Union City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
 
First Quarter 2001
 
Jan. 9, 2001, Meeting Minutes
Feb. 13, 2001, Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2001, Meeting Minutes
 
 

Jan. 9, 2001

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

 
Members Present:
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Larry Beyer
Lynn Thomas-Roth
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
Mrs. Lynne Thomas-Roth called the Planning Commission meeting to order and attendance was taken. Mr. Shields was absent.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any questions or comments about the minutes from the December 12, 2000 planning commission meeting. There was a brief discussion on the name of the representatives from Oberer Development that attended the last meeting.
Mr. Beyer then moved that the minutes be accepted as prepared. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
2. Byron Firsdon from Firsdon Construction Co. was scheduled to be present for a discussion on Irongate Estates - changing the original concept plan for the remainder of the development to a new plan called Irongate Estates II.

Mr. Applegate said that something had come up and Mr. Firsdon was not able to attend the meeting. He did say that he would be present at the next meeting. He will be bringing his building designs and models to be considered. One model is 1400 square feet but the rest are around 1600 square feet. The builder he is speaking with is Ryan Homes.
Mr. Marsh asked if it would be appropriate to discuss this with the homeowner's association at Irongate. Mr. Applegate said some people do know about it and are waiting to see what develops.
 
Mr. Applegate said Scott Temple, who was present at the last planning commission meeting (for another matter)is a builder and resident in Irongate, wants it to stay the same but also knows that homes are not being sold there at a steady rate.
They might explore a certain percentage of 1400 square foot homes being built which meets the city's minimum square footage requirement. Mr. Applegate has requested Mr. Firsdon to show the planning commission more information.
Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked what would happen if a development would declare bankruptcy, would the homeowner's association have to take responsibility for the clubhouse and pool. Mr. Applegate said that was correct and that currently, the developer was paying the majority of the cost for operation of the pool. Mr. Applegate said that the developer was not in danger of declaring bankruptcy but realized that they needed someone to do more marketing and draw more people to the development.
Mr. Marsh also said he felt the subdivision was not marketed enough.
Mr. Applegate said bigger home builders do more marketing and advertising, which promotes the development. Mr. Applegate said Ryan homes promotes all of their subdivisions. Mr. Applegate said if the builder or developer is known, they draw a lot of traffic.
Mr. Applegate said they would like to see the area developed. Once the city gets more information and knows what they want to do, they can give an answer to Mr. Firsdon. Mr. Applegate said Mr. Temple has talked to some of his neighbors and they do know that the development is for sale.
Mr. Applegate said he would like the planning commission to find out more before inviting the homeowner's association to the meetings. He said he was advised by the city attorney that as long as the proposal conformed to the zoning regulations, it would be allowed. Mr. Beyer said he was not sure they should even involve the home owners association with the city, that the homeowners should deal directly with the developer.
Mr. Marsh said he did not like the reduction of the square footage of the homes in the covenants. Mr. Applegate said the covenants that were recorded cover sections one through four. The rest of the land has no covenants, it is just farm land. Since there are no homeowners in some of the sections, and the developer owns the majority of the parcels, they can change the covenants but they would have to be approved by the city. The city would have to have "just reason" to reject a subdivision and the subdivision regulations for R-3 zoning allows 1400 square feet homes.
Mr. Applegate said he was concerned about preserving the woods.
None of the planning commission members had been able to go out and see Mr. Firsdon's developments. Mr. Applegate says he sells to Ryland and other builders so he may be able to bring in more builders.

3. Discussion on sign regulations
Mr. Marsh said that awhile back, CVS had a variance request for a sign. Mr. Marsh said with the completion of State Route 48, it might be an appropriate time to look at the sign regulations to protect and improve the city's image. Mr. Marsh said under 1341.03, item C, where the signs can be 25 feet above the ground. He said he would like to see that lowered. Also, item D, 50 square feet of sign permitted per zoning lot, and an individual sign no larger than 30 square feet. He thought that was a large amount signs allowed.
Mr. Beyer said the signs that are already there would probably stay there.

