October 24, 2016 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes
|Ken Schneider, President||David Austgen, Town Attorney|
|Paul Panczuk, Vice-President||Michael Muenich, Board Attorney|
|Jason Williams, Secretary||Stephen Z. Kil, Town Manager|
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Schneider called to order the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals for October 24, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance (recited and all took their seats).
Roll call was taken by Michelle L. Haluska, recording secretary. Members present: Ken Schneider, Paul Panczuk, John Kennedy and Jason Williams. Staff present: Mr. David Austgen, Town Attorney, Mr. Michael Muenich, Board Attorney and Mr. Stephen Kil, Town Manager. Absent: Mr. Tom Ryan
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mr. Schneider asked for a clarification in the minutes, which Mr. Williams discussed directly with Mr. Schneider. Mr. Schneider entertained a motion for the approval of the June 27, 2016 minutes. Motion made to approve minutes as submitted, motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 3 ayes – 1 abstention.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Mr. Schneider said he just wanted to take a minute and thank Mr. James Maciejewski for all his years of dedicated years of service to the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Schneider advised that they would need to vote now for election of officers since Mr. Maciejewski is no longer here as Chairman.
For President: Mr. Williams made a motion to elect Mr. Ken Schneider as President, motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
For Vice-President: Mr. Schneider nominated Mr. Paul Panczuk for Vice-President, seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
For Secretary: Mr. Kennedy nominated Mr. Jason Williams as Secretary, seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
OLD / NEW BUSINESS:
A. LAKE CENTRAL SALT BARN / MAINTENANCE FACILITY – Mr. Bill Ledyard – Developmental / Technical Variances – Public Hearing
Mr. Schneider advised the first item on the agenda is Lake Central / Kolling Elementary School Salt Barn and Storage Building. Mr. Schneider advised the audience that there are eight (8) variances that they will be requesting.
Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Muenich as to any special protocol in regards to the eight (8) variances. Mr. Muenich advised to make the record clear he suggested to state the petition request, ask for any remonstrance’s for or against that particular variance, and then vote on that variance by item. Mr. Muenich noted that the proofs of publication and notices are in order to proceed with the Public Hearing.
Mr. Ledyard, Lake Central Director of Construction and Dr. Larry Verracco, Superintendent, introduced themselves to the board. Mr. Ledyard advised that they have been through several Plan Commission meetings with this project, this is our first time in front of the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Ledyard mentioned that as Mr. Schneider stated we are asking for eight (8) variances.
Mr. Ledyard started by talking about the two (2) buildings. They are looking to build a 40’ x 40’ Salt Storage Barn at the transportation center to store the salt needed for the entre district throughout the winter. We do not have an enclosed building right now. We are also looking to replace a dilapidated existing Maintenance Building with a new Maintenance Building, near where the old site is located.
The Salt Storage Building would go just to the West of the existing maintenance building, and the new maintenance building would be constructed to the South.
On the variances:
1. Looking to have a 50’ set-back, instead of a 60’ set-back from the right-of-way. That is for two major reasons. One being, that way we can keep the existing maintenance building, and we can build the Salt Storage Barn, and once that is complete we can then build the new maintenance building and then we would go ahead and demolish the old maintenance building. This will also help us with some tight turns for our buses in that area. So that is the two reasons we are seeking that as a variance.
Mr. Williams asked Mr. Ledyard to repeat what he said. Mr. Ledyard reiterated the matter for clarification. Mr. Ledyard repeated that they would build the new buildings around the old, and then they could move out of the old maintenance building and demolish it.
Mr. Schneider advised Mr. Ledyard to go ahead and give a comprehensive review of all the variances, and then they will work individually to work them out.
2. Regarding the next, and Mr. Muenich and Mr. Kil have talked at length at the Plan Commission that we have added an easement from the existing access on Route 41 at the Kolling property to go all the way down to the South to what we call Lot 3. This talks about the frontage road. At the Plan Commission, I think it was decided that we would plat and record this easement for future access.
This would be West of the Salt Storage facility.
Mr. Williams says that it looks fairly narrow on his map. Mr. Ledyard stated that Mr. Kil requested that it be incorporated in there. Mr. Williams stated that at the Plan Commission you said you would reconfigure those fences should that access be needed.
3. This is the Landscaping Plan requirement. We will plant around the Salt Storage and the Maintenance Building.
Mr. Williams asked why is this a variance? Mr. Ledyard advised that you have certain requirements and the site is basically all paved and hard-surfaced. We can only get in a certain number of plants. Mr. Kil advised that they cannot get the required amount of landscaping in. Mr. Williams asked then they are asking for less? Mr. Kil advised “yes”, that is correct”. Mr. Muenich advised that they are required to submit a landscaping plan, which you are seeing, but the plan does not meet the absolute standard of the ordinance. Mr. Williams asked if there is some percentage that it falls under?
Mr. Ledyard advised that they only have a certain amount of green area, because it’s all hardscaped over there; but, we will plant what we can plant. Dr. Verracco advised that we want to improve it because we are tired of looking at it also, the way it is. Mr. Ledyard further noted that there are a lot of items that are stored outside, which will be put inside the new maintenance facility and that it is not just going to be a workshop. There will be storage for mowers and other equipment that you see outside. Also, that some of that junk to the East will be cleaned up as well.
Mr. Williams stated, so forgive me, but right now there is zero landscaping? Mr. Ledyard advised that is correct. And that goes into the next variance:
4. We are seeking a lighting variance, because are not really changing anything at the entire site. We will be putting wall packs on the new buildings. We are not changing anything to the main transportation site.
Mr. Panczuk asked if they could backup to the landscaping. Mr. Panczuk asked if they have a street elevation drawing of the site. Mr. Ledyard stated that he submitted elevations to Mr. Kil to forward to all the members. Mr. Panczuk asked if there was any consideration to moving it back to shield the Bus Barn as well. Mr. Ledyard advised there is nothing there, the Bus Barn is all hardscaped. It’s beyond the fence. Discussion ensued as to type of plantings. Mr. Ledyard advised that they were considering evergreens, because they are more dense.
Discussion ensued between Mr. Schneider and Mr. Kil in regards to matching up the prepared Findings of Fact form that were prepared and the topics as they are being stated for variance. Mr. Kil advised that he would have to look at them to line up the variance request with the verbiage being used. After much discussion with Mr. Kil, Mr. Schneider and Mr. Muenich, it was decided that the landscape requirement was probably a “waiver” that was done at the Plan Commission level. Mr. Kil advised that there are eight (8) variances being sought and there are eight (8) findings of facts prepare for each specific section listed.
Mr. Ledyard stated that back to the Lighting (No. 4), they are not changing anything existing, they will be only adding the wall packs to the buildings. Mr. Panczuk advised that he supports the Town’s lighting concept, and his concern would be that wall packs project light outward so would like to bring it up to the board so they would agree to put a stipulation that any lights would be “downward pointing” and shielded, with full side shield. This then would accomplish the intent of our dark sky ordinance.
Mr. Ledyard advised that they were already going to place wall packs with downward lighting and shielded. Mr. Panczuk stated that it can be made in the motion.
5. The next one is for the Sign. We are not asking for any signage. We have an approved sign for Kolling School a couple of years ago, and we do not plan on any signage here. Mr. Ledyard advised that in the new US 41 overlay he believes there is a section that has to do with signs.
Mr. Kil stated that if you do not want a sign you do not have to have a sign.
