A meeting of the Village of Riverlea Planning Commission was held August 13, 2018 at 258 Frontenac Pl. Members present were Bryce Jacob (Planning Commissioner), Janet Brown, Robert Davis, Taylor Surface, and Paul Unrue. Also present were Aaron Haines, Joann Bierman, and Martin and Catherine Lanning. Joshua C. Mehling served as Clerk. The Planning Commissioner called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
- The minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of July 9, 2018 were not read since each member had received a copy. Surface noted that his name was mentioned in the approval of the May minutes although he had not been in attendance at the meeting. Unrue moved and Brown seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk with the removal of Surface’s name as noted above. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 5, Brown, Davis, Jacob, Surface, and Unrue; Nay: None. The motion carried 5-0.
- An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness by Aaron Haines at 5833 Westchester to apply a whitewash known as German smear to the brick exterior, replace the existing casement windows with double hung windows, and install a new mahogany front door. The door will be laminated wood. The Planning Commissioner showed those in attendance pictures of examples of the German smear technique. The windows will be of a hybrid construction, meaning they will be fiberglass on the outside and wood on the inside.
Unrue moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of this fence as shown in the plans. Surface seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 5, Brown, Davis, Jacob, Surface, and Unrue; Nay: None; Abstain: None. The motion carried 5-0.
- An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness and Variance by Martin and Catherine Lanning at 5743 Olentangy to construct a detached single car garage and make minor changes to the previously approved addition at the rear of the house. The variance request is due to the fact that the garage would be set back 2 feet from the property line at the south side of the house, which is less than the 10 foot setback required in the Village Code. Sheryl Ellcessor, the owner of the property along the property line in question, was not in attendance, but had indicated approval of the plan in an email. Davis asked the Lannings about the motivation to place the garage in the requested spot and they replied that it was to preserve the amount of green space in the back yard and maximize the overall space. They added that they plan to add landscaping along the property line for privacy as well as aesthetics in the spring. The Planning Commissioner noted that he was concerned with the precedent that allowing this garage to be within 2 feet of the property line would set. He noted that the Village has allowed garages to be within 5 feet of the line in the past, but not 2 feet, and he did not see the hardship presented that required it to be so close. Catherine mentioned that the retaining wall in the back yard would likely need to be addressed in the future and having this placement would allow space in between the house and garage for equipment that may be needed for this work to pass safely, and placing the garage 5 feet from the lot line would only allow 6 feet of space between the house and garage for this. The Planning Commissioner noted that this 6 feet of space would be sufficient for small equipment, such as a Bobcat, to pass through.
Surface noted that the submitted plans showed the garage 5 feet from the lot line, vs. the requested 2 feet. Unrue noted that he has concerns on the variance application, given that the lot size is so large and there is space to place the garage further from the lot line. Martin Lanning noted that the slope of the yard prevented it from being pushed further back. Brown asked why the new garage was planned to be detached and not attached to the house like the existing garage. Catherine Lanning replied that it was to preserve the historical integrity of the house. Martin Lanning added that the new addition will go 1/3 of the way into the current garage, which would prevent any new garage from being added there. The Planning Commissioner noted that the recycling of the existing stone from the house to any new addition would help preserve the historical integrity, whether or not it was attached. He reiterated his concerns with the lack of hardship that pushing the garage back from the lot line would incur and noted that the Lannings had the right to appeal any Planning Commission decisions to the Village Council if desired.
At this point, the discussion moved to the approval of the garage materials and changes to the previously approved addition. The garage will use the same stone and shingles that were previously approved. The garage door will be a Wayne Dalton Classic Steel with a brown stain finish. The Planning Commissioner recommended changing the slope of the garage roof to be 10/2 to match those on the house gables and tie the 2 together. The wind vane atop the house will be changed to a flying pig. The door at the rear of the house will be removed. Some window sizes on the addition will be adjusted, and the Lannings are considering adding cross hatching to the windows as well. There were no issues with these plans.
Joann Bierman, the neighbor to the north of this property, stated that she approved of the garage, stating that it would provide privacy and that the land between the garage and property line was unusable. Surface noted that placing the garage so close to the lot line would lower the resale value of the neighbor’s house, as it would restrict the future work that could be done. Davis noted that he leaned against the variance approval, noting that he was sympathetic to their wishes, but that hardship could not be proved. Catherine Lanning noted that the neighbor’s property has building along both lot lines and that this has set precedence. The Planning Commissioner stated that the other cases may have met the qualifications for hardship, but that he does not see it here.
Surface moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for the garage materials, adjusted colors, garage roof pitch, garage door style, window alterations, and door removal. Unrue seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 5, Brown, Davis, Jacob, Surface, and Unrue; Nay: None; Abstain: None. The motion carried 5-0.
Surface moved to approve the Variance based on the 5 foot setback from the final surveyed property line shown in the plans and not the 2 foot setback requested. In addition, this approval requires the final surveyed lines to be submitted to the Planning Commission when complete. Brown seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 4, Brown, Jacob, Surface, and Unrue; Nay: 1, Davis; Abstain: None. The motion carried 4-1-0. The Planning Commissioner reiterated that the Lannings could appeal any decision to the Village Council if desired.
Davis moved and Brown seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously
(5-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:28 p.m.
Bryce Jacob, Planning Commissioner
Josh Mehling, Clerk