Union City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
 
Fourth Quarter 2000
 
Oct. 10, 2000, Meeting Minutes (Board of Zoning Appeals)
Oct. 10, 2000, Meeting Minutes (Planning Commission)
Dec. 12, 2000, Meeting Minutes (Planning Commission)
 

 

Oct. 10, 2000

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES

Members Present:

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Vice-Mayor Beyer

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

Mr. Marsh called the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting to order.
Attendance was taken and Mrs. Thomas-Roth and Mr. Shields were absent.

1. Mr. Marsh asked if there were any corrections or additions on the minutes from the September 12, 2000 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.

2. 00-16 - Application from Glenn Parks at 12 Greencliff Drive for a four foot variance into the rear yard ten foot easement to build a detached garage.

Mr. Applegate said that he was at the site and measured the location of the proposed garage. Due to the porch/patio the garage needs to be located at the rear of the lot. The City Manager said he did not see a problem with the location or with the drainage. The garage will be six feet from the lot line, which meets the city code.

Mayor Packard moved that the variance be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted.

3. 00-19 - Application from Phil Henry, 615 North Main Street, for a variance in the side yard requirement for an addition on the house (storage room and three car garage.) Property is zoned Agricultural-Residential.

Mr. Henry is asking for a seven foot variance in his side yard for an addition to his house. The side yard requirement for an Agricultural/Residential property is twenty feet minimum. Mr. Henry said he is trying to save a large tree.

Mr. Marsh asked if Mr. Henry had approached the neighbor. Mr. Henry said he had and the neighbor had told him about the side yard requirement.
Mr. Applegate said the staff had no objection. If the land was ever re-zoned to R-3 zoning like the zoning directly across the street from the property, the addition would still be within the zoning requirement of ten feet for a side yard. It was only because of the A-R zoning that there is a request for a variance. There would still be thirteen feet from the addition to the side property line.

Mr. Beyer moved to accept the variance request. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the variance was granted.

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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Oct. 10, 2000

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

Members Present:

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Vice-Mayor Beyer

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

Mr. Marsh called the planning commission meeting to order.

Attendance was taken and Mrs. Thomas-Roth and Mr. Shields were absent.

1. Mr. Marsh asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes from July 11, 2000. There were none so Mayor Packard moved the minutes be approved. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.

2. 00-17 - Application for a change of zoning district from Oberer Development for 56.53 acres on Old Springfield Road and Frederick Pike from Agricultural-Residential (A-R) to Residential-3 (R-3).

Mr. Applegate said that there were two change of zoning applications, one property owned by Tom Miller and one property owned by Oberer Development. Oberer Development will be doing the development for both properties. Mr. Applegate introduced Mark Locke, representing Oberer Development.

Mr. Locke said Oberer Development had been in business for over fifty years, mostly doing residential work. He presented photographs of entry ways to some of their housing developments. They currently have fifteen developments that they are working on.

The first parcel being considered is 56.53 acres and fronts on Old Springfield Road. The second parcel will have access from Frederick Pike.

They are planning 138 single family homes, for R-3 zoning for the 56.53 acre parcel.

Mayor Packard asked if there were any green spaces. Mr. Locke showed the green spaces located where the trees are along the west property line, and the entrance ways. They will be left as natural as possible but with walkways. The property will be maintained by a homeowners association - one association for both parcels of land.

Mr. Richard Oaks, Union's traffic engineer said he had taken a look at the traffic situation. He said there would need to be a few improvements on Old Springfield Road and Frederick Pike, opposite Furnas Road. Mr. Oaks said these were typical problems that they would work out with Oberer's engineering staff.

Mr. Applegate said this is a conceptual plan so they know how Oberer intends to develop the property when they apply for a zoning change. Mr. Oberer said they will make sure the landscaping is maintained along Frederick Pike and along other green spaces in the developments. The name of the development will be Stoney Farms.

City water lines are present along Old Springfield Road and Frederick Pike. There is no sewer now but there will be a lift station installed by the developers at Kley Road. The cost for the sewer line installation from that point on will be borne by the developers. It is a gravity sewer and is more costly which is why the city usually does not do that. As ground is developed in this area, whoever develops will pay part of the cost to the initial developer who installed the sewer lines. This will not affect the city's tap in fees. The city will receive tap in fees from each new house or business.