6. Mr. Schneider mentioned it’s the building materials. These are support buildings to the main building, which is a pre-engineered metal building, metal siding; so we are asking for that. Also part of the US 41 overlay as we were talking to the Plan Commission meetings.
Mr. Kil reminded that within this corridor they are required to build all brick buildings in this corridor. They are all run together. You are required to have “x” amount of different types of exterior material, they are not going to meet that. They are not going to be able to make the all brick requirement, they are not going to meet the exterior corner requirement. What you kind of see is what you get. It is a Salt Storage Building and a Maintenance Building. So those kind of all go together. But, they are all listed separately.
Mr. Williams asked if they found the street level view of the landscaping and fencing. Mr. Panczuk reminded that he has asked for that. Mr. Kil advised that he would have to go to Google Earth to place that on the screen. Mr. Williams re-stated that he was wondering what it was going to look like from the street level. Are you seeing a fence?, are you seeing trees?, am I seeing the peak of the building?.
Mr. Ledyard advised that “yes, you will see the eave of the building”. Mr. Schneider advised he know that is in there, but is it really part of a variance?
Mr. Panczuk stated that he thinks Mr. Williams is saying that it can affect the way we view the exterior material and the other shortcuts..
Mr. Kil advised the members that he does not simply have a street view. Mr. Kil went on to say that if you are standing on U.S. 41 taking a snapshot of what you are going to see, they simply don’t have it.
Mr. Williams asked then so we are not going to see that it’s really not brick. No one is, because of the way.,. Mr. Ledyard reminded that there is a 6’ fence with slats already, and the landscaping will be between that and the building.
Mr. Kil showed the existing building on the screen. Mr. Ledyard pointed out areas that Mr. Williams was inquiring about, and it was noted that all that is hardscaped. Mr. Ledyard pointed to the exact area in which they will be able to plant any landscaping. The landscaping will go South and around, so you will only be able to see the peak of the building.
7. The next one is Public Art. Not planning anything. Mr. Williams and Mr. Ledyard discussed the fact that there are several nice art classes at Lake Central.
8. The final, as Mr. Schneider references as well, is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Sidewalk access. Currently we do not have anything along the entire East side of Route 41 on our property. We would like to keep it that way, our Kolling Elementary School is a K through 4 building, We do not have any students there who currently walk or ride a bike there. And we encourage them not to, we believe it is an unsafe way to get to school there at that busy location, so we are asking for a variance for this as well.
Mr. Williams asked if there is any concept in our long-term plan, which we have spent so much time talking about, of making U.S. 41 walkable or bikable, or pedestrian.,. Mr. Kil advised that as you know they put a sidewalk in at the high school on the West side. We put a cross-walk in, we do put in sidewalks.
Mr. Kil mentioned that when INDOT does improvements, they do try to incorporate sidewalks into their improvements now, if that answers your question.
Dr. Verracco advised that currently there are no sidewalks on the East side, so it would be a dead-end. It would be a sidewalk to really nowhere.
Mr. Williams stated that he is thinking about the entire system, not just where we are at right now, all the way up to that Speedway Gas Station, which I think is pretty close to the town limits there. I don’t know if it would make any sense to make that a walkable system.
Mr. Kil advised that he thinks that what we are concentrating on as far as Route 41 is concerned is a frontage road / access system. And you see that with all the new developments. You are going to see that with the next item which is Levin Tire, a frontage road system.
Mr. Panczuk stated that he is a real stickler for sidewalks, and so I struggled with this a little bit. It is a unique piece of property with the bridge adjacent and the railroad tracks. They are somewhat landlocked; they own all that property to the South. We are talking elementary kids, I can envision everything from 85th North being side walked, within the vicinity of Lake Central and people that will walk along U.S. 41, whether there are sidewalks or not. So I think from 85th North where the Levin and everything else is going, there should be some sort of pedestrian way, and I think the West side is more conducive, you already have Lake Central and residential right there clustered up, closer to the road. I’m not really worried about a sidewalk to nowhere, cause they gotta go somewhere eventually, but I don’t know if this is ever gonna connect to anything. And if they were ever to develop Lot 3, something would be brought in behind Kolling, you know, in that case, so. I tried to figure out a way for it to make sense and yeah, it’s really an unusual parcel.
Mr. Ledyard and Mr. Schneider confirmed that was all eight (8).
Mr. Williams wrote down: 50’ right-of-way, frontage road, landscaping, lighting, signage, building materials, public art, and bicycle/pedestrian. Mr. Ledyard advised that was all eight (8).
Mr. Kil suggested that Mr. Schneider just read each variance on the Findings of Fact, so everybody has a clear understanding of what each is.
First one, is a variance from a frontage road, setbacks and illustrations, for the lighting plan, there’s exterior building materials, because like Mr. Kil said that area was supposed to be all masonry, there is a variance for three exterior building materials, which also comes in, and then there is a variance for a minimum amount of exterior corners. If you brought in a plan for a commercial situation you have to have a minimum of eight corners or something like that.
The next one would be for public art submission. I have a variance from a bicycle / pedestrian access, and a variance from the strict requirement for access to individual tracts as outlined.
So those are the eight variances. Mr. Williams said that it is slightly different from what we worked on. Mr. Schneider said “yes”, Mr. Williams “Agreed”.
Mr. Schneider said, we will go from the first one and ask for the Frontage Road Setbacks and Illustrations, and that was basically saying that they are requesting a 50’ setback instead of a 60’ per the codes. Does anyone have any comment on the first one.
Mr. Panczuk, because there will probably never be a frontage road put in, it’s good to have the easement, I’m glad it’s there, maybe it will be a bike trail or a pedestrian trail someday, but I doubt if there will ever be vehicular traffic in front of that salt barn to that next lot. I got a feeling that would be placed behind Kolling, so I support no frontage road and the smaller setback.
Mr. Muenich advised that you are not waiving the frontage road, you are only talking about the set-back, instead of 60’, this would be 50’, this doesn’t address the road per se’.
Mr. Kil said he wanted to make it easier and gave the board members the list prepared.
Mr. Schneider Opened the Floor to Public Comment by Variance and it would take a little while, so please be patient. Mr. Williams asked if Mr. Schneider would like him to read them as posted on the screen:
1. Variance from Three Exterior Building Materials. Mr. Panczuk stated that because it is a civic or a municipal building, somewhat obscure by the bridge, it’s more of a retrofit of an existing use, I am going to be a little more lenient with this, I’m just saying that for the record, it’s generally not my way. Mr. Kennedy stated he understands why you are requesting this variance, I appreciate they are putting the money into the classrooms versus an exterior building of a storage maintenance facility, cause I understand the importance of education in this community, it’s a big draw for St. John.
Mr. Schneider stated that the first three are very similar, that they address exterior building materials. The second one was the minimum exterior corners, and then the, basically the building materials that pretty much ties into the first one. Take all three of these, basically and;
Mr. Muenich suggested again that they put them out individually, I don’t have a problem with you internally as a group. I would vote on them individually.
Mr. Schneider stated again that he was opening the floor to Public Comment, please step forward and announce your name and address. Hearing none, Mr. Schneider closed the floor to public comment in regards to the first three items of exterior building materials.
