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BZA MEETING
April 20, 2017

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Present: Randy Conwell, Stan Minnick, Dennis Sterrett

Also attending were Executive Director Colin Betts, Board Secretary Annette Cobb, and Attorney, Jim Hodson

Absent: Dave Rosenbarger

Visitors attending were: Jack Tatman, Charles Roberts, Nathan Waggner, Denise Lopp, Eric Stevenson, Kym Landi, Dan Dumolin, Betsy Hall, Joel Hall, Rick Hall


The meeting was called to order by Dennis Sterrett, Vice Chairman at 6:00 P.M.

*****

Executive Director Colin Betts explained to the audience that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in May. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed.

 

Minutes – January 19, 2017 Hearing:

There was a motion by Randy Conwell and a second by Stan Minnick to approve the meeting minutes dated January 19, 2017 as written. Motion was carried unanimously.

Note: At the introduction of each case hearing, Director Betts introduced all documents provided the Board as a part of their meeting packet, the Staff Report and any affiliated file documents into the official record of the meeting. These documents, along with hearing testimony and hearing submittals, will be used for developing the Findings of Fact for each petition decision.

Variances & Special Exceptions

Variance Petition #2944-Tatman, Jack (continued from March 16, 2017). The applicant requested a 4’ rear variance for an attached garage vs the 20’ required.

Executive Director, Colin Betts, read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Vice-Chairman Dennis Sterrett asked the applicant if he would like to be heard tonight in front of the 3 member board or continue the hearing until there was a full board available. Jack Tatman, applicant, indicated he wished to proceed with the hearing. Mr. Tatman stated the reason that he would like to build an attached garage is because there is not enough storage for the residence and that has created an eyesore for the community. There is a significant need for an area to store bikes, lawn mowers, and other miscellaneous items. Mr. Tatman stated that there had been a detached garage and a car port for the residence in the past but both of those were removed many years ago. Mr. Tatman asked the board if they had any further questions for him. Randy Conwell asked if there are any sidewalks that run along the east side of the residence. Mr. Tatman stated that the sidewalks run along 8th Street to the North of the residence. Dennis Sterrett asked if there was anyone in attendance who would like to speak on behalf or against the request. Since there were no further questions or comments from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Betts passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Sterrett read the following results into the record:

1. 6’ rear setback vs 20’ required for an attached garage 3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant; 0 to deny, Variance Granted

Petition #2943 Granted

#2944-Lord-Variance (continued from 3/16/17)

Director Betts read the staff report and presented photo documentation of the site. Dennis Sterrett stated that from the photos presented, it appears the pole on the SW end of the building needs to be removed. Kym Landi, applicant, stepped to the podium, and stated that the pole has been relocated 15’ from the building. Also, the utility panel has already been moved. Vice Chairman Sterrett asked the applicant if they would like to be heard tonight in front of the 3 member board. Kym Landi, applicant, indicated she wanted to proceed with the meeting. Ms. Landi stated that the cooler will also need a roof that she was not aware of at the time of the application and that she will need to file for another variance for the roof line. Dan Domoulins stepped to the podium to explain the cooler specifications to the Board. The cooler condenser unit will sit next to the AC unit located on the south side of the building. The cooler is only an 8’x8’ cooler that will extend 2.2’ to the south of the ADA Bathroom addition. Randy Conwell was concerned about information in the Supplemental Report that was included in their board packets. It was explained that the information was included in the board packet as part of the history and the statement pertaining to the parking lease was pertinent to the last variance request, #2941, and has no bearing on the variance being heard tonight. When there were no further questions from the Board, Dennis Sterrett asked if there was anyone in attendance who would like to speak on behalf or against the request. Since there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Betts passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Sterrett read the following results into the record:

1. 6.5’ rear setback vs 20’ required and a 15.6’ front setback vs. 30’ required for placement of a cooler. 3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant; 0 to deny, Variance Granted

Petition #2944 Granted

Variance #2945-Stevenson’s Point

Executive Director Betts stepped to the podium and read the Staff Report and provided photo documentation of the petition site. Eric Stevenson, applicant, stepped to the podium and asked for his hearing to be continued to the next meeting. Dennis Sterrett asked for a motion to accept Mr. Stevenson’s request to table his hearing till the next meeting. Stan Minnick motioned to table the hearing, Randy Conwell seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Variance #2945 continued to May 18, 2017