In response to Mr. Marsh's questions, the sewer plant does have the capacity to handle this development.

Mayor Packard moved to forward the conceptual plan to the council to set a public hearing for the rezoning. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

3. 00-18 - Application for a change of zoning district from Oberer Development for 54.15 acres on Old Springfield Road and Frederick Pike from Agricultural-Residential (A-R) to Residential-4 (R-4).

They are planning 167 homes on this parcel.

Mr. Marsh moved to forward the plan to the council to set up a public hearing. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

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

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Dec. 12, 2000

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES

Members Present:

Lynn Thomas-Roth

Dale Shields

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Vice-Mayor Beyer

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

Mr. Shields called the Planning Commission meeting to order and attendance was taken. All members were present.

1. Mr. Shields asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the October 10, 2000 meeting. There were none so Mr. Packard moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mr. Shields and Mrs. Thomas-Roth abstained, and the other members voted for the motion. The minutes passed.

2. Byron Firsdon from Firsdon Construction Co. was 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 introduced Mr. Firsdon. Mr. Applegate pointed out two hanging prints, one showing the original concept and what has been done, and the other showing the new concept.

Mr. Firsdon distributed some copies for the commission. He gave a brief history of the development. They are averaging about six and ½ lots developed a year. They want to increase the sale of the lots to about 20 lots a year. The first three sections are well maintained and it is a pleasing community. Mr. Firsdon said he felt that something needed to be done to help the development grow at an increased rate.
He proposed an 80 foot frontage instead of an 85 to 95 foot frontage. It would allow the developer to lower the price and be more competitive. Mr. Firsdon said an 80 foot wide lot is not a small lot. The square footage ranges from 1800 to 2000 square feet on the existing homes. The key is to make the homes more affordable.
Another change would to be to reduce the available house size to 1400 square feet. It is currently 1530 and up. That would also affect the pricing of the home.
He said they would also need to change the marketing plan to draw people into the community instead of depending on people within the community to buy the homes.
Mr. Firsdon added that currently there are not enough maintenance fees coming in to support the pool and the club house. The developer has tried to make it work and has subsidized the pool and clubhouse for years.
In one of Mr. Firsdon's developments, the price range is from $125,000 to $250,000 but some of the lot sizes are as small as 50 feet wide. Mr. Firsdon said that 80 feet, the minimum size allowed in this zoning, is more than adequate for this development.

Mr. Firsdon showed a new drawing with new entry ways. Some of the area would remain the same around the club house and pool. Mr. Firsdon said he envisioned that the homes would appear and look the same from the street, even though some of the homes would be smaller in square footage.

He asked for a minimum of 1400 square feet. He said it was a better marketing strategy to offer a lower priced home. Mr. Firsdon said he hoped that these changes would get the development moving.

Mr. Marsh asked about the lot prices now and if the lot sizes were reduced, what the price range would be. Mr. Firsdon said the lots were going from $27,500.00 and up. The developer has not considered increasing the costs of the lots, since they aren't selling now. Mr. Firsdon said they would be trying to get the lot prices down but he could not give a price.

The reduction of lot size has changed the section from 140 lots to 155 lots.

Mr. Applegate said the original developer went bankrupt and those rumors have carried forward to the existing developer. Mr. Applegate said their concerns are that there are already existing homes there and the homes were built according to the existing covenants.
Mr. Marsh agreed saying the people owning the existing homes bought under the assumption that the development would be a certain way. Mr. Firsdon said the original section covenants would remain the same - he was just talking about changing the covenants for the proposed additional section to Irongate Estates.

Mayor Packard said he felt that if the area was marketed correctly, it would be a successful development. He said they wanted homes for current Union residents to step up into.

Mr. Applegate said there was some validity in what was being said by Mr. Firsdon, using Union Ridge as an example. Those homes were advertised at a low range of $115,900 but homes being sold are going much higher. Mr. Applegate said he was still concerned about what had been promised to the existing homeowners in Irongate Estates.

Mr. Marsh said he would not object to the lot size reduction as much as the home's square footage reduction. He said there are some large house built on small lots in Union Ridge, and that would keep the houses similar to what is already there. Mr. Firsdon said that would reduce the price of the lots and the rest would be larger than 1400 square feet.

