St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
Return to Menu

May 23, 2016 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

Jim Maciejewski, PresidentDavid Austgen, Board Attorney
Ken Schneider, Vice-President 
Tom Ryan 
Paul Panczuk 
Jason Williams 

CALL TO ORDER:


Mr. Maciejewski called to order the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals for June 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).

ROLL CALL:


Roll call was taken by Mr. James Maciejewski, as the recording secretary was absent. Members present: James Maciejewski, Ken Schneider, Paul Panczuk and Jason Williams. Staff present: Mr. David Austgen, Board Attorney. Absent: Mr. Tom Ryan and Susan E. Wright, recording secretary.

MINUTES:

Mr. Maciejewski asked the board members have had the chance to review the January 25, 2016 BZA minutes that were distributed and was there a motion. Discussion ensued as to whether there was a section missing toward the end, decision was made to defer the minutes until they can be checked for correction.

OLD BUSINESS:


A. Providence Bank (Mr. Philip Mulder) – Variance / Continued Public Hearing

Mr. Philip Mulder of Lagestee-Mulder introduced himself. Mr. Mulder noted that at the last meeting we were okay with the suggestion that the sign be off from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., and I did check with my client (Providence Bank), and the that stipulation was fine. I believe that was the reason for holding up on the vote.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that he thought he had a question of the direction of the sign and is not aware if everyone is privy to that discussion. I know this came before the Plan Commission Study Session last Wednesday, and the site was altered.

Mr. Mulder stated that he took the site plan and handed out copies, advising he could show what is being submitted today to the Town Engineer. Mr. Mulder continued that they have turned the sign to a 45˚ angle to the street. Mr. Maciejewski asked if the board members could keep the materials that were distributed. Mr. Mulder advised yes.

Mr. Williams noted it was not the plan that was submitted today; though, he said they got a full set of plans that were shipped off to Mr. Kenn Kraus (Town Engineer) today.

Mr. Maciejewski addressed Mr. Schneider, stating that he apologized, and that he should have given him a chance to speak before we started, as you may want to renew your conflict of interest. Mr. Schneider advised that he will be abstaining from the discussion of Item 5-A on the agenda (Providence Bank), due to my relationship to the petitioner.

Mr. Maciejewski stated that we had discussed some conditions as to the hours of operation. Some of the other reader board features that we had liked to have happen. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but we kind of went through the size of the sign. Does anyone else have anything relevant to that. Mr. Williams inquired if we found the size of the sign to be within the ordinance or was there an exception that we needed to pass, he could not remember.

Mr. Maciejewski said that the sign ordinance right now is thirty square feet overall, this sign from the fascia up to the triangle, so it’s a total of 28.19 s.f. as proposed. You you’re saying it’s a hair bigger.,. Mr. Maciejewski corrected that the proposed sign is a hair smaller than what is allowed, and that the reader board itself is 1’ x 8’, and in is inclusive of the overall square footage.

Mr. Williams inquired if the reader board was mono-chrome. Mr. Mulder advised that it is.

Mr. Panczuk stated that what he recalled is that the board all had the same similar conditions on what we put on reader boards before; the hours of operation, the content, as far as no scrolling and no flashing, and a six second delay of the message. We have already visited the hours of operation, so that was it. He thought they were good on everything else.

Mr. Williams stated he thought it was just pending the results of the public hearing, our board approval with those stipulations in the approval that Paul mentioned, just so we’re clear.

Mr. Maciejewski reminded that this was a continued public hearing from our April meeting. He asked if there was anyone present that wished to address the board that is relevant to this matter; please come forward, state your name and address clearly for the record.

Hearing none, Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing on Item 5 A on the agenda and returned it back to the Board. So to summarize, the sign being contemplated for approval was presented, roughly 28 s.f. inclusive of the reader board with the following conditions:

A. That it will not operate between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
B. No scrolling, side-to-side movement, no flashing.
C. Message is to appear for a minimum of six (6) seconds before changing.
D. And that its monochrome in appearance as far as the digital portion.

Mr. Mulder stated that he believes the sign is of monochrome amber.

Mr. Maciejewski advised that with that in mind it is a Developmental/Technical Variance and as such we need to review the findings of fact with any motion. That the approval either will or will not be injurious to public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare of the community. That the use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance will or will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner, and that the strict application of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance either will or will not result in practical difficulties in the use of the property. So with your motion, please reference the findings of fact, with any conditions we placed in that fact and that the petition is signed is relatively depicted on the site plan.

Mr. Panczuk stated that so after full discussion he would make the motion concerning Item 5A for Providence Bank Development at the southwest corner of Calumet Avenue and 101st being granted a developmental/technical variance for a reader board sign and I would like the approval under the conditions that it is placed as depicted on the site plan presented tonight for the record, as drawn to approximately 28 s.f., with a 1’ x 8’ reader board, monochrome amber, with the operation conditions of between 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., with no flashing or side-to-side scrolling, a six second delay between changes and that this would all be depicted on the findings of fact.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if Mr. Panczuk wanted to read the findings of fact for his motion.

