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BZA MEETING November 20, 2014

 

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday November 20, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

 

Roll Call

Present: Randy Conwell, Carl Hites, David Rosenbarger, Dennis Sterrett, Richard Holmes.

Also attending were Executive Director Joe Rogers, Attorney Abigail Diener and Board Secretary Jennifer Hill.

 

Visitors attending were: Debbie Wert, Larry & Pam Leman, Jerry & Donna Zerth, Brian Putt, Noel Salinas, Tim & Lana Conroy, Matt Page, Doug Wagner (White County Building Inspector), Michael Burns, Clem Kuns (with TBIRD Design), Brian Beeks, Robert Morrow, Michael Clerget and Jason Ramsland.

 

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Holmes at 5:58 p.m.

 

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Business

Minutes: Chairman Richard Holmes stated he had some changes to the minutes. The votes for the Hubbard fines were 4 in favor 1 against, he voted against it, it wasn’t unanimous, this is on page 3. Chairman Holmes requested the minutes be changed accordingly. Motion: To accept minutes with changes, Action: Approve, Moved by Dennis Sterrett, Seconded by David Rosenbarger.

Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote.

Yes: Carl Hites, David Rosenbarger, Dennis Sterrett, Randy Conwell, Richard Holmes.

Motion passed unanimously.

 

 

 

Robert Morrow Clarification: Executive Director Rogers stepped to the podium; he stated that Mr. Morrow wanted clarification on the variance he had received the previous month, File #2907. Executive Director Rogers stated that the position of the office is that the Mr. Morrow’s variance was granted for the size of the structure that was shown on the survey. Mr. Morrow stepped to the podium to explain his request for clarification on his Variance from the October meeting. Mr. Morrow explained that he’s attaching a garage to his house, and the variance is specific to his South property line. Mr. Morrow stated that he wants to add a porch to the front of the garage to match the house. Mr. Morrow wants to know if he’ll have to reapply for an additional Variance for the extra 25’ along his south property line that is in excess of the site plan/survey submission he made last month. Board member Hites offered that when he considers Variances, he’s considering what the applicant is showing that they are going to build. Board member Rosenbarger agreed with Board member Hites. Executive Director Rogers stated that the Board isn’t able to consider what he’s wanting tonight; he’ll need to return in a month or so and apply for another Variance. Vote was taken to confirm that the Variance was only for the improvement size and location that was shown on the survey. Vote was taken by a show of hands. Vote Unanimous.

 

 

 

Variances & Special Exceptions

Note: At the introduction of each case hearing, Director Rogers requested that the Staff Report and affiliated documents be incorporated into the official record of the meeting, to be used as a reference document for developing the Findings of Fact for each hearing.

 

 

 

Variance Petition # 2909 Antonio & Mary Salinas

 

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record after submitting the Staff Report, as well as any subsequent documents in the packets given to the Board, into the record of the meeting. This request stems from a Building Permit violation, and Doug Wagner, White County Building Inspector, is in attendance to answer any questions. Director Rogers advised the Board that the office received one community contact in reference to this request. This individual was concerned that the request was related to his property, which it’s not; that person didn’t give an opinion in favor or against this request. Executive Director Rogers then provided photo documentation of the property in the petition. Mr. Doug Wagner, Building Inspector, stepped to the podium to discuss his findings at the location. Mr. Wagner stated that a portion of the structure is on the old boat house foundation, and that extends over onto his own property across an existing deck. Part of that does have the proper support to support the structure; part of it is in question. Mr. Hites questioned whether or not he stayed on the old foundation. Mr. Wagner answered not entirely. Noel Salinas, 8775 S. Oak View Drive, St. John, Indiana 46373, stepped to the podium to speak in regards to his request. Mr. Salinas clarified that everything was already there at the site when they bought the house, they just removed the railings and built walls and then built the roof up higher. Nothing was ever taken down it was just added to. Mr. Salinas stated that the small triangle was originally a deck, and they’ve turned that into a building. Executive Director Rogers stated that had that been left as a deck it would have been conforming. Executive Director Rogers clarified that Mr. Salinas had not received any encroachment permits from SFLECC.

