Board of Zoning Appeals -- Minutes
MINUTES – BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
City of Trenton, Ohio
Date: July 25, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
MEETING PLACE: CIVIC HALL - 11 EAST STATE STREET
CALL TO ORDER – The meeting was called to order at 6:58 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE - Recited
ROLL CALL – All members of the BZA was present along with City Attorney Pat Binns and Bill Jones.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: A motion to approve the minutes of the February 22, 2016 meeting by Mr. Yontz, second by Ms. Matala. The motion was carried by a Nichols, Matala, Yontz and Archibald, Mr. Perry abstained.
PRESENTATIONS - None
NEW BUSINESS Stephanie Hollister of 600 Kenwood Lane has requested a variance for the placement of a privacy fence. She believes that she has a practical difficulty because of the shape of her parcel.
Swearing in of witnesses – Mr. Jones and Stephanie Hollister were sworn in.
Mr. Jones went over exhibit G, the original application for a fence. Exhibit H was a denial letter sent to Ms. Hollister for the fence application. Mr. Jones did want to make it on the record that the variance request was put in after the 30 day period but it was accepted because Ms. Hollister and Bill Jones were on vacation during that period.
Mr. Jones went on to explain the code definitions of a front, side and rear yard and explained these definitions as they pertained to 600 Kenwood Ln.
Mr. Jones went on to explain on Exhibit D, the City code regulations for corner lots. He also went over Exhibit F which is an aerial view of 600 Kenwood and where a fence can be located and also where she has indicated she wants to place a fence.
Mr. Jones went on to explain that Ms. Hollister is making a claim for a practical difficulty because of the shape of her land or parcel. Mr. Jones explained that the reason for this is because the two intersecting streets are not at a 90 degree. W. Aberdeen is slanted taking away somewhat her land. Mr. Jones does not believe that there is enough of a limitation of the development of the land to call this a practical difficulty.
Ms. Hollister stated that she does believe this is a practical difficulty because the requirements for a fence would put her north side fence down the middle of her yard. This is limiting in the space of her yard for a future pool and shed. Also it creates wasted space. She would like a fence because she has two children and pets. W. Aberdeen is a busy street and she would like to protect her kids and pets. More discussion was made in reference to pool rules, setbacks and if there was enough room to place a pool in the rear yard. It is according to how large the pool is, there is room for a pool in the rear yard with the current fence regulations.
Discussions were had on the existing fence located at 521 Clara and how Ms. Hollister wants to put a fence along the existing fence. Discussions were had about the City’s responsibility of property outside of the right of way.
Ms. Hollister said that she has future plans of putting in a 33’ round above ground pool. Questions were raised if this pool and a shed would fit in the rear yard with the current rules and Ms. Hollister believes that it would fit but the entire back yard would be taken up.
Criteria 1. The requested variance is justified by a practical difficulty: Mr. Jones stated that he does not believe the applicant has met the definition. Yes, there is a limitation on the rear yard because of the rules but it is not like she cannot put in a pool and a shed under the current fence regulations and she does have reasonable functionality in the rear yard. Nothing to add by Ms. Hollister.
Criteria 2. The practical difficulty was not created by the unlawful acts or omissions of any owner or tenant: The City believes this should be a yes answer, the applicant had nothing to do with the shape of the parcel. Nothing to add by Ms. Hollister.
Criteria 3. The practical difficulty does not commonly occur in any neighborhood in the City having the same zoning classification as the subject property: The City believes this is a yes. Houses on the same corner against West Aberdeen may have the same problem, this does not commonly occur in the City.
Criteria 4. Approval of the variance would not materially damage the character of the neighborhood: The City believes this is a yes. We see no damage to the neighborhood. In her case, it would not.
Criteria 5. Approval of the variance would not violate a significant legislative purpose of the Zoning Code. The City believes this is a no. The City does have this barrier between the right-of-way which is to protect the area around the right-of-way. A second reason for the no response is because putting in the fence as she proposes is to perpetuate the neighbor’s legal non-conforming fence. All being a significant violation of the purpose of the City code.
Applicant had no response.
Criteria 6. Approval of the variance would not reduce the efficiency of emergency services or adversely and unreasonably affect non-emergency public services. The proposal would not harm emergency services but the City does believe it could adversely affect the public services. Mr. Jones wanted to reiterate that it would be rare that public works has to go out of the
Applicant had nothing more to add.
Criteria 7. There is no reasonable solution to the practical difficulty other than a variance and the variance requested is the least that can reasonably reduce the practical difficulty: The City’s answer to this is no. It is possible for her to put in a fence and the reasonable thing to do is to stay out of the 20 foot set back area. Also by placing the fence as proposed would perpetuate the neighbor’s legal non-conforming fence.
Following this, there was a long discussion on options to the proposal. Mr. Jones’ opinion was the Board could alter the proposal as a condition where maybe the Board could say the current proposal is too much and wanted to grant something different. There was a very long discussion on this between Pat Binns and Bill Jones. Mr. Binns believes that the Board either votes yes or no on what was proposed and they do not have the discretion to offer a passage of the variance request with conditions. There was also a discussion on Criteria 5 where each time a variance request should be a no. Mr. Jones explained that the term the Board has to consider is “significant”. It is hard to make these decisions but that is what the Board is supposed to do.
After much discussion, Mr. Yontz made a motion to table this matter until next month and see if these answers can be answered next month. There was no second to this motion and it did not pass.
Mr. Yontz made a second motion to continue the meeting to next month so these issues can be answered, no second, the motion did not pass.
Criteria 1. Yes: Perry, Yontz, Matala (3). No: Nichols, Archibald (2)
Criteria 2. Yes: Unanimous
Criteria 3. Yes: Nichols, Perry, Yontz, Matala (4). No: Archibald (1)
Criteria 4. Yes: Unanimous
Criteria 5. Yes: Perry, Matalla (2). No: Nichols, Yontz, Archibald (3)
Criteria 6. Yes: Unanimous
Criteria 7. Yes: Nichols, Perry, Yontz, Matalla (4). No: Archibald (1)
MOTIONS AND VOTING
A motion was made by Ms. Archibald to deny the request, second by Mr. Nichols. A unanimous vote was made to approve the motion, the variance request was denied.
REPORTS: Mr. Jones wanted to wish the family of Dale Perry well-being and prayers for the passing of Dale’s step father last week. No other reports.
NEXT MEETING: August 22, 2016 if needed.
ADJOURNMENT: A motion was made to adjourn by Ms. Matala, second by Mr. Nichols. The motion passed by a unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.