Zoning board of appeals




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ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

MINUTES



DATE: November 3, 2010

TIME: 9:00 a.m.

PLACE: Council Chambers
Chairman Robert Gilchrist called the meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals to order at 9:05 and asks Mr. Klinar to take the roll call.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Ken Kramer, Jean Wrice, Dr. Ramirez, Chief Brown and Robert Gilchrist

Richard Klinar: First item on the agenda, B.A. case # 24-2010 3135 Eagle Avenue Submission for reconsideration of variance to add 16’ x 22’ (352 sq. ft.) to existing 900 sq. ft. garage. Section 1129.05(D1). Private garage may not exceed 780 sq. ft. if lot is 9000 sq. ft. or more. R-3 Zoning. Robert Young, applicant.


Robert J. Gilchrist: Is the applicant present?
Robert Young: Yes.
Robert J. Gilchrist: If you could step to the microphone, state your name and address, please.
Robert Young: Robert Young, 3135 Eagle Avenue, Lorain, Ohio.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Could you share with the Board your reason for asking for a variance, your hardship?
Robert Young: Yes, it’s just for a music room, a practice room, that’s what I’ve been doing all along. I need a place to practice with my band. It’s really 80 percent of my livelihood. I thought it was on private property; it’s 60 x 120 and the building is 16’ x 22’. I just went to apply for my license, I mean for my building permit, they said I had to come to the variance meeting.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Yeah, but did you have any concerns from your neighbors at all?
Robert Young: No, I got letters from my neighbors.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Did you receive any of those, Mr. Klinar?

Richard Klinar: No.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Ok. Any comments from the Board?
Ken Kramer: I so move to accept this application with the stipulation that it be completed by 90 days and also (inaudible) the fire inspector.

Jean Wrice: I second it.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It’s been properly motioned and supported to approve the variance for 3135 Eagle Avenue. Do you understand that motion? Can you get, can you comply within 90 days to have that project finished?
Robert Young: Yes, sir.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Ok. Questions on the motion? All those in favor?
All Board Members: Aye.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Opposed have the same right. Motion passed. Thank you, sir.
Richard Klinar: Next item on the agenda, B.A. #33-2010 601 “E” Street Variance requested to allow for a two-family dwelling. Section 1147.02. Permitted principle uses are single family dwellings only. R-1 Zoning. James Mackert, applicant.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Is the applicant present?
James Mackert: Yes, sir.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Could you step to the microphone, state your name and address for the record, please?
James Mackert: Jim Mackert, 5520 West Erie Avenue, Lorain, Ohio.
Robert J. Gilchrist: And could you share with the Board your reason for requesting this variance, your hardship?
James Mackert: Currently, I don’t have a copy of the letter or anything (inaudible) the building at 601 “E” Street has an apartment upstairs and a bar downstairs; has been about forty years that way, with the bar enclosed since ’96 I believe. I did want leave the upstairs a residential dwelling, the apartment and take the bar and all the furniture out downstairs and be able to convert it to a second unit or second dwelling just to make revenue and reasonable, thus value to the property unit rather than try to get, you know a permit and a variance to reopen the bar and continue it. I have talked to the neighborhood and they don’t really want it to be a bar. I don’t really want to run a bar. I’m just trying to get, be able to get use out of the property and also help generate income so that I can go ahead and renovate the property, and fix it up. It’s been let go for quite a few years by the previous owners who was only there in the summertime. The upstairs windows were non-existent in some cases; there were plastic over them. We’re trying to get it all repaired and you know, make it a nice little dwelling.
Robert J. Gilchrist: At the pleasure of the Board, I did drive that area. I do believe there were duplexes across the street.
James Mackert: Yeah, there are several multiple family dwellings…
Robert J. Gilchrist: Questions, comments from the Board?
Dr. Ramirez: So this has actually been a partitioned (inaudible) anyway, building anyway. There’s already an apartment upstairs?
James Mackert: Yes, that is correct. That is separate. They are ready to go upstairs and you know (inaudible) the downstairs if (inaudible)
Dr. Ramirez: And all the plumbing and all that sort of thing are in.
James Mackert: It will need some renovation, because of the bar downstairs.
Ken Kramer: Is there a time frame on this project?
James Mackert: Actually, no not a steadfast time frame, but if you needed one, I guess it could be done within six months or so. I hope to get the upstairs finished and occupiable within ninety days (inaudible) the bar; of course there’s a lot more work downstairs.
Ken Kramer: I have no problem with this application provided that the six month project will be completed within six months. That would be my motion to accept that with that stipulation.
Dr. Ramirez: And I’ll second it.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It’s been properly motioned and supported …
Dr. Ramirez: I think he has a question.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Mr. Klinar?
Richard Klinar: He’s going to need construction documents and permits for this. The permit is valid for up to a year anyway, so…I mean there’s a time frame on the permit itself, as long as he complies with that…you can renew, yeah, just one time.
Robert J. Gilchrist: The permit process would take care of the time frame for us.

