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Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes 2022

Agendas

01-17-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
02-14-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
03-21-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
04-18-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Agenda.pdf
05-16-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Agenda.pdf
06-20-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Agenda.pdf

Meeting Minutes

01-17-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
02-14-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
03-21-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Canceled
04-18-2022 Board of Zoning Appeals

April 18, 2022 Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Chairman Mark Lareau called the St. John Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting to order on Monday, April 18, 2022 at 7:13 P.M., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Members Present:
Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Vice Chairman; Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, Secretary; and Mark Lareau, Chairman.

Also Present:
Adam Decker, Board Attorney; Bryan Blazak, Councilman Liaison; Joe Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and Sergio Mendoza, St. John Building and Planning Director. A quorum was attained.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to nominate Mark Lareau as Chairman, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Mr. Sheeran made a motion to nominate John Kennedy as Vice Chairman, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to nominate Brendan Sheeran as Secretary, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

MINUTES:

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve the April 19, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, May 17, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, June 21, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, July 19, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, August 16, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, November 8, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, and December 20, 2021 Board of Zoning Appeals Regular Meeting, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with four ayes and Mr. Birlson abstaining since he was not on the Board in 2021.

Ayes: John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None.
Abstain: Bob Birlson

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. 2022-01 DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-555 (b)(6) to replace the existing site sign with an electronic message center with an illuminated name topper, at 9450 Wicker Ave.; Lake County Public Library (applicant/owner), John Brock (Agent).
John Brock, Lake County Public Library, stated the plan is to take the existing sign and update it to an electronic message board as well as a topper that says “St. John Branch Library”. We would like to be able to have a sign where we can advertise different events that are happening at the library. The sign will rest on the existing base and is generally resting within the framework of what is there currently.

Mr. Birlson asked if the only addition would be the 18” x 90” sign topper. Mr. Brock stated that was correct. Mr. Lareau asked if the electronic sign would be the same size as the existing sign. Mr. Brock stated the existing sign is about 32.5” and the electronic sign is 36”, which was the closest size they have to the existing. Mr. Lareau asked what the maximum square footage was for signs. Building and Planning Director, Sergio Mendoza, stated fifty square feet is the maximum. This sign falls below that, even with the added sign topper. Mr. Lareau asked if the sign was going to have color or black and white. Mr. Brock stated it will have color. This is very similar to the signs that the school and Dairy Queen have.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the information that will be displayed on the electronic message sign will also be available on the library’s website. Mr. Brock stated some of it would be, yes. Mr. Kennedy asked if business at the library would be adversely affected if the variance for the electronic sign was not granted. Mr. Brock stated with this sign we will be able to reach people that may not think about going to the library for certain programs that could be advertised on the sign. Mr. Kennedy stated his concern is that this area is like the “downtown” of St. John, and questioned if having a large amount of electronic signs would be the feel that the Town would want for that area. Mr. Brock stated he would like to think that the library’s interest would be different of a store that is trying to sell dog food or ice cream. We have a bit of a higher motive in trying to get the public in to the library and trying to get kids to interact with the programs the library offers that they may not otherwise know about. However, that is the responsibility of this Board to decide if requests like these are needed or not. Mr. Kennedy stated your cause is worthwhile as a public entity that is trying to provide education and community support, but every petition is unique. We have approved them within the past year, but after this petition, what if Mighty Mike’s or J&M Golf want to have an electronic sign and we keep adding them to the area. It would be nice if there were more guidance in the Ordinance, other than the petitioner having to come in front of this Board for a variance. Mr. Brock stated in his opinion, he likes the electronic signs because the information tends to be good information. Mr. Lareau stated his concern is how busy that area already is and how many accidents occur there, and what will happen when one more distraction is added.

Mr. Birlson stated he thought the sign was a great idea to get more youth in to the library and encourage the use of it. There are other businesses in Town that do not necessarily need an electronic sign, but this would be a good use.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-01 Developmental Variance
No public comment was made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-01 Developmental Variance

Discussion followed regarding conditions that have been placed on electronic message boards in the past. Mr. Kennedy stated they have placed stipulations of no scrolling or flashing advertisements and a minimum of a ten second delay on messages. We have also done monotone colors in the past, but lately we have allowed the full color that is standard on these types of signs. Mr. Brock stated he believed the sign company had been in contact with Mr. Mendoza. Mr. Mendoza stated whatever stipulations the Board places on the variance tonight, we will be sure to work with the sign company to make sure they are aware and adhere to those conditions.