Mr. Schneider (reopened the floor – see below):
Dennis Meyers, 9500 Highland Court: I am a local builder and developer here in Town as you probably mostly know. I find the variances for all these building materials. Steve (Kil) knows what he puts all us builders through, building anything along, in this Town on that corridor. You have to use brick, you gotta do this, you gotta do that. So many items that you have to use, my only suggestion would be, that maybe because I drive up and down that street every day myself and we are trying to beautify the area, somehow work in some large pine trees, such as we’ve done on some of our job site, to hide these metal buildings from the street, since we’re gonna force every other builder to conform to the regulations, and here their gonna get a variance for everything and stick a pole barn up there, that’s exactly what it is. We all know that. So let’s find a way to get some big pine trees along there to hide these buildings which won’t cost a whole lot. I’ve used them many times.
Mr. Kil advised Mr. Meyers that unfortunately they will not be voting on that tonight. What they are going to vote on though, the Plan Commission during Site Plan Approval, that’s where the Landscaping Plan is going to be presented.
Mr. Meyers: Well they are asking for variances on all these materials…
Mr. Kil advised Mr. Meyers that it is just on the building materials. But as far as the landscaping goes, Mr. Williams and Mr. Kennedy both sit on the Plan Commission, so they can take that suggestion back to the Plan Commission members.
Mr. Schneider once again closed the floor to Public Comment on those three variances.
Mr. Schneider stated the next one is from the Frontage Road Setbacks. Mr. Muenich affirmed that it is from 60’ to 50’, that is correct. Mr. Muenich read that it is Item H is the actual frontage road itself. This particular item just so that we’re clear, it is just for the setback and the illustration which quite frankly, if you can understand, I’d like to know; because I haven’t understood the illustration yet. But setback is the primary element. Mr. Williams asked if there was an illustration. Mr. Muenich said no, but there is one in the Zoning Ordinance, that is a little on the confusing side.
Mr. Schneider opened this variance up for public comment. Hearing none he closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board.
Mr. Schneider advised the next variance is for the Lighting Plan. I ask the other members for any other comments about this.
Mr. Schneider opened the floor for public comment. Hearing none he closed the floor.
Mr. Schneider advised the next item is for Public Art. Board anything?
Public Comment? Closed, we shall move on.
Mr. Schneider, moving on, for Bicycle and Pedestrian Access. Board members? Public Comment? Closed for public comment.
Mr. Schneider advised that the last is for Strict Requirement for Access to Individual Tracts. Mr. Kil advised that they have the easement platted, but this is more for the frontage road requirement.
Mr. Williams commented to be clear, the plan is to subdivide lot 3, which is to the South. Mr. Kil advised that will be a stand-alone lot, which will provide an access easement to the parcel that they do not own. That is the key. Mr. Kennedy asked if the size a concern since it is only 20’, if you have it two lanes.
Mr. Kil explained that every parcel back there is confined by geography, there are two railroad embankments. The access will not go anywhere except to those parcels. Mr. Williams stated that essentially it’s an exaggerated driveway. Mr. Kil stated it is a private driveway for those parcels.
Mr. Muenich advised the Chairman that at this time it would be appropriate for you to jump in. As has been pointed out there are three parcels that lie to the South of the proposed subdivision, lots one, two and three. Lot 3 being the southernmost of that. The easement that is called for goes to the South end of Lot 3, clears all the way through the Lake Central property. The variances as to width, and I believe the Plan Commission approved this for Primary Approval for Subdivision at the last Plan Commission meeting, but that was contingent upon an agreement between the School Corporation and the Town, as to operation, maintenance, installation of improvements and the designees of the easement. To my knowledge there has been no conversations between the School Corporation and the Town concerning those four (4) parameters. My assumption would be at this point that the Plan Commission will not grant Final Approval to the Plat, until such time as those contingencies discussed at the Primary subdivision hearing was met. So if you proceed to approve this variance, that should be contingent upon those same negotiations and the same resolution. Now the difficulty with that is, if you are going to grant the variance at this point, you don’t know what the conditions are, so you really, I am in a little bit of a legal conundrum as to how you address this, because you would be addressing something and approving something that you didn’t hear what the conditions for it were.
[talking in background – inaudible].
Mr. Williams advised that from his notes from October 5, 2016, Mr. Muenich reiterated that items one (1) through four (4) that is at the discretion of the Planning Commission; and that items A through H, must go before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Muenich advised that is accurate, however, his concern is if you approve this variance, because you don’t know what it is you are approving because we haven’t reached an agreement as to operation, maintenance, improvements, and the designees on the easements.
Mr. Williams stated that his reply on that is that himself and Mr. Kennedy are on both boards, so there is enough of a knowledge overlap there to prevent that from becoming a serious problem.
Mr. Muenich stated that is fine, he just wanted to call that to their attention, so that you are aware of it. Also, that your approval should be contingent upon an ultimate resolution by the Plan Commission as to the parameters of that agreement for those four (4) criteria, is all he is suggesting.
Mr. Panczuk asked if they could move forward with the construction with this variance based on a contingency? Mr. Muenich advised that no, at this point they can’t because they cannot get a Final Plat of subdivision, therefore they cannot get a building permit.
Mr. Williams interjected that that need our approval so that they can come back to us, the Planning Commission, get Final Plat and then they can start construction.
Mr. Muenich stated that was accurate.
Mr. Panczuk asked, but those conditions of maintenance operation, that you just called out.
Mr. Muenich (pauses) grantees, who the easement runs to, operation, maintenance, installation and improvements, and to whom the grantees are. Mr. Muenich added that you have one parcel that is owned by the Town, one parcel, believe it or not, I believe is owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and the third parcel is owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Danger or Dinger, somewhere along those lines. Mr. Muenich stated that he did not know if he added confusion, but he just wanted to make sure you understood what was going on.
Mr. Schneider commented “Understand”. Mr. Kil advised Mr. Schneider that basically all you have to do, is once the motion’s made, I think I heard that, you are going to take each variance independently, so separately. I know that Mr. Panczuk is going to add a contingency regarding the lighting, which would be cutoff full-shielded lights, if I am not mistaken, I think that is the easiest way to say that. And then the other contingency would be to Item H, would just be the agreement negotiated and signed with the Plan Commission. The access agreement, so that would probably be a simple way to say that. Like Mr. Williams said, there is a lot of overlap, I go to all the meetings so they are definitely going to know.
Mr. Ledyard advised that he was with Ms. Cheryl Zic (Lake Central Attorney) on Friday afternoon, and she is going to be contacting you this week Mr. Muenich to discuss the four (4) parameters. Mr. Muenich advised that she will have to speak to Mr. Austgen as he is leaving for St. Augustine tomorrow. Mr. Ledyard stated that he would let her know that.
Mr. Panczuk stated that he just wanted a little more clarification on that frontage road, I listen carefully to everything. So the variance being sought, the US 41 overlay, requires a frontage road, we are allowing one not to be put in; however, we are platting an easement. Mr. Muenich stated it is not just a frontage road, it is an access corridor, absent access down this corridor, the three parcels to the South are landlocked, they have no ability, because of the intersection of the railroad tracks to get any other public access. Mr. Panczuk then asked, so their granting an easement for the access, which doesn’t even exist right now, right? Mr. Muenich replied: accurate. Mr. Panczuk asked, so the variance is because? Mr. Muenich stated: Because what they have submitted to the Plan Commission would normally have required a minimum of a thirty foot (30’) wide paved street, curb-back to curb-back, “x” numbers of inches of Indiana 53(s) and fines and blacktop and drainage, etcetera. Mr. Muenich stated that would be the normal standard that would be required for that frontage road under the framework of your ordinance; not just for the frontage road issue, but for access. It would be like that for any other subdivider that same in, you would have the 60’ right-of-way, 30’ to 30’ curb-back to curb-back, so that is what you are actually varying, because it is a combination of the Subdivision Control Ordinance requirements and it’s a requirement of the Route 41 overlay, so it’s a two-edge sword.