Mr. Marsh said he is concerned about the sign in front of the old Owl Drug store. The regulations say the signs should be in good repair. Mr. Applegate said one of the old Owl Drugstore signs has been removed. It was an empty frame and was partly in the right-of-way, so that one was removed.
Mr. Applegate said they have talked to them and were assured they would fix it, but it has not been repaired. Mr. Applegate said they could cite them for the sign.
Mr. Applegate said he does want everything along Main Street to look good. They will probably be talking to him about finishing his overhang, etc.
Mayor Packard asked about the Sunshine Kennels portable sign. Mr. Applegate said they have cited them twice and since they have not removed it, they will probably go to court.
Mr. Applegate said Kocolene was going to be at the city building to discuss a new sign. They will be bringing in a sign permit application and they will probably be attending the next zoning meeting.
 
Mr. Marsh asked if they needed to deal with entrance signs to new plats. Mr. Applegate said they would need to look into that also.
Mr. Marsh would also like them to address signs attached to the buildings. He said you can end up with a big, glaring sign.
Mr. Applegate said that most cities now allow more square footage. He said he usually hears comments that Union is overly restrictive. Mr. Applegate said he had not looked at other sign ordinances recently.
Mr. Applegate said that once they go across the river, there would be more commercial and industrial areas and there would be more signage requirements. Mr. Applegate said he wanted to be ahead of the demand for new sign applications.
In response to a question from Mayor Packard, Mr. Applegate said they are getting additional sketches and making inquiries about a possible sign at the corporation limit (on State Route 48 at the south end of town). He was advised by several people that a marquis sign with meeting dates, etc. was not appropriate on a city entrance sign.
4. Discussion on sexually oriented businesses
Mr. Applegate said he and Mr. Moore had attended a meeting in Columbus which purpose was to assist cities in preparing legislation to control these types of developments and they were discussing an ordinance in effect in Huber Heights.
Mr. Applegate wanted to see what they thought about this. They would have to create a proper zoning classification, have a zoning hearing, etc. There have been no requests, nothing is planned, but Mr. Applegate said that it should be addressed.
Mr. Marsh asked if they could continue working on the fence regulations, specifically eliminating wire fences in front yards and the proper facing of privacy fences.
Mr. Applegate said he felt it should be done.
Mr. Applegate said they were going to still have to bring up the overnight parking of tractor trailers. If a vehicle exceeds 11,500 pounds and is parked overnight, it is illegal. If it is there for only five hours, not overnight, there is nothing the city can do about it.
 
Mr. Applegate said they would bring it back up before the planning commission again. Mr. Beyer moved that since there were no significant changes to be made, that the City Manager bring the
matter before the council again. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
Mr. Applegate offered to locate and distribute the original fence information. Mr. Marsh felt it was important since privacy fences would be going along Sweet Potato Ridge Road and the area in Butler Township. Mr. Applegate said they would look at the information again.
There was a discussion about a property on Sweet Potato Ridge Road. Mr. Marsh asked which would be considered a front yard on certain properties on Warner and Sweet Potato Ridge Road. Mr. Applegate said there is such a thing as a "double frontage lot" which would be a lot with a street on both sides. The lots do extend from Warner Drive to Sweet Potato Ridge Road.
4. Mr. Beyer moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.

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Feb. 13, 2001

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES

 
Members Present:
Larry Beyer
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Dale Shields
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
Mr. Shields called the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting to order.
Mrs. Lynne Thomas-Roth was absent.
1. Mr. Shields asked if there were any corrections on the minutes from the last meeting, held on December 12, 2000. There were none and Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes from the December 12, 2000 meeting were approved.
2. 01-01 - Application from Larry Horn of Timbercreek Realty, Inc. for a zoning variance of two feet to build a single family home at 106 South Montgomery Street, Lot 5.
Mr. Applegate said that staff recommended the variance. This would be the last lot on the south side and this way, the structure will be the same size as what is already being built.
Mayor Packard moved to grant the variance for two feet. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted.
3. 01-02 - Application from Kocolene Marketing Corporation for a zoning variance for a sign permit, requesting twenty additional square feet above the maximum.
 
