots, retaining walls and aluminum rail at the proper height. Mr. Sahi stated he would like to work with his neighbor and would ask his opinion.

Mr. Panczuk summarized his recommended revisions as follows: the court closer to the house, flat space adjacent to the court before the next tier, landscaping on the flat space to shield the court, the wall with the required rail, landscaping in front of the wall, a single hoop on the house end of the court and no lighting. Mr. Panczuk opined that if he lived across from Petitioner he would not want to look at a wall so there should be a significant amount of landscaping. Mr. Panczuk stated he would like to see a plan of what is going to be in front of the wall.

Mr. Panczuk asked about the specifications of VersaCourt. He stated he was curious to know if there were sound-deadening properties associated with the VersaCourt.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that it appears that the Petitioner will have to go with the retaining wall and the rail. He stated that the fence will probably be 42” high, which will stop the balls.

Mr. Sahi stated if his neighbor does not object to spending some time with him and his landscaper so they could arrive at a plan that is acceptable to both of them he would work towards that end.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated it would be appropriate to table this matter until the next regularly scheduled meeting on July 28, to allow the Petitioner to cultivate the information that the Board requested.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to defer the variance of use for the installation of a basketball court at 9031 Winding Trail until July 28, 2014, allowing the Petitioner time to submit a full and comprehensive plan as requested by the Board. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Tom Ryan --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion was unanimously carried by roll call vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil requested that Mr. Sahi send him the information electronically, if possible. Mr. Sahi stated he would send the information electronically. Mr. Sahi stated he could possibly have the plan submitted by tomorrow. He asked if the Board would be willing to approve the plan earlier than July 28 if they received the information by tomorrow.

Mr. Kil stated that this business would have to be addressed at a meeting. He stated that the Board would have to schedule a special meeting tonight before adjournment. Mr. Kil stated that a special meeting would be entirely at the Board’s discretion.

Mr. Sahi stated he would have brought all of the information required if he had known it was required at tonight’s meeting. Mr. Koy asked if the Board would consider holding an earlier meeting.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Sahi stated that he would like to start this project as soon as possible.

Mr. Maciejewski stated if Monday, July 7, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. was an acceptable date to hold a special meeting, he would entertain a motion. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to schedule a special meeting for July 7, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. for the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding a variance of use for installation of a sport court 9031 Winding Trail. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Attorney Kuiper reiterated for the audience that the Board of Zoning Appeals had scheduled a special meeting for July 7, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Sahi thanked the Board for allowing him to make his presentation. Mr. Sahi stated that Mr. Koy would represent him at the July 7, 2014, as he would be out of the country.

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was any Old Business.

Mr. Schneider remarked that he had seen a little more Olthof and McFarland signs poking up around Town. Mr. Kil stated if the signs are up during the week they will be taken down. He stated that these signs are allowed for open houses. Mr. Kil said the signs can be put up on Saturday morning and must be taken down by Sunday night. Mr. Kil stated that if the signs are not taken down on Sunday night they are taken down and thrown in the garbage.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Hastings made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

07-04-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

July 7, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Paul Panczuk Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for July 7, 2014, at 7:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JUNE 23, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the minutes of June 23, 2014, were before the Board for their consideration. He asked if there were any comments or corrections.

Mr. Maciejewski noted on Page 9, Mr. Rado’s name is spelled incorrectly; it should be spelled R-A-D-O. There were no other changes. Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the June 23, 2014, meeting minutes as corrected. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. SONNY SAHI --- 9031 WINDING TRAIL --- VARIANCE OF USE FOR INSTALLATION OF BASKETBALL/SPORTS COURT IN REAR YARD --- SONNY SAHI – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING.

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first item on the agenda was a continued public hearing from June 23, 2014. He noted that Petitioner, Sonny Sahi, is absent, but representative Mr. Keven Koy, was present. Mr. Koy thanked the Board for the special meeting.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the Board has received three drawings. He asked Mr. Koy to inform the Board as to what was done to respond to the comments from the last BZA meeting. Mr. Koy stated that the site plan prepared by the surveyor was referenced, and that many of the Board’s conclusions were correct, such as the need for two retaining walls.