Mr. Panczuk stated that he answered his questions and he thinks he has a pretty good grasp on it, and I am certain of it now, so we just want to make sure that we protect these property owners basically, that’s a requirement of what we are doing here, and those contingencies and the negotiations thereof, if we approve this with those contingencies, it will take it out of the hands of the B.Z.A. and we will be handing that over to the Plan Commission, so I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of that. These are some unusual properties, but at the same time these property owners have rights and the same treatment of anyone in St. john, as far as access. So, we’re looking at 20’ instead of 30’; who knows what these properties will be used for, we look at them and think maybe nothing, but then again who knows.
Mr. Williams asked Mr. Panczuk if he trusts Mr. Kennedy and himself to get it right at the Plan Commission.
Mr. Schneider asked if he should read the entire Findings of Facts for everyone. Mr. Muenich suggested that he just need to incorporate them by reference. Mr. Kil suggested to Mr. Schneider that he only read for each motion is the actual top paragraph that sites the Section.
Mr. Schneider entertained a motion for Developmental / Technical for Three Exterior Building Materials, listed under Chapter 8, Section K.2. Mr. Williams and referencing the Findings of Fact into the motion to grant approval for Chapter 8, Section K.2 providing a variance from the Three Exterior Building Materials. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Panczuk asked if this could be discussed further, he said he is in agreement with what Mr. Kennedy said, we would rather that the schools put the money into the classroom as opposed to fancy brick buildings that they don’t even want anyone to see. I just want to make sure that is going to be in fact the case. If we are going to make this exception. Mr. Williams asked should this be contingent on landscaping reaching what elevation. (general discussion ensued about the height of the salt barn of 14’ and the maintenance facility of 20’). Mr. Williams reminded Mr. Panczuk that there is going to be an angle, so looking at it from the street, a good size tree will largely obscure your view. Mr. Williams asked Mr. Panczuk what is your proposal? Mr. Kil interjected that the Plan Commission has granted Primary plat approval contingent upon the variances from the B.Z.A., and the easement agreement as Mr. Muenich has already talked about being worked out. Mr. Muenich stated that this will all fall back under the deck of the Plan Commission as part of the Development Plan, is that correct? Mr. Kil stated that they will be asking for Final Site Plan approval, as well as Final Plat approval. The Site Plan approval, which is the Development Plan, includes all the components of landscaping and all that stuff. Mr. Panczuk asked then the Plan Commission still have some teeth, even if we hand this back over to them as far as landscaping so. Mr. Kil advised that until the Plan Commission votes “yes” on Final Plat, they always have teeth.
Mr. Kennedy asked if it is a quantity issue on the amount of landscaping, do we have any ordinance on the height, or development of the plantings. Mr. Kil advised that there is a Section in our ordinance that gives you for the US 41 overlay district things, it gives you a typical streetscape, and it does give you heights and stuff like that where the Plan Commission can use as a guide. Mr. Muenich is looking for it right now, there is an illustration in the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Kennedy stated that he didn’t know how mature the plantings needed to be, or if we had anything in our ordinance that required the maturity of the plant. Mr. Kil advised that there is a guideline for that, but there again, that is up to the Plan Commission to evaluate. Again, it is in the Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Muenich asked for two minutes and then he could answer his question. Mr. Muenich advised the board members that it is in Chapter 13, Page 9, Section O.3; planting adjacent to buildings along U.S. 41 Highway. Planting area equal to an area measuring 25’ in depth by the width of the building, plus 20’, plus blah-blah,., let’s see if there is anything about a height. Mr. Muenich noted that there is nothing specific about the height, there is a planting strip, planting requirements, the type of trees. Mr. Kil reminded Mr. Panczuk that the U.S. 41 overlay district does not contemplate a pole building being built, therefore you are not supposed to block the buildings, with giant trees. So what I think you ought to do is probably the Plan Commission does know this, and if by chance they don’t, I’m sure that Mr. Williams will make sure that they do. I know what Denny said (Mr. Meyers), and Mr. Williams will take that sentiment back to the Plan Commission, but I don’t know if it is something that, if you were going to make something contingent on it, the Plan Commission, it just is not going to match. I would probably just let it go.
Mr. Muenich asked the board if he could make a suggestion. Make your approval, if that be your inclination, contingent upon them submitting a front elevation drawing, which all of you seem to be interested in. In the real world, what a 15’ or 20’ tree is going to look like from several different points. Visual point, and I think that can be done fairly rapidly and that way both the Plan Commission and you aren’t voting on something in an abstract, not understanding what it is going to look like.
Mr. Panczuk stated then his contingency would be to, or to this motion would be contingent on Plan Commission approval of a street level elevation and their satisfaction with the height and the barrier that it will create to hopefully not see these metal pole barns.
• Mr. Williams stated he will amend his motion, referencing the Findings of Fact, to grant a approval for Chapter 8, Section K.2 for Three Exterior Building Materials, contingent upon a front / street elevation drawing being provided to the Planning Commission prior to Final Plat approval. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised that we will go to the next one which is minimum exterior corners, which is also in Chapter 8, Section K.3.
• Mr. Williams stated that in referencing the Findings of Fact for Chapter 8, Section K.3, I would like to make the motion to grant the variance for Minimum Exterior Corners. Mr. Panczuk seconded motion. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised the next item will be Exterior Building Materials, which is Chapter 10, Sections A / B.
• Mr. Williams stated that referencing the Findings of Facts, I would like to grant a variance for Chapter 10, Sections A / B from Exterior Building Materials. Mr. Kennedy seconded motion. Roll call vote was taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised that next item is back to Chapter 8, Section F / F.1 for a variance from Frontage Road Setbacks and Illustrations.
• Mr. Williams stated that in referencing the Findings of Fact, I would like to grant a variance from Chapter 8, Section F / F.1, variance from Frontage Road Setbacks and Illustrations.
Mr. Panczuk seconded motion. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised that the next is from Chapter 8, Section I, variance from the requirements for a Lighting Plan submission.
• Mr. Panczuk stated that referencing the Findings of Facts, motion for the variance of lighting submission Chapter 8, Section I, with the contingency that all fixtures used are downward and shielded lighting. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised the next is Chapter 8, Section L, variance from requirement for Public Art submission.
• Mr. Panczuk made a motion, referencing the Findings of Facts for variance of Chapter 8, Section L regarding Public Art. Mr. Williams seconded the motion. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider advised the next is Chapter 8, Section M, variance from the requirement for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Access submission.
• Mr. Williams stated that referencing the Findings of Facts, would like to gran the variance for Chapter 8, Section M, variance from the requirement or a Bicycle and Pedestrian Access submission. Motion seconded by Mr. Panczuk. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Schneider entertained a motion for the final variance request for Chapter 8, Section N, variance from the strict requirement for Access to Individual Tracts as outlined in Item 2 proceeding.
