The City of Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission met on Monday, June 10, 2013 at 7:00 P. M. at the City Administration Building, 400 N. High Street, Cortland, Ohio. In attendance were the following board members: Chairman Scott Daffron, Vice Chairman Bill Sasse, Charles Peck, Sally Lane and Jim Chubb. Also present were Mayor Curt Moll, Law Director Patrick Wilson, Service Director Don Wittman, Acting Fire Chief David Rea and the following individuals:

 

††††††††††† Melena Dascoulias†††††††††††††††† 214 Fowler St.††††††††††† Cortland, OH44410

††††††††††† Tom Kozlevcar††††††††††††††††††††† 143 Park Ave.††††††††††† Cortland, OH44410

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Scott Daffron:††Today is Monday, June 10, 2013.Iíd like to call to order the Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission. Can we have roll?

Roll Call: Bill Sasse, here; Sally Lane, here; Scott Daffron, here; Charles Peck, here; Jim Chubb, here.

 

Scott Daffron:Can I have a motion for approval of commission minutes for May 13, 2013?

 

Bill Sasse made a motion to approve May 13, 2013 Meeting minutes, seconded by Charles Peck.

Roll Call:Jim Chubb, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes.MOTION APPROVED.

 

Scott Daffron:Without an objection, I would like to move old business to after new business tonight.So under new business can I have a motion for approval for 07-13 Ė which is a Replat of Lots 150, 151 and 152 of Cortland Heights Allotment #1 Ė Frank Dascoulias, 214 Fowler Street.Bill Sasse made a motion for approval of 07-13, seconded by Sally Lane.

 

Scott Daffron:Who do we have to represent this tonight?

 

Melena Dascoulias:Melena Dascoulias.

 

Scott Daffron:Don, this is just basically putting together Ė combining 3 lots into one for the purpose of having all of the structures and land as one lot?

 

Don Wittman:Yes, Melena can correct me if I am wrong.I was approached by the property owner wanting to construct a garage on the vacant parcel closest to Ruth.That would be a structure on a lot without a primary dwelling which is not allowed.I explained to him the best way to proceed would be to combine the 3 lots into one.

 

Mayor Moll:Is the house currently on two?

 

Don Wittman:The house and the garage, the garage was detached and was subsequently attached with the breezeway and was expanded so it overlaps two of the existing lots and the 3rd vacant lot.This will correct any issues that may arise upon the sale of that property and allow the construction of the garage.

 

Scott Daffron:Do I have any questions?

 

Don Wittman:It is not going to be a garage for everyday parking of vehicles but more likely an oversized workshop.

 

Melena Dascoulias:Yes.He also has a boat and some other things he would like to put in there.I know he wants, he gets 3 tax bills, one for each lot and this would combine it to one bill.

 

Scott Daffron:Hopefully one will add up to less than three.

 

Mayor Moll:A house on that big a lot, you never know.It could take on more value.

 

Scott Daffron:No other discussion or questions?Can we have a vote on 07-13?

Roll Call:Sally Lane, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes.MOTION PASSED.

 

Scott Daffron:That approves your replat.

 

Don Wittman:That will be forwarded to Council for their next meeting at which point I can get a hold of your father to pick up the signed copy of the replat.

 

Melena Dascoulias:Thank you.

 

Scott Daffon:Next under new business, can I have a motion for approval of 08-13 Ė Set Public Hearing for Variance request for 183 S. Colonial. Request for shed to encroach on the 10í rear setback requirement.Set this hearing for July 8th, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. Bill Sasse made a motion for approval of 08-13, seconded by Charles Peck.

 

Roll Call:Scott Daffron, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Bill Sasse, yes.MOTION PASSED.

 

Scott Daffron:Moving back to old business, I would like to do this in two phases.I want a motion for discussion on the revising of 1125.09 (h).If we can have a motion Ė

 

Patrick Wilson:You donít need a motion - If you just want to hold a discussion on the topic you can just announce that.

 

Scott Daffron:†† We can just have a discussion on it before we have a motion on it for a vote.

 

Mayor Moll:Thereís no vote.

 

Bill Sasse:We are not doing anything, just discussing.

 

Patrick Wilson: Right.Just discuss it this evening.

 

Don Wittman:Patrick, I think we just wanted to do a summary of where we were and I think what we were looking at was trying to come out with a decision on whether additional work session was necessary to address revising it and try it that way.So whether you need to put that to a formal vote or not.

 

Scott Daffron:My thought there was to have a motion to decide whether changes were warranted or not.

 

Patrick Wilson:And you can absolutely have that vote after your discussion.

