Union City Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
 
Fourth Quarter 2005
 
 
October 18, 2005, Meeting Minutes
November 8, 2005, Meeting Minutes
December 13, 2005, Meeting Minutes
 

 

October 18, 2005

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

 

Members Present:

Lawrence Beyer

Robert Packard

Lynn Thomas-Roth

Glynn Marsh

 

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

The planning commission was called to order on October 18, 2005 by Mrs. Lynne Thomas-Roth. Attendance was taken and Mr. Shields was absent.

1. Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there were any additions or corrections from the minutes from the August 9, 2005 meeting. There were no corrections so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mr. Marsh abstained, the other planning commission members concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.

2. 05-07 - Application for Union Springs, Section 2, final plat approval.

The Planning Commission reviewed the original preliminary plan submitted by a prior developer in 1997. They determined that the final plat drawing for Section II conformed to the original plan. The developer's engineer, Mr. Winemiller, said the west edge of the street cul-de-sac in Section II will abut the pond area. The developer, Jack Cobb, plans to install a walkway around the pond and a limestone berm around the edge of the water. Eventually when the last Section of the plat is developed, he will install a shelter type structure next to the pond.

Mr. Applegate commented that the City's Comprehensive Land Use plan indicates an extension of the walkway along the rear of the lots on the east side of the street. He indicated the City would request the developer to deed this area to the City. If this is done it will affect the lot sizes and may require the cul-de-sac area to be moved to the west in order to fit the homes on the lots.

The planning Commission approved Section II of the Union Springs development contingent on the City's Engineer's approval of the construction drawings, the developer deeding the 50' easement under the power line to the City, and the lot sizes and configurations meeting administrative approval.

Mr. Marsh moved that Section II of Union Springs be approved contingent on the engineer's approval. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and 05-07 was accepted.

3. 05-08 - Application for a change of zoning district on 107 North Main Street (listed as 109 North Main Street) from Commercial-2 (C-2) to Commercial-1 (C-1) from Cecil Rob Sanders dba Universal Electric.

The dimensions of the lot are 66 x 198 feet and that is the standard size of lots recorded when Union was a village. Mr. Applegate said that the staff has no objections to the zoning change. The lot has been zoned C-2 for a long time and no one has shown any interest in building a residential structure. This is the first time someone has shown interest in developing a new business on Main Street. Mr. Applegate introduced Rob Sanders.
Mr. Sanders said he was planning a 36 x 48 feet commercial type building with a brick front and vinyl siding on the sides. It will have a couple of overhead doors in the back. He said he was hoping to use the public alley in the back for access. He said the building would be for electrical construction and service work. He said there would not be much traffic and the building would house a small office for billing. He had started a business at 105 East Martindale earlier but now he was living in Clay Township.
Mr. Applegate said the city owns the alley but it would be his responsibility to improve it. Once the alley was improved, the city would maintain it. They would pave and plow it in the winter. Mr. Applegate said the alley would need to be paved. Mr. Sanders said they planned on having on seven parking spaces.
Mayor Packard moved that this request be forwarded to the council so a public hearing date could be set. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion passed.

4. 05-09 - Application for Stonebridge Estates, preliminary plat approval.

Mr. Applegate said engineer, Dave Winemiller was present, along with Howard Schumacher, and Scott Dillon, the owner and developer.
Mr. Applegate said the drawings showed the new design for the site. The traffic engineer, Richard Oaks needed to change the entrance into the development so there is a new lay out for traffic flow. Keller Court has now been carried through instead of being a dead end.
Mr. Applegate said the current walkway was installed by the city under the power lines. That walkway would need to be removed from the back of the lots, since no one would want a sidewalk in their rear yard. There are power lines through there and a fifty foot right of way that the city will need to maintain and is part of the city's comprehensive land use plan. Mr. Applegate also showed where there was a community park area.

Mr. Dillon said they would like to do a concrete walkway like Englewood's bike path on the city property with a fence along the property line. Mr. Applegate said the sidewalk now is on an easement owned by Dayton Power and Light.