• Mr. Williams stated that referencing the Findings of Facts, would like to grant a variance for Chapter 8, Section N from the strict requirement for Access to Individual Tracts as outlined in Item 2 proceeding, contingent upon the Planning Commission resolving issues related to maintenance, access, improvements, and grantees; as to whose responsibilities those four (4) items will be. Mr. Kennedy seconded the motion. Roll call vote taken, motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
Mr. Muenich made a suggestion to Mr. Schneider to take the agenda out of order, as he has a strong suspicion that the great number of people in attendance are not here to listen to Mr. Levin plans at Bingo Lake, and may want to change the order of the agenda to have the item taken next. Mr. Schneider advised that he did not have a problem with that all.
B. SHAWN ENGLE – 9753 Elle Avenue - Garage / Accessory Structure Variance
Mr. Shawn Engle of 9753 Elle Avenue, introduced himself to the board members. Mr. Kil advised that he would place the plat up on the screen. Mr. Schneider advised that Mr. Engle could proceed and asked him to explain why he needs this detached two-car garage.
Mr. Engle advised that he and his family moved in about 3 years ago. He owns two (2) vans and one (1) car. He has an existing three-car garage. Then ended up raising up the garage door height in order for the van to get into the garage. He then found out that, putting in all the vehicles in the garage was not working out. He was parking just one van inside the garage, because he wanted to keep the subdivision nice. He had the other van parked outside sitting in the street.
After a year I started getting letters stating that the Homeowners Association was upset, with the van sitting outside. I first just ignored it since there was nothing that it could do and I didn’t think it would go that far, going ahead I found out the association did not have a problem with it. I spoke with Mr. Jack Slager, representing Schilling Development, who said he had no problem with the van sitting outside, so even he kept ignoring it, but there was one neighbor that is quite upset about seeing my van when he looks out his back yard. So, I just wanted to. Well, he ended up hiring an attorney and pushing the association rules, himself. So right now I have a lawsuit against me with my van right now.
So, I am at the point of what else I can possibly do to make this right, to make everyone happy in the subdivision, so we can live there. That is why I am proposing this garage. It’s going to be very expensive for this one van, but I am trying to just make things right in our subdivision. This way I can store all the vans inside a garage, it’s going to be expensive, it’s going to be about a $50,000.00 garage.
Mr. Williams inquired to the attorney, that they do not necessarily have any authority over HOA(s).
Mr. Muenich advised that you do not. Mr. Muenich advised that those are restrictive covenants that are contained solely in the covenants. Mr. Kil advised that there are two (2) specific items if Mr. Schneider would like to read the Findings of Fact; they both deal with a detached garage and then the size, you are limited to “x” amount of square footage of 1,640 s.f., and there is no detached garages allowed. So he is going to first ask for a detached garage, and then he is going to ask for a variance from the actual overall square footage of the garages. Mr. Kil clarified that it is his understanding that Mr. Engle wants to park his vehicles in the garage and get them out of the view of the neighbors. The garage is going to be like and kind to the main structure, I believe that’s the case, if it is not please correct me Mr. Engle. Mr. Kil continued to advise that he is proposing a new driveway onto Elle Avenue that will access the garage. He is also proposing a new walkway in the back from the existing patio to the back of the garage, and he is proposing that the two be connected via a roof structure to provide continuity between the detached garage and the primary structure.
Mr. Williams asked how big the existing garage is. Mr. Engle advised that the current garage is 600 s.f.
Mr. Panczuk inquired if he was looking to put just one van in the garage. Mr. Engle advised that he has two (2) vans. Mr. Schneider asked if there was a reason for the two vans. Mr. Engle advised that this is his livelihood, and that he works for electrical shops, so I do electrical work during the day and I have a company van; and then after work I do personal side-work.
Mr. Williams asked what was the total square footage of the exterior garage, the proposed garage. Mr. Schneider answered that it was 925 s.f.
Mr. Kil advised Mr. Williams that Mr. Engle is allowed 1,100 s.f. if that is what he is trying to calculate.
Mr. Engle commented that the length of the garage is because they are planning on doing a future cabana, later in life if they have more money. Mr. Engle explained that is why there are slashes on the print, and making it so big in order to put a future cabana off the back since they would like to later get a pool.
Mr. Muenich asked Mr. Schneider to address the proofs of publication and inquired as to who prepared the list of adjacent property owners within 300’ for the legal notice. Mr. Engle advised that the list was prepared by the Assessor’s Office. Discussion ensued as to the certificate of verification of the adjacent property owners. Mr. Schneider looked into the papers submitted to the Chairman and found the certificate in question.
Mr. Kennedy reiterated to Mr. Engle, that you bought the house, you had the vans, they did not fit in the garage. Mr. Engle stated we bought the house from some who lived there about a year and a half, and the vans and car would not fit, so it was needed for the van to sit outside.
Mr. Williams asked if they were okay on the side yard requirement. Mr. Panczuk noted that he is showing 15’, and the requirement is only 10’, so he is correct on that.
Mr. Schneider noted that he has a three-car garage existing and that they raised the doors in order to put the vehicles inside, is there a reason why you cannot put the two vans and the car in the garage now. Mr. Engle advised that with the stairway coming out the side of the garage, there is not enough room. Mr. Engle advised that his wife has to squeeze though the passenger side door in order to get into her car, the area is too tight. Mr. Engle noted that this is also “with a baby”.
Mr. Williams asked about the peak of the new garage. Mr. Engle said the peak will not be any higher than the existing peak on the house. Mr. Engle also stated that Jack Slager and dean Schilling had already approved the architectural review as to the approved plans. Mr. Schneider noted that he also had a conversation with the aforementioned, and that they have architectural approval of the developer.
Mr. Muenich stated that there are two (2) issues with that, and he wanted to make sure that everyone understands this. You cannot deal with restrictive covenants, which is accurate, the fact that the HOA or the architectural committee has approved it, probably is not going to make any difference either. There are individuals within the subdivision that have the authority to enforce the restrictive covenants, by themselves, and your proceeding here doesn’t impact that one way or the other. Mr. Muenich made mention of a similar incident in Schererville with a Music Center in which the Town of Schererville approved and went all through the paperwork; and an adjoining property owner enforced a restrictive covenant and the building sat. Mr. Kil advised that in that instant the Deed Restriction expired; however, it took 50 years for it to happen. Mr. Muenich noted that the restrictions and the covenants run with the land, and they are generally enforceable by anybody who owns a piece of property within the land. So, whatever you do, while it solves the issue between the Town and the applicant, probably will not solve any internal issues, within though the HOA and the architectural committee has approved it.
Mr. Williams inquired as to the height, thinking it was 14’. Mr. Kil stated that it was one-story, as it reads it is 14’ or one-story, and as long as he proposing a single story. Discussion ensued as to the definition as “14 feet or one-story”, was depending on your roof pitch. Mr. Kil noted that if you are going to build a detached garage which is like and kind to the primary structure, you don’t want to put a 4’ x 12’ pitch on the garage and have a 10’ x 12’ pitch on the house, they have to match, which is why it gives you that latitude.
Mr. Kil reminded Mr. Schneider of a written remonstrance that was received today. Mr. Schneider advised that there was a remonstrance that was addressed to the Board of Zoning Appeals from a Nick and Kathy Georgiou at 9214 Jack Drive in Crossing Creek. It basically states:
“that they are submitting our objection to the zoning variance being requested for 9753 Elle Avenue in Crossing Creek subdivision. We were drawn to this subdivision for the covenants and restrictions that we believe are consistent with other Schilling subdivisions in the area which promoted oversize lots and other architectural requirements that define this as a well planned subdivision.