Board Action
Mr. Birlson made a motion to approve BZA 2022-01, the installation of an electronic message center and illuminated name topper in place of the existing sign at the St. John Public Library, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, with the conditions that the sign will have no scrolling messages, a ten second delay on messages, and full color will be allowed. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Brock if he would consider running emergency ads and silver and amber alerts on the message center. Mr. Brock stated he assumed that was within the capability of the system and would be willing to do so. Mr. Sheeran seconded the motion. Mr. Kennedy stated that in the future he would like more of a clear cut answer to things such as these message boards in the Ordinance so that it is not always up to the Board to make these decisions for every case. He agreed with Mr. Birlson in that this particular variance is for a public entity, but requested that the Board maybe look in to the Ordinance and how it could be changed to allow easier decisions to be made in the future. The Board agreed. The motion carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

B. 2022-02 DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-96 and StJMC 24-462(b) to construct a 40 foot by 30 foot detached garage in the location of current shed, at 9024 Columbia St.; James Dekker (applicant/owner).
James Dekker, 9024 Columbia St., stated he and his son are both “car guys” and they currently have four vehicles, two of which are parked on the street the majority of the time. He stated he has a little under an acre and would like to build an additional garage that would have a driveway off of 90th Street to house the vehicles that are typically parked on the street.

Mr. Lareau stated he understood where Mr. Dekker was coming from, but the size of the proposed garage was a concern. He asked what Mr. Dekker’s line of business was and if a business was going to be run out of the garage. Mr. Dekker stated he drives a garbage truck and that no business would be run out of the garage. Mr. Lareau asked the square footage of the proposed garage. Mr. Dekker stated 1,200 sq.ft. Mr. Lareau asked how much extra square footage is allowed. Mr. Mendoza stated if the lot is under 30,000 sq.ft., 1,100 sq.ft. of garage is allowed. He already has an existing attached garage and is proposing a second detached garage. The Ordinance requires that a detached garage receives a variance, and the square footage for the proposed garage also exceeds the minimum standards for a lot of record less than 30,000 sq.ft.

Mr. Birlson asked if Mr. Dekker’s son was going to be running a business out of the garage or if they are planning on restoring cars. Mr. Dekker stated his son has a race car, but they just have a lot of cars they need to store and no business would be done. There are a bunch of kids with a bunch of cars that come over in the summer time that are part of a race club. Mr. Lareau confirmed that there will be a two car door on one end and then a single door on the other. Mr. Dekker stated that was correct. The two car door is for the vehicles and the single door is for the mower. Mr. Lareau stated he understood that Mr. Dekker has a larger lot, but the proposed garage is still very large. Mr. Dekker stated this would be about a three and a half to four car garage. Mr. Lareau stated you are basically tripling the garage space you have with this building. Mr. Dekker stated he would not be opposed to going smaller. Mr. Lareau stated he would feel more comfortable with a much smaller garage. He stated he drove past Mr. Dekker’s house and there is currently a shed there with a large wraparound concrete pad, and asked if that shed would be torn down and the garage built on that. Mr. Dekker stated that was correct. Mr. Lareau reiterated that the proposed size was too large.

Mr. Kennedy stated he had heard from a few people that there is a detailing business that is currently operating out of Mr. Dekker’s garage. He stated he looked on Facebook and did find Dekker Elite Detailing with Mr. Dekker’s home address listed. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Dekker again if there was a side job that will be run out of the garage. Mr. Dekker stated he did not have a side job and that the business Mr. Kennedy was referring to is his son’s. He stated he runs the business out of the house, but does not do any of the work on our property. Mr. Kennedy stated in 2020, a permit was pulled for a parking pad. He asked if the garage is going to be placed on that pad. Mr. Dekker stated that was correct. Mr. Kennedy stated our building codes require footings, and asked if that pad was poured with footings. Mr. Dekker stated it has footings, but not below the frost line footings. Mr. Kennedy stated our building codes require that for anything over 720 sq.ft. It also looks like there is a drain coming out to the southwest. Mr. Dekker stated there was a drain there, but the Building Commissioner came by and said we could not have that, so the drain has been removed, but the pipe is still in the ground. Mr. Kennedy asked if it was the intention to always have a garage on that pad. Mr. Dekker stated it was. When the permit was applied for in 2020, it was all we could afford to do at the time so we decided to do the project one step at a time. Mr. Kennedy stated that was a big risk. Mr. Dekker agreed. There are other homes within walking distance of the property that have additional garages. Mr. Lareau stated we are not opposed to detached garages, but the proposed size is the issue.

