Union City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
 
First Quarter 2002
 
Feb. 12, 2002, Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2002, Meeting Minutes
 
 

Feb. 12, 2002

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

 
Members Present:
Larry Beyer
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Lynne Thomas-Roth
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
 
Mrs. Thomas-Roth called the planning commission meeting to order.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the December 11, 2001 meeting. There were none so Mr. Beyer moved that the minutes be accepted. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.
2. 02-02 - Request by Larry and Rosario Combs, for a change in the zoning district from Commercial - 1, (C-1) to Residential - 3, (R-3) for 104 North Montgomery Street.
Mr. Applegate said the application was fairly self-explanatory for what they wanted to do. The house is located south-west of the VFW. At one time, it was a single family residence which was converted to a church. It was purchased a year and a half to two years ago by Mr. and Mrs. Combs. The building is located in a C-1, Commercial district and Union's zoning regulations do not allow a residential structure to be located in a Commercial area. The length of time that the building was used as a church has gone beyond the non-conforming use period and can not be changed back to residential.
Mr. Combs said that he had discussed this with some of the surrounding residents and they would prefer that it would be a residential property. He also thought the value would increase if the property was residential.
Mr. Beyer asked if the city would have a problem with that. Mr. Applegate said that he would need to talk to the law director about paved parking. This property does not have paved parking so they might need to have a paved area for two cars. They would have to set a public hearing for the zoning change.
Mr. Combs said he did not want to disrupt the community by applying for this.
Mr. Marsh asked what the surrounding zoning was. Mr. Applegate said everything on the east side was commercial. A portion of Maplegarden is Residential-3. The property on both sides is C-1 but there is some continuity to the R-3 zoning and the property does touch that area.
It was Mr. Combs original intention when buying the property was to move in. He said he had tried something else and it created a parking problem on Montgomery Street.
Mr. Beyer moved that the planning commission forward this matter to the council so a public hearing could be set and that Mr. Applegate check with Mr. Moore on the parking and potential requirement of the driveway. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

3. 02-03 - Request by Doug Balsbaugh for a lot split of a 5.233 acre tract located off of Phillipsburg-Union Road.
Mr. Applegate said that this is where Mr. Balsbaugh's two businesses are located and he now wants to separate the businesses. Currently they have one water service for both properties and he will need to eventually have two services.
Mr. Balsbaugh said he and his father were partners on one business but not on the excavating business any more. When the land was plotted out, two new deeds were made but they would not be in effect until passed by the planning commission.

Mr. Beyer moved that the lot split be approved with the proviso that an easement for water and sewer service be maintained and in the event that the property is sold, separate water and sewer service would need to be provided. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
4. Discussion of revising the sign ordinance.
Mr. Applegate said that Mr. Moore was expected to attend the meeting and he introduced Lynnette Ballato.
Mrs. Ballato said Mr. Applegate asked her to review the sign ordinance which was written in 1974 and in need of some revision. She said she did research and worked to bring the ordinance up to date. The original ordinance was set up with permanent signs which were business signs. They also had pre-existing signs and temporary signs and all other kinds of signs were grouped together. The regulations needed to be broken up to include permanent signs, business signs, temporary signs, pre-existing signs (which would not be changed) and an enforcement section added in the end along with permit requirements. Some definitions were added also.
Mrs. Ballato went over individual changes she had made.
Professional and occupational signs, etc. were added to permanent signs with general regulations and a section on business signs which was mostly untouched since that original section was well written.
Mr. Applegate pointed out that no signs, including political signs, would be permitted in the right-of-way.
All the provisions include something to prevent signs from being installed in the right-of-way, except for city signs.
A city can require that signs be maintained, inspected, etc., so those regulations have been incorporated into the Union code. A political sign can be replaced and it must remain a good appearance.
Real estate signs are on private property and are considered a temporary sign.
The planning commission asked a few questions on some of the specifics of some of the information.
Mr. Applegate said they currently had a fifty square feet maximum size with no one sign having more than thirty square feet. He is looking into other city's regulations and seeing what their requirements are. They have left that information blank and can decide if they want to lower the square footage amount or keep it the same, etc.
A commercial or business district, can have up to a fifty square foot sign. If a professional is working out of his home, in a residential district, he can only have a one by two foot sign. Mr. Beyer says it does not mention that in the new regulations so Mr. Applegate agreed that would need to be added.