Is there a second?


Dr. Ramirez: I’ll second it.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It’s been properly motioned and supported to approve the variance for 601 “E” Street. Questions on the motion? There being none, all those in favor?
All Board Members: Aye.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Opposed have the same right. Motion passed. Thank you, sir.
James Mackert: Thank you.
Richard Klinar: Next item on the agenda, B.A. Case # 34-2010 1374 Missouri Avenue

Variance requested to allow fence 17’ from public right of way. Section 1125.04(E) On corner lots no fence shall be erected closer than 20’ from right of way. R-1 Zoning. Robert and Kimberly Laurenti, applicants.


Robert J. Gilchrist: Is the applicant present?
Robert Laurenti: Yes, sir.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Would you step to the microphone and state your name and address for the record.
Robert Laurenti: My name is Robert Laurenti. I live at 1374 Missouri Avenue, Lorain, Ohio.
Robert J. Gilchrist: If you could share your hardship or request for this variance.
Robert Laurenti: It was not really a hardship; I was in the process of replacing the existing fence that was kind of worn down. I was just going to erect the fence where the new one was. I didn’t realize that there was a new ordinance passed after my fence was erected. Originally that fence was out toward the back and deck (inaudible). The reason I’ve got to leave it at 17’ is I already have an existing patio and sidewalk and (inaudible) in the back. (inaudible) would be unusable…
Robert J. Gilchrist: Do you have any concerns from your neighbors?
Robert Laurenti: No they’re fine with that.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Now is there, I’m looking at this map, is there an alley?
Robert Laurenti: No, there’s no alley. Which map are you looking at?
Dr. Ramirez: The drawings, your drawing.
Robert J. Gilchrist: That’s Missouri Avenue, yeah the drawings that you submitted.
Dr. Ramirez: So this is an ( inaudible) of a fence that needs to be repaired?
Robert Laurenti: Yeah, I got cited several times from the City. For 2 or 3 years I’ve repaired and repaired it. Now it’s just unrepairable. My wife runs a daycare out of the house and this would be so I can ensure that the kids stay in the yard.
Dr. Ramirez: Are you looking at a 6’ vinyl?
Robert Laurenti: Yeah, a six foot vinyl with arch…
Robert J. Gilchrist: Are you right on your property line with your neighbor? Have you talked with your neighbor at all?
Robert Laurenti: I talked to my neighbor for everything, to the right, everywhere. I’m putting this fence exactly where it was. There’s no (inaudible) within any line (inaudible) neighbors.
Dr. Ramirez: How long will it take you to get this thing done?
Robert Laurenti: Well, to be honest, I already have the poles already up, because I didn’t realize I needed to get a permit. That’s when it was brought to my attention that I needed to and I was halted. It’s been awhile, because I had a lot of things going on this year that I didn’t get to this. I could go and look and see if the fence is still available and everything else and… it shouldn’t take much time because like I said, I already got the poles in the ground. It’s a matter of getting the equipment to finish.
Dr. Ramirez: Get the part for it (inaudible)…
Robert Laurenti: Yeah, well I took the old one down and I just though I was replacing it even though I was going to need a permit.
Robert J. Gilchrist: There’s a lot of people think this is the hard part.
Dr. Ramirez: I move to accept their and put in existing fence within a 60-day period.

