BZA October 5, 2010 Chagrin Valley Motors

The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing was called to order by Mr. Ray Fidel, Chairman, at 7:30 p.m. on October 5, 2010 with Board members, Mary Lee Brezina, Bill Skomrock,Sr., Tezeon Wong and Glen Quigley present.

 

All in attendance for this hearing were duly sworn and asked when testifying to state their name and confirm being sworn in. Ray Fidel read the applicants request:

 

Stephen & Nora White, owners of Chagrin Valley Motors, LLC., request 1) a conditional use permit for a used car business at 9939 Kinsman Rd. in the B-1 Commercial District per Art. VI, Sec. 6.04 K that requires Board of Zoning Appeals approval per Art. X, Sec. 10.00, and 2) an area variance to allow vehicle parking 60 ft. from the Kinsman Rd, Right-of-way. r-o-w,(vs. Art. VI, Art. 6.04(K1&2) & 6.07A&E req’d 75 ft. from r-o-w).

 

Chairman asked the applicant to state his case. 

 

Mr. White said it had been quite awhile since he purchased the 2 parcels for a small used car family business run by himself, wife and family.  The lot consolidation is in process.

There would normally be 10 cars or less with a small driveway to the 30 ft x 75 ft. parking lot (maintaining the 75 ft. setback from Sperry Rd.).  He said he intends to remodel the deteriorating building to improve the business area. 

 

Mr. Quigley asked about the lot consolidation – Mr. White replied that the survey had found a building encroachment along the east sideline, an area he gave to the neighbors.  Ms. Endres confirmed that the lot consolidation had been signed off to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Quigley asked the board to review the two issues before them.  Because the consolidation was not complete, there could be a legal challenge.  He suggested the hearing be postponed to protect all parties involved.  Board discussion continued on the subject.

 

Mr. White said he has done everything necessary to consolidate so that this property is least non-conforming but the process is difficult and lengthy involving the Health Dept. and Planning Commission delays.

 

Mr. Fidel agreed that the board must protect all property owners’ rights and called for a continuance due to the incomplete consolidation technicality.  Mr. White said the consolidation will be complete when his neighbors submit their signatures and the revised deeds; they have already paid for half the east line survey cost. 

 

Board discussion continued regarding timing, encroachment garage there before zoning, continuance costs (none if BZA initiates) and validated lot consolidation by the Planning Commission.

 

There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion stating that a yes vote would  continue this hearing to a future date.

 

Glen Quigley moved that the BZA initiate a continuance of this hearing to Oct. 26 or when this lot consolidation is verified by the Planning Commission; Mary Lee Brezina seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote. 

Mr. Fidel adjourned the hearing at 8:00 p.m.

 

The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing (continuance of the October 5, 2010 hearing) was called to order by Mr. Ray Fidel, Chairman, at 7:30 p.m. on October 12, 2010 with Board members, Bill Skomrock,Sr., Tezeon Wong, Glen Quigley and Ken Blair(sitting for Mary Lee Brezina) present.

 

All in attendance for this hearing were duly sworn and asked when testifying to state their name and confirm being sworn in. Ray Fidel read the applicants request:

 

Stephen & Nora White, owners of Chagrin Valley Motors, LLC., request 1) a conditional use permit for a used car business at 9939 Kinsman Rd. in the B-1 Commercial District per Art. VI, Sec. 6.04 K that requires Board of Zoning Appeals approval per Art. X, Sec. 10.00, and 2) an area variance to allow vehicle parking 60 ft. from the Kinsman Rd, Right-of-way. r-o-w,(vs. Art. VI, Art. 6.04(K1&2) & 6.07A&E req’d 75 ft. from r-o-w).

 

Mr. Fidel confirmed that the lot consolidation was complete, confirmed and visible on Access Geauga maps.  He then asked the applicant to state his case. 

 

Mr. White reiterated his intention to operate a family (self, wife & kids) used car business.

 

Mr. Fidel asked the board to consider the variance request first.  He asked Mr. White why he needed the 75 ft. front setback.   Mr. White said if the lot were closer to the street it would be more visible to traffic traveling from the west on Kinsman and would require cutting fewer trees.  He questioned why other used car lots were closer than 75 feet? 

 

Mr. Fidel explained that many other car lots were grandfathered when 75 ft. setback was the building line permitting parking closer to Kinsman Rd.  He then read the specific regulations for the 75 ft. setback.  Mr. Fidel asked the board for their comments.  Mr. Wong asked about the well location – Mr. Fidel said he measured about 20 ft. to the rear of the building – about 111 ft from the road right of way.