Mr. Lareau asked Attorney Adam Decker if the Board requests new plans, how would we take action on that. Mr. Decker stated you should hear the remonstrance or anyone who wishes to speak at the public hearing. You have the ability to hold the hearing open to allow public comment for any revisions that are submitted. This is a variance sought from the development standards, which would run with the land, but if the Board is going to consider any restrictions they need to know the final project. If that is not what is being presented tonight, the Board may defer the item and hold the hearing open.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-02 Developmental Variance
Mr. Mendoza stated we received five letters of remonstration and the fifth letter has five different individuals that support that letter, however the first letter we received did not give a name so we will not be able to read it in to record.

Mr. Mendoza read the letters in to record from David and Patricia Schick, 13621 W. 90th Ave. (See Exhibit A); Nick and Colleen Romeli, 13564 W. 90th Ave. (See Exhibit B); Conrad and Mary Golanka, 9034 Howard Ct. (See Exhibit C); as well as the group letter submitted by Gerald and JoAnne Palko, 8963 Columbia St.; Thomas and Patricia Eaton, 8982 Columbia St.; Jan and Neal DeValk, 13620 W. 90th Ave.; Craig and Kay Nelson, 8989 Columbia St.; and Paul and Judy Ingram, 8960 Columbia St. (See Exhibit D).

Rhuben Pittman, 9021 Columbia St., stated he would like to see the plans for the garage because it needs to be in conformance with the home that is there and that he is opposed to any businesses being run out of the garage as well as any living quarters being built in the garage. He also stated that the current shed is an eyesore and should be removed, and requested that construction be done in a timely manner. Mr. Pittman understood the need to get the extra vehicles off of the street, but stated the proposed 1,200 sq.ft. is too large for the site.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-02 Developmental Variance

Mr. Decker stated the Board can take action tonight to approve, deny, or defer to a following meeting in order to allow additional material to be submitted. Mr. Lareau stated he would prefer that Mr. Dekker provide new drawings so that the neighbors can see the updated proposal. Mr. Decker stated he was not sure how that would be accomplished. Mr. Kennedy asked Mr. Decker if he were willing to adjust his plans or if the Board needed to make a decision as is. Mr. Decker stated he is more than willing to adjust his plans as well as show those new plans to the neighbors who have opposed this proposal and have them sign off that they have seen it. Mr. Lareau stated it was not just the size of the garage, but the material needs to match the house as well. Mr. Dekker apologized for not conveying that, but that it is his intention to match the house. Mr. Kennedy stated since the proper footings are not there, he would request that the garage be a maximum of 720 sq.ft. since that is what is allowed per Code. He also asked that if the drain remains there be plans to tie it in properly to the sanitary system, and there will be a strict rule of no business and the materials matching the home.

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to defer BZA 2022-02 to the May meeting in order to allow Mr. Dekker to submit new plans that meet the requirements that have been discussed. Mr. Popovic stated if we are reducing the size of the structure, it will not fall on top of the existing footings. Mr. Dekker stated one wall would not be on the footings, which we can fix. Mr. Kennedy stated we will have our Building Commissioner look at the new plans to make sure everything is in order and bring a recommendation to the Board and keep the public hearing open so that neighbors can view the new plans and comment on them. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Popovic asked how the neighbors would be notified. Mr. Mendoza stated the information that was sent out was notification of the public hearing. Any updates that we receive on the file will be available for viewing at the office. Mr. Kennedy asked if they would be notified again. Mr. Mendoza stated the Town does not notify residents of any new updates. If the applicant chooses to do that himself, that would be on him. Mr. Popovic stated with how many people are against the project he would prefer they be notified in some way of the new plans. Mr. Dekker stated he would prefer not to have to send out another packet, but he would be willing to visit his neighbors with the new plans.