 

Don Wittman:So you have in your packet the summary of the proposed changes to Part 3 of the Traffic Offense ordinance.We discussed at the last meeting that it is not applicable to the zoning code Ė it is the wrong section. It would need to be placed in the Part 11Definitions, which we pointed out does not have a definition of driveway.

 

Scott Daffron:Letís back up one second.Do we all understand why this is before us?

 

Bill Sasse:We understand the reason.

 

Scott Daffron:There has been a lot that has transpired without our involvement.I just want to make sure we are all on the same page as to why we are discussing it.

 

Don Wittman:It was just pointed out that there was not a definition of a driveway in the zoning code which is Title 1 of Part 11.If you look to the definitions, a cross reference is the subdivision regulations which does contain a definition of driveway.That would be more applicable and pertinent in this situation in which a ďdriveway and access drive Ė a prepared hard surface area providing ingress and egress for vehicles from private property and the public right of way.ĒSo when you look at the regulation in question:†† ďNo vehicle shall park for three consecutive days in the required front yard in a residential district except on a driveway which has been improved by gravel, concrete, or asphalt, and not on a vacant lot or lotsĒ - which in a 2nd ancillary part I guess.

 

Mayor Moll:It doesnít apply here.

 

Don Wittman:It doesnít apply here.

 

Charles Peck:Do we look inconsistent if zoning regulations and ordinances have a different definition for a driveway than the city ordinances?

 

Don Wittman:No because for the purpose of city ordinances, that is a traffic offense.So that is defining vehicles traveling when and where and what they can be cited for, as opposed to a parking offense on private property Ė a zoning issue not parking on grass in the front yard.

 

Charles Peck:Okay I am just asking.

 

James Chubb:So the picture we saw of a car in the front was on gravel except to the side Ė a driveway type thing, they were alright?

 

Don Wittman:Based on my interpretation of what a driveway is, yes.

 

Mayor Moll:And the planning and zoning subdivision regulations it just says a prepared hard surface area that provides ingress and egress for vehicles.

 

Scott Daffron:Basically I think the thing is we donít want it parked on front yards is I think the spirit of what this was written with.

 

Mayor Moll:Going back to the notes the idea that a pull-off should be on the non-driveway side in the front of the house or what you say in Tomís notes here.

 

Bill Sasse:I donít see any reason for anything to be done.

 

Mayor Moll:My biggest concern about it would be enforcement Ė I mean do we need permits for driveways and then do we need to come to zoning if you want to put a driveway in.Are we going to have variances?

 

Scott Daffron:And we have a limited number, but there are horseshoe driveways.There are a good percentage of the condo developments with drives that widen next to the house.And you are saying they could only, I donít know where you would go because there are residents on both sides and thereís a conflict within that.

 

Mayor Moll:If you had a duplex with a driveway in the center of the building it would be impossible to put any kind of pull-off at all.It is getting us into passing rules that canít be, that disallow any use of property and I donít think you can do that.

 

Scott Daffron:Well you can write any rule you want itís just -

 

Patrick Wilson:But can you enforce it.

 

Mayor Moll:I think you have to allow people to use their property.

 

Patrick Wilson:Absolutely, which is why that definition is written broadly Ė ingress and egress from a public road to a private drive.

 

Bill Sasse:Do we need a motion to close the discussion?

 

(Several nos).

 

Scott Daffron:Do we have any other discussion on it?If not, we can close the discussion.And this is where I asked if we would entertain a motion to vote whether this warranted changes - to further investigating this particular ordinance.

 

Bill Sasse:Are you making a motion?

 

Scott Daffron:I am not making a motion.

 

Patrick Wilson:Are you asking for a motion, Scott?

 

Scott Daffron:Yes.

 

Patrick Wilson:If no one makes a motion then I guess it fails and we move on to other issues of the meeting.If someone makes it, then it needs a second and then you would vote on it.

 

Scott Daffron:Seeing no motion madeÖ it fails on no motion being made.And Tom, not to discredit the things you have done and stuff like that, I mean within the regulations.I guess we have tried to get into a position where you are not overregulated.A personís property is their property and I havenít been involved with all of the discussions with Council and everything else but our position here Ė or my personal position is I think it is a very difficult regulation to put in.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:I donít understand why it is difficult.

 

Scott Daffron:For one thing, I think a personís property is their property and whether you like it or not or whether I like it or not Ė there is peopleís property within Cortland that are not done the way I would do them and I disagree with the way they are being maintained or upkept and such but it is that personís property when it breaks right down to it.

 

Tom Kozlevcar: But you just had a discussion about putting a shed within ten feet of a property line, why canít the person put it right on the property line if it is their property?