 

Mr. Skomrock said he saw little difference if the setback were 60 or 75 feet given experiences with other dealers’ enforcement issues.  He thought the visual approach was open, without problems and well away from Sperry Rd. Mr. Blair said he would stay with the 75 ft. setback.  Mr. Quigley reminded all that a variance stays with the property and 75 ft. is okay.

 

Mr. Fidel said the 75 ft. setback is now the zoning code standard and called for a motion stating that a yes vote would deny the 60 ft. setback request.

 

Glen Quigley moved to deny the 60 ft. setback variance request; Tezeon Wong seconded the motion with a roll call vote as follows:

 

Glen Quigley                                                     yes

Tezeon Wong                                                   yes

            Ken Blair                                                          yes

            Bill Skomrock, Sr.                                            yes

            Ray Fidel                                                          yes

           

Mr. Fidel informed the applicant his variance request was denied.

 

The board then considered the application for the Conditional Use Permit.  Mr. White said he has met all the requirements for a conditional use permit; most of the property is undeveloped (<700ft.depth) with a 150 ft. undisturbed buffer zone to the southern R-1 district. He plans to clear about 20 ft. to the rear of the parking lot that will be gravel for greater permeability.

 

Mr. Quigley cautioned Mr. White that ODOT may not permit a driveway accessing Rt. 87.  Ms. Endres said there can be no driveway access from Sperry Rd.  Mr. White said he’ll leave the driveway as is with the car parking lot entrance in the rear of the building.  There would be the required space to park 5 vehicles next to the east side of the building.

 

Mr. Quigley asked to define the vehicles for sale: type, size, weight, etc.  Mr. White replied there would be cars, pick-up trucks, vans, possibly a small dump truck, no semi’s or farm equipment.  Mrs. White said this would be NO JUNKYARD, they have rental properties in Chagrin they’ve improved in looks and value.

 

Mr. Fidel asked about hours of operation – normal daylight business hours and lighting – some dim perimeter lighting for security, possibly with motion detector.  There will be a permitted lighted ground sign. No heavy repairs will be made, just minor mechanical work, car wash, detailing etc.  Mr. White’s operation would be environmental conscious, non-polluting and safe.

 

Mr. Fidel asked about sanitary facilities.  Mr. White replied he must replace the septic system for the rental house that cannot be used for the car lot operation. He may install a future porta-potty in the rear for the business.  He believes the rental house to be an asset for the car lot security.  Discussion continued regarding fencing, if any, landscaping and state requirements for car lot licensing. 

 

He asked the board for their comments. Mr. Skomrock read the applicants conditional use application and considered the information more than adequate.  Mr. Blair said he agreed with Mr. Skomrock.

 

Mr. Fidel then opened the meeting for audience comments beginning with Ann McDermott, the closest neighbor on Sperry Rd.  She asked if there would be additional maintenance buildings – Mr. White said all his cars are operable but a future structure might have car storage inside, he certainly wanted to be a good neighbor.

Mr. Majeski said he noticed a new roof on the building – Mr. White showed all renovation plans.  Mrs. Yeacker asked if this was a new venture – Mr. White said he has a realtor’s license,  purchased the property for investment and this is his first car lot operation.  Mr. Kovary asked if there would be any body work done – Mr. White said no, he is not a mechanic.  Chris Yeacker asked about the old structure – Mr. White said it had old barn beams, seemed solid, needed minor foundation repair and he would add new windows and siding.  Chris reiterated that ODOT controls driveways.  Mr. White shared his future plans: if there would be another building with a lift for oil changes and light repairs he knows he needs an additional vehicle repair permit.

 

At this point, Mr. Fidel advised the audience that the BZA can control and/or shut down any conditional use that generates complaints.  Mr. Quigley stated this conditional use permit was limited to operable vehicles.

Chris Yeacker  presented photos showing 3 existing used car lots in Newbury and several other in neighboring communities.  The Newbury lots were “not so good” and the others had much more pleasing appearances with paved drives, landscaping, signage etc.  Mrs. White said they own this property (vs. other Newbury leased car lots), will renovate and improve to increase its value both personally and for the community.  Mr. White hopes to sell 4 to 5 cars per month.  Chris sees this location as the gateway to Newbury and hopes it will become a garden spot.

 

Mr. Blair stepped out for a moment for a business phone call. 

 

Mr. White said he had purchased the property at a good price for improvement now and future investment return.  Mrs. Yeacker questioned the effect of future widening of Rt. 87 – 75 ft. setback should be adequate. 

 

Mr. Blair returned.

