of Adjustment Hearing
Valley Board of Adjustment, pursuant to notices posted at City Hall in the
Fru-Con Building met to consider three agenda items.
of Adjustment members present were:
Darryl Brody, Chairperson
Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon
recorded the Minutes.
meeting was called to order and protocol established, Chairman Darryl Brody
explained there were three items shown on the agenda; however, the petitioner
for agenda item number-two was found to not have proper submittals and would be
attending a subsequent meeting when the architect has drawn the front, rear and
side elevations. It was declared
this item would be removed from the agenda.
The Chairman also noted the first agenda item required amending as well
as the Memo from the Building Commissioner, both gave incorrect footage requests
for the variance.
Mr. Brody asked
if everyone had an opportunity to view the properties, to which all Commission
Members affirmed they had. He then
asked the two petitioners if they had objections to any of the Members of the
Board of Adjustment comprising the quorum? To which the two petitioners responded they did not.
He swore in those members in the audience wishing to address the
Commission regarding both remaining agenda items.
They were Mr. Geoffrey and Mrs. Paula Douglass; Dan McCart, representing
Drs. Edwards and Jones; Scott Schultz, Trustee of Forest Hills Club Estates;
Honora Schiller, Alderperson serving Ward 2 and representing herself as a
homeowner four doors from one of the petitioners; and Eugene Mleczko, who
resides at 9 Chippenham, across the street from Drs. Edwards and Jones.
read the amended Notice of Public Hearing for the first agenda item regarding
Mr. and Mrs. Douglass's request: To construct a proposed garage addition that
would encroach 13' 3-3/4" on the 75' rear building line.
Douglass introduced himself and his wife, gave the correct spelling of his name
and gave his address for the record. He
stated he was seeking a variance request to enlarge an existing two-car garage
to a three-car garage. He said he
was requesting it be located in the rear as this would be the least obtrusive.
When he originally proposed this to the architect, there were three ways
to enlarge the garage, all three would require a variance.
A bump-out to the front was proposed, but there were mature trees that
would require removal. Plus they
did not want to go that much forward of the house.
They could have gone to the side, but again would have to remove mature
trees, plus there is a swale for water runoff that would require relocating -
along with the driveway being relocated. From
the rear, even though the lot abuts Kehrs Mill Road, there is no way the garage
addition could be seen due to landscaping.
who is the Planning and Zoning Chairman, spoke on the proposal as a proponent.
He said he had no problem with this request and explained that because
the Douglass's lot fronts and backs two streets, their building footprint is
There were no
Mr. Brody said
if this proposal were approved tonight, the full working plans would be required
along with an application for a building permit.
Attorney, Patrick Butler, explained to the Board Members the intent of the
zoning code and read the merits and conclusion portion contained therein.
Chairperson, Darryl Brody, asked the Members for their factual determination of
the proposal to which: question (1) five are, (2) five will not,
(3) five will, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6)
then called for a vote for the amended application to grant the desired variance
for Geoffrey Douglass's garage with the following results:
Yeas: Brody, DeGrendele,
Green, Newmark, and Rosenstrauch. There
were no nays. The Chairperson
declared the petition as being approved. The
Chairperson advised Mr. Douglass that the variance granted by the Board is based
upon the plans, which were submitted tonight.
Any change in those plans will negate the variance that was granted at
then read the Notice of Public Hearing for the third agenda item regarding Drs.
Charmaine Edwards and Osman Jones's request: To receive permission for two
newly-constructed lighted driveway pillars built framing existing lamp posts
approximately 71' beyond the front setback.
Mr. Dan McCart
of Legacy Homes introduced himself and stated he was the Edwards/Jones's
contractor and was here tonight representing the petitioners.
He first apologized for the pillars being installed without a permit and
related how he and his partner, Brian, applied for and were granted a permit for
a remodeling project to the front of the home at 10 Chippenham Lane in May of
this year. They hired
sub-contractors to do the stone and brickwork for this project and the subs were
the ones that convinced the Edwards/Jones's they could refinish the lampposts
and that permits were not necessary because the pillars contained no footings.
Through discussion, it could not be determined on the site plan where the
street ended and where the easement began and where, within those constraints,
the pillars were located.
A call for
proponents came and there was none.
Schultz, Chairman of Forest Hills Club Estates Homeowners Association spoke as
an opponent saying he and several other trustees approved the initial project,
which did not contain the pillars. He
said that last week he met with several of the trustees to review the pillar
request and they did not approve it. He
said in this particular instance, there were two pillars containing one
composition and a mailbox monument of a different material.
"Our position as Trustees", he said, "is we will not
approve these. As far as we know,
they are in the easement."
DeGrendele, who sits on the Board, reminded those present that while he served
at Forest Hills Club Estates Chairman of Homeowners Association, a similar
situation arose. The Meirs moved to
Greenbank Drive at the southeast corner of Crownhill and promptly began
construction on the home's interior with no permit.
While stop work orders were being initiated, pallets of brick were
delivered and placed at the ends of the circular driveway, indicating that
pillars were going to be built. The
Meirs attended several Board of Adjustment Hearings and ultimately were denied
their requests. The Meirs moved out
of the City and upon sale of the Meirs home, the Trustees resolved the matter by
contracting to have the pillars removed - at the subdivision's expense.
He concluded by saying the reason they were never granted a variance was
one of liability. If it is in a
subdivision easement, who takes on the responsibility of liability?
There is also a similar situation across the street from Dr. Edwards.
Darryl Brody, reminded everyone that all streets within the subdivisions are
owned by the subdivisions. The City
Attorney stated that if you look at Federal Law, all of these pillars and
monuments should contain breakaway designs, but the Fed doesn't regulate that so
Clarkson Valley decided they couldn't regulate it either. Mr. Frank Hodgdon stated that it is a terrible liability for
Mleczko introduced himself as a neighbor who lives across the street from the
Edwards/Jones's. He informed those
present that Chippenham Lane has a 40' wide right-of-way.
He threw in for the record that Seven Oaks and Forest Club Drives
contained 50' wide rights-of-way. He
said that Chippenham contained 22' of pavement on either side that is owned by
the subdivision and additionally a 9' swath from the curb extending inward on
each property - owned by the subdivision but maintained by each homeowner.
There is no question the property in question has pillars located in the
right-of-way. He also indicated
there is a utility easement in each of the two side yards. Mr. Mleczko did state for the record, however, the lampposts
were in existence when he bought his home in May 1978.
Schiller introduced herself, stating she serves as Alderperson from Ward 2 and
she also lives several houses down from the Edwards/Jones's house.
She agreed the pillars existed, but she never noticed them until they
were boxed-in with white stone veneer. Now,
she said, as soon as you turn onto her side of Chippenham Lane, all you see are
At this point,
Mr. McCart asked those present to read the definition of structure sometime when
they get a chance. He feels, and
would hope some agree, the definition is vague.
Then he asked that this request for variance be tabled until a future
date and until the time a more accurate site plan and information regarding
elevations can be secured.
Mr. Brody asked
the Members to vote on Mr. McCart's request for tabling and determined a simple
majority was necessary for passage. A
roll call vote was taken with the following results: Yeas: Brody, DeGrendele, Green, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.
There were no nays. The
request to table passed. Mr. Brody
concluded the meeting by saying to Mr. McCart that it is the Board's desire that
he relate to the homeowners that even if this request comes back with all the
data requested tonight, he is not sure they would approve it.
The Board Members all appeared to be nodding in agreement.
At 8:30 p.m.
the meeting was adjourned.
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