Mr. Panczuk read the findings of fact for Developmental/Technical Variation Petition, the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals having given due consideration to the matters as listed in St. John Ordinance No. 433, as amended and having given due consideration to I.C. 36-7-4-918.5 and having paid reasonable regard to the Comprehensive Plan of the Town of St. John hereby make the following findings of fact:

• Approval will not be injurious to public health, safety, morals, comfort, or general welfare of the community;
• The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance will not be affected in an substantially adverse manner.
• That strict application of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of the property.

Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes – 1 abstained.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. 10210 Joliet Street (Petititioner: Jimmy Lopez) Garage / Accessory Structure Public Hearing

Mr. Maciejewski asked the petitioner to please come forward and state your full name and address and the nature of the petition.

Mr. Jimmy Lopez, 10210 Joliet Street. Mr. Lopez stated that he had purchased the house ago a year ago and that it was an “estate sale”. Basically nobody saw any potential in this house and I took it in to keep it in the nice condition is was in. Mr. Lopez stated that he would keep inside storage so that it would not be an eyesore. He would keep everything neat around the house and the garage that I want to build will be tucked away in the back. I have almost two acres, so basically I am just trying to keep everything inside and locked up, clean, so that it is presentable.

Mr. Maciejewski inquired as to the types of vehicles that he would be storing. Mr. Lopez advised that he has antique cars, RV(s) and items of that sort of nature that he drives.

Mr. Maciejewski inquired about the flood zone designated on the plat submitted. Mr. Lopez advised that it is way in the rear of the property. The lot is very deep and that is way back behind the tree line.

Mr. Schneider asked if any diesel mechanical work would be done on the side, at this location. Mr. Lopez advised that as a mechanic at UPS he is not allowed to handle a wrench for side work as it would cause him to lose his pension, and further added that this would be his “man cave”.

Discussion ensued between the board members and Mr. Lopez as to the size of structure in which he was seeking a Developmental / Technical variance. Options of 36’ x 40’, which is close to the 1600 s.f. usage, 40’ x 40’ or the 32’ x 50’ which is the one suggested by his contractor as the one preferred because of the trusses, would be less money and more cost effective.

Mr. Maciejewski opened the floor for the Public Hearing, after conferring with Attorney David Austgen, who noted that the legal notices and proofs of notices to adjacent property owners are in order to proceed with public comment:

Hearing none, Mr. Maciejewski closed the public hearing portion and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Panczuk stated that this area of town is one of rural flavor, no doubt a 2.5-acre lot. Knows several people that have 2.5 or 5 acres and they built pole barns to store antique vehicles, and their toys, it’s not an unreasonable size building for him to build a 32’ x 40’ building pretty quick. With its being a 2.5-acre lot, its five times the size of what we would consider to be a good size half-acre lot. His only concern would be to nail down the exact location for the record, but otherwise he has no objection.

Mr. Schneider noted that it looks like there is a lot of room to the West, would you be placing the structure more behind your existing home and not out in the middle. Mr. Lopez said it would be off-set, more East and behind.

Discussion ensued as to having an accurate site plan to review for placement of the garage. Mr. Austgen advised that they do not know until they have that site plan. Mr. Austgen asked the petitioner if he had a plat of survey, as it was not part of the packet given to the board members.

Mr. Maciejewski and Mr. Austgen discussed a section of the Zoning Ordinance which addressed the style and color consistent with the primary structure, being the house. Section F.2 was read, detached garages may only be allowed by approval of developmental variance by the BZA and shall be built consistent with the style and materials of the dwelling. Mr. Lopez advised that the house which brick. Mr. Maciejewski inquired if he wished to amend the petition to include a variance for that section also. Mr. Lopez advised that he did not extend to make an all brick building, would not be cost effective, but he would coordinate the colors with the house, with wainscoting and two-tone.

Mr. Panczuk asked where in relation to the large tree would the garage be built. Mr. Lopez advised that it would be between that one tree (apple tree) and the grouping of trees in the back.

Mr. Maciejewski suggested that the petitioner’s contractor prepare a better site plan showing placement of structure and driveway for better evaluation.

Mr. Schneider noted that the structure requested is a 32’ x 48’ with 14’ eave height, then it has a 10’ x 48’ lean-to on it. Mr. Lopez advised that the square footage is not included in the lean-to.

Mr. Lopez advised that it was more like a covered porch area to sit outside, not visible from the street or from the neighbor from the West.

Mr. Williams reiterated that the lean-to portion would have to be part of the total square footage calculation. Mr. Lopez stated that he would consider eliminating that from the structure.

Mr. Schneider confirmed that there will be electricity run to the building; however, plumbing would not.

Mr. Austgen read for the record the allowable square footage is 1100 s.f. either attached or detached; however, if a lot is 30,000 s.f. or larger, that an additional 540 s.f. is allowed. So it’s a total of 1640 s.f. but it an aggregate. So basically including the existing garage, and not more than 14’ in height to the peak (not the eave) of the structure.

General discussion ensued as to the height, and the size of the structure inclusive of the existing attached garage.

