Architectural Review Board (ARB) meetings are held on the second Monday each month at 7:00 pm, pending the need to meet. The ARB does not do building inspection, only architectural review and zoning compliance. All Village residents are welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings.
Meeting Highlights: February 8, 2016
A meeting of the Village of Riverlea Planning Commission was held February 8, 2016 at the Evening Street Elementary School. Members present were Carolee Noonan (Planning Commissioner), Janet Brown, Robert Davis, Taylor Surface, and Paul Unrue. Also present were Sheryl Ellecessor, Ken Helmlinger, Kent Shimeall, and David Stroman. Joshua C. Mehling served as Clerk. The Planning Commissioner called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
- The minutes of the Planning Commission meeting of January 11, 2016 were not read since each member had received a copy. Unrue mentioned that references to “pub room” needed to be edited to “tub room” in the minutes. Davis moved and Brown seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk with the above modification. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 3, Davis, Noonan, Surface, and Unrue; Nay: None. The motion carried 4-0. Surface was not yet in attendance for this vote
- An application for a Certificate of Appropriateness and Variance by Sheryl and Steven Ellecessor at 5731 Olentangy Ave to add a retaining wall and move the walkway along the existing patio at the rear of the house. These moves have to do with erosion of the hillside on which the property is located, the retaining wall would help to shore up this erosion. The homeowners are requesting the variance as well because the location of the proposed walkway will be within 10 feet of the property line due to the layout of the land and landscaping.In the current patio structure, the retaining walls are leaning due to the erosion, along with a gazebo that is also located on the property. Because moving the wall will remove the current walkway, the landscape architect proposed a new walkway, which cannot be relocated due to the steepness of the hill and erosion in other locations. As located where planned, there is about 8 feet of elevation change along the steps, whereas if moved, there would be about 20 feet of elevation change. In addition, there is a large Sycamore, which provides support in keeping the hillside together, that would impede relocating the walkway.
The neighbor who owns the property next to this one, and along whose property the walkway would be relocated, is currently down in Florida, where she resides much of the time. The homeowner stated that the view of the walkway would be mostly blocked by landscaping. The Planning Commissioner inquired as to whether anyone had attempted to contact the neighbor down in Florida, and the answer was that they had not. As part of the process, the Clerk-Treasurer sent her the notice of the variance request, which was most likely forwarded to her address in Florida.
Davis inquired as to whether the project would require engineering certification from the County and the Planning Commissioner replied that it would not, as it was not an actual structure. Unrue stated that his only concern was the notification of the neighbor, that he felt that the project was for the good of the Village. The Planning Commissioner stated that the neighbor had been notified and that it was her responsibility to notify the Village if she had any issues with the proposal and that she felt that the Village had acted responsibly and could proceed with approval of the variance and COA. Davis asked when the construction would begin if the project were approved. Ellecessor stated that the maintenance portion of the project had already begun and Helmlinger stated that the construction portion could begin in 2-3 weeks. Davis stated that he had no personal objection to the project as planned, but that he would feel more comfortable if there were a positive response from the neighbor to a direct inquisition from the homeowner or Village. The Planning Commissioner stated that she would be opening to contacting the neighbor in the following days and approving or denying the application after this conversation. Brown mentioned that she felt that this action of chasing down the neighbor would set a dangerous new precedent for Planning Commission activities in the future. Surface stated that his concern was that the neighbor had not yet weighed in on the project.
The Planning Commissioner proposed tabling the request until the neighbor had responded to the request and hold a special meeting of the Commission once this had occurred. She stated that her preference would be to approve the variance and COA as planned, as the Village had performed its notification requirements. Brown moved to approve the variance for the location of the walkway and Unrue seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 4, Brown, Noonan, Surface, and Unrue: Nay, None, Abstain: 1, Davis. The Motion carried 4-0- 1. Brown moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness and Davis seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 5, Brown, Davis, Noonan, Surface, and Unrue: Nay, None. The Motion carried 5-0.
- An application for a Variance by Paul Unrue at 141 Southington Ave to add an addition at the rear of the house and a bumpout on one of the current rooms. The Certificate of Appropriateness had been approved at the January meeting contingent upon verification that the additions did not extend within 10 feet of the property line. Upon further examination, the original plans did indeed extend 4 feet from the house, placing it within 6 feet of the property line. Due to this, a variance was required before the Certificate of Appropriateness could be granted. After revisiting the plans, the architect was able to remove 2 feet from the additions, placing them 8 feet from the property line. The homeowner mentioned that this distance would equal that of the current chimney on the house. The Planning Commissioner asked the homeowner to produce a survey to verify the distances to the property line. David Stroman, the owner of the lot next to this addition, stated that he appreciated moving the addition back by 2 feet and that he had no objections to the addition.Kent Shimeall, a neighbor, stated that he approved of the plans for the addition, but that he asked the Commission to make sure that they carefully considered any requests for variance that come before them, so as not to dilute the rules that are in place. The Planning Commissioner concurred with this statement and clarified that the 10 foot rule was primarily put in place for aesthetic reasons, not for safety requirements.
Davis stated that though he had concerns with the previous plans for the addition, he had no objections to the current plans with the revised distance. Davis moved to approve the variance for the addition on the back and the bumpout of the current room and Surface seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 4, Brown, Davis, Noonan, and Surface: Nay, None, Abstain: 1, Unrue. The Motion carried 4-0- 1. Davis moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness and Brown seconded this motion. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea: 4, Brown, Davis, Noonan, and Surface: Nay, None, Abstain: 1, Unrue. The Motion carried 4-0- 1.
Brown moved and Surface seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 pm.
Carolea Noonan, Planning Commissioner
Josh Mehling, Clerk