 

Scott Daffron:They can request a variance.That ordinance is in place, it is to protect Ė thereís other things that go along with that.I am just saying this for instance Ė things we have to concern ourselves with is water runoff and thereís other things why we want that buffer zone in the instance of a shed that may affect other peopleís property.So when you construct a shed on a property line and you donít have gutters and you donít have things like that you can affect another personís property.In that realm, thatís why thatís there.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:I showed you guys a picture last week of a boat and a car parked right in front of a living room window.I would think that that would affect other peopleís property value.I havenít asked any of the neighbors what they thought about that, but I bet theyíre not too happy.I bet if they put their house up for sale -

 

Scott Daffron:Well if the boat is on grass and it has been there for more than 3 days, that is an issue.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:It is on gravel.

 

Patrick Wilson:I think you have to look at the time period then.If it is there longer than 3 days then it becomes a violation.

 

Mayor Moll:But he said it is on gravel so it is not a violation.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:I am just saying if there is a boat and a car parked on gravel because itís legal under a living room window that is not going to help the property values of the homes around it.If one of the neighbors wants to put their house up for sale and a potential buyer comes back and says I donít want to live next to that. That is affecting property values. By the way there are only about 2 people who do this in all of Cortland.It is not like youíre making a rule that is going to affect thousands of people.

 

Scott Daffron:That is probably true.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:In the preamble to the zoning section it says something about the ordinances in the zoning section are to promote an attractive residential neighborhood and not detrimental (inaudible).In my opinion parking in front of a living room window is detrimental and not attractive.

 

Patrick Wilson:Well, what this board has avoided doing and what City Council has avoided doing since I have been affiliated with the City is passing ordinances or laws that affect one or two people.

 

Mayor Moll:Or that canít be enforcedÖ

 

Patrick Wilson:That is another reason but he raised the fact that it was -

 

Tom Kozlevcar:What do you mean itís not enforceable?

 

Mayor Moll:I say it is very difficult to enforce because we donít have any permitting processes for driveways so we would have to implement some kind of a process that says you have to come in and get an approval to put in gravel in your front yard and we donít have that in place, nor do we have the people to do that.

 

Tom Kozlevcar: I donít understand why -

 

Mayor Moll:How else would anybody know if you were going to put in gravel?Iím going to get a gravel truck and dump it in my front yard.Now all of a sudden they are in violation.Now, what do you expect them to do?

 

Tom Kozlevcar:That is no more violation than they are now.

 

Mayor Moll:But if I passed a law though that says they couldnít do that.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:Thereís no law there, thereís nothing in there about not being able to dump gravel.You can dump all the gravel you want in your front yard.You just canít park on it.

 

Mayor Moll:Well that argument doesnít go anywhere.

 

Scott Daffron:Right now, I believe we are going to hedge to the fact that itís not going to happen.Maybe one or two instances as was stated, we are not going to make a law to cover one or two instances.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:Is there a law against robbing a bank?

 

Scott Daffron:Pardon?

 

Tom Kozlevcar:Is there a law against robbing a bank?

 

Scott Daffron:I donít see how that is relevant.

 

Tom Kozlevcar:I donít know how many bank robbers there are in Cortland but there is still a law against it.

 

Patrick Wilson:That is a criminal statute.We are talking about the enforcement of a zoning ordinance.

 

(Multiple comments).

 

Bill Sasse:Can we move on?††† We have quite a bit left to do here.

 

Scott Daffron:I wanted to give him an opportunity to voice, because citizen input is important and it is a driving factor in the city.†† A lot of our stuff comes from things like this and I just wanted to give him an opportunity.We do have to move on to what is number 5 on our agenda Ė zoning map discussion.

 

Bill Sasse:Don, just what has to be done with this?

 

Don Wittman:Well, if you go back and look there has been 175 properties since it was last printed in 2003.The map is about 10 years stale.So there have been annexations, zone changes and things that need to be corrected.††† While we are looking at this, thereís also areas on that map that are given a zoning designation which is not supported by the code.So we have addressed some of those.

 

Bill Sasse:What do we have to do to clean this up?

 

Don Wittman:Just trying to get some direction - if this board is in agreement with all these wholesale changes, weíll look at them, look at each of the properties and recommend a zoning district to be changed after we have a public hearing.Have a public hearing and recommend zoning changes.

 

Bill Sasse:Is that what you do?You take a look at the properties and decide?

 

Don Wittman:Yes.

 

Bill Sasse:So you would have to go back to the board and say this is what I feel we should we do and have a public hearing on it?

 

Don Wittman:Yes.

 

Charles Peck:Each of these properties would be looked at individually then.Is that correct?

 

Mayor Moll:Thatís the question.