In response to Mr. Packard's concerns that they would fill the development with smaller, 1400 square foot homes, Mr. Firsdon suggested that the city could establish a percentage of homes that could be 1400 square feet.

Mr. Beyer got information on where Mr. Firsdon's developments were, on Kittridge Road and on Social Row Road.

Mr. Firsdon said he would plan on building and selling the lots to other builders and having models available. He would plan on putting together the best team of builders he could and plan on advertising outside the community.

Mr. Beyer asked what Mr. Firsdon's relationship was with Mr. Dries, the current developer. Mr. Firsdon said he had an option to buy the development. Mr. Beyer had concerns about the lack of activity in the area and suggested that the planning commission members go to Mr. Firsdon's development to check it out. He asked that the commission think about it and maybe come to a compromise on square footage.

Mr. Beyer said many variances were issued in Union Ridge because bigger houses were being built on lots than were originally planned.

Mr. Applegate said in the south corner, there is a very nice woods. Mr. Applegate said he would hate to see the woods destroyed. Mr. Applegate said the city has a park adjacent to that area. Mr. Firsdon said it was premature to make a comment since it could be seven years away from doing anything with that section.

Mr. Applegate said that Section 4 was approved and was to be tied into the existing road network. Mr. Firsdon said they would have to do a better job of marketing the 26 lots that were still in existence before they could open up another forty lots. Mr. Applegate said they did not want to wait six or seven years before they got the second entrance set up, for fire and rescue concerns.
Mr. Marsh asked when the last square footage requirement was changed. Mr. Applegate said he would have to check, possibly four years ago. Later in the meeting, Mr. Applegate said the changes were made May 12, 1997. Square footage went from 1200 to 1400 and also required overhangs, sidewalks, two car garages, etc.

Mr. Applegate said Mr. Firsdon now has a feel for what the planning commission's thoughts are. He asked that Mr. Firsdon provide the city with some elevations of what the existing homes are now, types of models, etc. and they will take it up again at the next meeting, January 9, 2000.

Mr. Applegate asked Mr. Scott Temple, a builder and resident in the development, what his thoughts were. Mr. Temple said he had already over-built in the plat. He said his houses would probably not fit in what Mr. Firsdon is proposing. He said he would be willing to keep building in section 3 and 4 and possibly could revise his homes to fit. He said he felt the plat just needed to be cleaned up and marketed.

Mr. Marsh said that he agrees that marketing is the key to the success of the development. Mr. Applegate said the Union Ridge plat was built out in five years.

Mr. Applegate invited Mr. Firsdon back for the January meeting. Mr. Marsh said he would like some time to review the information. Mr. Beyer said they would not take any action at this first meeting.

3. 00-20 - Application for a change of zoning district from Ronald G. Bailey for 5 acres, at 3318 Phillipsburg-Union Road from Commercial-1, (C-1) to Light Industry-1 (L-I) (communication tower).

Mr. Applegate said this was a request for a change of zoning district which would allow a communications tower. Mr. Applegate said Mr. and Mrs. Bailey were present.

Mr. Applegate said recently the city council had directed Mr. Applegate to attend a Clayton council meeting to discourage the building of a communications tower on Sweet Potato Ridge Road.

Mrs. Bailey said the location of the proposed tower was near the existing city water tower, it would not be in the open, it would be obscured, and that the City of Union needs better cell phone reception. Mrs. Bailey said the location would be between two light industrial areas and would be a discreet place. This tower would be installed by AT&T. The tower would be 1/3 taller than the water tower, so it would be 150 feet tall.

Mr. Marsh said there were many irate people within one-half mile site area that were vehemently opposed to the proposed tower in Clayton. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey's argument was that there was already a water tower there.

Mr. Beyer said they could set a public hearing and see what the public would say.

Mr. Applegate said other people, including the city, have been approached for towers and the proposals were for over 200 feet. Mr. Applegate said once it is zoned, it could not be restricted to only 150 feet.

Mr. Applegate said he agreed with Mr. Marsh, that people would be opposed to this. He said that the city would be creating an uproar. He said if the city does not want the tower, that they should let the property owners know.

