City of Geneva Zoning Board of Appeals met February 22.
City of Geneva Zoning Board of Appeals met February 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
Present:Chairman Kaindl; Members Debates, Hunz, Kerfoot, Konicek
Absent Member: Hood, Rittenhouse
Staff:Building Commissioner Eric Nelson
Public Present:Alderman Mike Bruno; Applicant Tim McMillin, Tom Wetmore, 418 Ford St.; Planet Depos Court Rptr. Joanne Ely; Recording Secretary Celeste Weilandt
The meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals was opened by Chairman Kaindl at 7:03 p.m.
The recording secretary called the roll and a quorum was present with five (5) voting members.
Approval of the January 25, 2017 Meeting Minutes
-Minutes of the January 25, 2017 meeting were approved on motion by Mr. Kerfoot, seconded by Mr. Konicek. Roll call:
Aye:Kaindl, Debates, Hunz, Kerfoot, Konicek.
Nay:None Motion Carried.
Mr. Eric Nelson read the legal notice that was published on February 7, 2017 in the Daily Herald newspaper. Chairman Kaindl read the opening statement which explained the protocol for the hearing.
The public hearing for the following case was opened.
A. 320 S. 6th Street – In accordance with Section 11-14-5 (Variations) of the Geneva Zoning Ordinance, the petitioner is requesting the following variations from Section 11-5D-4 (Lot and Area Requirements of the R3 Medium to High Density Single-Family Residential District) of the Geneva Zoning Ordinance to increase the allowable lot coverage from 40% percent to 49% percent for the purpose of adding on to the home, installing a deck, a patio and a paver walkway.
Chairman Kaindl invited the applicant to come forward.
Applicant/owner, Mr. Tim McMillin, 320 S. Sixth Street, Geneva, came forward and placed a couple of diagrams on the overhead and discussed that he intends to create a long-term residence for himself. He stated the proposal was presented to and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission (“HPC”). In prior discussions with the HPC he stated there was consideration as to whether he could build up with the building as opposed to out to minimize the impact on lot coverage. Due to restrictions with the building and practical aspects of remodeling, it was not possible. Therefore, the only way to make the home livable was to make a modest increase in the size of the building itself.
He referenced his written letter explaining the reasons behind the requested variance. For the reasonable return hardship, Mr. McMillin discussed the building’s history dating back to the 1870s. He planned to add 350 sq. feet to the home but would remove 478 square feet of house, back patio and a portion of the front walkway. The front patio would be reduced to increase green space as well as removal of the rear concrete patio. A very small one-car detached garage also existed on site. Mr. McMillan referenced the existing site plan, pointing out the proposed addition of a master bedroom, master bath and a small amount of living space. He emphasized he wanted to make the home livable. From a real estate perspective, to date, he could not find any one-bath, one bedroom residences in Geneva.
Continuing, Mr. McMillin explained his hardship includes the fact that the building is the smallest lot in Geneva and is a non-conforming lot. He is seeking the variance to provide livability in the home, noting it will be less than 1400 square feet in total. The lot coverage is 3,986.4 square feet which is 40.4% of the lot and is currently over the maximum allowed. He is asking for an 8.6% increase. Mr. McMillin also made a correction to the Daily Herald publication, noting he was not asking to add a patio of any kind; just the rear deck structure and reducing the size of the front entry patio to allow him entrance from the street into the home and from the garage into the home. As a result, he stated the proposed lot coverage would increase to 1,956 square feet or 49% lot coverage. To the north he had just over one foot to the property line and on the south he had 3.65 feet to his neighbor. Lastly, he reminded the board that he had made further reductions in the hardscape to keep as much green space as possible.
The chairman invited the public to speak. No public comment received. No comment from staff.
Per questions from the board, Mr. McMillan stated the building was occupied by the prior owner until July 2015. Mr. Konicek pointed out that the owner was not going to find many buyers for such a lot or house, wherein Mr. McMillin agreed, commenting it was about the size of a condominium and he was not interested in creating a home to flip but, instead, was trying to create something that was saleable.
Mr. Tom Wetmore, 418 Ford Street, general contractor for the project, said the home was historically contributing and the HPC would not let it be demolished which left it as the smallest lot in Geneva on almost an unbuildable lot. However, he believed it was a great project to add to the historic district and he had a client who wanted to put the investment into it; otherwise it would just sit.
Ms. Debates heard the house to the south was a piano store and the proposed house was built from the piano crates that arrived at the neighbor’s house. She also agreed a market for smaller homes existed.
Lastly, Mr. McMillan presented photos of the home currently during the winter months and then in the summer, which reflected a lush perennial garden.
Hearing no other comments Chairman Kaindl closed the public hearing and entertained a motion.
Mr. Konicek made a motion that the variance to the Geneva Zoning Ordinance, Section 11-55-4 for this parcel, located at 320 S. Sixth Street, be approved from 40% percent to 49% of the maximum lot coverage. Seconded by Mr. Kerfoot. Roll call:
Aye:Debates, Kerfoot, Konicek, Kaindl
Nay:Hunz Motion Carried.
Special Items – None.
Other Business – None.