I know winter’s coming along and…


Robert Laurenti: Yeah, that would be the determination with winter and everything…
Dr. Ramirez: But you’ve already got the posts in and you’ve already got the cement set and it shouldn’t be anything to put the actual fencing around it.
Ken Kramer: Support.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It’s been properly motioned and supported to approve the variance for 1374 Missouri Avenue with the applicable time limitations. Questions on the motion?

All those in favor?


All Board Members: Aye.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Opposed have the same right. Motion passed.
Robert Laurenti: Do I need to get a permit? How does that work?
Robert J. Gilchrist: Yeah, you would go to the Building Department and they’ll walk you through the process. Thank you, sir.
Robert Laurenti: Thank you.
Richard Klinar: Next item on the agenda, 3700 Kolbe Rd. Variance requested to allow for a 275 ft. ground sign. Section 1191.12(A) Buildings which contain one business may erect one ground sign with a maximum square footage of 100 sq. ft. (H.M.D.) Zoning.

Ron Hornyak, applicant for Mercy Health Partners.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Is the applicant present?
Ron Hornyak: Yes.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Step to the microphone. State your name and address for the record please.
Ron Hornyak: Ron Hornyak, 5458 Angola Road, Toledo, Ohio.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Could you explain a little bit your request for the variance?
Ron Hornyak: This sign program is part of a state wide program that is going on. What we’re trying to do is go through each one of the facilities, get rid of a lot of signs and make it a little more low profile, landscape, make it more of a campus feel. This sign is part of a, it’s the beginning of a future plan per signs that’s going to go through that hospital which is going to involve pretty much removing a lot of what’s there and kind of cleaning it up. The reason for the size is basically to define the main entrance and to use more of a structure or embellishments to make it look and follow the existing program as opposed to just stacking up boxes and lighting them like what’s up there right now.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Questions, comments from the Board?
Ron Hornyak: I will state that I gave you a couple pictures that show the existing sign and the new sign. The picture of the new sign is basically closer off the drive to the hospital so it looks a lot larger. The space out in front of that hospital’s, one thing I find with signs with people is that they’ll say “Hey, what is that thing? Ten feet wide?” You’ll say “No, that’s twenty feet wide”. When you put things outside, you lose track of scale; so you really can’t tell how big or how small something really is. I just want you to realize that as well.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Not that it’s cluttered out there, but I think the consolidation of signs will really clean it up. It’s (inaudible) look a lot nicer. Mr. Klinar?
Richard Klinar: Just to inform the Board, I did have 2 phone calls about the sign. One gentleman had no problem with it; another gentleman said he didn’t like it and was opposed to it. Neither one presented a letter; I don’t think either one is here today.
Ron Hornyak: I think I submitted at least a dozen of the people that live up and down the road their addresses (inaudible).
Ken Kramer: I so move to accept this application.
Jean Wrice: I second it.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It’s been properly motioned and supported to approve the variance for 3700 Kolbe Road. Questions? All those in favor?
All Board Members: Aye.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Opposed have the same right. Motion passed. Thank you, sir.
Richard Klinar: Last item on the agenda, B.A. Case #36-2010, 3605 Ashland Avenue Variance requested to allow for home occupation, (personal training facility). Section 1143.04. Home occupations are not permitted in an R-1B District. R-1B Zoning. Walter Martin, applicant.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Is the applicant present?
Walter Martin: Yes, I am.

