MINUTES

Board of Adjustment Hearing

September 30, 2014

 

The Clarkson Valley Board of Adjustment, pursuant to notices posted, met at City Hall in the Clarkson Executive Center to consider three agenda items.

 

            Board of Adjustment Members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairperson

                        Jack Hauser

                        Paul Mercurio

                        Phyllis Newmark, Alternate

                        Terry Rosenstrauch, Alternate

 

The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Member Jim Barry, Tom Berkeley and Karen Koshak were unable to attend. 

 

The City Attorney and Chairman explained to the petitioners they are present tonight to ask this Board to permit a variance from the Clarkson Valley Code 405.060.E.3. establishing that no building shall intrude upon the area required for front, side and rear yards by proving practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the carrying out of the provisions of the code due to topographic or other conditions.    

 

A Board for these adjustment requests consists of five members and a concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to effect a variation in the Zoning Ordinance.  The Chairperson then asked the petitioners if they had objections to any of the Members of the Board of Adjustment, to which they responded they did not.  He then asked the Board Members if they had an opportunity to view the properties to which all stated they had.  After the meeting was called to order and protocol established, the petitioners, and three contractors were sworn in.  Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for all three agenda items. 

 

1.  To consider the request of:

            Steve & Leanne Caret

            16724 Kehrs Mill Estates Drive

            Clarkson Valley, MO 63005

to construct an attached/detached garage that would encroach 3’10” into the rear yard setback.

 

2.  To consider the request of:

            Michael (Ryan) & Angie Peters

            3 Greenbank Drive

            Clarkson Valley, MO 63005

to construct steps that will require 2 retaining walls; 2’4” tall wall to encroach 42’ beyond the 75’ front building line; and 1’0” tall to encroach 57’ beyond the front building line.

 

3.  To consider the request of:

Tim & Sheri Ferry

6 Fairlake Drive

Clarkson Valley, MO 63005

      to allow a brick fireplace to encroach 20.5’ into the 50’ rear yard setback.

 

Mr. Steve Kemper, owner of SK Construction introduced himself stating he is representing the Carets, who are unable to attend, and will be the general contractor should this be approved tonight.  He said the Carets recently purchased the house and Mr. Caret wanted a garage addition.  In preparation for doing this, it was necessary for him to remove an existing gazebo and deck both of which were covered with decorative wood in an attempt to disguise termite damage.  He further explained the existing garage has a small gable and the Carets wanted to extend that look to the addition.  They also wanted to maintain a 6’ wide pathway with existing arches left over from the gazebo that would connect to the fence and the portion of the gazebo they were keeping.   

 

            Discussion took place regarding whether it was a hardship to the land.  The Board also mentioned if the 6’ wide path connecting the garage to the fence and gazebo were not as wide, the project would fit within the building lines. 

 

The Chairman called for proponents or opponents, to which there were none.  There was no one from the City to speak on the proposal.

 

The City Attorney, Patrick Butler explained to the Board Members the intent of the zoning code and read the merits and conclusion portion contained therein. 

 

Darryl Brody read the Agenda item again and then asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal for the 3'10" variance to the 50’ rear yard setback to construct an attached/detached garage addition to which: question (1) one are, four are not, (2) five will, (3) five will not, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance for the attached/detached garage addition to extend no farther than 3'10” beyond the rear building line with the following results:  Yeas: Hauser and Newmark.  Nays:  Brody, Mercurio and Rosenstrauch. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Clarets request for variance as not approved.  The City Attorney welcomed the petitioner to come back to this Board with an alternate plan. 

 

Darryl Brody gave the floor to Mrs. Angela Peters who introduced herself, saying her husband is out of town.  She said they recently moved into Clarkson Valley and were unaware they were required to get a permit for a 1’ – 2-1/2’ retaining wall, as was their contractor.  She apologized to the Board for beginning construction prior to approval and said she reached out to the neighbors to apologize.  She explained the nature of the lot and said the hill is unusable as it is now. 