Mr. Applegate said some of the corner lots would not work for a 2,000 square foot house so Mr. Applegate said they would look at that with the engineer.
Mr. Winemiller talked about two corner lots that are 90 feet wide but have two front yards as defined by City of Union regulations.
He mentioned about Union not having a side street set back and suggested that instead of a thirty-five feet set back they go to a twenty-five feet set back.
Mr. Applegate said they have discussed this before and people do not like when houses are set further forward from the other homes. Also, they have problems when people need to expand their garages, etc. The city wants a street scape that has an attractive appearance and are not staggered.
Mr. Applegate said he also, at the request of the planning commission, is trying to avoid granting variances.
Mr. Applegate said when Keller Court had to go through, they lost some lots for the development.

There was a discussion about common ground that the City would maintain which included a creek. Mr. Applegate said that sixty-five percent of the community's storm sewer run off drains through that area so the city will continue to maintain the area as they do now. They need space to still get equipment down there so the creek will be maintained. Mr. Applegate said since the city has taken over maintaining the waterways, they have not had any problems with flooding.

Mr. Dillon said the city's maintenance would take that burden off of the home owners association.

Mr. Winemiller said they would like to have some flexibility in naming the streets. Mr. Applegate said the Fire Chief was glad that the streets had the same names and the street address numbers continued. Mr. Applegate said he would not have a problem with it but it was not recommended by the fire and police.

Mr. Applegate said the layout meets the city's requirements.

Mayor Packard moved that the application for the preliminary plan for Stonebridge Estates be approved with some minor adjustments on lot sizes. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

5. Open Agenda

Mr. Applegate said at the next meeting, the planning commission will be looking at the pre-sale inspection ordinance and information so they can get the recommendations of the planning commission before forwarding it to the council.
Mr. Marsh asked if there would be an analysis of surrounding communities that have these ordinances. Mr. Applegate said they would provide the planning commission with ordinances from Englewood, Oakwood, and Huber Heights. Oakwood's ordinance is both inside and outside.
In response to a question from Mrs. Thomas-Roth, Mr. Applegate said the advantage is to the city. In the Dayton area, homes are sold a second or third time with problems until they are torn down. Surrounding home owners are complaining about the deterioration of the property. This way, the home has to be brought up to code before it can be sold. A house can not be sold until a certificate is issued from the city, or a statement between the buyer and seller is signed saying that the buyer will complete repairs and bring the property into compliance. Mr. Applegate said the city wants the problems resolved before the property is sold.
Mr. Applegate said the $50.00 fee charged would not actually cover the cost of the inspection but it would help off-set some of the expenses.

Mrs. Thomas-Roth asked if there was any way to bring a small grocery store in the area. Mr. Applegate said everyone was interested in the large stores. The small stores could not compete with the prices offered in the grocery store chains.

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

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November 8, 2005

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

 

Members Present:

Lawrence Beyer

Robert Packard

Lynn Thomas-Roth

Glynn Marsh

 

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

The planning commission meeting was called to order by Mrs. Thomas-Roth.

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 October 18, 2005 meeting. There were no corrections so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be accepted as prepared. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted as prepared.

2. 05-10 - Application for preliminary plan for the Grove, Stoney Crest, submitted by Oberer Development.

Mr. Applegate distributed the preliminary plan for "The Grove" at Stoney Crest, which is located south-east of the intersection of Old Springfield Road and Frederick. The city had rezoned this area earlier. Mr. Applegate said they are only looking at the area zoned R-4 at this time. Mr. Applegate introduced Dale Voisard, the engineer, who was present at the meeting.

Mr. Applegate said he and Mr. Green had reviewed the plan, made some slight changes in some of the lot sizes to avoid the need for variances, and asked that a street, Sandy Drive, make a connection to another parcel next to the Grove. Mr. Voisard presented a brochure on the development. Mr. Applegate said this was the "Old Town" series and they had built this series in Huber Heights, Troy, Miamisburg and Beavercreek. Mr. Applegate said R-4 does allow single family or two family homes but these would all be single family homes. Mr. Applegate asked if a person could buy two lots and put in a townhouse. Mr. Voisard said they had not considered that and was not sure the developer would allow it. Mr. Voisard said they would not be doing that.

This area would have a homeowner's association and they will maintain the open space in the front and the detention basin.