Mr. Koy stated that Petitioner is proposing two “very elegant and tasteful,” retaining walls. He stated that sample(s) of rock will be brought to the neighbor for their input and approval before the retaining wall is erected. He stated that the lower retaining wall will have safety fence on top, as is required by ordinance.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Panczuk noted it appeared that all of the issues were addressed except one item. He stated that the Board had recommended some landscaping in front of the final wall in the conservation easement. He remarked that there should be landscaping to break the wall up. Mr. Koy agreed. He stated that Mr. Gutierrez (landscaper) “is going to have sort of an undulating look to the wall and some landscaping that was not specified, to add variety.” Mr. Panczuk noted this landscaping should include variation and transition so it’s not just grass and then a wall.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Gutierrez what would be in front of the lower retaining wall. Mr. Gutierrez indicated that Mr. Sahi has been talking with the neighbors related to the landscaping they prefer. He stated that his understanding is that the neighbor(s) indicated they did not really want anything real big, but something that would disperse the view from the wall and something that grows maybe two to three feet.

Mr. Koy stated that the wall would be an “articulated surface,” and not just a flat surface. Mr. Panczuk commented that the landscaping would have to be added to the drawings in order for the Town Council to get the final stamp of approval.

Mr. Koy reiterated that Mr. Sahi’s commitment is to confer with the neighbor and develop a plan that they approve of and not just build the retaining wall.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski stated, for purposes of tonight’s review, it would be stipulated that the fence would comply with the building code requirements for fall protection. Mr. Koy concurred.

Mr. Hastings asked about the landscaping that comes around the sports court and what would stop the ball from rolling down the hill. Mr. Kil noted that the landscaping plans reflect a fence all the way up the sides of the court. Mr. Kil recommended that the fence be backed up a few feet.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was any other intended use for the sports court other than basketball. Mr. Koy stated that the Sahi kids don’t participate in any sports except basketball. Mr. Maciejewski noted if there was a stipulation noting that the sports court would be used for basketball only, it would not be a problem. Mr. Koy responded, “Absolutely.”

Mr. Hastings stated that lights are not allowed, and typically the Board sets the use cutoff time at dark. Mr. Koy concurred that there will be no electricity run from the house to the sports court and no lights. Mr. Schneider asked about landscape lighting. Mr. Sergio stated that there will be some lights around the patio and some LED lights by the fire pit, but nothing below.

Mr. Hastings asked how the water and gutters would be addressed. Mr. Sergio stated the gutters would be buried and there would be slope so that the water would run off into the retaining wall and spread out.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the Board members had any other questions. The Board had no questions. Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Kuiper if the public hearing had been continued properly from last month. Attorney Kuiper noted the public hearing had been continued and the public hearing could be properly re-opened tonight.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor to public comment. 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 stated he would entertain a motion on this matter including of findings of fact and along with any contingencies. He noted the Board’s action would be a favorable and/or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for a variance of use to allow the sports court.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council related to the sports court at 9031 Winding Trail Road. He included the findings of fact, read as follows, “it will not be detrimental or endanger the public health, safety, morals, that the special use will not be injurious to the use or enjoyment of property in the immediate vicinity, that the establishment or the conditions of the special use will not impede the normal and orderly development or improvements of the surrounding properties, that adequate utilities, access road, drainage and all necessary facilities will be provided, adequate measures will be taken to provide ingress and egress….minimize traffic congestion, the special use will, in other respects, conform with the applicable regulations of the zoning district and that the condition shall be required to comply with reasonable time limitations on commencement and duration as well as the….rights of same.” Mr. Schneider also included the following contingencies for the favorable recommendation in his motion: a fence at a minimum of 42” high with a wrought iron look (aluminum or any metal) be installed around three sides of the sports court, as shown; that the Petitioner agrees to meet with neighbors residing at 9059 Hillside Drive for final selection of landscaping materials in front of the landscaped wall; that a VersaCourt playing surface will be installed; no lighting will be allowed on the court; the sports court will be used only for basketball; installation of fence/barrier on the retaining wall will comply with the building code requirements for fall protection and installed where necessary; Petitioner will give neighbors at 9059 Hillside Drive right to veto the material chosen that will comprise the retaining wall. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Schneider --- yes. Mr. Panczuk --- yes. Mr. Hastings --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion was carried by roll call vote (4/0). Ayes --- yes. Nays --- no.