C. 2022-03 SPECIAL EXCEPTION: from StJMC 24-342 et seq. StJMC 24-45 to request a Personal Service Use (Nail Salon) in the US 41 Overlay District, at 8329 Wicker Ave.; Tuong Tran, OT Nail (applicant/owner), Son Nguyen (Agent).
Son Nguyen, General Contractor for OT Nail, stated the unit will be built out from an empty shell to house a nail salon that will offer basic care that is normally found in nail salons. Renee Egnatz, owner of Lake Central Plaza, stated OT Nail will add value to our plaza and the current businesses are excited for them to be a part of the area. Mr. Kennedy stated it looks like there are six stations and a room. Mr. Nguyen stated those are pedicure stations and the room with be our esthetician room. Mr. Kennedy asked how many employees there would be. Mr. Nguyen stated we are planning for five to ten. Mr. Kennedy asked if there has been any parking issues. Ms. Egnatz stated no. Mr. Kennedy asked if there were any issues with sanitary water. Mr. Nguyen stated no, this would just be pedicure water with no chemicals. Ms. Egnatz stated there is plenty of parking behind the building for his employees that would not impact customer parking.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-03 Special Exception
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-03 Special Exception

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for BZA 2022-03, the special exception of a Personal Service Use (Nail Salon) for OT Nail at 8329 Wicker Ave., including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

D. 2022-04 DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-520 et seq. StJMC 24-516 (e)(1) to construct a fence three feet behind the sidewalk on a corner lot and encroach in to the vision triangle, at 9122 Mallord Ln.; Zac Topoll (applicant/owner).
Zac Topoll, 9122 Mallord Ln., stated his intent is to continue the fence of his neighbor’s out to the sidewalk in order to allow our four young children to play freely within the yard. There is an existing sewer main about five feet off of the sidewalk that we would like for the fence to be on the far side of. The intent is to install an aluminum fence that does not obstruct the view significantly. He stated he looked in to the minimum visibility requirements, which is 115 feet at 20mph. That cannot be obstructed with this type of fence due to the size of the radius of this road. We are looking to bring the fence forward to cover the window wells as well in order to avoid people looking through them or even falling in to the well itself.

Mr. Lareau stated in regards to the window wells, covers can be purchased to cover those. To take the fence all the way to the sidewalk is questionable. Mr. Mendoza stated the fence needs to be eight feet from the property line, per our Ordinance. Mr. Topoll stated he does have neighbors with opaque privacy fences just a few feet off of the sidewalks. Mr. Lareau stated Ordinances and people may have changed since then. Mr. Kennedy stated Mr. Topoll brings up a good point, but this Board has really tried to put a stop to that immediately. In the last few variances, we have pushed the fence back to the building line which is a better standard for us and avoids future conflicts and safety concerns. With this size yard, it is hard to allow pushing the fence that far back. Mr. Kennedy suggested having the fence on the building line in order to help create that standard among the Board. Mr. Topoll asked what the safety concern was. Mr. Kennedy stated if someone is riding a bike on that sidewalk and falls, they could be falling right in to that fence. Discussion followed regarding the vision triangle and how that would still be a variance even if the fence were eight feet off of the property line.

Mr. Lareau stated it looks like the fence is further forward from the back corner as well, and on a corner lot it needs to start at the back corner of the house. That would not be as big of a deal if we only allowed the fence to come out to the building line because we understand the want to enclose the window wells. Mr. Topoll asked if they would approve of him bringing the fence eight feet from the property line and not impacting the vision triangle. It technically requires that variance, but with the type of fence proposed, it would not impact the vision triangle. Mr. Mendoza stated if the fence is kept eight feet off of the line, it would still run in to the vision triangle and would need a variance. Mr. Topoll stated any fence that is installed would impact that triangle. Mr. Kennedy asked if this type of fence would still be used if the Board asks for the fence to be on the building line. Mr. Topoll stated he intended to install that type of fence regardless. Mr. Kennedy asked if the basement windows were egress windows. Mr. Topoll stated they were not.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-04 Developmental Variance
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-04 Developmental Variance

Mr. Kennedy stated he is not in favor of how this is proposed and would rather see it at the building line, but allow the two window wells to be within the fence. Mr. Lareau stated he understood wanting to push the fence out, but agreed with Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Topoll presented the Board with a drawing showing the fence at three feet off of the sidewalk and how it may look with the vision triangle based on the 115 foot visibility at 20mph. He stated his goal was to enclose as much yard as possible for his children, but also increase the value of the home and installing the fence on the building line would, if anything, decrease the value making the yard look awkward. Mr. Popovic stated his concern would be the underground utilities. Mr. Topoll stated there are minimal utilities where the fence is proposed. We did have them marked to find out.