Mr. Marsh said the brochure did not show overhangs all the way around the house. Mr. Voisard said they would need to change the brochure for the homes built in Union. He said there were a few other things that would need to be done to comply with Union's building code.
Mr. Marsh was concerned about road maintenance on one of the roads and Mr. Applegate said it was actually easier to maintain a road with that design instead of with a cul-de-sac.
Mr. Applegate said brick fronts are an option and he said they have always required brick fronts for single family homes. He said the homes will have the overhangs so they will look nice.
Mr. Beyer asked if the brick was part of the building requirement. Mr. Applegate said it was not but that it should be part of this discussion.
Mr. Marsh said he was disappointed that some of the homes in Irongate Estates had been built with all vinyl. He said with this new development, he would like to see a portion of every home with some kind of masonry, such as brick or stone. Mr. Applegate said that the development would still come before the planning commission for the final plan and that could be addressed at that time.
Mr. Beyer asked if they could approve the preliminary plan and not decide on the brick. Mr. Applegate said that was correct. The planning commission was only approving the preliminary lay out of the subdivision at this time.
Mr. Voisard thought it would be roughly six weeks before they will have the final plan completed. Mr. Applegate suggested that they just keep that in mind to keep peace in the neighborhood because of what was explained to surrounding residents during the meetings for the zoning change.
Mr. Applegate said they also needed to make sure the gravity sewer going toward the lift station was great enough to allow for future development later.

The water line would need to be a twelve inch line at all main roads and the sewer line would require part of a gravity line and another lift station further to the east when an industrial park is developed.

Mr. Marsh asked about plans for the other parcels. Mr. Voisard said one of the plans for the multi-family fell through so they are working on the R-4 section now.
Mr. Marsh moved to approve the preliminary plan for the Grove, Stoney Crest contingent upon the final recommendations from Woolpert Inc. and discussion with city staff. Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the preliminary plan was accepted.

3. Discussion of Pre-sale inspection legislation.
Mr. Applegate said they are currently working on the rough draft ordinance. In response to Mrs. Thomas-Roth's question, Mr. Applegate said this was not like a termite inspection, it would mean the house was in compliance with the building maintenance codes, zoning codes, building codes, etc.
Mr. Applegate said he would like this on the agenda for the December planning commission meeting and that he would like the council to have this on the January agenda.

Mr. Applegate said they had designed this section to stand alone and not be a part of the zoning or building code. This would apply for all residential homes.
They will be adding a section to deal with foreclosures. Mr. Applegate said they wanted input from the planning commission and support for this. He said that the cities that had started this thought it was the best thing they had done. At this point, they would not be inspecting the interior. There was a discussion about why commercial properties were not having a pre-sale inspection. Mr. Applegate said he would check into that further.

4. Open Agenda

There was nothing else for discussion.

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

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BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING

Members Present:

Lynn Thomas-Roth

Glynn Marsh

Mayor Packard

Lawrence Beyer

 

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

 

The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was called to order 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 August 9, 2005 meeting. There were no corrections so Mayor Packard moved that the minutes be accepted as prepared. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. Mr. Marsh abstained, the other board members voted for the motion and the minutes were accepted.

2. 05-11 - Application from Sam Knobler and Doug Balsbaugh for a variance in the set back requirement for Lots 176 and 177 Concord Meadows, 123 and 125 Zinfandel Drive.

The size of the lot and the location on a corner makes it difficult to place a townhouse on the site that fulfills the city's square footage minimum.

Mr. Applegate said this was the last house on the street. The detention pond is located next to the dead end of this street where the proposed townhouse would be located.

Mr. Beyer moved to approve 05-11, the variance in the set back requirement. Mayor Packard seconded the motion. All concurred and the motion was passed.

3. 05-12 - Application for special exception for size of parking spaces from Bill Driver for parking at 102 South Main Street.

Mr. Applegate displayed the drawing to the council. This exception would only be granted to this particular business, as the current occupant. A special exception had been granted before to the business Super Hair, but when the business moved, the parking regulations for the property reverted back to the city code.

A calculation was included showing how the parking space requirement was figured. These drawings will be submitted to Montgomery County for a permit.

The request is to change the size of the parking spaces from the ten feet by twenty feet requirement to nine feet by twenty feet requirement. When asked, Mr. Applegate said this was the size of spaces requested by Sam Lambrose of Superhair.