Mr. Kil informed Petitioner’s representative that the Town Council meets Thursday, July 10, at 7:00 p.m. He recommended that Mr. Koy attend the meeting to answer any questions that the Council may have.

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was any Old Business. There was no Old Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Hastings made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

08-25-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

August 25, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, President Tom Ryan Attorney Dave Austgen
Ken Schneider, Vice-President Paul Panczuk Steve Kil
Steve Hastings    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for August 25, 2014, at 7:08 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan E. Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following members present: Jim Maciejewski, Ken Schneider, Steve Hastings, Tom Ryan and Paul Panczuk. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JULY 7, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the minutes of July 7, 2014, were before the Board for their consideration. He stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 7, 2014, meeting as submitted. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. TIM SALAMON --- 8990 TAPPER STREET --- DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE.

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first item on the agenda under New Business was a developmental technical variance for 8990 Tapper Street. Mr. Tim Salamon appeared before the Board seeking a developmental technical variance for square footage and height for an existing structure.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Salamon to explain how he arrived before the Board with the structure “pretty much already built.” Mr. Salamon explained that he looked on-line and there was not much information offered on treehouses, just garages and sheds. He stated that at that point, he proceeded to build a treehouse and he then received a ticket in the mail.

Mr. Salamon stated he came to the Town Hall to find out what steps he needed to take the care of the ticket. He stated he did not receive a clear-cut answer on the permit that he should have purchased. Mr. Salamon explained that this is how he ended up before the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Salamon how high the treehouse is. Mr. Salamon stated that the structure itself is 14’, but is 6’ off of the ground. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the height would be 20’ at the peak. Mr. Salamon concurred. Mr. Salamon stated the inside is unfinished with plywood approximately four feet up in order to shield the kids from the nails.

Mr. Maciejewski noted Mr. Salamon acknowledged that he looked on-line seeking information about permits for the structure. He asked him if he had also called the Building & Planning Department. Mr. Salamon acknowledged in hindsight he should have called the Building & Planning Department, but he did not.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were plans for a stairway. Mr. Salamon stated there is just a ladder. Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was electricity run to the treehouse. Mr. Salamon explained that there is lighting in the structure if he plugs in an extension cord when the children are using the treehouse, but nothing permanent.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if a survey had been done to Petitioner’s property to depict the location of the treehouse relative to the property lines. Mr. Salamon responded, “No. GIS, though. It’s 14 and 45.”

Mr. Schneider asked the Petitioner for his lot size. Mr. Salamon stated his residence sits on .78 acres, again off of GIS. Mr. Salamon stated that the treehouse structure is 12x10. He stated that there is an existing shed on his property of 10x16. He stated this shed has been on the property for quite a few years and was there when he bought the house.

Mr. Hastings asked Petitioner if he was aware that there was 250 square foot maximum for the amount of outbuildings allowed. Mr. Salamon stated he recently became aware of the square footage requirements. Mr. Hastings stated, technically, the deck is included as well since it is all the same structure. He stated that Petitioner is currently at 328 square feet for outbuildings, which is over the allowable limit.

Mr. Hastings noted it is the Board’s discretion as to whether or not to grant him a variance. He stated that the Petitioner would have been allowed to build a 90 square foot structure, in compliance with the Town’s building codes, as long as the height requirement was not exceeded.