 

Don Wittman:We will look at each individual property individually.Terri and Rhonda have done that already, matching current zoning with current land use code from the County Auditor.

 

Scott Daffron:Because if you remember, just as simply what is across the street that is all industrial.

 

Several:Right.

 

Don Wittman:But Industrial is a code.It is a zoning district.

 

Bill Sasse:Well we knew this was coming.This has been building for a while.

 

Don Wittman:The areas that are green on the map are NTX Ė thatís non-taxable which is a holdover from the old code.There is no such zoning district as non-taxable.So when the elementary school was sold they went from non-taxable to taxable Ė what was the zoning?We should assign that an underlying zoning should that use cease to exist.

 

Bill Sasse:For the people that are living in these areas or have businesses in these areas where the zoning is going to be changed, will that cause any problem for them?

 

Don Wittman:I think what weíre looking, we havenít worked through it but what we will do is directly communicate to an individual if their property is going to be rezoned.So that that the existing use more closely resembles the class.

 

Bill Sasse:And everybody would have a chance at the public hearing to bring out what they felt was right or wrong.

 

Don Wittman:Yes.

 

Bill Sasse:Okay.

 

Don Wittman:Or we would have a work session before we have the public hearing and then have a public hearing for everybody to come in.

 

Mayor Moll:Can we use a signoff procedure for that?

 

Bill Sasse:We knew this was coming.

 

Don Wittman:And there are other parcels where Ė take the Circle K for example.It is zoned service.Its use meets the zoning designation.But, I would still make a recommendation if the other two parcels adjacent to it are going to be changed to Highway Commercial we would change that whole swath so we are not spot zoning.

 

Bill Sasse:We have sections along 46 there that weíve changed and so on and so forth.

 

Don Wittman:46 would be the same way, essentially go in and utilize a commercial zoning classification -

 

Bill Sasse:So this evening all we really have to do is request that you go ahead with that?

 

Mayor Moll:I donít understand what weíre going to do.

 

Don Wittman:Well I just want to have an understanding.Iím not going to be spinning my wheels and coming back and say why are we doing all of this? The people who live in Highlands Ridge should have to come in and do a zone change.

 

Bill Sasse:Right.No, we understand why it is being done.I for one, realize that it has to be done.

 

Mayor Moll:Like downtown.You couldnít rebuild any buildings downtown because they are all zoned service and it doesnít allow zero clearance so if a building burned down downtown, you would be stuck.You couldnít do anything with it.If you rezoned it Downtown Commercial then you could have zero clearance zoning.

 

Scott Daffron:It sounds like we are in agreement that this Board would support this effort.

 

Charles Peck:So you are going to go ahead with that activity and then we will hold a work session to review the results of that before we have the public hearing?

 

Don Wittman:I think that would be the way to proceed if you concur.

 

Several:We concur.

 

Don Wittman:So you would notify the residents of the zone change public work session so that we could answer questions informally and then have a public hearing where if they have an issue with that designation they can speak on the record.

 

Mayor Moll:Should we have more than one public hearing with different designations?

One to deal with all the residential properties and another one maybe to deal with all of the commercial properties?

 

Don Wittman:I think we would have to defer that based on the input we get from the work sessions.

 

Mayor Moll:Okay.

 

Don Wittman:If we have more than one public hearing all it is going to take is time and money.We could probably break it out into 4 or 5 issues all within one public hearing - so that we would base it on okay - the residents of Huntington. That would be a recommendation.The residents of, or the parcels on N High St.We could compartmentalize those so those issues could be voted up or down.

 

Mayor Moll:It is just the objections or the concerns are going to be extremely diverse.

 

Don Wittman:And I think that way, the more you have it compartmentalized the more itís going to be able to bring out that discussion.And if someone feels one isnít good we arenít throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

 

Scott Daffron:I would think that most peopleís concerns would be just to make sure they understand whatís going on.

 

Patrick Wilson:There could be appeal rights here.You restrict someoneís use of their property based on a rezoning at this point.Typically they are not going to go quietly into the sunset.

 

Mayor Moll:How is it typically handled when you implement a zoning code where everybodyís zoning is changed?

 

Patrick Wilson:If you go from less restrictive to more restrictive then they are grandfathered in.I donít know if we are going to have any of those people or not.

 

Scott Daffron:That is what the work session will tell us.

 

Bill Sasse made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Sally Lane.

Roll Call: Scott Daffron, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Bill Sasse, yes. MOTION APPROVED.

 

Meeting Adjourned: 7:28 pm.

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† _ ††††††††††† ____††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† _______________________

Scott Daffron, Chairman †††††††††††††††††† Date††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Teresa Barnovsky, Secretary