Additional conditions were added concerning bulletin boards for churches, etc. There are some exemptions and some size restrictions. They are using twelve square feet or a three by four feet sign. Mr. Applegate said they need to consider if a church would be allowed to have a temporary four by eight or four by four foot temporary sign, made from a sheet of plywood, which is frequently used by schools and churches for various charitable events.
Mr. Applegate asked that they keep in mind what kind of size requirements they wanted. He said they would go over this information again before presenting it to the council. Mr. Marsh indicated he would like more time to go over the material.
Mrs. Ballato discussed temporary signs and the various signs that would fall in that category. Mr. Beyer asked about signs that the letters can be added, like the sign Sunshine Kennels uses. Mr. Applegate said it was a folding, portable sign. Mr. Marsh said he thought it was on wheels and pulled by a trailer. Mr. Beyer said he wanted to make sure that type of sign was addressed in the new regulations. Mrs. Ballato read the definition of a folding sign. She also read the definition for a portable sign. Mr. Marsh said he agreed - he wanted to make sure that type of sign was covered.
Mrs. Ballato said they did not do much to this section except to adding a few items. She felt it would be classified as a portable sign, since it can have wheels. She suggested they should specify folding, portable signs and portable signs both. They felt the definition was sufficient but wanted portable listed separately from folding, portable signs.
In this section, they have added that signs be prohibited on vacant lots, and in the right-of-way, and should not contain glass, banners, streamers, etc.

Mr. Beyer asked about the new housing development sign with poles and banners on top. He asked if that would be grand fathered in. Mrs. Ballato said she felt it would not. She said she would need to get with Mr. Moore that no new pre-existing signs would be erected before the regulations were passed.
Mr. Applegate said the city should address subdivisions signs because sometimes they need to direct people to the subdivisions.
Mr. Marsh said that he does not like the large number of small signs. He counted and there were fourteen small signs in one subdivision. Mr. Beyer said those would be eliminated because they were all located in the right-of-way. Mr. Beyer said he was more concerned about the poles with banners. Mr. Beyer said they could, with permission of the owner, put them up behind the right-a-way, in the yards. Mr. Applegate said he did not want to hurt the city by prohibiting advertising for the subdivisions. They wanted to help the builders sell the homes. Mr. Applegate said the ones that are there will be allowed because they were there. However, they would be considered temporary signs and will go down once the development is completed.
Mrs. Ballato asked about pre-existing signs. Mr. Applegate said that several are in non-compliance - Trish's Cafe and a post in front of Owl Drugs, and the canopy of Fast Max. All are into the right-of-way.
Mr. Applegate said, like when they changed the fence regulations, they did a survey to find what fences were existing before the regulations were changed so they have a master list of the fences that were pre-existing.
Mrs. Ballato said she would give it some more thought and see if she could come up with something more specific on handling pre-existing signs.
 
On construction signs, Mr. Beyer asked if the construction sign for grant money, located in front of the city building, was in compliance. It is not but it is required by federal law.
Signs are to be set back fifteen feet from the curb. Business signs are permitted the most space. Mrs. Ballato said under the old regulations, most of the signs except for business signs, were not regulated. Everything about each sign is included in each section. Signs are to be secured, out of the right-of-way, away from intersections, etc.
A property line is also the right-of-way line but Mr. Beyer thought it should always be noted that signs should be out of the right-of-way, not off the property line, even though it is defined in the definitions. Just to be consistent, he wanted it spelled out, not in the right-of-way for every section on every type of signs.
Materials that signs are constructed from are also addressed in the regulations. She advised the city to be liberal as far as sizes.
Mr. Beyer suggested that the requirement that political signs be maintained be included in all the sign regulations. Mrs. Ballato said they could add that section under the general regulations. She said the original idea was to make the regulations "user friendly" and put everything that applied in each section. She said they could do that in the general provisions.
Political signs are allowed in vacant lots, if permission had been obtained. Mrs. Ballato said they were saying political signs could be put anywhere except in the right-of-way.
They thought they should have a section on industrial parks because some industrial park signs list all the businesses that would be located in the industrial park.
 
Mr. Marsh had questions on section A-5. He was concerned about CVS and Fast Max signs. He wanted square footage reduced from the fifty square feet. Mr. Marsh said he felt the signs were too high. Mr. Applegate said he thought most regulations were around twenty-five feet. Mr. Marsh said he would not like to see any higher than fifteen to eighteen feet. For industrial parks, some commission members thought signs could be higher.
Mr. Marsh said that he knew they could not change the ones they have but he would not want more signs like that.
Mr. Marsh said he wanted to eliminate any more twenty-five foot high signs in the future.
Mr. Applegate said that some signs only fifteen feet high would not fit on a post with the square footage that is allowed.
Mr. Applegate said reducing the height would force the larger square footage signs closer to the ground which would not look as good.
Variances can be granted for signs and people could present a case to ask for additional height.
Mrs. Ballato suggested that they change these the way they want them and not plan on making a lot of exceptions.
There was no action taken on the sign regulations at this time. They will continue to discuss this and possibly have a work session with council and the planning commission. Mr. Applegate said they wanted to give this a lot of thought.
Mr. Beyer said they should try to have this ready before fall before the next election.
 
