Union City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
Second Quarter 2002
April 9, 2002, Meeting Minutes
June 11, 2002, Meeting Minutes

April 9, 2002


Members Present:

Lawrence Beyer

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Lynne Thomas-Roth

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

Joseph Moore, Law Director


Mrs. Thomas-Roth called the meeting to order. Attendance was taken and Mr. Shields was absent.

1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections from the minutes of the February 12, 2002 Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. There were none so Mayor Packard moved the minutes be accepted. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.

2. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections on the minutes from the March 12, 2002 meeting. There were none so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be accepted as prepared. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted.

3. 02-06 - Zoning variance requested by Jeff Testerman of Steel Framed Custom Homes for 101 Williams Way, in the rear yard requirement.

Mr. Applegate said a variance was granted at the last meeting from thirty feet to twenty feet. Someone had asked about the driveway then, and the design did prove to be a problem so they have submitted a new plot plan.
Mr. Winemiller said the garage had not been lined up properly and now the roof ridge lines match, but by doing that, it deepened the house. To have enough room for the three car garage, they need an additional variance of two feet, four inches, so the rear set back would be 17 feet, 8 inches. This is the only home right now in Section IV and will be Mr. Testerman's model home.

Mr. Beyer moved to grant the variance for Mr. Testerman for 101 Williams Way. Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted.

4. Mr. Packard moved that the council meeting be adjourned. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the council meeting was adjourned.



Members Present:

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Lawrence Beyer

Lynne Thomas-Roth

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

Attorneys Lynnette Ballato, Joe Moore


Mrs. 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 to the minutes of the last meeting.There were none so Mr. Beyer moved that the planning commission minutes of March 12, 2002 be accepted as prepared. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes from the last meeting were accepted.

2. 02-07 - Approval of subdivision located at 215 West Martindale Road.

Mr. Alan Butler was present at the meeting. Mr. Applegate said they would be discussing two things at the meeting. Mr. Butler wanted to subdivide some ground and change the zoning. The drive into the subdivision would be private. The proposed subdivision would meet the requirement for current zoning, C-1, but Mr. Butler wanted to change the zoning to R-3 on two of the four lots. There are no improvements needed. There will be a sewer and water line coming off of Martindale Road but service lines will be the responsibility of the owner or builder. This is similar to what was done for lots on Montgomery Street.

Mr. Applegate said at one time, this area was all commercial but one tract of land south of the parcel was changed to R-3. The land involved would be continuous to the R-3 zoning.

Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if emergency vehicles could get back to the area and Mr. Applegate said yes.

Mr. Beyer moved to approve subdivision 02-07. Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed. The subdivision was approved.

3. 02-08 - Change of zoning district request for 215 West Martindale Road from Mr. Alan Butler. Zoning change requested is from Commercial - 1 (C-1) to Residential - 3 (R-3).

The subdivision would be acceptable either under the C-1 zoning or the R-3 zoning. This change will allow single family homes to be built on lots 1 and 4. There are other residential zoning in the vicinity. Mr. Butler currently has a business and wants to keep his commercial zoning at 215 West Martindale Road and on lots 2 and 3.
Mr. Beyer moved to approve the zoning change to be forwarded to council for further action. Mr. Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

4. 02-09 - Change of zoning district requested for 709 North Main Street by Randy Yoakum. Zoning change requested is from Agricultural - Residential (A-R) to Commercial - 1 (C-1).

Mr. Yoakum was present at the meeting. Mr. Applegate said this was located on State Route 48, referred to as Glen Cove. Mr. Yoakum has purchased fifteen acres from Phil Henry and wants to change the zoning to C-1 on 5.21 acres of the fifteen acres. This would need to meet the minimum requirements since there is no commercial zoning around it which would require a minimum of five acres. Mr. Applegate showed a color picture of the type of facility planned.

Mr. Yoakum said he had been selling vegetables that they raised for forty years. Since he had recently retired, he want to have a farm market and sell fruits and vegetables. The picture of the building shown was one that he had seen somewhere else and he wanted to use that same design. They are planning to have seasonal products and close after Christmas. Mr. Applegate stated C-1 has a lot of other types of permitted uses.
Mr. Applegate said they would need to publish a legal notice, send letters to all contiguous property owners and have a public hearing on the zoning change.

The barn would be a Morton barn, commercial line, insulated and heated.
The city would not issue a permit for the barn, it would go through Montgomery County since it was a commercial building. The driveway and parking area would need to be paved.
Mr. Yoakum said he wanted to plant a large area in flowers, and wanted the place to be attractive so people would want to stop by.
Mr. Applegate said Mr. Marsh's property is an excellent example of that.

Mr. Beyer moved that they approve the zoning change and forward it to the council for further action. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

5. 02-10 - Replat of Union Springs, Section 1, requested by David Emonin, Emonin Builders.

Mr. Eldon Hines, the developer, was present.

