The Plainfield Board of Zoning Appeals met on Monday, October 20, 2008. In attendance were Mr. Gibbs, Ms. Duffer, and Mr. Monnett.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Monnett administered the Roll Call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Gibbs made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 15, 2008 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting as submitted. Second by Ms. Duffer. Motion carried.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Monnett administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Monnett said our first petitions are going to be continued to our November 17, 2008 meeting. Mr. Monnett reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. Our first petition is BZA-08-017, Venkata R. Nattam, which needs to be continued to November 17th.
Mr. James said BZA-08-017 will have to be continued to the November 17th meeting for failure to do the correct noticing.
Ms. Duffer made a motion to continue BZA-08-017 to the November 17th BZA meeting. Second by Mr. Gibbs. Motion carried.
Mr. Monnett said our next petition is BZA-08-018, Stephanie Strout.
Mr. James said after looking at the site plan we discovered they are going to need a parking variance based on the additional square footage that they are going to need for this Special Exception. So, they did not notice for the parking variance so now they have to notice for the parking variance; that is why it got continued to the November meeting.
Mr. Gibbs made a motion to continue BZA-08-018, Stephanie Strout to the November 17th BZA meeting. Second by Ms. Duffer. Motion carried.
Mr. Monnett said our next petition is BZA-08-019, Raleigh & Patricia Connell. This is a five member board. We have one that has not been placed on the board yet. There are usually four of us. Our other member is absent so there are three here tonight. It is kind of rolling the dice on your motion since there are three of us instead of four. You have an option to go ahead or come back until you have four of us or you can go ahead with the three of us tonight.
Gentleman in the audience said so basically you all need to vote in favor is that what you are saying?
Mr. Monnett said right. It would take three ayes.
Gentleman said then we have to do the re-notice and everything again.
Mr. Monnett said no you do not.
Gentleman from the audience said we will go forward.
Ms. Sprague said this is the property at 1442 Aubert St. It is zoned R-4 and is surrounded by a bunch of other properties. They are all about the same age. The petitioners in this case converted their previous garage into living space and wanted to build another garage back on. The garage would sit four feet closer to the street than their house currently does. The house itself is a legal nonconforming setback compared to what our current ordinance says. As you can kind of see along that street, so are most of the other houses. They are requesting a variance of about 22 feet. We don't have the exact location of the right-of-way but they measured from the edge of the street how far back they were. I did a subtraction from that so it is going to be approximately 22 feet. The other houses surrounding it are similar in age and have similar zoning. The garage that they want to build is 28' x 36' and the addition of the garage would not bring them over the lot coverage or anything like that. The only variance they need in this case is the setback. As I mentioned, the garage will only extend four feet closer to the street than the home currently does. We have a provision in our ordinance that is Article 4.12, which allows for the averaging of front yard setbacks. We can average the setbacks to get a new setback and in this case these guys have their house and one other house. Since they are the petitioners the only other house we can judge against is the one. So, that is why in this case that provision doesn't apply to them. If it did, we wouldn't be here so basically that is the argument in this case is all of the neighbors have a similar issue already and the garage that they are proposing will actually be set back farther than many of their neighbors are. I did kind of a cut and dry measurement off of the GIS from the street rather than the property lines because the property lines can be shifted on there but those are some of the approximations of their neighbor's homes.
Mr. Monnett asked, is there a sidewalk?
Ms. Sprague said there is one right in front of their house but I don't believe there is one to their next door neighbor and then across the street there is a sidewalk. As you can see, the block faces that yellow; that is why the average is an issue but most of those houses have similar setbacks to what they are proposing or much smaller. And then I know the petitioner is here if you have any questions.
Mr. Raleigh Connell at 1442 Aubert Street was present to answer any questions.
Mr. Monnett asked, how long have you lived there?
Mr. Connell said a two and a half years.
Ms. Duffer asked, is this going to be an attached garage?
Mr. Connell said that is what we have planned yes.
Mr. Monnett asked, is the drive to the current garage?
Mr. Connell said that is correct, which is attached as well.
Mr. Monnett asked, so will you shoot off that one to the new garage?
Mr. Connell said no; I will need to do a new drive and I'm in the process of deciding to take out the old drive. So, in essence what I don't want to do is have a house that looks like it has a garage added onto the side of a garage that has been converted. In that process what I would do would be to cut the driveway that lines up with the sidewalk. That in essence is 5', the street side, edge of the sideway is 5' from the house. Then I would need to extend the sidewalk off the left edge as you are looking at it to join with the drive for the new proposed garage.
Mr. Monnett said the sidewalk just stops doesn't it? There are a few of those on Simmons. I will ask Joe or Jill but for the driveway we don't need to go over any of that do we?
Mr. James said (inaudible).
Ms. Duffer said if we were to grant this, could we add that onto it?
Mr. James said yes you can make it a condition.
Mr. Connell asked, are we talking about cutting the side, cutting the curb, cutting the sidewalk?
Mr. James said cutting the curb.
Mr. Connell said the curb is not there. In fact, the curb is very dilapidated or in bad condition all the way from the corner. It is beat up so bad that it really isn't a curb.
Ms. Duffer said so with that being said then we could just include something that includes the driveway not necessarily mentioning a curb cut.
Mr. James said yes. There is no restriction (inaudible).
Mr. Monnett said you could actually keep the original driveway and then have a space and have a new driveway as well and just pay taxes on two driveways.
Mr. Gibbs said in your building materials will you match the existing home?
Mr. Connell said right in front of the present driveway is the old style porch and what I was going to do was do some solar glass panels in front of that. So, we have a definite break between the Bedford stone and the front of the new existing garage or the proposed existing garage. At this point and time I have researched and I probably have access to Bedford stone but whether it would match or not I don't know because this is a 1956 built house. I do have a close match to a vinyl Bedford stone that possibly I could wrap the corner into the door and then the face around the corner. I don't know how pertinent that is with the glass break. I have had friends tell me to go with a white stucco or something of that nature. It will be the same pitch so I won't have a high gable end facing the street so that is not something that I would have to side.
Mr. Monnett asked, are you going to lose your bush?
Mr. Connell said yes there will be a bush that is gone and the magnolia tree we are seriously thinking about moving to another location on the property.
Mr. Monnett asked, is the other street Southmore?
Mr. Connell said Brookside and Aubert; Brookside is on the east side as you are looking at the picture on the right side. Then the space between is actually a grass alley and I'm assuming that needs to be egressed for all utilities. So, I won't be encroaching on that.
Mr. Monnett asked, is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak about this petition? Being no one coming forward I will open it up to the board for any questions or a possible motion.
Ms. Duffer made a motion that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve BZA-08-019 as filed by Raleigh & Patricia Connell requesting a variance to reduce the front yard setback from Aubert Street from 30' to 22' at 1442 Aubert Street subject to the following conditions:
1. Substantial compliance with the site plan submitted file dated September 11, 2008.
2. Any vehicles parked in the driveway must be parked so as not to obstruct the sidewalk.
Second by Mr. Gibbs. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Gibbs – yes
Ms. Duffer – yes
Mr. Monnett – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh – absent
OLD BUSINESS/NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Gibbs made a motion to adjourn. Second by Ms. Duffer. Motion carried.