There was a change made in the penalty also. Mr. Beyer suggested that they add that any penalty be applied to the property taxes.
Mr. Marsh said he was observing the Ryan Home model in Irongate. Mr. Marsh said there was no overhang but Mr. Applegate said they had called and would be putting on the overhang. Mr. Marsh said that in addition to that, on the south-east corner of the house, there was no felt and the shingles were applied over the board without the black felt. Mr. Applegate said he would check with the foreman.
He also said that roof drip edges should always be placed on a building. There is an option that allows a double layer underneath but since that was not done, they asked for the roof drip edges to be added. Without that, the board edge is exposed.

5. Mr. Beyer moved that the planning commission meeting be adjourned. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.
 
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES
Members Present:
Larry 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.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes from the August 14, 2001 meeting. There were none so Mr. Beyer moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.
2. 02-01 - Zoning variance requested by Vantage Homes for Lot 183, 125 Union Ridge, for a variance in the side yard requirement.
Mrs. Thomas-Roth introduced Todd Bailey from Vantage Homes. Mr. Applegate said that R-3 zoning requires a ten foot side yard requirement for each side. The plot plan on the last page of the application shows that one side yard is 8.17 and the other is 6.78. The side of the variance requested would be 1.83 feet on one side and 3.22 feet on the other side.

Mr. Applegate said he had asked them to provide a picture with the application so the board can see the type of home being built. That is the last lot on the south side of Union Ridge. There will be a front entry to the garage. The square footage is 2,170 and the house will be built on a crawl space.
Mr. Applegate also noted for the record that Manny Winer was also present at the meeting.
Mr. Bailey said he would have the house moved as close to the set back line as possible which would change the final dimensions slightly, and give a slightly larger side yard area. Mr. Applegate suggested they approve the application as it is and then he will check the final plot plan when they apply for the building permit.

Mr. Marsh said he was concerned about the elevation of the lot. Lot 183 is one of the lowest lots in that area. Mr. Applegate said that area was designed so in the event of a severe rain fall if the water from detention pond would overflow, it would follow a channel to an area between the homes. Mr. Bailey acknowledged that they would have to allow for that and said he would have the engineering drawings pulled for the development and that he would shoot the grade to make sure he used the correct elevation.
Mr. Beyer moved that the variance be approved. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted.
3. Mr. Beyer moved that the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting be adjourned. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was adjourned.
 
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March 12, 2002
 
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES
 
Members Present:
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Lawrence Beyer
Lynne Thomas-Roth
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was called to order on March 12, 2002 by Mrs. Thomas-Roth. Attendance was taken and Mr. Shields was absent.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections on the minutes from the February 12, 2002 meeting. Mr. Marsh said he had a question on page 2, concerning his comment on the drainage in Union Ridge and Mr. Manny Whiner's response. He asked that the minutes be checked against the taped recording of the meeting.
Mr. Beyer moved that the approval of the minutes be tabled until that could be checked. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were tabled.

2. 02-04 - Zoning variance requested by Jeff Testerman of Steel Framed Custom Homes for Lot 39, 116 Magdalena Drive, for a variance in the rear yard.
 
Mr. Testerman was present at the meeting. This is a corner lot, for a one and one-half story home with a bedroom located upstairs. The house will have a two and one-half garage, a rear dormer, three bathrooms, and a full basement. The house is made of brick, stucco, and stone. The driveway would go to the property line.
Due to the size of the house, a variance is needed to fit the house on the lot and there would only be a twenty foot width in the rear yard instead of the required thirty feet.
Mr. Marsh moved to approve the variance request. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed and the variance was granted for a twenty foot depth rear yard instead of thirty feet.
3. 02-05 Zoning variance requested by Glen Green in the front yard set back on a corner lot, Lot 223, 136 Union Ridge.
Mr. Green was present at the meeting. He said if the front set back variance was granted, the new home would actually line up with an existing house in the older plat on the Cochran Drive corner lot.
Mr. Beyer moved that the variance in the front set back be granted. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted for a twenty-six foot setback instead of thirty feet.
 
Mr. Applegate asked for a discussion on increasing the lot size requirement for building lots. He was suggesting an increase from 1,400 square feet to 1,500 square feet. Since home builder, Glen Green was present, they asked his opinion and he said he did not see a problem with the larger building size.
 
This topic will be discussed again at a later meeting.
4. Mrs. Thomas-Roth moved that the board of zoning appeals meeting be adjourned. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.
 
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Members Present:
Glynn Marsh
Mayor Packard
Lawrence Beyer
Lynne Thomas-Roth
City Staff Members Present:
John Applegate
Denise Winemiller
 
Mrs. Lynne Thomas-Roth called the planning commission meeting to order. Attendance was taken and Mr. Shields was absent from the meeting.
1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections from the minutes of the last meeting on February 12, 2002. There were none so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be accepted. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted.
2. Lynnette Ballato had called and was unexpectedly unable to attend the meeting. Mayor Packard moved to table the discussion on the sign regulations. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.
3. Mr. Beyer moved that the planning commission meeting be adjourned. Mr. Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.
 

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