Mr. Hastings stated that he has had discussions regarding the treehouse with Mr. Steve Kozel, Assistant Building Manager. Mr. Hastings stated that concern was expressed about some of the footings. He stated it appears that one of the footings in the back appears to be larger than the one in the front. Mr. Hastings asked what size footings were put into the ground.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings noted the footings are a safety feature. He noted that the structure is very tall, 21 feet high, and there is a wind factor when the wind blows against the treehouse. Mr. Hastings noted with the rain that has come down in the past couple of days if the clay gets wet enough the footings can actually move if they are not big enough.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings noted Mr. Salamon’s young children in the audience and noted the Petitioner certainly does not want the treehouse to fall. Mr. Salamon concurred. He stated he understands the safety issue.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hastings voiced another concern, if the concrete cracks there will be a weakening of the footing structure. Mr. Salamon concurred.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Austgen if the Board could consider the Building Department’s concerns over the construction of the treehouse. Attorney Austgen noted that the Board can take the Building Department’s concerns into consideration.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen informed the Board that they can refer the treehouse to the Building Department for an inspection for code compliance, review and audit.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any further questions.

Mr. Redar commented that he was leaning in the direction of having the Town inspect the structure before any decision is made.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the publications were in order for a public hearing. Attorney Austgen stated he reviewed the Proofs of Publication and the newspaper ads were timely published and the notices to the adjacent property owners were also in order. Attorney Austgen noted that the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mike Galetka, 9102 Maplewood Street
Mr. Galetka stated he is a neighbor of Mr. Salamon and he is here to support the Petitioner. He asked the Board to do as much as possible to allow the existing building to stay. Mr. Galetka stated that the treehouse was constructed for the family, and his family also participates. He stated that the kids have a good time in the treehouse. Mr. Galetka opined that the treehouse is not an eyesore due to its location.

Mr. Galetka noted that wind is an issue in his neighborhood. He stated that the treehouse is tucked into a sheltered spot and the location of the treehouse should make the wind less of an issue.

Mr. Galetka urged the Board to work with Mr. Salamon.

Dan Nowicki
Mr. Nowicki stated he lives right next door to the Petitioner. He stated that Mr. Salamon built a beautiful treehouse and the kids really enjoy it. Mr. Nowicki stated he hears the kids squealing in happiness.

Mr. Nowicki reiterated that Mr. Salomon did a beautiful job on the treehouse. He informed the Board that the treehouse is sided and has Anderson windows. Mr. Nowicki stated he is all for the treehouse, and all of the kids are very happy with it.

Mr. Nowicki stated that the Salomon’s are great parents who watch their kids. He stated that the tree house was a fabulous idea. He asked the Board to allow the treehouse.

Andrea Graciano, 14018 West 90th Avenue
Ms. Graciano stated her residence is located to the west of the Salomons. She stated she was present at tonight’s meeting to support the Salomons.

Unidentified Child
The young man stated he was here to support the Salomons. He stated at a party all of the kids went into the treehouse and were having a good time. He wanted to know why the treehouse would have to be taken down. He stated the treehouse is not too high but perfect where it is.

Ruth Stall
Mrs. Stall stated she is a neighbor and she thinks the treehouse is a wonderful thing that Mr. Salamon has built for his family. She stated there is danger in anything that children do, from riding bikes down the street to skateboarding to going to the park.

Mrs. Stall stated she realizes the Board is concerned with safety, but she encouraged the Board to allow the treehouse to remain. She stated that Mr. Salamon is definitely concerned with the safety of his children.

Hector Graciano, 14018 West 90th Avenue
Mr. Graciano stated he lives right behind the Salomons. He stated he understands the Board’s concerns about the safety of the treehouse.

Mr. Graciano stated there is always some happy medium. He stated he wants what’s best and he wants the kids to have fun as well.

Mr. Graciano reiterated that there is always a happy medium. He requested that the Board take into consideration both sides of this issue. Mr. Graciano commended the Board for their concerns.

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

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that it is pretty apparent from the comments that there are no neighborhood objections to the structure that was constructed. He stated he feels a responsibility from a safety standpoint, especially for the children who will be using the structure.

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the structure should be looked at for compliance with building code. He stated he feels that this review should take place. Mr. Maciejewski stated he is not sure whether this review will take place before the Board considers the area and height variances or after. He stated that the Town should ascertain that the structure has been built in compliance with the building codes.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the Board for any further comments or questions.