 

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

 

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

 

Variance Petition # 2909- 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition # 2909 is approved.

 

Variance Petition # 2910 Timothy & Lana Conroy

 

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record after submitting the Staff Report, as well as any subsequent documents in the packets provided to the board, into the record of the meeting. There were no community communications concerning this Variance Request. Executive Director Rogers provided photo documentation of the properties in the petition. Executive Director Rogers advised the Board that the request is an exact duplication of a previous variance request, which had been granted. The new variance request is required because the previous variance becomes invalid once they alter the subject structure by more than 50% of its assessed value. Tim Conroy stepped to the podium to speak on behalf of his request. Mr. Conroy submitted two letters from neighbors that both approved of the proposed development. Executive Director Rogers read both letters into the record. Builder Matt Page stepped to the podium to answer questions of the board and added that they just want to improve the building, going taller with a two tiered roof to beautify things. Mr. Page also added, in reference to the foundation, that a portion of the foundation was unstable and they want to take the structure down, add to the good foundation to make a solid base for the house and then replace and improve the house structure.

 

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

 

Variance Petition #2910- 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition #2910 is approved.

 

Variance Petition #2911 Monticello United Methodist Church

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record after submitting the Staff Report, as well as any subsequent documents in the packets given to the Board, into the record of the meeting. He then provided photo documentation of the property pertaining to the petition. Executive Director Rogers stated he would like to make one clarification. It’s noted in the Staff Report that all the church properties are shown as R-2 except for one that is zoned B-1; the B-1 parcel was just rezoned this past Monday by the City Council of Monticello. There were no community communications to the office for this variance request; however, Executive Director Rogers did advise that he had spoken with a neighbor whose children use this facility and who spoke in favor of the request. Executive Director Rogers also advised, that in a conversation with a Monticello City Council Member, the member indicated that the City was in favor of this request as well. Executive Director Rogers explained that the Applicant was requesting 4 different variance requests and explained each briefly. Jason Ramsland spoke on behalf of Ball-Eggleston in place of Joe Bumbleburg who was called away. Mr. Ramsland explained the Variances being requested. Pastor Brian Beeks, Senior Pastor of United Methodist Church spoke on behalf of the church and gave a little background on where the Church has come from and where they plan on moving towards for the future. Michael Clerget stepped to the podium and asked if he could see plans on what the Church was going to be doing. He was provided copies of the site plan and survey by the Engineer Clem Kuns.

 

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

 

Variance Petition # 2911: 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; variance petition #2911 is approved.

 

Variance Petition #2912 Brian K. & Tamara Putt

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record after submitting the Staff Report, as well as any subsequent documents in the packets given to the Board, into the record of the meeting. He then provided photo documentation of the property pertaining to the petition as well as any information provided in Board Packets. Director Rogers advised the Board that the Staff had received 3 phone calls pertaining to this request from citizens in the area; two expressed no opinion in favor or against the request and the third party indicated they had no objection to the request. Mr. Brian Putt, 6061 S 1400 W, Francesville, spoke on behalf of his request and explained what would be on the cement pad and presented copies of drawings to the Board. He explained that it was going to be an irrigation system with tape underground that the water will run thru, all of which will come up to particular valves and then automatically water what I ask it to water. There will be filters about 4’ tall on top of the pad that the water will go thru, there will be another tank for when he decides that something needs to be mixed with the water prior to irrigation. Carl Hites asked if there was going to be a driveway involved, to which Mr. Putt stated no, he would just be parking alongside the road.

 

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

 

Variance Petition # 2912- 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition # 2912 is approved.