Mr. Lopez advised that the existing two-car garage was plumbed-out. He felt that the previous owner may have been planning an extra family room. There is a mud room existing that could be finished for extra living space currently.

Mr. Maciejewski noted that he feels it is the four items in question in the variance: detached, the area, the height and the material.

Mr. Panczuk noted that it is not in a subdivision setting, it is very rural and it would not be out of place for this type of structure to be built. He has driven by it and it is very spacious. The lean-to caught him off guard, however, the ten feet would not be suited for a car and it faces east, and he could see it being used as just “porch space”.

General discussion ensued as to the twelve foot doors and the height of the structure. Mr. Lopez advised that he measured his RV and believe that was the reason for the door size and that he needed the room for that purpose.

Mr. Williams stated that the peak of twenty feet was of concern. He feels that it is a situation where it would be towering over everything else in the immediate neighborhood.

Mr. Lopez advised that he would get with his contractor to submit the suggestions of the board and provide more detail on a site plan, including the impact of drainage on the lot.

Mr. Maciejewski asked the board for a motion to defer this matter until next month’s meeting, and continue the public so that you do not have to do any of the re-advertising again. This would give Mr. Lopez time to prepare with his contractor the suggested changes.

Mr. Williams made the motion to defer the matter of garage / accessory structure at 10210 Joliet Street, until the June 27, 2016 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, and continue the public hearing. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

Mr. Maciejewski suggested to Mr. Lopez that the paperwork for the next meeting be turned into the Building and Planning Office at least before the meeting for it to be distributed and reviewed by the board members.

B. 12225 West 85th Avenue (Herb and Kimberly Yekel) – Garage / Accessory Structure – Public Hearing

Mr. Maciejewski advised that item 6 (B), again a garage / accessory building for Herb and Kimberly Yekel at 12225 West 85th Avenue.

Mr. Herb Yekel introduced himself, 12225 West 85th Avenue and stated that he is asking for a variance to build a shed a little bit bigger that what is presently allowed by a general permit. I am the owner of the BX Series Tractor, the small bucket, belly mower, leaf sucker, snow removal equipment. He stated he has a lot of outside patio furniture. Was looking at a shed which is just a little bigger. So instead of going 16’ x 10’, he would like to go 16’ x 20’, and be able to keep all the items and implements in there.

Discussion ensued and Mr. Yekel reiterated that it is all his property associated with the lawn tractor that he uses on his property, which he respectfully is requesting a 16’ x 20’ to accommodate all the items he mentioned.

Mr. Maciejewski asked where was the structure being proposed on the site plan. Mr. Yekel advised that on the initial site plan the house is about five months old now. It was initially drawn as future shed and it was never constructed. He brought and showed the initial site plan of the home. Mr. Yekel advised that the concrete slab is already there and it is 16’ x 20’.

Mr. Maciejewski asked if there was anything about the construction that he could share. Mr. Yekel advised that it is not viewable from the street, and not viewable from the rear, it is not viewable from the East, and there is already an existing 6’ fence that is 25’ off the property line to the West.

Discussion ensued on the height and the dimensions on the door.

Mr. Schneider asked if the only access would be through the existing garage to the shed. Mr. Yekel advised that the garage drops off too much and he did not want to change the slope of any of the property as it is.

Mr. Schneider asked about the old shed that is there. Mr. Yekel advised that was part of the old house that was condemned and torn down in order to build the new house, and advised with permission of the new shed that the old one would be torn down.

The board members discussed for clarification that it would be a variance from the shed requirement, not a garage.

Mr. Yekel advised that it was previously 3 lots, and zoned R-1, so he is allowed two (2) accessory structures as long as he doesn’t exceed 250 square feet. Mr. Panczuk checked the requirements for sheds not being any larger than 160 s.f. and a maximum height of 14’, must be built inside the property lines from side and rear. Mr. Schneider noted that the site is also 1.23 acres.

Mr. Yekel advised the house is stone and brick, it would be metal siding, like a Morton building, with asphalt shingles. Would like to keep it low maintenance and match it to the brown, a dark brown or two-tone.

Mr. Austgen was called upon to review the proofs of publication and notices of adjacent property owners for the public hearing portion. Mr. Austgen advised that all was in order and the public hearing could proceed.

The floor was open for public comment and reminded to give name and address for the record. Hearing none, the floor was closed to public comment and brought the matter back to the board.

Mr. Schneider asked for some clarification on the specs provided, there was item 3 that he could not make out the writing. Discussion ensued and clarified as to materials and construction.

Mr. Schneider made a motion to approve the developmental / Technical variance for 12225 West 85th Avenue for garage/accessory structure, with the following conditions that the accessory building be storage only of lawn/patio furniture and equipment. The existing shed on site is to be removed in a reasonable amount of time, and the height shall stay below the 14’ maximum limit.

Mr. Schneider read the Findings of Fact, that the approval will not be injurious to public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare of the community. The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner, and that the strict applications of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of the property. Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion, and suggested that the old shed be removed within ninety (90) days of the completion of the new one. Motion amended to include that stipulation. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.

With no other business before the Board, Mr. Maciejewski adjourned the meeting.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Board of Zoning Appeals