Mr. Applegate introduced Michael O'Bryan. Mr. Applegate said they have worked very closely with Fast Max. Due to the work on State Route 48, they had worked with the city in moving other existing signs and various light structures. They are now requesting to relocate a new business sign. They want to locate the sign on Lot Number 42 at the north side of the alley (formerly know as Hine's Hardware, which they have purchased).
Their long range plans are to combine both lots and both buildings.
Mr. Applegate said he had a color representation of the sign instead of the black and white copy the board received, if they were interested.
Mr. O'Bryan offered to answer any questions. He said that the current signs available from Sunoco were in 100 and 150 square foot sizes. The smallest is the goal post sign. This one is fifty square feet and the regulations allow only thirty square feet so the proposed sign is twenty feet larger than allowed.
Mr. O'Bryan said there is not much to indicate their location or the prices of the gasoline.
Mr. Applegate said by having just the one sign will clean up the establishment and it will easier for people to see when pulling out on the street. It will enhance the appearance of the property with Main Street being finished. They had given the city permission to remove a sign and some light poles already and the existing price signs will be removed. The city allows a total of thirty square feet and the sign is fifty. Mr. Applegate said they have worked closely with Kocolene and they feel that this sign would be an asset so the staff recommends the approval.
Mayor Packard said that the old Hine's Hardware building, now owned by Kocolene, was filling up with used cars for sale. Mr. O'Bryan said he had spoken to Mr. Applegate and then turned the matter over to Kocolene's Vice President of Operations. They have since sent a letter to the city. Due to the letter, the police department now has the authority to remove any of the vehicles that are being illegally stored on the property.
Mr. Marsh commented that there is already signage on the canopy with the company name. He asked if those signs would be removed or if the sign application would be in addition to the existing sign. Mr. O'Bryan said they are doing away with the corporate signs and he will be working with Mr. Applegate on that. They will be replacing with back-lit signs.
Mr. Marsh said he was on record as opposing larger signs on Main Street. He said he hated to see the city go beyond the size limits they already had. He asked Mr. O'Bryan if what they had on the canopy was already sufficient if they added a smaller sign at eye level.
 
Mr. O'Bryan said the "identification" sign was the one closest to the motoring public - that is what catches their eye. He said Mr. Applegate had some concerns but everything would be in one spot, professionally done, at eye level.
The diamond signs will come down.
Mr. Applegate said the sign would not be at the maximum height of 25 feet, but at 17 feet instead because concerns had been expressed earlier about the height of a sign.
Mr. Beyer moved that the variance be approved. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. Mr. Marsh voted against the variance and Mr. Shields, Mr. Packard, and Mr. Beyer voted for the motion. The variance was granted.

4. 01-03 - Special Exception application from Samuel Lambros of Super Hair, requesting to have a players playground (pool hall) located at 102 South Main Street.
Mrs. Lambros was present but had not turned in her application or paid her fee so the Board did not have any copies of the plans.
Mr. Applegate said the planning commission had approved a special exception for Super Hair to waive the loading dock requirement. What they are proposing now is to put in a pool hall in the north side of the building. There is just enough parking for the Super Hair business. They have proposed eliminating work stations, etc. at the business to try to allow for the parking required for the new business. Mr. Applegate said they now have two business in the same building with not enough parking. In addition there is no more parking on Main Street. Mayor Packard said he would like to walk around the area and have a little time to look into it.
Mr. Marsh asked what the additional parking requirement would be. Mr. Applegate said he had not had a chance to look at the application.

Mayor Packard moved to table this until the next meeting. Mr. Shields seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
5. Mr. Shields moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was adjourned.
 
 
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
 
Members Present:
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Larry Beyer
Dale Shields
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
 
Mr. Shields called the planning commission meeting to order. Attendance was taken and Lynn Thomas-Roth was not present.
1. Mr. Shields asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes from January 9, 2001. There were none so Mr. Beyer moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Packard seconded the motion. Mr. Shields abstained, and Mr. Marsh, Mayor Packard, and Mr. Beyer voted for the motion. The minutes were accepted.
2. Review and action on acreage split for Eleanor Starline for property located on Shaw Road.
Mr. Applegate said Mrs. Starline was present. Mr. Applegate said they wanted to make the planning commission aware of their future plans. They were taking the existing lot and splitting the acreage. In the future, they will have a subdivision application.
Mr. Applegate said normally he would stamp it approved and send it to the county. Since residents are calling about the staking, Mr. Applegate wanted the planning commission to be aware of it. There is no action required by the commission at this time. The land is already zoned Residential - 3 (R-3).
David Winemiller said that Mrs. Starline has been before the planning commission before concerning tracts off of Shaw Road.
Mr. Applegate showed the area being discussed on a map. The homes to be built would be similar to what is already there.
 
Mr. Applegate said when they submit the subdivision application, they would have more information on the type of homes.
Mr. Marsh asked if under existing zoning, if there was a problem selling off a parcel that size. Mr. Applegate said there was no problem.