Mr. Applegate said that at an earlier meeting, they had discussed a conceptual change from the original retirement homes, for ages fifty-five years and older. Mr. Emonin had said that concept was not working so now they want to develop this as a standard type of construction plan with everything built to the city's specifications.
Mr. Applegate said the street, Settler's Trail will be dedicated. New lots have been created to move the street over to change it from 24 feet back to back of curb to the 32 feet back to back of curb city requirement.
Mr. Winemiller, the engineer, said they would be adding sewer and water laterals, moving the curbs back to widen the street, and would need to move a catch basin. Right now, they are planning to put in doubles and there are three or four builders that they are talking to.
The current zoning is R-PUD which does allow single family and doubles, so this would comply with zoning.
The plan for the home owner association has been rescinded. The builder is still in control of the majority of lots. Whether that could be done or not, Mr. Moore said would depended upon how the covenants were written.
Currently, there are four houses and all are occupied except one.
Mr. Applegate asked about the pond and green space because to maintain that would require a home owners' association.

Mr. Marsh wanted to know who would be responsible for maintaining the area. Several board members agreed they did not want the maintenance of the area transferred to the city. Mr. Applegate said the pond is what made the site unique and that the location of the pond enhances the over all development.

Mr. Applegate said the preliminary plan with the pond was still in effect but they are agreeing to let the streets go from private to public. If they want to change from the conceptual plan, they need to come back in.

Mr. Marsh wanted to make sure that the lots would be sufficient size for doubles. Mr. Winemiller said each lot could take an 80 foot wide and forty foot deep unit with ten foot side yards(meaning forty feet wide on each side). Mr. Marsh was concerned about the number of driveways on cul-de-sacs. Mr. Winemiller said he would not have a problem with having some of the units with driveways on the interior side.

The lots on the east side will remain single family lots. The proposed builder is Benchmark.

Mr. Marsh asked if the homeowners have been contacted about the changes. Mr. Winemiller said that Mr. Emonin has talked to the person adjacent to the double lots and he does not have a problem with the change.
Mr. Beyer moved to approve the replat of Union Springs with lots 4, 5, and 6 having the driveways configured for interior access. Mr. Packard seconded the motion.

Before they called for a vote on the motion, Mr. Applegate stated that they did not address the original preliminary plan. Mr. Beyer said they did not address it so the original conceptual agreement is still in effect. All that is being done by this motion is the change in the first section, 3.3122 acres. The original concept of the walkway around the pond and the club house is still in effect. If that is to be changed, they will need to come back and ask for a change again.

The planning commission has also expressed their concerns about using the right size double for the lot so the city does not have to keep granting variances. Mr. Applegate said ranch-style, single floor, spread out doubles, may not work. Mr. Marsh asked that these concerns be reflected in the minutes. Mr. Winemiller said some of the builders he had in mind, like Doug Shaffner and Mike Temple, built units that were 80 feet wide.

Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked for the vote to be taken. All concurred and the plat was approved.

Mr. Applegate commented the approval is subject to the plans being approved by the city's engineer. He also requested, as they go through future submittal of designs, they consider going wider on the lot sizes, depending on the market.

6. Discussion of revising the sign ordinance.

Lynnette Ballato was at the meeting with new proposed sign regulations. Mr. Moore, the city law director was also present.

Ms. Ballato has created a revised version of the sign regulations based on what was discussed at the last meeting.

They added the "off site" provision in all sections possible, except for a few exceptions, like political signs, warning signs, and all forms of municipal signs. In the original sign ordinance, the only "off site" provision was for real estate signs.

They also made changes in the aesthetics provision, so if any sign was deteriorating, the city could remove it, with the exception of municipal signs. The aesthetics provision will also affect political signs and that is permitted because of the case law that Ms. Ballato has researched. There are two forms of the aesthetics provision. One has a provision because of sign material that quickly deteriorates. Another one was for permanent signs that would not deteriorate quickly.
If deteriorated signs were not removed, the city could remove the sign and the sign owner would be made to pay or it could be placed on the property taxes, so a lien provision was placed in the regulations.

Mr. Marsh asked if state law deals with political signs and a limit for leaving signs up after the election. Mrs. Ballato said again, it was only if the sign was deteriorating - that the sign could not cause visual blight.

Ms. Ballato said political signs were exempt from applying for a permit.

Professional and occupational signs are only permitted within residential districts and are currently allowed in the front yard, as long as the signs meet the set backs. Only two square feet is allowed and only one sign would be allowed. There was a discussion to allow a sign on each side on a corner lot but the change was not made.

Ms. Ballato asked if this part should be changed to deal with location, versus the type of worker. Mr. Marsh asked that it be worded to deal with location within residential areas. She said she would make that change.
They had discussed what to do with housing developments. She had suggested since everyone would want something different, to deal with them on a case by case basis and issue variances where necessary. It would be difficult to write up code that will account for all situations.
A variance would go before the Board of Zoning Appeals and there is no appeal on the decision. The Board of Zoning Appeals would be the final authority.