Mr. Marsh asked if Mr. Driver was planning any exterior renovations. Mr. Driver said he said would be adding vinyl siding and will enclose the area with the overhang in the back of the property. Mr. Applegate said enclosing the area will improve the appearance of the property.

Mr. Applegate said he and Mr. Green had worked very closely with Mr. Driver and were glad that he would be bringing another business into the community.

Mayor Packard asked if they would have to bring the building and property up to the specifications of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Mr. Applegate said the front area had already been done by the City of Union as part of the State Route 48 improvement project.

Mayor Packard moved that the application for a special exception for the size of the parking spaces be approved. Mr. Beyer seconded the motion. All concurred and the application was granted.

4. Open Agenda

There was nothing for the open agenda.

5. Mr. Beyer moved that the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting be adjourned.

Mrs. Thomas-Roth seconded the motion. All concurred and the meeting was adjourned.

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December 13, 2005

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Members Present:

Robert Packard

Larry Beyer

Glynn Marsh

 

City Staff Members Present:

John Applegate

Denise Winemiller

Glen Green, Building Inspector

Joseph Moore, Law Director

 

The planning commission meeting was called to order by Mr. Marsh. Roll call was taken and Mayor Packard, Mr. Marsh, and Mr. Beyer were attending the meeting.

Mrs. Winemiller said that they had received a letter of resignation from Mr. Shields because he had moved out of the city.

1. Mr. Marsh asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the November 8, 2005 meeting. Mr. Marsh questioned page 2, the last paragraph concerning masonry on the exterior of homes. He thought the minutes should be corrected to read a portion of "every home" instead of reading "some homes". Mr. Beyer moved that the minutes be accepted as

prepared with that correction. Mr. Marsh seconded the motion. All concurred and the minutes were accepted.

2. Discussion of Pre-sale inspection legislation.

All of the planning commission members had a list of procedures, application, check list, and an ordinance concerning the pre-sale inspection. Mr. Applegate suggested they start with the ordinance and go through section by section with their discussion.

Mr. Marsh said he wanted to see all real estate properties included, both residential, commercial, etc. In response to a question, Mr. Moore thought that these regulations could be placed on all structures, including industrial buildings.

Mr. Applegate said this proposed Union ordinance covered more than some of the other communities because it included all kinds of buildings.

Mayor Packard asked if there were differences in code requirements between residential and commercial. Mr. Green said that the exterior requirements as far as roofing, windows, etc. would be the same but it would be different inside.

Mayor Packard asked if there would be a waiver. Mr. Applegate said it could be done but within his discussion with the law director, they were concerned that once a waiver or transfer was done and the buyer had agreed to do the improvements, the city may have problems enforcing the code, having the new buyer do the work. The way the ordinance is written, before the deed is transferred, the work has to be completed.

This way, the city does not have to go after a new resident to make repairs to their properties.

Mr. Marsh was concerned about requiring repairs in winter months. Mr. Applegate said they had discussed setting up an escrow account for the estimated amount that it would take to make the repairs. Mr. Moore said when the buyer was going to sell the property, that would be when they have the equity and money available to pay for the repair work. Mr. Moore said adding an option of escrow would make the process much more complicated.

The seller would have the incentive to fix up the property because he would need to have the work done before he could have a closing.

Mr. Moore said if they issued a waiver and the buyer could not or would not fix the property they had a complication of enforcing it with legal action.

Mr. Applegate said if a vacant house was sold, or if it was a foreclosure, when the person went to re-sell it, then it would have to be inspected. If that person would ever sell the house, the standard zoning codes would still apply.

Mr. Marsh asked if the pre-sale inspection sheet had been reviewed and if everything was covered that was routinely required in the zoning regulations. They wanted everything, both for residential and commercial included.

Mr. Applegate asked if they could start with the ordinance and review each form.

Mr. Applegate noted that there was another sentence that had been added that there would be no commission to real estate agents until the certificate was issued. Mr. Beyer asked how the ordinance could be enforced if the real estate agent was in another jurisdiction. Mr. Moore said the ordinance would have to be modified considerably to create a legal duty for the realtor.

Mr. Beyer was concerned about someone residing in another location not complying with the regulations. Mr. Moore said the buyer could not get the certificate of occupancy unless they would comply with the ordinance.