 

Mr. Wong asked what the maximum numbers of cars would be – Mr. White said there would be parking for 12 cars maximum but the lot could be expanded in the future. 

 

Mr. Quigley asked about landscaping the Sperry Rd. setback.  Mr. White said he would always maintain the 150 ft. south setback buffer in its natural state as required between B-1 & R-1 zones.  He intends some landscaping along Kinsman Rd. east of Sperry with minimum clearing leaving the wooded area as is along Sperry.  Mrs. White spoke out:  “why limit ourselves at this time when we have complied with all the conditional use requirements, broken no rules nor do we intend to violate any but only want to improve our property and be good neighbors.”  Mr. White confirmed that he had given/deeded the encroachment area to his eastern neighbor.

 

Mr. Skomrock said the BZA had no legal right to further restrict the owner’s use of their property and any such attempt would not withstand court scrutiny.  He asked the board to cease “badgering” Mr. and Mrs. White and complete the application for the conditional use permit.  Mr. Wong said he agreed with Mr. Skomrock.

 

Mrs. Yeacker asked to make one more comment – Mr. Fidel agreed.  She said she believes Newbury lacks long-term planning.

 

Mr. Fidel asked the board to identify any conditions they felt applicable to this conditional use permit.  Discussion continued to finalize previously mentioned concerns and limitations.

The board agreed to apply four conditions:

1)      Only operable vehicles with only minor repairs permitted,

2)      Vehicles restricted to a maximum allowed weight of 20,000 pounds each,

3)      Lot may be expanded (south) to a future depth of 60 feet,

4)      The 150 foot south setback from R-1 shall be maintained in its natural state.

Mr. and Mrs. White agreed to accept these conditions.

 

There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion stating that a yes vote would grant the conditional use permit with 4 conditions.

 

Tezeon Wong moved to accept the conditional use permit as requested with the following 4 conditions:

1)      Only operable vehicles with only minor repairs permitted,

2)      Vehicles - restricted to a maximum allowed weight of 20,000 pounds each,

3)      Lot may be expanded (south) to a future depth of 60 feet, with new permit,

4)      The 150 foot south setback from R-1 shall be maintained in its natural state.

Ken Blair seconded the motion.  A roll call vote followed:

 

Tezeon Wong                                                   yes

            Ken Blair                                                          yes

            Bill Skomrock, Sr.                                            yes

            Glen Quigley                                                     yes

Ray Fidel                                                          yes

           

Mr. Fidel informed the applicant his conditional use permit was approved.  The board wished the applicants good luck with their new venture.

 

Mr. Fidel read to the Appellant and audience, “Within 30 days after service of the minutes denying your variance request, if someone wishes to challenge this decision through the court, he or she may. The challenge could reverse or negate our decision. 

 

Mr. Fidel read to the Appellant and audience, “Based on the decision of the Board, you may proceed with obtaining your permit, once all requirements regarding this application are satisfied.  You are advised if someone objects to this decision they may challenge it in court.  If you choose to start operating at once, as soon as you begin your business you are bound by the conditions set forth by this Board, and all other Newbury Township zoning requirements.

 

Mr. Fidel then informed the applicant of the standard rules for a CU permit as listed in Art X & XII:

1)      The permit would be for a five year terms with reapplication thereafter,

2)      The permit would be reviewed yearly by the BZA,

3)      The permit could be cancelled anytime for condition violations.

 

Mr. Fidel informed the Appellant and the audience that the 30-day period commences with the Appellants’ signing receipt of the signed minutes.  They will be mailed registered return receipt to the Appellant.  All persons receiving notice of the hearing will receive copies of the minutes.

Mr. Fidel adjourned the hearing at 9:10 p.m.

 

Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS, the Board has voted to deny the 60 ft. setback variance as requested:

 

1)         The parcel could yield a reasonable return without the variance.

 

2)      This variance is substantial given the standard car lot setback is required for                  future highway widening.

 

3)                  The essential character of the neighborhood would not be substantially altered and the adjoining property owners would suffer no detriment as a result of denying this variance.

 

4)                  The variance has no effect on delivery of governmental services.

 

5)                  The owner purchased the property without specific knowledge of this zoning setback restriction.

 

6)                  The property owner’s predicament could be obviated through some method other than this variance as the car lot has a clear highway line of sight with the standard 75 ft. setback.

 

6)      The spirit and intent behind the zoning requirement would be observed and substantial justice done by denying the variance.  Such other criteria, which the Board believes relates to determining whether the zoning regulation is equitable; there were many adjacent property owners in attendance to object to this variance.

 

Mr. Fidel adjourned the BZA meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Marge Hrabak.  Secretary