Mr. Marsh said that he did not want to see another industrial area in the area. Mrs. Bailey said they did not need the zoning change unless they could have the tower.

Mr. Applegate said that towers were allowed in certain zoning but that location was in the center of the city and affected development around it.

Mr. Beyer said they needed to find out how high the tower was going to be. Mr. Bailey said they could have the representative there. Mrs. Bailey said they should not be denied the tower because of the zoning, that Eyre's and Balsbaugh, property owners that already have light industrial zoning should not have it either, since Bailey's had first option.
There was a discussion about other people wanting to put in a tower. Mr. Applegate said even Te-Co had been approached for installing a tower.

Mr. Shields moved that the zoning change be tabled. Mayor Packard said it did not matter what the height of the tower was. He said that at the Clayton meeting, people from Englewood, Union, and Clayton were all opposed. Mr. Marsh said he saw a petition with over 150 names of homeowners that were opposed. Mr. Marsh, in addressing the Baileys, said they live and do business in the community and he hoped that this application would not have a detrimental effect on their business.

Mr. Shields changed his first motion. Mr. Shields moved they accept the zoning application and forward it to the council for a public hearing. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mr. Beyer voted for the motion and Mr. Shields, Mrs. Thomas-Roth, Mr. Marsh, and Mayor Packard voted against the motion. The application for a change of zoning district failed.

4. Application for a change of zoning district from Oberer Development for approximately 110 acres on Old Springfield Road from Agricultural-Residential (A-R) to Residential- 3 (R-3). (using the same application as before)

Mr. Beyer asked for a five minute recess.

Mr. Shields recessed the meeting.

Mr. Shields called the meeting back to order.

Mr. Applegate said that the public hearing was held on the original application and he displayed the map used, showing one section to be zoned R-3 and one section zoned R-4.

People that were notified by letters as required had attended the meetings and the council turned the proposed zoning change down.

Mark Locke, from Oberer Development was present at the meeting. He said there were residents from the surrounding area and it was brought to their attention that the R-3 zoning would be more appropriate. Now, they are proposing that both tracts be zoned R-3.

Some things will remain the same, like entry ways from Furnas and Old Springfield Roads. They also now are showing two green buffer zones, one of which was not shown on the first plan.

Mr. Applegate said no one wanted R-4, and some wanted R-3, some wanted it all R-1. The council suggested they come back with R-3 which would eliminate the Old Town house series. People were concerned about the value and square footage of those homes.

Mr. Marsh asked if they would be bringing in outside builders. Mr. Locke said they could sell lots to a comparable builder. Mr. Marsh asked for the dimension of the buffer zone. It would be substantial enough to be a buffer. Mr. Marsh said Union Ridge did a raised mound and created a pleasant entry way to the city of Union. Mr. Marsh said some builders have done innovative things in the back - with brick corners, a brick porch, etc. with an attractive back view. He asked if they would offer anything like that or would consider that in their models. He said he was trying to address some of the resident's concerns that were attending the public hearing. Mr. Locke said they offered various things like what Mr. Marsh was talking about. Some porches are standard, some are options. They do not allow two same brick colors to be built side by side and they also vary the elevations. They offer approximately 35 different home choices and floor plans with different elevations per home, so there would be fifty or sixty different looks for the thirty-five homes.

Mayor Packard asked if the developer had talked to the Vandalia Butler School system since some of the people were concerned about that.
Mr. Locke said annexations did not change school systems. They would not approach anyone until after the zoning was changed. They would ordinarily provide projections of the number of lots and amount of school children that would be attending the schools each year. It the past, it has been .85 children per household in similar developments. They would tell the school superintendent that they would be developing approximately fifty homes a year. Also, homes in this price range would be supportive to the school system.

Mr. Applegate said there had been a discussion about a fence in addition to the buffer zone. He suggested a dense hedge, six foot in height, with a natural, green barrier.

Mr. Locke said at this point, they were just doing a conceptual plan. Once the zoning was changed, they would go to a land planner and get a more detailed plan.

Mayor Packard moved that the applications be forwarded on to council for a public hearing date to be set. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

5. Mr. Shields moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the planning commission meeting was adjourned.

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