Mr. Hastings opined that the height would not be a problem if the structure was not on stilts. Mr. Hastings noted the structure has eight foot walls and a 13/12 pitch and is 21 feet high. He recommended that the structure be closer to the ground.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the structure met the building code and was reinforced with additional posts and footings, if the height would still be an issue for Mr. Hastings. Mr. Hastings responded, “No.”

Mr. Panczuk agreed that if the structure was enhanced with additional posts and footings, the height would not be an issue. He stated that the Petitioner’s lot is approximately .78, acre so the area of the structure is not too much of an issue for him. Mr. Panczuk stated he is more worried about the safety of the structure. He stated he concurs completely about the height issue. Mr. Panczuk stated that the structure should be inspected and brought up to code if it’s going to remain at its present height. He stated that possibly a rail should be added to the deck.

The Board concurred with Mr. Panczuk’s statement about adding a rail to the deck. Mr. Salamon stated that the structure has railing all the way around. He stated at the time Mr. Kil visited the site, the railing was not up because he was installing the siding.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that electricity by extension cord will not pass code. Mr. Salamon stated when the structure is in use, he can plug in a fan since it gets hot inside. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that Petitioner will mostly like have to run permanent power to the structure or not. Mr. Salamon stated that it was his plan to eventually run power to the structure.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the issue remained as follows: does the Board want to consider the height and area of the structure in advance of the Building Department performing an inspection. Mr. Salamon stated if he was instructed to pour more footings and add more posts, he will gladly do it.

Mr. Ryan stated he would like to see the building inspection be performed first. Mr. Schneider concurred. Mr. Maciejewski stated it appears that the Board’s consensus is that the Building Department should perform a code inspection first. He stated if the inspection is performed first, the Board will be aware of any potential changes that need to be made prior to the Board making a decision on the variance requests related to the height and area.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to table the requests for developmental variances (height and area) for 8990 Tapper Street, and to continue the public hearing to the next meeting.

Mr. Hastings recommended that the Petitioner visit the Building and Planning Department and secure a permit or ask when he needs to purchase a permit. Mr. Salamon stated he has asked this question and has received no answer. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Building Department may be waiting for a decision from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski repeated that he would entertain a motion to table the requests for developmental variances (height and area), pending the outcome of the Building Department code review of the structure at 8990 Tapper Street, and to continue the public hearing to the next meeting. “So moved,” by Mr. Ryan. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Tom Ryan --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion was carried unanimously by roll call vote (5/0).

Attorney Austgen informed the Board that he would contact Mr. Kil first thing in the morning to inform him of the Board’s action. Mr. Maciejewski recommended, since the structure has not been approved by the Town, that the children not be allowed in the structure until such time as it is determined that the structure passes a code inspection.

B. JIM DETMAR --- 11569 WEST 96TH AVENUE --- DEVELOPMENTAL TECHNICAL VARIANCE.
Mr. Maciejewski noted the next item before the Board was a developmental technical variance for 11569 96th Avenue. Mr. Detmar appeared before the Board seeking a developmental technical variance in order to add a one stall addition to his two car garage. He stated it will be encroaching on the property line because he is on a corner lot.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the Petitioner would be going beyond the required setback. Mr. Detmar concurred. Mr. Detmar stated his understanding of today’s codes is that they are a lot shorter in distance than they were when his subdivision was built.

Mr. Detmar stated that he was informed today’s corner setbacks are 23’ and the setbacks at his residence are at 40’.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Detmar stated he is proposing adding 13’6” addition. He stated he is not one hundred percent sure how much over the property line he would be. He stated he would be using 13’6” of the 40’.

Mr. Schneider asked the Petitioner if he would be using the same materials on the addition. Mr. Detmar stated he would be using the same materials. He explained that he has to purchase new siding for his entire house because he can’t obtain the existing siding anymore.

Mr. Detmar stated he put on a new roof approximately four to five years ago so he should have no trouble matching the proposed roof with the existing roof.