 

Variance Petition # 2913- Jerry Zerth

 

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report after entering the Staff Report, as well as any other documents provided in the Board packets, into the record of the meeting. He then provided photo documentation of the property pertaining to the petition. There were two community contacts on this request. The first, Executive Director Rogers read into the record a letter received from Patricia Fisher. The second, an undeclared neighbor called to request clarification and didn’t provide any opinion in favor or against the request. Director Rogers further stated that a letter was received from the City of Monticello in favor of the driveway. The City has also granted them a permit for the driveway. Executive Director Rogers brought to the Board’s attention that it was noticed that the carport was not placed 6ft from the property line as is required by the Ordinance and the Site Plan, which is a Zoning Ordinance Violation, and request that the Board take care of this matter at this meeting. Jerry Zerth stepped to the podium and spoke on behalf of his request. Chairman Holmes request if there was a reason that they couldn’t make it so the garage and carport were straight across in the back. Mr. Zerth stated they could move it closer to the garage if needed. Mr. Zerth was asked how the carport was attached to the concrete. Mr. Zerth stated that it was bolted down to the concrete. Mr. Hites asked Mr. Zerth if he wanted this hearing continued so he could apply for a Variance or if he wanted to move the carport so he could finish the driveway. Mr. Zerth stated the carport could be moved 4 ft.

Condition attached to the ballot: the carport must be moved to the east (towards 2nd St.) 4 ft. Motion by Shaker Hites that this condition be attached as a condition to this ballot, with a 2nd from David Rosenbarger. Motion approved unanimously.

 

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

 

Variance Petition # 2913- 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition # 2913 is approved with conditions.

 

 

Variance Petition # 2914- Larry & Pam Leman

 

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report after submitting the Staff Report, as well as any other documents provided in the Board packets, into the record of the meeting. He then provided photo documentation of the property pertaining to the petition. There was one community communication on the request, a visitor to the office, who wanted clarification on what was being done. Executive Director Rogers stated that they were shown the file and that they didn’t give an opinion in favor or against the request. Mr. Larry Leman, 7752 W 400 S, Winamac, stepped to the podium and spoke on behalf of his request. Mr. Leman explained that the subject residence was purchased to make as their full time home. Mr. Leman stated that when they purchased the home they were told it was a 2 car garage, at the time there were 2 dogs and 2 jet skis in the garage and they just looked through a small window. Mr. Leman said that it wasn’t until they went back and had the home inspected that they noticed that the garage wasn’t a 2 car garage. Mr. Leman did provide a drawing of the measurements of the garage and explained the request for the variance. Mr. Leman stated he would like to be able to put both vehicles in the garage out of inclement weather.

 

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

 

Variance Petition # 2914- 5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition # 2914 is approved.

 

 

Other Business:

 

Decision Criteria Compliance

Executive Director Rogers requested a discussion of ballot Decision Criteria #3 on the variance ballot. He emphasized that if an applicant does not comply with this criteria, by law, the variance must be denied. It has to be demonstrated that there is a practical difficulty. State sets out specific standards by which a Variance can be granted, if one of those 3 standards isn’t met then a variance can’t be granted. Item #3, the strict application terms of the zoning ordinance will/will not result in practical difficulty in use of the property. This is part of the state standard. An applicant has to prove practical difficulty before the variance can be approved. The last part of that criteria states that the request is not self-imposed or that the need for the variance is not based on a perceived reduction of, or restriction on, economic gain. The last two requirements were added by the legislative bodies to the mandated requirements. The legislative bodies also added three other requirements that they wanted considered. But the self-imposed wasn’t added to the ballot for a point to be considered by the board. They are saying that a variance shouldn’t be granted if it’s self –imposed. If the board doesn’t feel that they want to follow the direction of these requirements, then the Board needs to go to the APC and request that the APC amend the ordinance to either make that an optional criterion or to drop it. There was much discussion by the Board on this matter. In conclusion, Chairman Holmes and the Board requested clarification from the APC on the intent of this verbiage with 3 examples/definitions to help the Board understand their responsibility in evaluating variance requests.

 

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Jennifer Hill, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

 

 

 

 

___________________________

Joseph W. Rogers, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

 

 

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary Jennifer Hill “I AFFIRM, UNDER THE PENALTIES FOR PERJURY THAT I HAVE TAKEN REASONABLE CARE TO REDACT EACH SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IN THIS DOCUMENT, UNLESS REQUIRED BY LAW.” _______________________________________________