Many houses, including those of Mr. Engle have 3 car garages. We find it difficult to understand why there is a need for the equivalent of a 5 car garage plus. The potential of a pool house that may never materialize would basically provide for a significant garage of over 925 square feet.
We feel this would set a bad precedence in this neighborhood that could lead to further deterioration of the nature of this subdivision.”
Mr. Schneider commented, well, basically they don’t like it.
Mr. Panczuk asked for clarification on the variance, which he believes is 1,100 s.f. in total, referencing Chapter 11, Section B.2. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil clarified that there are two (2) developmental / technical variances being considered here tonight, including the reading of Chapter 5, Section 4.F.2 regarding detached garages, discussion amongst the board members continued.
Mr. Schneider opened the floor to Public Comment. He reminded them to please give your name and address for the record.
Kevin Hurt – 9754 Jack Drive: As you know a 3 car garage seems like a large garage, until you put your mower, your rakes and whatever else you have in there. Shawn actually lives right behind me, I see his van, and it doesn’t offend me, but I see what is going on and I think he is trying to do the right thing.
Rex Johnson – 9405 Grasselli Drive: I am building a house at 9405 Grasselli, and I believe this will be in my back yard. We are about three weeks’ ffrom moving in, and my concern, at 61 years old, this is my last home, so I probably will live there longer than Mr. Engle. And when he moves, the next guy moving in, might be a party barn, I have no idea what the use will be. So, I have a good concern about that, I would love to have a party barn in my back yard, but I am not sure I would ask for it, cause I’m not sure it’s right. We bought that property because of the restrictive covenants. We have invested heavily because of those covenants, and I would please ask the board to consider that. I don’t know Mr. Engle. It sounds like he has a lot of good reasons to do what he is trying to do, but I don’t think it should be in that subdivision. That garage would be in the back yard of three or four other homes, so just consider that.
Marty Kozak – 9843 Elle Avenue: I live next door to Shawn. I don’t have a problem with him parking his van as some people do. It’s a working man’s van; it’s a working man’s neighborhood. For him to build his garage, for him to park them in there, I think it’s the smart thing to do. It’s his money and he is investing it into the neighborhood. I think he is doing a good job, and for the people who disapprove, before you bought the lot you should have looked around. And if you wanted more space to look, you should have moved somewhere else. That’s what I think. And for the guy that wrote the letter, that couldn’t be here in person, he’s the guy who is starting all the trouble.
He’s not satisfied with the neighborhood, he should have never moved there, that what I think. Thank you for your time.
Zada Schilling – 9359 Elle Avenue: What matters to me is that he keeps, well, he invested a lot of money in a lot of landscaping lights. I think he has brought our subdivision to a higher level. He takes care of his house. He’s an electrician. Personally I think his van is ugly, but that is what he does for a living. And what I respect is that he keeps his van clean, he keeps his lawn cut and nice. Everybody that drives in, that is the first house that you see is his. He went out of his way to put beautiful landscaping and I think people in our subdivision need to look at the positive and not the negative. Because unfortunately they are going through a very bad time in their life right now and this van.,. (Mr. Schneider reminded her to speak into microphone).
Patrick Jones – 9422 Jack Drive: I share the opinion of a lot of the people that have spoken here, as far as the garage. This gentleman keeps his house up nice. He’s going to add this garage, it going to match esthetically, so it going to look nice to me, it’s only going to improve the property, it’s raise the value of it. It’s going to be a sought after property if he ever does move. People will want this place. Everybody, most men, would like to have a five car garage. It’s going to look beautiful and it’s add value to the subdivision. Furthermore, the other thing about the way his property is set up, his garage enters at the side of the house, so it’s not as it he is going to have two driveways, it’s going to have one driveway, and it going to look like almost every other house in the subdivision. It is going to be very nice. Most people are going to be jealous of his home.
Mark Nunnikhoven – 9731 Jack Drive: I am too a neighbor. I bought into the property knowing it was a good place to live. And some of that was contingent on the structures and types of building that we live in, and it’s also the people. I have come to know Shawn, and not only personally, but I have had a lot of discussion about this with him. And though I would have a hard time spending $50,000.00 on a garage, I know Shawn is doing it because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. I also do not have a problem with Shawn’s van being outside and also I would encourage him to continue to pursue that, but apparently that doesn’t seem to be a reasonable option for some of our constituents. As far as the comment about his garage becoming a party garage, I don’t think any of us need a garage to have a party, if that’s one of their concerns, I think we have other things to worry about. The neighborhood is a wide range of family types. There are younger couples with infant children, all the way up to those who are retired. I think part of that dynamic is what makes it interesting, and I don’t think Shawn’s intent is to have a party barn.
Kathryn Wilson – 9621 Oakridge Drive: Now, I don’t know the gentleman, I don’t know the neighborhood and I just look at the plan, and my minds says where the concrete block.,.
[Mr. Schneider asked the commenter to speak into microphone] .. oh, I’m sorry. I don’t know anything about construction or zoning or ordinances or any of that. But I look at the print, and there’s a concrete slab next to the existing garage, would that resolve everything if that was no longer a detached garage? The floor is already poured if there is a concrete slab. It’s not part of the patio, because the patio is at the opposite.. around the corner. I don’t know what they are using for. I imagine they have something there, whether it’s a play yard or something, but it might resolve the issue. That’s all I was thinking.
James Scollard – 9863 Elle Avenue: I am the owner, and we are currently under construction as well. I happen to be Rex Johnson’s builder as well, the Nunnikhoven, pretty much know all the folks that are here tonight. Was informed a little bit late in terms of what was going on, but I saw the sign so I did research to see what was happening. But suffice to say, I appreciate Mr. Muenich’s comments here about the restrictive covenants, because I thought they were the guiding parameter for these properties, and so that knowing those restrictive covenants are there, I always advocate to anyone who is looking at these properties that this is part and parcel to what they get when they buy. Open space, a Schilling Development, that has a standard that is esthetically that is consistent with what they will see. So it’s a little bit difficult as it relates to that understanding again, how even the board approves these things. This architectural committee, because I know I got called on the carpet for a window that is out of place. I got called on the carpet for changing,.,., and of course these are changes that have to go back to the owners, because we have to change plans, etc. etc. So having said that, um, the dynamic is we have five to six open lots in this development, I don’t own them, but, when you open this door of an 1,100 square foot total in garage, which violates even the St. John Ordinance, which is what the variance is for, am I correct for that?
Mr. Kil stated you are allowed 1,100 square foot. He is asking for 925 plus 650 s.f.
Mr. Scollard continued: So the challenge is, and again, having,., and I know all these folks, and I see them with all of their strollers, love them. Shawn out there waking with his daughter. Big guy walking with a little girl. But the challenge is, what happens after, because we have these garages with that amount of space and we don’t know what ownership will do down the road. So that’s a challenge. But again, to say that its inconsistent, it is inconsistent. I can be sensitive to the plight. I have three children, I walked the walk. When my wife was 36 years old, I had a two, five and seven-year-old, and she had cancer. I get it, Been there. So, but it still can’t change all the other people who are affected by this down the road. My property backs up to a vacant lot. Am I going to have a 7 car garage, behind me, 1,100 s.f., if we kick the door open apparently the architectural committee feels like we could. So that is a challenge. So again, as far as the view, the vehicles go, you know parked. The odd thing is you know we have covenants, and then again, I didn’t know the covenants didn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the municipality. And so, my experience is, and I’ve been in areas that have this consistent esthetic, where they say no trucks, no commercial vehicles, I lived in them. So, you comply, there’s nothing you can do.