Robert J. Gilchrist: If you could state your name and address at the microphone, for the record, please.
Walter Martin: Walter Martin, 3605 Ashland Avenue, Lorain, Ohio.
Robert J. Gilchrist: If you could share your hardship for requesting this variance.
Walter Martin: I’m just requesting a variance to open up a one on one personal training facility and that’s in my home. It wouldn’t actually be a gym. It would be where you would have to come at specific times one person at a time. Lorain doesn’t have a gym anymore since Club West moved out. I’m a natural body builder. I travel doing the body building and I put one and one together and said maybe, let me try this at home. I actually need to have a job where I could go off and do my own thing and then hopefully, I can open up a gym within a year. Doing the one on one personal training, it gives me opportunity to get my name built and have people come and see me. Also, a lot of people don’t go to the gym over the years (inaudible) because they’re worried about what people think and they’re looking at them, and they’re so concerned about that. My gym would be one where they come and you learn how to work out and you get like a three month commitment. You learn nutrition and everything like that. I’m a certified personal trainer also. After you do that, you can go ahead and go to the gym and have the confidence and the know how to be able to work out and and continue with the work out program.
Robert J. Gilchrist: I think it’s a great idea. We just have a couple concerns that we need to get out that you may not be aware of. Home occupations are not allowed in that area. I’m assuming that you’re charging your clients.
Walter Martin: Yes, I would be.
Robert J. Gilchrist: If you’re earning money, a home occupation is not allowable in that area. I don’t know if, have you had any concerns from your neighbor?
Walter Martin: I went and talked to every single neighbor over there just to see if they would have any concerns. The only concern that was brought up was the neighbor right next to me. She just asked about security. I kind of didn’t understand it myself. I mean, she’s older and she lives by herself. She’s in her eighties. I told her basically, security wouldn’t be a problem. I don’t see anybody coming to work out and then go breaking into their houses after that. That was her concern. Everybody else would all go for it.

The house that’s on the right of me is actually vacant. It’s a bank owned home, so I couldn’t speak to nobody there.


Robert J. Gilchrist: The comments from the Board, I just know we’ve had this brought up before and it’s been an issue.
Dr. Ramirez: I definitely have an issue with this. There are plenty of available buildings in commercial areas and the opportunity to start a business in that.
Walter Martin: The only thing with that is financial responsibility. It’s very, extremely, because I did look at it. To rent a building, and without having a following, to open up a gym, if I want to open up a gym right now and say ok, there’s a gym open; that’s not saying there’s going to be people there tomorrow, two weeks from now so the one on one personal training, like I said, it would be a chance to get my name out there, get some exposure and see if I can actually be able to run a business. I have never ran a business before. For me to go rent a place, I actually looked at a couple; I looked at Club West. It’s $2000 a month just to open it. Then to get the amount of equipment to have an actual gym, each machine, you know to rent the machine, they’re like $300 a month and that’s just for one machine. Since I’m a natural body builder, I have pretty much all the machines that you need already in my own house because I have collected them over the years. To have an actual gym, it wouldn’t be enough at all, nowhere near. I work out at World Gym and I talked to Dave, the owner a couple of times about opening a gym and how much it costs. He has over 4000 members so of course, he can afford it. He said if you don’t have 100 members, because basically, it’s $30 a month what you charge a person to come to a gym. If you do the math, if you have 100 people, and you got $2000 a month just in rent alone and then for each piece of machinery that you’d have to buy, to buy them brand new it’s $3000, to rent them it’s $300. It’s just financially, I couldn’t do it. I did look into it. There’s a couple of storefronts, that I’ve seen on Oberlin Avenue.I went in there and I looked at them and they were probably about the size of my basement. That probably wouldn’t work also, to have a gym in that small of a facility. A one on one, that’s still like the one on Oberlin Avenue, I don’t know the zoning there, but it’s still just a neighborhood, it’s you know, just like a little cornerstore, like on 14th Street; it’s just a little cornerstore that I’ve seen that’s vacant. I did call up and just seen how much they were. I went over a lot of different options. Me having it in my own basement just financially made a lot more sense. Like I said, I have to travel, like I go to West Virginia on the 20th; I just went to Cincinnati this past weekend and had a contest. I go to Kentucky, December 2nd. I have to leave a lot to actually do it, to do the bodybuilding so that’s another reason I wanted to do the home facility. It just makes it a lot more easier. Like with parking, my driveway is 100 ft. long and it would only be one client at a time, that’s my whole niche of what I would say is one on one personal training; it’s not a gym. If somebody comes there, they come there, they work out, they learn how to work out. It’s just a one on one facility. It’s not an actual gym yet, but hopefully by next year, a year and a half after I get more comfortable you know, with being able to run a gym and running a training facility and getting my name out there, because it’s all word of mouth. Once people get to know you, and then I go and open up a gym, there will be more people that will already know me. That’s what I’m hoping for.
Dr. Ramirez: That’s our real issue, because one on one right now, but as you grow, you may have more and that clutters up the road and people around you get really upset about that. This is a residential are and it was designed that way.