 

There were some questions, but unfortunately, her contractor did not show tonight.  The length of the walls became an issue.  She explained this was her husband’s project and with him being out of town, she was unable to answer the questions.  A question came up as to the width of the stairway and another question was if they were required to have guard rails. 

 

The City Attorney explained the necessity for knowing the length of the wall.  The Board Members thought it best, at this time to remove this request from tonight’s docket and continue the case at a future meeting.  Mrs. Peters agreed.

 

Chairman Brody re-read the last agenda item:  to allow a brick fireplace to encroach 20.5’ into the 50’ rear yard setback.

 

Sheri Ferry introduced herself, her general contractor, Jeff Bogard, responsible for construction of the newly constructed house and the contractor, Jason Huckster, responsible for building the fireplace they were discussing tonight.  She told the history of the “forever” house and said when they presented the city with the application and plans; it was just for the house.  She said she began piling projects on her builder, such as the patio, etc.  Without any real thought, the fireplace was added.  She apologized to the Board Members present as did the builder, both saying they never thought about the project requiring a permit.  She said that during the building of the house, they attempted to do everything right.  Contacted neighbors, made sure the streets were clean from any debris, keeping the street parking to one side – especially on trash day, etc.  They attempted to be extremely conscientious and aware that neighbors wouldn’t be happy with all the construction and to always do the right thing with the city.  She explained that she found out about the project being beyond the building lines when attempting to get the final approval from the building commissioner in order to gain occupancy.  She and her contractor have been upset ever since.  They are before this Board this evening in an attempt to obtain a variance from the code in order to keep the fireplace.

 

She explained how the request requires permission from her neighbors and said the two neighbors on either side were not even aware the fireplace existed and had to look at it for themselves as they were surprised not to have noticed it.  The person living behind them loved the fireplace.

 

            Board Member, Phyllis Newmark, asked the landscaping contractor if he ever built before in Clarkson Valley, also interjecting that we are not the only city with building lines?  She asked if he had a plot plan to which Jason said he did.  He explained that it was inexperience on his part.  Mrs. Ferry explained that she always thought of a structure as being something that contained a roof.  Discussion turned to types of fireplaces that would be allowed.  Then Board Member, Jack Hauser, mentioned the woods being in close proximity which might pose a fire hazard.  Board Member, Paul Mercurio, who happens to be an assistant fire chief for the City of Clayton responded there was no more hazard from that fireplace than from any other he has ever seen.  Another question posed was what are the consequences for not filing a permit and building the fireplace?  The City Attorney responded that fees would be doubled.  Mention was made by Mrs. Ferry of the neighbor’s property that contained a fireplace and wondered if it were within the building lines and the Board Chairman said he saw it as well.  Discussion from the City Attorney also was directed at the patio on grade that was beyond the building lines and he read the definition of front yard and back yard from the Code. 

 

Mrs. Ferry concluded by saying her family loves this house.  She said she really does not want the type of fireplace that is on wheels that you would pull out when needed.  She said she and her husband put a lot of money into the house and the fireplace.    

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made, to which there were none.  There was no one from the City to speak on behalf of the proposal.  There were no further questions. 

 

The City Attorney, Patrick Butler reminded the Board Members of the intent of the zoning code and the merits and conclusion portion contained therein. 

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the variance to allow a brick fireplace to encroach 20.5’ into the 50’ rear yard setback consistent with the plans submitted, to which: question (1) five are not, (2) five will, (3) five will not, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) two will, three will not.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance for the fireplace to encroach 20.5’ into the 50’ rear yard setback along with the patio on grade with the following results:  Yeas: Hauser, Newmark, Rosenstrauch.  Nays:  Brody and Mercurio.

 

The Chairperson declared the Ferry’s request for variance as not approved.  The City Attorney welcomed the petitioner to come back to this Board with an alternate plan. 

 

            The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

 

           

 

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley