The City of Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission met on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 6:45 P. M. at the City Administration Building, 400 N. High Street, Cortland, Ohio. In attendance were the following board members: Vice Chairman Bill Sasse, Charles Peck, Jim Chubb and Sally Lane. Absent was Chairman, Scott Daffron. Also present were Mayor Curt Moll, Service Director Don Wittman, Law Director Patrick Wilson and the following individual:
Jon Miles 153 Fairview Dr. Cortland, OH 44410
Bill Sasse: It is 6:45. I would like to call a Public Hearing for 11-13 – a hearing for a Variance Request at 153 Fairview Drive – request is to encroach on the 10’ side lot setback requirement and place an attached garage and shed within five feet and three feet of side lot line, respectively. Do we have anyone here to speak for this, this evening?
Jon Miles: Jon Miles. I am asking for a variance to build a garage attached to my garage. It will be reverse gable, I will turn it to the side and run parallel to the property line on the south side. I gave a print somewhere here – it will run parallel to the property line, 5’ off of the property line. And off of the cemetery which is behind me it will be ten foot away from all that. I am not asking for a variance there. The neighbor on the south side, I have asked him and he has no problem with it. I have talked with my neighbors which live next to me and they have no problem with it. That covers the south side that I am asking for with the attached garage. Now on the north side of my property I would like to put a shed over there for patio furniture and bicycles.
Jim Chubb: And that will be ten feet off?
Jon Miles: No, I am asking for 3 foot. It is a shed not a permanent structure, something that would be placed on a platform.
Jim Chubb: So no brick or anything?
Jon Miles: No. (inaudible) That type of shed there could be moved if needed. The garage would be a permanent fixture. I re-sided my house a few years ago and am checking to see if that siding is still available. It will be sided the same, look the same, the roof will be tied in and will be a finished garage. I would like to have them both dry-walled. I live in a bi-level house. There is no storage in a bi-level house. Pretty much all the areas are utilized. I have made a lot of upgrades to my house and this is another upgrade I would like to make. As I get older, I think I would like to stay there but have to be organized. But with just the 2 car garage on the house, it is hard to get 2 cars in.
Bill Sasse: Thank you. Is there anyone here to speak against this variance? Any questions?
Jim Chubb: The question is – that list of the neighbors and stuff – were they sent mail?
Terri Barnovsky: Yes.
Jim Chubb: And they are not here, right?
Bill Sasse: Right.
Patrick Wilson: I do think that is an important point to always get into the record. That is a good idea. The property owners as Terri can attest were all notified.
Jim Chubb: Yes to me that make a lot of difference.
Patrick Wilson: And we should probably go even one step further, and note for the record when we vote that no one appeared in the audience tonight to oppose this request.
Don Wittman: One of the other factors to be considered other than just opposition by the adjacent property owners would be constraints of the existing lot that tend towards the need for the variance. These lots are in a plat that is several years old, probably at the infancy of any zoning in Cortland, smaller lots, and especially when you get into a cul-de-sac with the angles and what not – it makes it difficult to make improvements. Mr. Miles was before this board before – I can’t even say when it was – there is a variance out there for an addition on the garage to encroach within 5 feet, but it was just a corner, and the garage extension was going to run parallel with the existing front of the house. Well that kind of made it difficult to even navigate a vehicle into the garage door. So by kicking it out towards the front it appears to give it a better angle to get in. So there has been a lot of thought put into this in how best to utilize it based on the existing characteristics of that lot.
Charles Peck: I do have one question – when you get close to the lot lines I get concerned about runoff from the roof – that would runoff onto your neighbor’s property. Do you have that as part of your plan?
Jon Miles: I would tie it into the existing gutter and downspouts on the garage. I would not want that running onto the ground myself.
Charles Peck: Okay. How about the shed?
Jon Miles: The shed would be gravel area there. There will be a downspout and that would work more or less as a French drain with the gravel. I don’t foresee a water problem there.
Charles Peck: It would not runoff onto your adjacent neighbor then?
Jon Miles: No. The gravel area underneath what the platform will sit on will be used as a French drain area and dissipate the water there and let it run into the earth and not on his property.
Bill Sasse: Thank you. Any further questions? I would like to have a motion that we close this public hearing.
Charles Peck made a motion to close the public hearing, seconded by James Chubb.
The City of Cortland Planning, Zoning & Building Commission met on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:00 P. M. at the City Administration Building, 400 N. High Street, Cortland, Ohio. In attendance were the following board members: Vice Chairman Bill Sasse, Charles Peck, Jim Chubb and Sally Lane. Absent was Chairman, Scott Daffron. Also present were Mayor Curt Moll, Service Director Don Wittman, Law Director Patrick Wilson and the following individual:
Jon Miles 153 Fairview Dr. Cortland, OH 44410
Bill Sasse: It is 7:00 Monday, November 11, 2013. Yesterday was Marine Corps birthday. I’d 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, absent; Charles Peck, here; Jim Chubb, here.
Bill Sasse: Can I have a motion for approval of commission minutes for October 14, 2013?
Jim Chubb made a motion to approve October 14, 2013 Meeting minutes, seconded by Sally Lane.
Roll Call: Jim Chubb, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Scott Daffron, absent; Charles Peck, yes. MOTION APPROVED.
Bill Sasse: Seeing no old business, so on to New Business: Can I have a motion for approval of 11-13A Variance request for 153 Fairview Drive. The request is to encroach on the 10’ side lot line setback requirement and place an attached garage within five (5) feet of the side lot line. Charles Peck made a motion for approval of 11-13A, seconded by Sally Lane.
Bill Sasse: Do we have somebody here to speak for this, this evening?
Jon Miles: Jon Miles.
Bill Sasse: Do you have anything you would like to add? Any further questions? Is there anyone to speak against this, this evening? Seeing no one here, were all of the neighbors notified of this meeting?
Terri Barnovsky: Yes.
Bill Sasse: Seeing no objections, can we have a vote on 11-13A?
Roll Call: Sally Lane, yes; Bill Sasse, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Scott Daffron, absent; Charles Peck, yes. MOTION PASSED.
Bill Sasse: The second thing on the agenda, under new business - 11-13B Variance request for 153 Fairview Drive. The request is to encroach on the 10’ side lot line setback requirement and place a shed within three (3) feet of the side lot line.
Bill Sasse: Is there anybody here to speak for this?
Jon Miles: Jon Miles.
Bill Sasse: Any difference from the public hearing? Anybody here to speak against it? Seeing nobody, has everybody been notified of this request?
Terri Barnovsky: Yes.
Bill Sasse: Can we have a vote please – can we have a motion?
Charles Peck made a motion for approval of 11-13B, seconded by James Chubb.
Roll Call: Charles Peck, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Jim Chubb, yes; Bill Sasse, yes. MOTION PASSED.
Bill Sasse: Is there any new business to come before this board?
Don Wittman: Just an update on the zoning map update project. We met with the contractor who is going to provide us with an updated zoning map, basically to incorporate all zone changes and annexations over the last 10 years. We are at a crossroads as far as providing zoning classification for areas identified as NTX as well as Huntington which is shown as agricultural, because those zoning districts don’t exist. So in order to expedite the preparation of the map, so that we can move forward with some zoning changes as we have discussed at the first of the year we are either going to identify those as “Null”, if we can’t discern whether there was a zoning prior to or what the zoning was when Cortland became a city in 1980-1981. So we have been going over some maps. Terri has a spreadsheet here just to keep everybody apprised of that. And then I think if we are looking at an NTX property you would want to assign that a zoning classification of R-15, which would be what you want to do coming out of the gate so if the state property ever did cease to be used as state property and they get into a budget crunch and need to sell that property off then it is R-15 to protect all adjacent property owners. Same thing as this city hall property – you rezone that as R-15 so if someone wanted to come in and utilize that they would need a zone change. Those are just some ideas subject to input from this board.
Mayor Moll: Looking at the minutes, we did not discuss this project at the last meeting. So they may not have been a party to the council discussion we had. We might want to bring them up to date on what we are doing there.
Don Wittman: We are updating the zoning map.
Mayor Moll: We have hired a graphics specialist that used to work for the county here that now works for Erie Water District and he is going to work for us in a part time capacity per diem and do this one project for us. Actually he has given us a fixed price for this project.
Don Wittman: He is going to prepare a new land use map, so how we are actually using property in the city and then what the existing zoning is and then how we want to move forward. Ultimately change some of the commercial zoning – create the downtown central business district which would facilitate zero lot line, zero setback basically what there is now. So there is some reasonable and rational basis for a parcel zoning with our code.
Mayor Moll: We went to a lot of trouble to adopt a new zoning code and it did accommodate a lot of the things that are peculiar to certain districts. Yet when we rezoned all the businesses in town, we zoned them all service. And so they don’t comply with those zoning regulations - we carefully created for places like downtown. So now according to zoning and if they had a building destroyed they would have to come in for variances to have it reconstructed the way it is. And I don’t think that’s right.
Don Wittman: That would facilitate spot zoning per parcel where we actually want to create districts. So that is going to be the next step – some subdivisions that were approved prior to adoption of our zoning code remain industrial is one that was identified so there are some things that need to be reexamined.
Bill Sasse: The corner of 305 and 46 – has that been pretty well…
Don Wittman: That has been established because those properties have either been recently annexed or went through a zone change.
Bill Sasse: Right so we they’re in pretty good shape in that section there.
Don Wittman: What we are talking about is if there is a house on High Street that is bouncing back between residential and commercial – Technically if it is in service district and they stop using is as a residence and they put a business in there it can’t go back to being residential without filing a zone change. Now not being very active in enforcement we don’t go out and monitor when a property ceases – we are not going to be like Howland and make sure when was the last time a golf course was actually used for a golf course and revoke their special use permit.
Bill Sasse: Is there a time frame on this?
Don Wittman: 2014. The map and everything we hope to have by the end of the year.
Mayor Moll: This is that project. If this works out well we will probably engage this guy to do more work for us.
Charles Peck: What are the actual mechanics of this? We have hired a contractor to…
Don Wittman: Well the zone changes will have to be determined based on any opposition or input from the public or how we are going to seek that. We are floating some ideas but we can’t circumvent our ordinances – we will have to have a public hearing here at this level and a public hearing at city council. If we do all these parcels and there is any opposition it will become completely…
Mayor Moll: Zoo like.
Charles Peck: Are we going to do these parcel by parcel or street by street or we are going to look at one?
Don Wittman: The Clerk of Council and your zoning secretary have already done that. They have compiled every parcel in the city and have examined the land use as defined by the auditor site and compared that to the zoning classification. So we are giving it a lot of thought as we are moving forward.
Charles Peck: When it comes to the approval, is it going to be approved as the whole batch?
Don Wittman: Depends.
Mayor Moll: it would be nice to be able to say, if you are not interested or don’t care and we will handle all of those together. If you do care then put them in a public hearing.
Don Wittman: My goal is to create the zoning code and the zoning classification so that there is no doubt when someone comes in to contest what the zoning of this parcel is. Right now we are subject to a lot of ambiguity and we’d have to go through each one on a case by case basis. Whereas if we go on and adopt an ordinance based on parcel code ID, public hearing and go through that process we can say every parcel in the city in 2014 was established and heard and is current.
Bill Sasse: Any other questions? Anything else to be brought before the board? Seeing none, can I have a motion to adjourn?
Charles Peck made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Sally Lane.
Roll Call: Scott Daffron, absent; Jim Chubb, yes; Sally Lane, yes; Charles Peck, yes; Bill Sasse, yes. MOTION APPROVED.
Meeting Adjourned: 7:11 pm.
_ ____ _______________________
Scott Daffron, Chairman Date Teresa Barnovsky, Secretary