We’re looking at saying, “No, this is probably not a good idea.”


Walter Martin: That’s my whole marketing strategy is one on one. It wouldn’t get more than one on one, that’s what’s going to be under the name, One on One Personal Training. It’s for people to get their, a way to learn how to go to a gym. I want people to actually go to a gym because, I mean I love gym life. I love working out at the gym, I love the people and just the atmosphere. Like I said, a lot of people don’t go to the gym and or they either go and stop, because when they get there, they see they’re so out of shape or they’re intimidated by everyone else around.
Robert J. Gilchrist: I think you, it’s a great concept. I think that your concept is and I get it, because there’s a lot of people that don’t want to go to the gym because they’re a little self-conscious. What the issue is here, and just to give you a little background, is for our job, the Board’s job is to determine if the zoning is correct and if a variance is needed, there needs to be a hardship. I can understand your concern in saying “hey, I want to start small,” but what we’re dealing with is not the concept at all. We’re dealing with you having a home business in a residential neighborhood so if you could just think about that. That’s the issue. We have not approved home business in residential neighborhoods. Maybe what needs to happen is to try and help you find, maybe a gym that would allow you to be a personal trainer, maybe a local gym that would allow you to be a personal trainer. What we have the responsibility here to address is you having a for profit home gym in a residential area.
Walter Martin: I did check on being a personal trainer at a gym, but unfortunately, it’s extremely costly. I live in the Lorain area, people can’t afford it. That’s $35 a session for like at World Gym where somebody can get personal training. Mine would be less than ½ of that.
Robert J. Gilchrist: I just mention that to just to try and offer suggestions. We’re charged to deal with the application in front of us.
Dr. Ramirez: We’ll have to move to disapprove this because again it is a residential area; it’s not something that fits the zoning. I move to disapprove.
Ken Kramer: Support.
Robert J. Gilchrist: It has been properly motioned and supported to not approve the variance for 3605 Ashland Avenue. Questions? One comment I will make, is if it’s helpful, maybe I can put you in touch with our Community Development Department

and see if we can find a niche that will help you kind of do both and accomplish what you want at the same time. I don’t know if you would want to stay around afterwards, but…


Walter Martin: I mean, yeah definitely, because I would like to do it. Unfortunately, I can’t do it out of my house.

Robert J. Gilchrist: I think there’s a need for it. I think if we put our heads together, maybe we can find something…I know that Club West is in Lorain, though, still in Lorain though.
Walter Martin: Yeah, I thought that was actually considered Amherst.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Oh, ok. Questions? All those in favor?
All Board Members: Aye.
Robert J. Gilchrist: Opposed have the same right. Motion passed. If you don’t mind hanging out, we can likely put you in touch with somebody.
Walter Martin: Ok.
Robert J. Gilchrist: There being no further items to discuss, this meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals is now adjourned. (The time adjourned: 9:32 a.m.)

_______________________________________________________


CHAIRMAN CITY OF LORAIN ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS



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