Mr. Ryan asked if this addition would be attached to the existing two car garage. Mr. Detmar stated he is proposing adding a single stall to the existing two car garage. Mr. Detmar stated a portion of the existing exterior wall would be removed, but not all of it.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ryan asked the Petitioner what the use of the proposed garage would be. Mr. Detmar stated the proposed garage would be used for his third vehicle.

Mr. Detmar stated that there is currently a service door on the side of the garage, but he will not be installing a service door on the new addition. He stated there will be no service door.

Mr. Detmar stated that the size of the existing garage is 21x21. He stated the proposed addition would be 13’6” by 21’ deep. Mr. Detmar stated that the concrete driveway would be extended.

Mr. Ryan asked the Petitioner if the owned a business. Mr. Detmar stated he has his own construction business but he would not make the proposed garage into a workshop. Mr. Ryan asked if the proposed garage would be used just for storage of personal vehicles, and not for the storage of work equipment. Mr. Detmar stated that the proposed garage addition would be for his personal vehicles.

Mr. Schneider asked the Petitioner if he would consider adding a little brick on the corners of the proposed garage to dress it up. Mr. Detmar stated he was going to add a window to dress up the long wall. Mr. Detmar stated that other homeowners in the subdivision that have added a third stall to their garage have installed existing siding all the way around three walls.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there were any further questions from the Board. There were no further questions from the Board.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Austgen if the publications and notices were in order. Attorney Austgen noted that the publications were timely made in each of the newspapers, and notices to adjoining property owners were made as evidenced by the green cards. He stated that the public hearing could 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 if there were any further comments from the Board.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Detmar opined that adding a window to the long wall of the proposed garage addition will look nicer than a service door. The Board examined Mr. Detmar’s plans.

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that it has been the Board’s position that garage additions are not to be used for business operations. He stated that an appropriate contingency to add to the motion would be that the proposed garage addition be used for personal vehicle storage and not for business operations and/or storage.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion on the developmental technical variance. Mr. Ryan made a motion to approve the developmental technical variance for the setback at 11565 West 96th Avenue with the contingency that the garage addition to be used solely for personal vehicle storage and not used in any manner for the operation of Mr. Detmar’s business. The findings of fact were also incorporated into the motion. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Tom Ryan --- yes. Steve Hastings --- yes. Paul Panczuk --- yes. Ken Schneider --- yes. Jim Maciejewski --- yes. The motion was carried unanimously by roll call vote (5/0).

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was any Old Business. There was no Old Business.

Attorney Austen, referring to 8990 Tapper Street, noted an after the fact variance was being sought for an after the fact building permit. He stated that he would discuss this matter with Mr. Kil as to what happened internally and procedurally.

Attorney Austgen stated that the structure should have been tagged as soon as it was discovered or reported. He stated that this issue placed the Board in an unfair and difficult predicament.

Attorney Austgen stated that the Board’s actions tonight were entirely appropriate and in the proper sequence. He stated that the burden of proof is on the Petitioner to prove that the structure is safe or not safe.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski agreed that it is the responsibility of the Petitioner to prove the structure is compliant as the Town is not in the position of designing structures. Mr. Maciejewski stated that the fact that children are playing in the structure and it has not been approved is a big, red flag.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he appreciated Attorney Austgen’s comments because the Board, on multiple occasions, has had to deal with being put in a position to try and ratify something after the fact. Mr. Maciejewski stated he finds it very frustrating for an individual to come before the Board after the fact when there is a procedure to be followed in place. He stated he wished there were a remedy for this problem. Mr. Maciejewski stated that this is not the sequence in which these matters are supposed to unfold.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Mr. Hastings made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

09-22-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
10-27-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals

October 27, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

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

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for October 27, 2014, at 7:04 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Susan E. Wright, Recording Secretary, with the following members present: Jim Maciejewski, Steve Hastings, Tom Ryan and Paul Panczuk. Ken Schneider was absent. Steve Kil was absent. The Board’s attorney, Tim Kuiper, was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: AUGUST 25, 2014, MEETING

Mr. Maciejewski noted the minutes of August 25, 2014, were before the Board for their consideration. He asked if there were any comments or corrections. The Board members had no comments or corrections.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes of August 25, 2014. Mr. Tom Ryan made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 25, 2014, BZA meeting as submitted. Mr. Paul Panczuk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. HOMETOWN APPLIANCE 11130 WEST 93RD AVENUE --- DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE --- PUBLIC HEARING --- ALLOW TO WALL SIGNS IN ADDITION TO GROUND SIGN --- ERIK SCHNEIDER.

