St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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February 24, 2014 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

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

CALL TO ORDER:


Mr. Jim Maciejewski called to order the meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals for Monday, 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