3. Discussion on square footage and lot sizes for Irongate Estates.
Mr. Applegate said Mr. Firsdon was out of state on vacation and not able to attend the meeting. He had attended a meeting a few months ago asking for a reduction in the square footage of homes and lot sizes for Irongate Estates.
Mr. Applegate said they had put together information on square footage on homes at Irongate.
Mr. Marsh said he was pleased to see that people were buying the larger square footage homes.
Mr. Applegate said there is a minimum square footage of 1530 square feet in the existing covenants.
Mr. Applegate said he had received a call from Williamsburg Homes and they were interested in building in Irongate Estates and asked how the process was going. Mr. Applegate said that he had told them that Mr. Firsdon was not able to attend.
The Williamsburg Homes representative said they want the lots by the woods to stay at 100 foot wide because they feel people would buy those and it would preserve more of the trees. They would like to see lots at a mixture of 80, 85, and 90 feet wide. They currently build $250,000 dollar homes on 80 foot wide lots. They have full basements and two stories. Mr. Applegate said they agreed to install brick on the front and sides of the homes. He added that he would like to see some of their elevations and invited them to the next meeting.
Mr. Marsh suggested they continue the same pattern of street lighting.
Mr. Applegate said the commission would still have a chance to see Mr. Firsdon's existing developments before the next meeting. He said that the new builders were glad that they were going to discuss the situation.
4. Discussion on fence regulations.
Mr. Applegate said this is the information that they had asked to be pulled out from the last time it was discussed in 1998. They had forwarded the information to the council and had an ordinance prepared and it was all tabled by the council.
 
Mr. Marsh said his opinion had not changed. He said he wanted the best image possible for their community. He said he would like to see the matter go forward again to the council and he made a motion for that.
Mr. Applegate pointed out the information in the original ordinance, 1139. It deals with excluding chain link and that the decorative side of the fence was to face the outside of the property. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
5. Discussion on legislation to prohibit sexually oriented businesses.
Mr. Applegate said they had been looking into that and the law director had attended a seminar concerning this. The city has nothing that is currently on the books concerning this and it would be wise to adopt regulations now before a problem exists. Huber Heights is already going through the process. They had difficulty in shutting down a pornographic book store and because of that, they were starting the process. They were updating their regulations to the latest Supreme Court ruling. Theirs is dated October 2000, and probably contains the most recent Supreme Court rulings.
Mr. Applegate said part of this information would go through business regulations, and part would be through zoning. If it had to be done through business or zoning. A new zoning classification may be needed. Mr. Beyer said it looked like the city would need to do this.
Mr. Applegate asked them also to read through some of the material. Mr. Applegate said he would like their decision in the form of a motion.

Mr. Beyer moved that the law director and city manager begin the review process regarding potential legislation for the controlling of sexual oriented business within the city.
Mr. Beyer asked about the storage of wood. The city has nothing that specifically mentions the storage of wood, where it can be stored, and how much can be stored. With the energy costs rising, there will probably be an increase in wood burning and other alternative heating systems.
6. Mr. Beyer moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Shields seconded the motion. All concurred and the planning commission meeting was adjourned.
 
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March 13, 2001
 
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
 
Members Present:
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Lawrence Beyer
Lynne Thomas-Roth
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
Mrs. Thomas-Roth called the Planning Commission meeting to order. Attendance was taken. Mr. Shields was absent from the meeting.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the February 13, 2001 meeting. There were none so Mr. Marsh moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mrs. Thomas-Roth abstained, the other planning commission members voted for the motion and the minutes were accepted.
2. Mr. Bruce Anderson, representing Byron Firsdon, was present to address square footage, lot sizes and other items previously discussed concerning Irongate Estates.
Mr. Anderson said he was Mr. Firsdon's partner and was present to listen to the concerns regarding Irongate Estates. Mr. Anderson said he had been drilling test holes and they were planning on putting in the sewer lines at a lower depth so they could include homes with basements. Mr. Anderson proposed that every house that would be under 1,530 square feet would have a basement and that would add to the total square footage of the home once the basement was completed. Anything over the 1,530 square feet could still be built on a crawl space.
The covenants for the first four sections which have already been recorded require homes to be 1,530 square feet or above. Mr. Anderson said the low interest rates available would encourage people to buy the bigger homes but they wanted the flexibility to offer a wider range of costs to buyers so they could have more aggressive marketing.
 