Mr. Maciejewski noted the first item on the agenda was request for a Developmental Variance to allow two wall signs in addition to a ground sign at Hometown Appliance, 11130 West 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Erik Schneider, Petitioner and owner of Hometown Appliance appeared before the Board seeking the Developmental Technical variance for the sign. Mr. Maciejewski called the Petitioner forward to elaborate on his request.

Mr. Schneider submitted photographs. He stated the photographs depict the sign in question. He stated this marquee sign was on the building when they took possession of the building through a lease.

Mr. Schneider submitted photographs of businesses in Town in similar situations that he surmised had to appear before the BZA for multiple signs. Mr. Schneider stated that the marquee sign is used for civic duty, (things going on in Town, i.e., deaths). He stated that the marquee sign has been on the building for as long as he has been in Town, approximately 25 years.

Mr. Schneider stated that the sign dates back to Matt’s Tap. He stated he does not intend to illuminate the sign. Mr. Schneider stated he does not want the business to look “super busy” at night. He informed the Board that the Hometown Appliance sign came from the previous location of the business at 10033 Wicker. He stated that this sign shuts off at 10:00 p.m. along with the monument sign.

Mr. Schneider stated that Hometown Appliance is a small town business. He stated he is doing his best to stay in Town and make a go of his business. Mr. Schneider stated his company is competing against big dollars and big corporations.

Mr. Schneider stated he has recently sold some appliances to the Town, earned a contract with Lake Central School Corporation, and is doing work with the Lake County courts. He stated he recently moved back to the Gates of St. John and he lives where he works.

Mr. Schneider reiterated that he is requesting a Developmental Variance that will allow him to keep the sign that has been on the building for as long as he can remember.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if, in all other respects, Mr. Schneider would be in compliance with the zoning ordinance. Mr. Schneider stated he was approved to have the Hometown Appliance sign on the building when he relocated along with the monument sign.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Mr. Schneider if he knew the approximate size of the relocated sign. Mr. Schneider stated he did not recall the size of the relocated sign. Mr. Schneider stated “Altogether we are --- we are a little bit over the 100 square foot if you include the sign at the road, the sign that we relocated and the marquee. We’re right around 120 square feet.”

Mr. Schneider stated that the relocated sign is approximately 45 square feet; he stated it was under the 50 square feet that was allotted when they opened five years ago. Mr. Schneider stated the monument sign was approximately 5x6. Mr. Schneider stated that the monument sign was existing, but he changed the wording.

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Kuiper if the notices and publications were in order for a public hearing. Attorney Kuiper acknowledged that the notices and publications were in order so that a public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for a public hearing. He called for anyone interested in addressing the Board on the Developmental Variance being sought by Hometown Appliance to step to the podium. He 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 he was not quite sure what he was being asked to vote on, and if the Developmental Variance request was related just to the panel board sign. Attorney Kuiper stated his understanding, after hearing the Petitioner, is that there are actually two requests being made. The first request is to have a combination of a ground sign and two wall signs. Attorney Kuiper stated that only two (signs) out of three are allowed. The second request is related to the signs exceeding the total square footage allowable. He stated that in a commercial zoning district 100 square feet is permissible and it sounds as if there is 120 square feet.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the Petitioner is requesting permission to be allowed to exceed the total square footage by requesting 120 square feet. Attorney Kuiper stated he was not certain how the square footage numbers were derived other than what he gleaned from the discussion.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if the Board members had any further questions, concerns or comments. Mr. Ryan asked if the Petitioner could show any photos depicting both of the wall signs in one shot.