Petition #2946-G&L Partnership

Executive Director Betts stepped to the podium and read the Staff Report and provided photo documentation of the petition site. Nathan Waggnor, Cash Waggnor & Associates, representative for Trilogy Health and G&L Partnership stepped to the podium. Mr. Waggnor stated that the request is not to propose any new structures or buildings, the request is to split the two current buildings onto their own lots. The Health Campus and Memory Care facility were built on the same lot with an interconnecting hallway. The fact that each of these facilities are not on their own parcel has created financing issues for the Lessee. The intention is to create a subdivision for each facility to be located on its own parcel. Director Betts informed the board that the applicant is currently in the process of creating the subdivision, but that the variance asked for tonight has to be granted for the subdivision to be in compliance. Mr. Waggnor pointed out that the only place that the property line is the face of the building is where the hallway connects. Mr. Waggnor stated that while the buildings are currently in compliance with the White County Zoning Ordinance once they subdivide they would not meet requirements for the walkway, a/c units, light poles, etc. The granting of the variance would bring the buildings and accessories into compliance for the subdivision proposed. The driveway will continue to be shared by both facilities. Stan Minnick asked if the two facilities are under different ownership in the future is it possible the connecting hallway would be discontinued? Mr. Waggnor stated that both buildings are currently owned by the same entity, Ramsey Development, and they are both operated by Trilogy. Trilogy leases the buildings from Ramsey Development, but Trilogy would like to purchase the Memory Care facility. Trilogy would still lease the Health Care Facility from Ramsey Development at this time. The Memory Care facility and the Health Campus go hand in hand, so the applicant does not foresee that the hallway would be discontinued. Mr. Waggnor stated that the applicant is required to have their own lot of record to satisfy the bank requirements. Colin Betts stated that the subdivision has been heard by the Tech Committee, and is scheduled for the May 8, 2017, APC Meeting. The APC hearing is contingent upon the approval of the setbacks by the BZA. Since there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Betts passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Sterrett read the following results into the record:

1. 0’rear setback vs 20’ required and a 0’ side setback vs. 4’ required. 3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant; 0 to deny, Variance Granted