Do I have three cars, do I have to throw some of the kids toys outside, I may have done that, so the challenges, the risk is, and I hope the board considers this, it’s not the moment in time today that we need to be concerned about. It’s what in fact those structures become at some other point, and is it consistent with the neighborhood, when you soak up that kind of space in between the buildings, no you’re gonna [inaudible]… that property that you have on the corner, show piece, and a 1,100 square feet will change the dynamic. And I think that was what we kind of heard here. So, I’ll thank you for your time.
Nick Georgiou - 9412 Jack Drive: I had submitted that letter of remonstrance, and I thought that would be succinct, but unfortunately I have heard some misstatements tonight that I just want to clarify. I moved into the subdivision because of the covenants and the restrictions that were in place that we looked at before we dug one shovel into this property. And one of those was no commercial vehicles to be outside. Mr. Engle misstated in that Jack Slager and Schilling Development issued him three violation letters for having a commercial vehicle parked outside. That was not my doing, it was my pointing it out to him, the developer and the developer manager agreed that it was a violation. That, so be it, is what caused him to finally get is van into the garage. The resolution that is being presented tonight, as I stated in my letter, I disagree that it sets a bad precedence, just much like Jim says. I thought his was a very nice subdivision and I don’t think it was intended that we have five car garages and over 1,500 square feet of garage placed there.
Unknown: One of the neighbors, I just wanted to say had asked me to deliver, at least his statement letter, it’s Mr. Viator of 9861 Jack Drive, that he is opposed. He and his wife have signed it, if you like I can deliver it to you.
Mr. Schneider asked the gentleman if he wanted to read it. Mr. Kil advised that he should read it into the record and then present it to Mr. Schneider, so then you can put it into the file.
Unknown: “Its dated October 24, 2016. To Whom it may concern, we are expressing our objection and concern to allowing a resident in the Crossing Creek subdivision to build an oversize structure to be used as an additional garage. This does not feel consistent with the architectural design and the high standards in the subdivision. Russ and Pam Viator.”
Paul Warren – 9844 Jack Drive: My personal opinion is that I would rather have Shawn be able to park his van out on the street. It’ a white work van, it not big, it’s not.,.um. He’s a working guy and I have no problem with that. It was brought up that they talked about the architectural committee approved this, and from my covenants I show that the covenants are the architectural committee appears to be defunct as of January 1,2015. In our covenants, it says an architectural committee is hereby form consisting of the stockholders of SLMD Company, Incorporated. The architectural committee shall be in effect until all lots have been erected, residential structures “or” January 1, 2015, whichever occurs first. If I read that correctly, and then it goes plans and specifications for any residence or drawings for any houses to erected on any lot must first secure the approval of an architectural committee. To me, that brings up a problem. Because, who do you submit this stuff to now.
Obviously when they started this, they thought they would be completed by 2015, well, 2008 happened. I trust Shawn to build a good looking garage, it looks a little large to me, 37’ x 25’ is a huge building on a lot that size. I understand where he’s coming from. I don’t want to lose Shawn as a neighbor. I spent 31 years as a policeman, negotiating, trying to fix problems like this, on calls on usually a weekly basis, somewhere in the town I worked. So I’m not trying to start it here, but I just think we have to consider what Mr. Johnson said, what’s coming down the line. In the future, will they have to come back to you, because there is no architectural committee. What is our recourse then? And I don’t know who the Association is, I don’t even have a record if there is an association. So, I guess my concern is. I’m 65, I came here to live and I want to sit in my back yard and see what I see now, and not something other than what the covenants currently say. Okay, so, that’s my piece.
With no further Public Comment, Mr. Schneider closed the floor, and brought the matt back to the board.
Mr. Schneider asked about the size and if there was a reason why he was seeking a two car garage. Mr. Engle stated that he thought that if he put just a single garage it would look goofy with the frontage, how the front of our house looks. Mr. Engle stated that he didn’t really want to build the garage, but that is why I am building it that way. To make it look nice. And that is why it is going to cost so much money. The only reason why this whole thing… I do not want to spend $50,000.00 on a garage. The only reason why I am doing this, is because I have one person in my subdivision that is suing me over it personally. So, Nick cannot be happy with my van outside, so what am I supposed to do? And then he made the comment to, also, somebody made the comment about well just make do and put my kids toys outside. Well I don’t want to put my kids toys outside. I want to keep our subdivision nice. I don’t want to be the hillbilly neighbor that has all the toys laying all over the place. We keep everything in the garage. That is why we are building this structure, to make things right. How am I supposed to make this right if I can’t do this?
Mr. Williams asked if there was any possibility of expanding the existing garage that would allow you to park these two vans. Discussion ensued about the side yard set-backs and that as the existing structure stands it cannot expand without going into the set-backs.
Mr. Williams noted that with the existing garage this would place it well over the 1,100 s.f. maximum of the Zoning Ordinance, at 1,525 s.f., and inquired if there was a way of reducing the size of the detached garage that he is requesting in order to get closer to conflict resolution.
Mr. Engle stated that one of the reasons he was going this large was for a future cabana; since he was having to spend this amount of money he wanted to get it right.
Mr. Panczuk asked about the vehicles in question for clarification. Mr. Engle advised there are two large vans and one SUV.
Mr. Schneider calculated that if Mr. Engle went down to a 14’ x 36’ garage it would put them at 504 s.f., which would only be 4 s.f. over the ordinance and take one variance out of the picture. Mr. Panczuk commented that size of structure is an issue, the fact that it is detached is an issue, and felt that he could expand the existing garage, keeping it within the zoning ordinance requirements and would not even need a variance, felt that he just needed the right architect to make it look right.
Mr. Schneider asked if the roof attachment (breezeway), could be considered then attached? Mr. Kil advised that is a judgement call, but as he told the petitioner if you are coming to the BZA you might as well ask for what you want. A roof would not normally constitute attachment, walls would, and with that being said he wants to build something like and kind to the home structure and the nice subdivision and making sure it does not look goofy.
Mr. Panczuk discussed the open space and the comments made by some of the surrounding property owners.
Mr. Kennedy inquired about the lawsuit that the petitioner said was pending due to having his vans parked outside. Mr. Engle advised that is correct, Mr. Georgiou is suing him on that matter. Mr. Kennedy asked if there was a time table on when a decision would be made, considering that a judge may decide that you can park your vans outside, then you would not need the garage. Mr. Engle advised that his attorney and the opposing attorney have spoken on this issue and say that it is a touchy subject when it comes to homeowners’ associations, so he was advised by his attorney to come here and build what is needed to make it right.
Discussion ensued as to attempting to make the detached garage smaller in order to come closer to the regulations. Mr. Kil reiterated for the board members that the petitioner is willing to adjust the depth, noting that the ordinance allows two accessory buildings and the cabana can be built on later. Mr. Williams suggesting that the detached garage, giving credit for the two additional structures totaling 260 s.f. Mr. Kil noted that the ordinance, he believes, says that the two accessory structures are “independent of detached garages”. Mr. Kil stated he felt they should concentrate now on the two requests that are being made. One, the detached garage, and two, he is requesting to exceed the square footage of the ordinance. Mr. Kil noted that is the board is okay with a detached garage, however, not with the square footage, that the petitioner has offered to remove 175 s.f. off the size.