Mr. Schneider stated he may have some photographs on his phone, but he could not locate them. He stated that he intends to paint the building to make it more suitable, a taupe color, similar to Walgreens.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Schneider stated that the illuminated signs, on timer, turn off at 10:00 p.m. Mr. Maciejewski ascertained that the monument sign is located on the property.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked to see a photo of the monument sign. Mr. Schneider could not locate a photo of the monument sign.

Mr. Maciejewski asked for an explanation of the application for a Developmental Variance. Attorney Kuiper explained that the sign does not fall under the commercial center identification sign because there are not four tenants inside of a single building.

Mr. Schneider acknowledged that the sign that was moved to the 11130 West 93rd Avenue location is approximately 45 square feet, the panel board sign is approximately 5x6, and the monument sign is 5x6. Attorney Kuiper noted the square footage of these two signs were under 100 square feet. Attorney Kuiper explained the square footage requirements for a commercial identification sign.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would not want the marquee sign to be converted into an illuminated or an LED sign in the future. Attorney Kuiper stated that the Petitioner would definitely have to reappear before the Board before this sign was changed and/or illuminated. Mr. Panczuk stated he does not want to see the marquee sign illuminated at all.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that the Board could add a stipulation to the motion that the marquee sign remain non-illuminated.

Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the monument sign would be a non-conforming monument sign or it could be allowed to be a two tenant commercial center identification sign. Attorney Kuiper recommended that the Board allow for a non-conforming commercial center identification sign for two tenants.

Mr. Panczuk stated he would support the non-conforming commercial center identification sign. Mr. Maciejewski acknowledged that this was one way to handle this matter, a non-conforming commercial center identification sign with two tenants with the sign to remain as-is.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski asked for any further questions or comments. The Board members had no further questions or comments.

Mr. Maciejewski stated he would entertain a motion to consider the application in two parts. The first part of the motion would be to grant a declaration of the monument sign as a non-conforming commercial identification sign with two tenants and to remain as-is. The second part of the motion would be to allow the two existing signs to remain on the west face of the building with the stipulation that the marquee wall sign have no illumination.

Mr. Ryan made a motion to allow two wall signs on the west side of the building, with the stipulation that the existing marquee wall sign not be illuminated in the future, and to grant a variance for a non-conforming commercial center identification monument sign as it currently exists with the replacement of the sign faces only and to incorporate the findings of fact by reference. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Hastings --- yes. Mr. Ryan --- yes. Mr. Panczuk --- yes. Mr. Maciejewski --- yes.

The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

OLD BUSINESS:

Mr. Maciejewski asked Attorney Kuiper for a progress report on the matter of Mr. Tim Salamon, 8990 Tapper Street, which the Board heard in August.

Attorney Kuiper informed the Board that as of today, according to the Town Manager, the Petitioner has engaged an engineer who is reviewing the structure. Mr. Ryan stated his understanding is that no one from the Town has yet reviewed the structure.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Kuiper noted that the Town has no tree house code. Mr. Maciejewski noted that the height and size of the play structure was not addressed prior to the Petitioner coming before the Board for a variance. Mr. Maciejewski remarked that the play structure was built and proper procedure was not followed. He stated the Board’s dilemma is whether or not they should even be considering a variance for a structure that might have to be torn down.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if, procedurally, this matter should be continued each month. Attorney Kuiper noted that the matter could be continued at the Board’s discretion, but not indefinitely.

Attorney Kuiper noted in absence of approval, the structure has to come down. Attorney Kuiper stated that the matter is pending, but will have to be addressed in the near future.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Maciejewski noted that the Salamon public hearing was continued from the August meeting to tonight’s meeting. He stated he would entertain a motion to continue the public hearing on the Salamon Developmental Technical Variance at 8990 Tapper, with no extension of this matter past the next meeting. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Mr. Maciejewski requested a roll call vote. Mr. Hastings --- yes. Mr. Ryan --- yes. Mr. Panczuk --- yes. Mr. Maciejewski --- yes.

The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Maciejewski called for additional Old Business. There was no further Old Business.

OPEN TO THE FLOOR FOR PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Maciejewski closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Maciejewski adjourned the meeting.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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

11-24-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
12-22-2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
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