Mr. Kennedy stated Mr. Topoll has a larger lot and he understands wanting to fence as much as possible, but as is, he would not be in favor of the proposed fence location. Discussion followed regarding allowing the fence to be further towards the front of the house to enclose the window wells, but only to the building line in order to not impact the vision triangle as much. Mr. Lareau stated if Mr. Topoll is wanting to go past the building line, it sounds like there is no happy medium. Mr. Kennedy agreed and stated he did not see any other hardship that would change his mind on the location of the fence. Mr. Topoll stated the hardship is that the property value will diminish with the yard cut in half and we may have to tear down a fence in order to sell our home down the line, which would financially impact us. He stated he also believed that his neighbors would have an issue bringing the fence in because in speaking with them, they were on board for how it is proposed. Mr. Popovic stated although you can see through this fence, if you look at the first picture of the neighbor’s fence, you notice that the further back you look the fence becomes a solid line that you cannot see through. That shows the visual impact it would have on the corner. Mr. Topoll stated he would be significantly further back on the road and be able to see through there.

Mr. Kennedy asked if the proposal was still three feet off of the sidewalk. Mr. Topoll stated he did not believe that was an option after discussion, and modified the plan to be eight feet off of the sidewalk and behind the front window well, approximately thirteen feet from the front edge of the southeast corner of the home. Mr. Kennedy stated he still preferred the building line. The Board members agreed. Mr. Lareau stated we understand the position, but we are really striving for consistency.

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to deny BZA 2022-04, to construct a fence three feet behind the sidewalk on a corner lot and encroach in to the vision triangle at 9122 Mallord Ln., including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Topoll asked if that meant he did not have a fence and that he needed to start from scratch. Mr. Decker stated if the fence does not require a variance, you may build it. Mr. Topoll stated everything requires a variance because of the vision triangle. Mr. Mendoza stated the current code allows you to be eight feet off of the property line and out of the site line, so a fence can be constructed around that. For the Board’s information, corner lots are 20% larger than normal lots because of the complexity they propose. They are allowed to be larger in order to help offset those complexities. In this case, the twenty foot building line is off of a one hundred and twenty foot lot line, which that lot line is typically one hundred feet on an interior lot. Mr. Topoll stated any fence that is proposed will encroach in to the vision triangle. Mr. Mendoza stated he would sit with Mr. Topoll to come up with a plan that the staff can approve. Mr. Topoll stated we have already looked at that and there is no option that we are willing to proceed with. Mr. Topoll asked if he went to the building line, would the Board be willing to accept that. Mr. Kennedy stated that is what he has asked the whole time. Mr. Topoll stated if that is the case and we can adjust it, we would be willing to do that.

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to reconsider BZA 2022-04, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-04, the variance from StJMC 24-520 et seq. StJMC 24-516 (e) (1), including Findings of Cat and all discussion had. The following contingencies are made part of this motion: the fence begins to the west of the most eastern window well, runs south only to the building line, is the proposed open aluminum fence, and mature landscaping may only be up to six feet tall in the southeast corner of the fenced in area. The motion was seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

E. 2022-05 SPECIAL EXCEPTION: from StJMC 24-342 et seq. StJMC 24-45 to request a Personal Service Use (Stretch Lab) in the US 41 Overlay District, at 10033 Wicker Ave., Suite 6; Michael Wondaal, Stretch Lab (applicant/owner), Michael Wondaal (Agent), Paul DeBoer (Building Owner).
Michael Wondaal, potential franchise owner of Stretch Lab, stated we are an assisted stretching and fitness boutique studio that came out of southern California in 2015. We will have roughly fifteen employees and the goal is to assist clients in their flexibility and mobility and overall health needs. Mr. Kennedy asked how many people maximum would be at the facility. Mr. Wondall stated there are ten benches, but we have yet to see a studio that full at one time. Typically we see about five to six clients, each with a stretchologist, and then a few employees at the front counter. Mr. Kennedy asked if there were any known parking issues in that area. Mr. Mendoza stated we have not received any complaints in that area. According to our Ordinance they would need about eleven or twelve parking spots at full capacity, which this area meets.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-05 Special Exception
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-05 Special Exception

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for BZA 2022-05, the special exception of a Personal Service Use for Stretch Lab at 10033 Wicker Ave. Suite 6, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

F. 2022-06 USE VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-342 et seq. StJMC 24-45 to allow a dance school in property zoned C-2 and in the US 41 Overlay District, at 8385 Wicker Ave.; Katie’s Spotlight Dance Studio (applicant/owner), Tim Kuiper (Attorney).
Tim Kuiper, Attorney, stated this use is permitted in the underlying C-2 use, however it has the US 41 Overlay District on top of it, and it is not listed in those uses. This area has been used for a dance studio in the past and there will only be one, maybe two, children receiving instruction at the same time with a few parents watching. There is a martial arts studio in this complex, but they meet at different times from when lessons are proposed at the dance studio which would not impact parking.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-06 Use Variance
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-06 Use Variance