Mr. Applegate said that Montgomery County asks if the buyer has a certificate of occupancy because the title can not be transferred until that is done. The deed can not be recorded so the mortgage would be held up.

Mrs. Winemiller said they should notify all of the title companies in the area of this change.

Mr. Marsh asked if fourteen days was an appropriate time for Mr. Green to do the inspection, referring to Section B of the ordinance. Mr. Applegate said the ordinance does allow the time to be extended. Mr. Applegate said that besides him, it would be Mr. Green and Robert Farrier doing the inspections.

Mr. Moore said the closing would be extended because they would allow up to fourteen days to do the inspection, and then require time to get the items corrected.

There were no comments or corrections for Section II. Mr. Beyer asked about section III about the water bills. He thought that the property can not be transferred until the bill has been paid. Mr. Applegate said that the bill stays with the property and someone must pay it or the water will be shut off. He said there was a situation where the bill went to the realtor and they ended up paying it.

Mr. Moore talked about the potential for a land contract and in that case, the seller has to make the corrections to the property. Land contracts are recorded just like a mortgage.

Section VII should be changed to Section VI. They want to keep the fee at $50.00 and it will be the same for both commercial and industrial. Mr. Applegate said he wanted to get the program going and wanted to try to work with the real estate agents.

Mr. Green and Mr. Applegate have talked about the time this would entail. They have decided that the $50.00 fee would cover two inspections and after that it would be an additional $50.00 charge.

Mr. Marsh said there was no differentiation between new real estate and pre-existing homes. Mr. Applegate said every new house had a final inspection made by the city before the meter was installed. That means that the house meets the building code. Mr. Marsh said the ordinance didn't differentiate between the two - it just deals with the transfer from a previous owner. They discussed about putting in an exemption for new construction.

Mr. Beyer asked what would happen if a case was taken to court and the new legislation was overturned after the city had been doing this for awhile. Mr. Applegate said this type of case had already been to the Supreme Court. Planning Commission December 13, 2005 page 5

Mr. Green said that they had added disclaimers on the forms concerning the inspections. Mr. Moore said he thought that the city would have immunity in that situation.

Mr. Marsh asked how many of real estate transfers were there in a year's time. Mr. Applegate said it was approximately four hundred. The city would not make money on this and may even need another part time inspector.

Mr. Beyer said that the population of Union changes dramatically. That number of four hundred includes a number for final bills and rental properties also.

Mr. Moore suggested that the planning commission think about a conditional permit because sellers are going to cut their price because they do not have the money to fix up their property. He said that was the policy decision they would have to consider. That conditional permit is not allowed for in the ordinance. Mr. Green and Mr. Moore talked about the fact that the city did not have the funds or resources to legally compel the work to be done. The consensus was not to offer a conditional certificate. It was up to the seller to get the house ready to sell and comply with the improvements demanded.

In response to a questions about Englewood, Mr. Applegate said that Englewood's City Manager said this legislation had been very effective for their city.

The planning commission also determined that the forms, occupancy permits, and check lists are not part of the ordinance so they can be continually modified and updated without affecting the ordinance.

Mr. Marsh said he went over all the documents very thoroughly and saw nothing that needed to be changed. Mr. Green said the other forms were worksheets to help him as the inspector.

The inspection sheet has areas for notes so if someone else has to inspect it, the information will be there. Mr. Applegate said the exterior must meet the minimum requirements.

Mayor Packard said he was glad that the street numbers were requested to be on the houses for sale.

Mr. Applegate had discussed the pre-sale inspection legislation with other cities and they told him that this would improve the town's appearance and would cut down on the zoning violations.

Mr. Beyer asked if the Englewood or Huber Heights zoning inspector could come to the first meeting of the city council. Mr. Applegate said he could check on that. Mr. Applegate said he could see if the city managers could write a letter about the positive effects of the legislation.

Mr. Marsh also asked if Mr. Green could be at the first reading. Mr. Applegate said he would ask him to come to all of the readings.

Mr. Marsh said the fifty dollar fee would not cover the true expenses.

3. Open Agenda

Mr. Beyer asked if they would advertise for an applicant for a new planning commission member since Mr. Shields had moved out of the city. Mayor Packard said they could recommend that to the council.

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

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