The powers of the Board of Zoning Appeals were established by the city Charter and they decided to delegate all authority to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

There was no language allowing for an appeal and Mr. Applegate said it was set up that way so council would not be second guessing the Board of Zoning Appeals and that a decision would not become political, with residents complaining to the council, and the council over turning the Board of Zoning Appeals' decision.
They agreed to look at the developer's signs on a case by case basis.

Mr. Applegate asked if they had seen the Ryan Home signs along State Route 48 and he asked them what they felt about those signs. He said they try to get builders to build in the city and then when they do, if they are not on a well traveled area, they are concerned if they can't put out signs to help potential buyers find their development.
Mr. Applegate said they were not against the directional signs but as Mr. Marsh said, they were never taken down. It was determined that if there is no sign permit, the signs would go down.
Mr. Moore asked if there was a definition for developer and real estate agent. Ms. Ballato said there is not. Ms. Ballato said they still needed to talk about heights of signs and square footage allowed.

They had looked at regulations from other cities and they were all different. Currently the regulations are no greater than thirty square feet per sign, with a total of fifty square feet per lot. Mr. Applegate suggested they keep what they have now but use a variance when required.

Ms. Ballato suggested they list signs that are existing, grant variances, and then go on from there to remove the pre-existing sign section. They discussed the language, if there were types of signs prohibited, or just the sizes of signs that are prohibited. Mr. Marsh said one part said existing signs may continue and another section said existing signs have to come into compliance. Size, location, structure would be grand fathered but not types of signs. This was still using the original language. Ms. Ballato thought that Mr. Moore and Mr. Applegate should sit down and continue to discuss this.
Mr. Beyer asked if any business would need a sign larger than thirty square feet. Mr. Marsh said no, in his opinion. Mr. Beyer suggested they leave that the same and they would still have an option of granting a variance.
Mr. Marsh said he had an objection to the height.
Mr. Applegate said he thought they should keep it simple so they decided to keep the area at thirty square feet.
The height in the regulations is 25 feet. The sign can be thirty square feet in size. Mr. Applegate wanted the sign high enough so it would not interfere with kids on bicycles or become a safety hazard. The existing regulations were nine feet above grade. Mr. Marsh suggested they bring the sign height down to fifteen to eighteen feet. Clayton has certain heights dependent on the right of way from the street. Then further back from the street, the taller signs are allowed. He suggested fifteen feet at the right of way, taller if further back. Mr. Applegate mentioned that if people would build to the right of way, it would obscure the sign. He suggested an eighteen foot height requirement and allow them to place the sign where they wanted behind the right of way. Mr. Marsh said he just was using this as an example and he mostly wanted to lower the signs to less than twenty-five feet high.
Mr. Applegate suggested one height would be easier to enforce. Mr. Beyer suggested that have a maximum height of eighteen feet of the pole and sign and they set the bottom of the sign to no lower than ten feet above the grade.

Charitable and religious signs are limited to the size of a four feet by eight feet sheet of plywood, thirty-two square feet.

Mr. Marsh asked about political signs displayed in a private lot if consent was granted. He asked if that should say written consent. Ms. Ballato thought that would start to be an infringement on people's rights so she recommended against that.
Mr. Moore said if someone had a political sign placed on their lot without permission and they called the city, he said the city could have the property owner sign that they wanted to have the city remove the sign. Mr. Applegate said they would need to still discuss the misdemeanor section, industrial signs, and pre-existing signs at the next meeting.

Mr. Marsh asked if they could have the packets out earlier so he could have more time to go over the sign information.

7. Mr. Beyer moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.

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June 11, 2002



Members Present:

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Lawrence Beyer

Dale Shields

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

The Planning Commission meeting was called to order and attendance was taken.

Mr. Applegate said they had discussed increasing the square footage of homes. He said Mr. Glen Green was going to furnish some information but had not provided it yet. He had no objections to an increase to 1600 square feet. Mr. Marsh said in an informal discussion, he had talked to a builder that was concerned that he would be priced out of the market but had no real objections.

Mr. Applegate mentioned the recent articles in the Dayton Daily News and credits the square footage increase as one of the things that helped push Union ahead of Englewood and Vandalia in home values and income.
Mr. Beyer asked about increasing the square footage for doubles. They discussed an increase to 1,200 square feet for doubles.
Mr. Marsh asked if the lots already approved would be big enough for larger square footage homes.
There are a few lots left on Heckman and those are smaller. Mr. Applegate said every where else the homes being built were over sixteen hundred square feet.
There was a discussion on increasing the square footage for single family homes and doubles.

Mr. Beyer moved that their recommendations of increasing the square footage for single family homes to 1,600 square feet and doubles to 1,200 square feet per side be forwarded to the city council for approval. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred so the motion was passed.

Mr. Beyer moved that the planning commission meeting be adjourned. Mr. Shields seconded the motion. All concurred and the planning commission meeting was adjourned.

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