Board Action
Mr. Popovic made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for BZA 2022-06, the use variance of a School for Katie’s Spotlight Dance Studio at 8385 Wicker Ave., including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

G. 2022-07 DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-346, StJMC 24-347, and StJMC 24-351 to impact lot width, setback, building square footage, building material, and to eliminate bicycle parking in the US 41 Overlay District, at 10630 Wicker Ave.; Marian Wayside Shrine Foundation, Inc. (applicant/owner), Kevin Hunt (Attorney).
Kevin Hunt, Attorney, stated we are planning an expansion at the Shrine that will require some items to be addressed before we are able to finish. Today we would like to get approval for variances that will be a part of the addition of a meditation garden, retail center, and small plaza. The first variance will be for the setback of the retail center as it will be set further back from US 41 due to the connectivity to the current prayer trail and the Town well being located on the same lot. In the US 41 Overlay District, buildings are supposed to be along US 41, which is not possible in this case. Additionally, this is a very long parcel. Normally the width can only be half of the depth of a parcel, which will be another variance we are seeking. Much like many of the buildings on US 41, this will not meet the 15,000 sq.ft. minimum floor area, but it will be set further back and heavily landscaped so it is not as noticeable from the road. An additional variance request would be to eliminate the requirement of a bicycle rack on the building since we are trying to portray something that is well over five hundred years old. Mr. Lareau asked if that was a requirement. Mr. Mendoza stated it is part of the US 41 Overlay District to provide bicycle parking. Mr. Hunt stated the final request would be for building material. This will be a cement type plaster with an acrylic finish and cedar posts and shutters in order to mimic a building that is five hundred years old.

Mr. Kennedy asked what was going to be proposed between the retail building and US 41. Mr. Hunt stated at this time it will just be the ingress/egress that is currently there. Frank Schilling, Marian Wayside Shrine, stated the only access to that building will be through the prayer trail because there will be a fence around the entire area. The reason for that building is to provide extra restrooms for guests. There were requests for restrooms along the prayer trail, but we did not feel it was appropriate so this structure will allow there to be restrooms at the end of the trail as well as the restrooms in the main building at the beginning of the trail. Mr. Lareau asked what type of fence would be installed. Mr. Schilling stated the same type that is around the Continental subdivision. It will have gates for emergency access and will be heavily landscaped with berms. We would like to keep it hidden from US 41 in a way, just like the rest of the area is. Mr. Kennedy stated he is trying to understand what the vision is for between the fence and US 41. He asked if there would be further parking installed there. Mr. Schilling stated on Good Friday there were cars parked in that area, yes. Mr. Kennedy asked if additional parking spots would be planned for that area. Mr. Schilling stated it holds three hundred cars now, and normally throughout the week we use the main parking area, but on special occasions we have to use that area as additional parking. Mr. Hunt stated at the moment that area is going to stay asphalt grinding, but in the future, that area will be an interior road that leads to future development to the north. All of that is subject to a lot more steps and Plan Commission approval. Mr. Kennedy stated we do not know what the site plan is for the area between the building and US 41, and we understand not wanting a bike rack next to the new building, however if this area is going to be a parking lot in the future there would be potential to install a bike rack there. The other variances are understandable, but once we give approval it is for the entire lot and at this time we do not know what else will be added to that lot between the building and US 41. Mr. Schilling stated if a bike rack is required, we will install one. Once the store closes, we open the back gate so people are still able to walk the trail. If we install a bike rack there, we feel it will encourage people to ride their bikes on the trail, which is not our intention. The Board agreed that the existing parking lot would not be an ideal spot for a bike rack.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-07 Developmental Variance
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-07 Developmental Variance

Mr. Kennedy asked if the facility will be seen from US 41 once the proposed landscaping is mature, and if so, is there the possibility for denser landscaping to be installed. Mr. Hunt stated there is a berm installed along with some arborvitae that helps to hide the chapel, but there will be heavy landscaping around the retail center that include some tall grass and evergreens. Mr. Schilling stated if the Board would like to see a berm, we can install a berm. Mr. Popovic stated he did like the idea of a bike rack being installed and asked if it were possible to install one by the walking path and post a sign that states “no bikes beyond this point” in order to keep them off of the trail. Mr. Lareau stated those signs are already out there and they do not deter people from bringing their bikes and skateboards on to the path. Mr. Schilling stated if the Board really wants that, we can install that. Mr. Hunt asked for a contingency for no bike rack on the current development, but if there is a change there would need to be BZA approval. Mr. Kennedy stated he would go with if the site plan includes parking at a future date that the bike rack be installed there. Mr. Lareau agreed and stated he would not put it near the walking path, but further north on the property. Mr. Decker agreed that would be an appropriate condition.