Variance #2946 Granted

Petition #2947-Charles Roberts and Tim Schaffer

Executive Director Betts stepped to the podium and read the Staff Report and provided photo documentation of the petition site. Charlie Roberts stepped to the podium. Mr. Roberts explained that he had contacted Ryan Downey, an architect, to help design the house. According to Mr. Roberts, the layout of the house is “sketchy at best”. Mr. Downey proposed to put a living room on the front (waterside), and to angle an attached garage to the rear of the house. This angle would allow for a wraparound drive to pull into the garage easier. Mr. Roberts stated that he originally applied to amend the subdivision plat, but it was withdrawn because the covenants stated that all the homeowners had to agree before an amended plat could be passed. During this process, it was found that a variance was previously granted for the front setback of a neighboring lot. Mr. Roberts stated that it was recommended to him that he could apply for a variance since other residents in the subdivision had been granted variances. The position of the Area Plan Staff is that if there are variances granted in a subdivision, future variances for the same type could be heard by the BZA Board for consideration. Mr. Roberts stated that this will be his personal residence, and that the improvements that he is proposing would bring the home up to the quality of the other houses in the neighborhood. He stated that he was approached by Joel Hall with concerns that the proposed additions would create drainage issues for him. Mr. Roberts stated that he would install tile for proper drainage so neither of the homeowners would have a water problem. Mr. Roberts stated that he knew when he bought the home that it would need to be updated, but he was not aware of the extent of work. Mr. Roberts entered additional photos into the record to demonstrate the layout of the land. Mr. Roberts does not believe that his proposed improvements will hinder the view of his neighbors. Dennis Sterrett asked if there was anyone in the audience that would like to speak on behalf of or against the request. Denise Hubbard Lopp stepped to the podium. She owns property beside and behind the subject property, and she is also one of the owners of the subdivision. Mrs. Lopp voiced her concerns that this variance would create issues for other properties in the area. She went on further to say that “When these lots were set out, these houses were plotted, so the frontage was the same, people had the same views, they had the same issues.” She is against the requests that have been proposed and believes that the applicant can remodel the house within the guidelines of the subdivision. Rick Hall stepped to the podium. He is here to represent his parents who own the property immediately to the south of the subject property. He submitted a printed copy of Mr. & Mrs. Hall’s written comments/concerns for the record. He pointed out that the APC would not grant the amended plat because everyone in the neighborhood would not agree with the proposed additions. Rick Hall argued that Section 12.4.1 of the White County Zoning Ordinance does not give the BZA authority to grant a variance for this recorded subdivision, Tippecanoe Springs 2. Mr. Rick Hall has been in contact with White County’s Area Plan Attorney, Abigail Diener, and he is aware that the Area Plan Staff’s position is supported by Mrs. Diener. Area plan staff had concluded that the BZA had jurisdiction because previous variance cases had been heard by prior BZA boards, and that this action would allow the applicant essentially the same property rights that had been granted to other property owners in the subdivision (see staff report). Mr. Hall expressed concern that granting the variance will create a “race for the lake”. Mr. Hall also believes that the application fails to meet state law requirements. IC 36-7-4-918.5 and Section 12.4.7 which state that the three requirements of most concern to his parents must be met in order for the variance to be granted. These requirements are General Welfare, Adjacent Property, and Practical Difficulty and described to the Board why they believe these points should not be granted. Supporting comments may be found in Rick Hall’s submitted record signed by Mr. & Mrs. Joel Hall. To demonstrate the loss for the adjacent property, aka Lot 18, Mr. Hall submitted into record photos of the current view and the proposed view from the south windows of said home if the variance were granted. He went on further to express their view on the following questions on the ballot pertaining to Preservation and Enjoyment of Property, Minimum Departure from the Developmental standard, and Character of the Area, supporting comments can also be found in said document. Mr. Rick Hall also submitted a letter from Kathleen Halverson, owner 609 E. Tippecanoe Springs Ct., speaking against the request. Eric Stevenson, builder for the applicant, stepped to the podium. He stated that the way that the lake turns along the subdivision that the houses jump forward of each other. The view of the lake blocking your neighbors view across your property is a “tough stretch” for Mr. Stevenson as he believes the view from property line to property line belongs to the homeowner and not a neighboring property. Mr. Stevenson went on to state that the 100’ setback is too restrictive and that he believes that the setback asked for by Mr. Roberts is not out of line with the county layout of homes located along the lake. Joel Hall stepped to the podium. Mr. Hall stated that “The loss of the view is a big item, I don’t want to look out my three windows to the north and look at a 25’ high, 40’ long, 25’ deep 4 car garage.” There was also discussion about future plans that would not apply to this variance request. Charlie Roberts stepped to the podium and asked for clarification on the height restriction for an attached garage. Director Betts stated the maximum height is 35’. Charlie stated they are within the height restriction. Mr. Roberts also commented that the garage is within the setback from the rear and reiterated that variances have been granted which makes the objections irrelevant to what the applicant has requested. Each home in the area has been granted variances illegally. Charlie Roberts stated that “Nobody has paid attention to the original documents/covenants.” Mr. Roberts went on to add that he has followed the recommendations of the Area Plan Department, he is just a homeowner who is trying to make something nice so he can have a nice place to live. Mrs. Loop stepped to the podium and stated that there were bylaws that needed to be met and that they should continue to have to be met as they were intended. Dennis Sterrett asked for more information on the historical variances. Director Colin Betts clarified for the Board the variances we have on file for the subdivision in question and when the variances were granted. Rick Hall stepped to the podium. His final comment is that “There is no evidence that any of these other variances were objected to by any of the other property owners. They were much different than this situation.” He referred to the fact that the Staff did not include the minutes from these meetings, and speculated that there could have been no objections to the previous variance requests. Charlie Roberts stepped to the podium and stated that his plans would enhance the neighborhood and would be tasteful. Executive Director, Colin Betts, entered into the record that “Mr. Hall’s point about the minutes to previous meetings so we have case files for the previous variances, but no we do not have minutes in those case files.” Dennis Sterrett stated that barring any new evidence public comments are closed. There were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Betts passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Sterrett read the following results into the record:

1. 77’ front (waterside) setback vs 100’ required. 3 votes cast; 2 votes to grant; 1 to deny, Variance automatically continued to the next BZA meeting.

2. 8’ side setback vs 20’ required by plat. 3 votes cast; 0 to grant; 3 to deny

Side Setback for an attached garage is Denied.

Charlie Roberts approached the Board and questioned why he is not entitled to an 8’ side setback when his neighbor was granted an 8.5’ side. Dennis Sterrett, read aloud from the ballots the reasons for denial. Colin Betts, Executive Director, stated that the front setback variance will be continued to the next public meeting unless the applicant chooses to withdraw. Since the board could not come to a unanimous decision, the variance pertaining to the front setback will be continued and will be required to follow notice requirements.

There being no further business, Vice Chairman Sterrett requested a motion to close the meeting. Randy Conwell made the motion and Stan Minnick seconded. Motion carried unanimously, meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

__________________________

Annette Cobb, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

 

__________________________

Colin Betts, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

 

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary Annette Cobb “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.”_________________

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