Mr. Muenich made a clarification to the one point of zoning ordinance; Section D: Accessory Building Uses under R-2 District, and an issue I don’t want to address, but I don’t want someone to rely on the addition. Excluding garage structures with a primary purpose of parking “passenger vehicles”, a maximum of two accessory structures are permitted provided that the square footage all accessory buildings does not exceed 250 square feet. Mr. Muenich felt that it includes a “commercial vehicle” as you define them. Mr. Kil stated if it was an R.V., a semi-tractor trailer that’s not a passenger vehicle; however, an SUV, a pick-up, a van, a sedan, he would not debate what is a passenger vehicle and what is not and feels that is not an argument to get into.
Mr. Panczuk wished to state his thoughts by reading the zoning section R-2, F-2 Parking Requirements, detached garages may only be allowed with the approval of a developmental variance and shall be consistent with the style and materials of the dwelling and I think we can agree on that, and we have approved a few and it looks like it belonged there the whole time. And I believe that is what he is proposing, he would however like to see the size more toward the 1,100 s.f.
Mr. Muenich advised the board that they do have the option to defer this matter to allow the petitioner to prepare a different architectural layout, without approval or denying at this point. He does not believe there is a time limit, but would suggest a reasonable one be set. This is up to your and the petitioner, but he feels that everyone is looking for a compromise. Mr. Muenich reminded them that he would not have to re-publish, this would be a continuance of the public hearing to the next meeting.
After further discussion, Mr. Panczuk made a motion to defer the matter to the next regular meeting while petitioner works with his architect on other options. Motion seconded by Mr. Kennedy. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays. This matter will be placed on the November 28, 2016 meeting agenda.
C. LEVIN TIRE – 8575 Wicker Avenue – Developmental and Special Exception Variance
Ms. Courtney Cash of DVG introduced herself, advising that she is representing Mr. Barry Levin. He is the owner of the parcel at 8575 Wicker Avenue, commonly known as the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and 85th Avenue by Bingo Lake.
Mr. Muenich noted that all proofs of publication and notices are in order and you are proper to proceed, further that Ms. Cash has limited Power of Attorney in this matter.
Ms. Cash proceeded, advising that she is seeking four (4) variances for the parcel. Variance One being a Special Exception to allow for an automobile service station to be a permitted use in the C-2 Highway Commercial District and the U.S. 41 Overlay District. Variance Two is a Developmental/Technical variance to allow for parking between the U.S. 41 right-of-way and the front build-to line of the principle building. Variance Three is a Developmental/Technical variance to allow for the principle building to be located between the rear building line and the right-of-way along the proposed frontage road in the rear. Variance Four is a Developmental/Technical variance to allow for parking outside of the side and/or rear of the principle building.
Discussion ensued for general clarification of the variances requested. Mr. Kil noted that the Zoning Ordinance does not allow an automobile service station; which is the only classification that this would logically fit into for Levin Tire, so she is here requesting a Special Exception from the board in which you would make a recommendation to the Town Council, either favorable or unfavorable. The other three (3) that she references are developmental variances, which the board acts upon decisively, meaning approve or deny.
Mr. Panczuk inquired if there was consideration to reverse the property to address most of the concerns, inverting the plan to have the service bays to the East, away from U.S. 41, making the front more esthetically pleasing. Ms. Cash advised that some of the bays would be drive-pull through, so you would have that either way, so you would have openings on the back as well. There are three or four of them. Mr. Panczuk was concerned about the Comprehensive Plan that is in place with the U.S. 41 overlay, trying to guide away from these types of doors facing the highway.
Mr. Williams asked about the road cuts on U.S. 41. Mr. Kil advised that they are consolidating the cuts on U.S. 41. They are going from two (2) to one (1), and right now it is a full access cut, the updated version would be right-in and right-out only and is a Plan Commission matter. Ms. Cash also noted that they have to also get INDOT approval.
Mr. Schneider asked about the extension of Kolling Road. Mr. Kil advised they would put that extension over their property, as shown, but again this would be a Plan Commission matter. Also, Mr. Meyers who has been patiently waiting here will be coming to the Plan Commission for discussion on the frontage road. Mr. Kil advised that he has had a staff meeting with both Ms. Cash and Mr. Meyers and noted that this is all Plan Commission matters.
Mr. Schneider was inquiring about what leeway they have in relation to that frontage road. Mr. Kil advised that the frontage is going where it is shown, specially due to the constraints of Bingo Lake.
Mr. Kennedy asked for clarification as to automobile service station versus the definition of gas station. Mr. Kil advised that there will be a petitioner next month on that matter, and the automobile service station is a generic term used in the ordinance used for any and all services of automobiles, and it falls in that general broad classification, which requires that they come before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Williams and Mr. Muenich discussed the definitions in order to grant the appropriate variance in regards to verbiage. After discussion it was concluded that the Special Exception would be for an “automobile repair station”, in order for no petroleum products to come in at a later date.
Mr. Panczuk brought to discussion the layout of the facility and the U.S. 41 overlay, and would prefer that the bay doors face the frontage road instead. Mr. Schneider advised that he is familiar with a nearby community that has the same ordinance, and due to the parking in the rear they have many vacancies, and he believes there are exceptions to the rule.
Mr. Kil explained that the board needs to make the simple decision whether to allow an Automobile Repair Station, by sending a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council, that is for the Special Exception Use. Suggested that they concentrate on the use only, that the Town Council weighs heavily through this vetting process of this board and your decision is to consider if this is a proper use for this corridor or this district.
Mr. Schneider opened the floor to public comment. With no public comment, Mr. Schneider closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board.
Mr. Schneider entertained a motion for a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the Town Council for the Special Exception of an Automobile Repair Station.
Mr. Williams made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for an Automobile Repair Station within the C-2 U.S. 41 Overlay District, with the condition forbidding the sale or gasoline and/or petroleum products. Mr. Kennedy seconded motion. Motion carried 3 ayes – 1 nay.
Mr. Schneider advised that they would now take up the developmental/technical variances before the board; parking between U.S. 41 and the right-of-way to the front of the building line, request for building to be relocated between rear building line and the right-of-way of the frontage road, and to allow parking outside of the side and/or rear of the building.
Mr. Panczuk reiterated that he is not actually opposed to it, but I am opposed to the current layout and believes the plan can be reversed without any hardship or difficulty.
Ms. Cash commented that if you look at surrounding businesses, most of them have parking in the front, along U.S. 41. Taco Bell, Speedway, DeYoung, the Car Wash and the Credit Union. Mr. Panczuk advised he was still opposed to the bays on the front side due to noise, esthetics, and other factors that do not conform to the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Schneider opened the floor to public comment on the last three variance requests. With no public comment, Mr. Schneider closed the floor and brought the matter back to the board.
Discussion ensued with Ms. Cash as to deferring the matter and contacting staff to discuss some of their concerns and possibly bring back a different plan. Mr. Muenich advised that is definitely an option to just continue the public hearing to their next meeting, this will allow the petitioner time to reconsider the layout without having to republish the notice.
Mr. Panczuk made a motion to defer all the Developmental/Technical variances to November 28, 2016 meeting. Motion seconded by Mr. Williams. Motion carried 4 ayes – 0 nays.
With no further business before the board the meeting was adjourned.
Michelle L. Haluska, Recording Secretary pro-tem
St. John Board of Zoning Appeals