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-07, the variance from StJMC 24-346 to allow the building to be set further back on the lot than what is allowed in the US 41 Overlay District, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-07, the variance from StJMC 24-346 to allow the width of the lot to be less than half of the depth, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Popovic and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-07, the variance from StJMC 24-346 to allow the building to have 3,752 sq.ft. of floor area, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had, seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-07, the variance from StJMC 24-347 to eliminate the need for bicycle parking, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The following conditions are made a part of this motion: if any portion of lot 2 between the adobe structure and US 41 becomes a paved parking surface at any time, bicycle parking shall be required. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-07, the variance from StJMC 24-351 to allow the use of adobe-type materials in the construction of the chapel and retail center, including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The following conditions are made a part of this motion: additional buffering, berms, or landscaping will be added to minimize visibility of the facility from US 41. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

H. 2022-08 USE VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-342 et seq. StJMC 24-45 to allow the use of an Outdoor Amusement Establishment (meditation garden, walking paths, and welcome center) in the US 41 Overlay District, at 10630 Wicker Ave.; Marian Wayside Shrine Foundation, Inc. (applicant/owner), Kevin Hunt (Attorney).
Kevin Hunt, Attorney, stated the site existed before the addition of the US 41 Overlay District, but when we went to clean up the site plan and do the expansion we realized that we would not be grandfathered in with the use. We spoke with the Building and Planning Department to come up with the best potential use for the Shrine, and we landed on an Outdoor Amusement Establishment. The site is a bit of a walking museum, but that is not listed as a use in the Ordinance.

Mr. Kennedy asked what other uses would be allowed under this per our Ordinance. Mr. Mendoza stated whatever would be identified as an Outdoor Amusement. We can tie the contingencies to that use and identify the meditation garden, walking paths, and welcome center. Mr. Decker stated the Town’s Ordinance identifies an Outdoor Amusement Establishment to mean “theaters, raceways, music arenas, theme parks, amusement parks, miniature golf, water slides, batting cages, go-kart courses, and skateboard courses”. You may impose whatever conditions on the request. Mr. Hunt stated we are going to continue to use the Shrine as it has been in the past with no plan of those activities. We do not want the conditions to be too limiting, but we also do not want it to be too broad. Mr. Lareau asked what purposes are being considered down the road outside of the meditation garden and walking paths. Mr. Hunt stated he cannot say that there will never be another addition or change to the Shrine. Mr. Schilling stated there are occasions where there may be singing. Mr. Kennedy stated we are not expecting anything to change with the Shrine itself, but long term, someone could buy it and put a waterpark there. Mr. Hunt stated there will likely be small church gatherings and things like that. Mr. Schilling stated he is trying to get area churches to come and share in their musical talents. Mr. Kennedy stated we do not want to limit a potential music pavilion, but we do not want to allow the potential for rodeos or anything like that. Mr. Hunt stated currently there are no plans to change what we have been doing. The only things that are listed that we would want limited is theater, since we could possibly have reenactments; and the music arena, which it will not be an arena, but possible musical performances. We would like to continue the current activities that we have had in the past. Discussion followed.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-08 Use Variance
No public comments were made.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-08 Use Variance

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for BZA 2022-08, the use variance of an Outdoor Amusement Establishment for Marian Wayside Shrine Foundation, Inc. at 10630 Wicker Ave., including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The following conditions are made a part of this motion: the activities on this property will be associated with the current activities of the Shrine, and the planned activities of the Marian Wayside Shrine Foundation, Inc. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sheeran and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

I. 2022-09 DEVELOPMENTAL VARIANCE: from StJMC 24-520 et seq. StJMC 24-516 (e)(1) to construct a fence six feet behind the sidewalk on a corner lot and encroach in to the vision triangle, at 8284 W. 105th Ave.; Scott Biederwolf (applicant/owner).
Scott Biederwolf, 8284 W. 105th Ave., stated we are asking to extend our fence fifteen feet from the home to allow the fence to be perpendicular rather than at an angle. The fence will invade the vision triangle by about thirty-two square feet total. We have two young kids and would like to have some privacy and safety for them as well as our dog.