The City of Union currently requires 1,400 square foot homes for a minimum and that was changed from 1,200 square feet in 1997.
Mr. Marsh asked if Mr. Anderson had seen an analysis of the square footage of homes in Irongate Estates which was prepared by the city. He said that 39 homes have already been built under the concept of the higher square footage and that he has a problem with the reduction. Mr. Marsh said he felt the market was supporting over 1,400 square foot homes and that 1/3 of Irongate Estates was over 1,700 square feet.
Mr. Anderson said they wanted to offer a variety of homes up to 2,500 square feet. He said that basements homes have an advantage and the difference of 100 square feet, between 1,400 and 1,500 is not much of a difference. He said for merchandising, they could advertise homes at 1,400 square feet but that home buyers frequently buy bigger homes.
Mr. Applegate said that the covenants are for the first four sections of Irongate Estates. After that, the city would have no control over the amount of square frontage except that it would have to be a minimum of 1,400 square feet. Since sections 1 through 4 have been recorded with the covenants, those would have to stay with the 1,530 square footage minimum.
Mr. Applegate reminded the board that covenants are enforced by the homeowners, not the city.
A resident from the audience said he was concerned about water needing to be pumped out of the basements because he said there was already a house in Irongate that has had problems.
Mr. Anderson said that is why they had drilled 23 test holes to be certain that they could have basements in Irongate.
Mr. Beyer said that city regulation for the zoning in Irongate Estates is the minimum of 1,400 square feet and if the house meets that minimum, it is acceptable for the city, but doesn't satisfy the covenants. The citizens could sue the homebuilders but the city could not. The agreement is between the residents and the developer. The other sections do not yet have covenants.
Mr. Marsh said that the planning commission would like to encourage the developer to follow the existing standard.
Mr. Anderson said he would not feel it was a successful development if they would get into a fight with the homeowners and planning commission. He said they were willing to compromise with all 1400 square foot homes requiring basements and he would put that in the covenants for the new sections.
 
Mr. Marsh commented that this was still in the preliminary stages. There was one lot unsold in Section 1 and 26 lots in sections 2 and 3. There would be nothing changed in sections 1 through 4.

Mr. Anderson said he wanted to pick up the pace and have a higher volume of building in the new sections which would include advertising a 1,400 square foot house.
A resident in the audience said he didn't want two separate sections, or two separate plats in one area. Mr. Anderson said they liked what was already there.
Mr. Applegate said the city requires overhangs, OSB board, 2 car garages, and concrete drives. Mr. Marsh said they would still have to come back with a new conceptual plan for the whole development and have a preliminary plan approved. Mr. Applegate and Mr. Marsh were concerned about the woods located on the property and Mr. Anderson said they wouldn't mind saving the trees, that is was actually cheaper for the developers. He assured the planning commission that it would be a quality product and would be well done.
A resident said he thought the city should have informed them of these changes, that there could be more lots than planned. (There may be an additional fifteen lots added.) Mr. Applegate said that the city did not know exactly what was being planned and they were planning on notifying the homeowner's association once they had an idea of what was being proposed.
The commission and Mr. Applegate made a tentative list of what changes would occur and be permitted.
Mr. Marsh moved to grant permission to build homes with less than 1,530 square feet only if they had a full basement and that these size homes would not exceed 20% of the lots remaining in the development for sections 5 through 8.
Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
Mr. Beyer suggested they contact the homeowner's association for the next meeting and Mr. Applegate said they could send a letter out. He asked Mr. Anderson if Williamsburg Builders would have a chance to buy any lots since they were quite interested.
Mr. Marsh said he wanted to comment that the portable A-frame signs were gone from Main Street and he thought it was a big improvement.
 
3. Mayor Packard moved that the planning commission meeting be adjourned. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES
 
 
Members Present:
Lawrence Beyer
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Lynne Thomas-Roth
 
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
Mrs. Thomas-Roth called the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting to order. Attendance was taken. Mr. Shields was absent from the meeting.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections for the minutes of the February 13, 2001 meeting. There were none so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mrs. Thomas-Roth abstained, the other members voted for the motion and the minutes for the February 13 meeting were approved.
2. 01-03 - Special Exception application from Samuel Lambros of Super Hair, requesting to have a players playground (pool hall) located at 102 South Main Street.
No one was present to speak for the application and the application fee had not been paid.
Mr. Beyer moved to table 01-03. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
After a brief discussion, since this is the second time this matter has been on the agenda, the Board decided if no one was present at the next meeting, they would not table the issue again.
3. Mayor Packard moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was adjourned.
 

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