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BZA Meeting Minutes - May 20, 2013

Chairman Fritz called the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting to order at 5:22pm.

PRESENT AT ROLL CALL: Mr. Bolek, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Janke, Mayor Renda, Mr. Stanard

OTHERS PRESENT: Greg Potts, Building Inspector, Aimee Lane, Assistant Law Director, Jeff Filarski, Village Engineer

A Motion was made by Mayor Renda seconded by Mrs. Cooper to approve the minutes of the March 25, 2013 meeting.

AYES: Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Janke, Mayor Renda, Mr. Stanard

Mr. Tony Whitehouse
458 Bentleyville Road
Slope Stabilization

Chairman Fritz declared the public hearing open at 5:23pm. At this time, Mrs. Lane administered the oath to those who wanted to speak at the hearing.

Mrs. Noelle Whitehouse, homeowner was present at the meeting. She stated that they have had multiple studies done regarding this project; it was determined to put a culvert at the bottom of the slope and stabilize the bank to get it at the proper angle of repose in order to stop the erosion. Mrs. Whitehouse stated that the erosion is quite significant and has extended all the way to their driveway. She stated that this project is necessary in order to maintain the property.

Mr. Fritz stated that a letter in support of this project from the Whitehouse’s neighbor was received. He stated that reports from the Army Corps of Engineers and EDP Consultants were also submitted with this project request. Mr. Filarski stated that the Army Corps of Engineers has a Nationwide 29 Permit which allows them to culvert the stream.

Mr. Bolek asked Mrs. Whitehouse how progressive the erosion is and at what point was it determined that the work needed to be done. Mrs. Whitehouse stated that the erosion was minimal until one summer, a few years ago, that was particularly rainy and therefore washed away much of the hillside.

Mrs. Cooper asked Mr. Filarski whether the culvert pipe is being placed on the neighbor’s property. Mr. Filarski stated that the culvert pipe runs onto the neighbor’s property and along the property line to the Whitehouse property. He stated that he did suggest to Chip Hess that there be a recorded easement so that there would not be any problems in the future as far as who is responsible.

Since there were no audience members present who wanted to comment, Chairman Fritz declared the public hearing closed at 5:28pm.

Mr. Stanard asked if Chip Hess would be the contractor installing the culvert pipe. Mrs. Whitehouse stated that the contractor is Horizon. Mr. Stanard asked who would be monitoring the fill. Mr. Filarski stated that he has suggested having the soil tested to be sure that the contractor is compacting the soil properly. Mr. Potts stated that the fill would have to be brought in off Miles Road.

Mr. Fritz stated that since this area does have Geeburg soil, which is a cause for a lot of slope slides, he believes that this project represents a good effort to stave off that erosion.

Mrs. Lane stated that Mr. Tony Whitehouse of 458 Bentleyville, is seeking a variance from Section 1173.03(e)(3) which prohibits earth disturbing activities in areas of Geeburg soils and Section 1173.07(f)(2) which prohibits filling or dumping of soils within riparian setback areas to permit the re-directing of a stream into a culvert and the placement of clay fill on the property in relation to a project designed to provide stability to an unstable hillside at the property. The granting of the variances is based upon the following findings:

1. There are special conditions and circumstances at the property not applicable generally to other properties in the same zoning district because based upon the engineering reports, the property is unstable and in need of stabilization to address stream erosion and the instability of the hillside. This instability can affect, and in fact is affecting, the driveway and possibly the house in the future.
2. The variances, though substantial, are the minimum necessary to permit reasonable use of the property and its continuation as a residence.
3. The variances will not adversely affect the delivery of governmental services.
4. The variances will not substantially alter the essential character of the neighborhood and no neighbors have voiced any concerns to the Board.
5. The spirit and intent behind the zoning regulations will be observed and substantial justice will be done by granting the variances because the project will stabilize the stream bank and prevent downstream transport of sediments eroded from watercourse banks.
6. Due to the current soil conditions at the property, the applicant’s predicament cannot be obviated through some method other than the variances.
7. The applicant has secured the required approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio EPA to perform the project and has also secured written consent of the abutting landowner, which will be further evidenced through an easement because a portion of the work must be performed on the abutting property.

Mr. Tony Whitehouse, homeowner, entered the meeting at 5:31pm. Mr. Fritz summarized the meeting up to this point for Mr. Whitehouse.

Mr. Stanard made a motion seconded by Mr. Bolek to accept the findings of fact.

AYES: Mr. Bolek, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Janke, Mayor Renda, Mr. Stanard

Mayor Renda wanted Mr. Whitehouse to have the opportunity to speak since he made the effort to attend the meeting. Mr. Whitehouse apologized for confusing the meeting dates. He asked about having to obtain an easement on his neighbor, Craig Steinmeyer’s property. Mr. Whitehouse asked if it would be possible to move the pipe so that it would not be on Mr. Steinmeyer’s property and therefore would not require an easement. Mr. Filarski stated that from a construction standpoint, to move the pipe would require more excavation. He stated that even if it was moved off the neighbor’s property, in order to access it, the equipment would need to be on the neighbor’s property. Mr. Filarski stated that the main reason for the easement would be for Mr. Whitehouse’s protection or that of any future owners of his home. He stated that if maintenance has to be done on the pipe, then the easement would give workers the ability to access it by entering the Steinmeyer’s property in order to make the repairs. If there was no easement, the Steinmeyer’s or a future owner of his home, could deny access to his property and therefore the necessary repairs would not be able to be made.

Mr. Stanard made a motion seconded by Mr. Bolek to approve the two variances in order to allow filling or dumping of soils within the riparian setback and to allow earth disturbing activities in the hillside protection zone in order to stabilize the slope at 458 Bentleyville Road, with the requirement that an easement be obtained with the abutting neighbor, Craig Steinmeyer.

AYES: Mr. Bolek, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Janke, Mayor Renda, Mr. Stanard

Mrs. Cooper made a motion seconded by Mr. Stanard to adjourn the meeting at 5:40p.m.

AYES: Mr. Bolek, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Janke, Mayor Renda, Mr. Stanard

Respectfully Submitted,
Sherri Arrietta, Clerk of Council

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