Mr. Lareau asked if this was the home that received a letter from their HOA. Mr. Mendoza stated that was correct. Mr. Kennedy stated in this case, their house is right on the building line. He stated he would be more willing to move off of the building line and go to the easement line, which they would lose 3.5 feet of what they are proposing. In this case, it would not be appropriate to put the fence right on the building line. Mr. Kennedy stated this would obviously hinge on you getting approval from the HOA for the building permit since we will not be able to issue that without the HOA approval. Mr. Biederwolf stated we understand that we need HOA approval before receiving a permit. In our defense, they seemed to have blindly denied the fence without knowing what the proposal is. After speaking with the secretary of the HOA, she stated they have final say on the fence and since we did not approach them first, it would be denied. We assumed we needed to get some sort of approval from the Town first since we were seeking a variance before approaching the HOA with final plans for approval for the permit. Our HOA covenants do not state anywhere that we cannot have a fence where we are proposing, nor does it address the process if a variance is needed from the Town. We have been told that we can go to the Architectural Committee for approval after we receive preliminary approval from the Town, which is what we intend to do.

Kristie Biederwolf, 8284 W. 105th Ave., stated with the proposal, we just wanted to avoid having to cut our fence at an angle in order to avoid the vision triangle. Mr. Biederwolf agreed and stated we want to stay with the look of the subdivision and allowing the fence to be straight rather than at an angle would be more esthetically pleasing. Mr. Kennedy asked the type of fence they wanted to install. Mr. Biederwolf stated per our covenants it has to be a six foot white PVC privacy fence.

Mr. Lareau asked if the Board needed to wait for approval from the HOA. Mr. Mendoza stated we do not have to wait for approval from the HOA. The BZA is a quasi-jurisdictional body that takes action upon the municipal codes themselves. We will not be able to issue a building permit without HOA approval, however.

Open to Public Hearing 2022-09 Developmental Variance
Mr. Mendoza read in to record the letter from HOA Property Manager, Nicole Jefferson (See Exhibit E).

Mr. Biederwolf stated our HOA covenants does not speak to the inability to construct a fence or where it can or cannot be placed. We assumed that in order for us to get approval from the HOA, we would need to get approval for the variance that was needed from the Town first. In hearing that letter, it seems clear that they are wanting to deny the fence out of spite simply because we did not go to them first. Mrs. Biederwolf stated we did try to reach the Architectural Committee members to see if they would like to have a discussion or come tonight to hear the proposal, but we did not have any luck.

Closed to Public Hearing 2022-09 Developmental Variance

Town Manager, Joe Wiszowaty asked Mr. and Mrs. Biederwolf if there were no restrictions on fencing in their covenants. Mrs. Biederwolf read all of the exerts from the HOA covenants that had to do with fencing, none of which addressed corner lots. Mr. Wiszowaty stated he found it odd to receive the letter from the HOA. Mr. Biederwolf stated he found it odd as well. Mrs. Biederwolf stated that is why we still wanted to come to get approval from the Board because we are not sure if they understand what we are asking for. We were not trying to go behind anyone’s back. Mr. Kennedy asked how the distance from the sidewalk to the proposed fence came about. Mrs. Biederwolf stated they wanted to stay off of the sidewalk enough for safety reasons as well as for ease of snow removal, and it seemed more esthetically pleasing to not butt right up against the sidewalk. Mr. Kennedy stated he would suggest going off of the easement line, which may not even require a variance for the vision triangle. Mr. Lareau stated that is moving the fence in about two feet. Mr. Mendoza stated it would be in the best interest, if the Board approves along the easement, to still address the variance because it is a matter of a mathematical equation that this Board cannot do. It would be up to the contractor, but because it is so close, we should address it anyway.

Board Action
Mr. Kennedy made a motion to approve BZA 2022-09, the variance from StJMC 24-520 et seq. StJMC 24-516 (e) (1), including Findings of Fact and all discussions had. The following condition is made a part of this motion: the fence will be allowed to come off of the back corner of the house out to the ten foot utility easement line only. The motion was seconded by Mr. Birlson and carried by voice vote with five ayes.

Ayes: Bob Birlson, John Kennedy, Drago Popovic, Brendan Sheeran, and Mark Lareau
Nays: None

NEW/OLD BUSINESS

PUBLIC COMMENT

ADJOURNMENT

With no further discussions, Mr. Lareau adjourned the meeting at 10:07 P.M.

 

 

Mark LareauJohn Kennedy
Board of Zoning Appeals, Chairman      Board of Zoning Appeals, Vice-Chairman

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