ZBA OKs four requests, denies one

By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@aimmediamidwest.com

SIDNEY — Four requests were granted and one was denied by the Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday.

The request of Brian Mantor, owner of Mantor Auto and Truck, 825 W. Russell Road, was granted a conditional use permit for outdoor storage in the light industrial district.

The the back yard, outdoor, storage area is about 8,000 square feet, which will be used to store dealership vehicles. The proposal was for an 160-feet-wide area lot, but due to the required 20-foot set-back, the storage area may be no more than 120-feet-wide.

Aside from typical required zoning conditions, the permit was granted under the following additional conditions:

• No storage of wrecked motor vehicles, vehicles with disabling damage, or motor vehicle parts are permitted;

• An application must be submitted for a site plan permit for the required paved surface;

• An application must be submitted for a fence permit for a fence at least six-feet-high;

• All established conditions must be completed within 30 days of approval. The Zoning Board will review compliance within no more than 60 days following approval of the conditional use permit.

The board granted the request of Behr Design, on behalf of Connection Point Church, for a variance to increase the sign area for a detached sign at 1510 Campbell Road, near the intersection of Campbell Road and Fourth Avenue. The property is located in the single- and two-family residence district.

Currently, signs in residential districts may be up to 6-feet-high and 48-square-feet of sign area.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, recommended approval due to the size of the property and its location. It is the city staff’s “opinion is that there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances and conditions applicable to the property or to the intended use,” she said.

The new sign was approved to be 6 feet in height, with a sign area totaling 60-square-feet.

The board also approved the request of ConForm Automotive for a conditional use permit for outdoor storage at 1620-1630 Ferguson Court. The board also granted a variance for side yard storage. The property is in the general industrial district, in which outdoor storage is a conditional use.

The outdoor storage is at four different locations on the property. Storage on the north and east side of the building is near the truck docks. Storage on the north side will hold propane tanks. The south side will extend existing storage, which will include semitrailers. New, raw materials will also be stored at the locations.

Dulworth noted city code requires outdoor storage to be in the back yard, so a variance is necessary for the south side storage in the side yard. She said ConForm’s property does not have much depth, compared to the front of the property, and allowing side yard storage would provide more buffering distance between major storage areas and adjacent residential uses.

In addition to the typical zoning conditions, Dulworth recommended the board grant the variance and conditional use permit approval under the following conditions:

• Materials in the storage area may not be stacked higher than 20 feet;

• Outdoor storage areas must have a paved surface and be maintained in good condition;

• A visual and mechanical barrier must be constructed along the east property line adjacent to the storage area;

• Storage may not extend beyond the bounds of the identified areas.

Several adjacent homeowners near the storage areas voiced concern about the noise level and hours of operation, as truck lights sometime shine into their homes once it becomes dark.

Chuck Hughes, plant manager of ConForm Automotive, said the trucking lanes rune from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but that the business is in operation 24/7.

Tom Ehler encouraged Hughes communicate with neighbors. Hughes said they would be willing to extend a 6- to 7-foot, solid, privacy fence beyond the original required length in the storage areas. He also told the board the business has recently added 20 jobs and plans to hire 20 more employees, when ask about the business’s growth.

The board denied the request of Kenjoh Outdoor for a variance to increase the allowed sign area for an off-premises sign at 2000 Schlater Drive. John Kirirah, owner of Kenjoh Outdoor, was requesting approval to increase the sign size of an existing off-premises sign has been installed at this location.

Signs can be up to 45 feet in height, measured at the elevation of the adjacent street, and 400 square feet in sign area. Kirirah requested a sign with a sign area totaling 720 square feet.

Dulworth said there are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions that would cause a hardship that is applicable to the property or to the intended use that do not apply generally to other property or classes of use in the same vicinity and district.

Kirirah said other communities allow for a larger sign at such a location, and requested for the city code to be revised. Dulworth said the city can, and likely will take a look at the conditions, but it is not a matter for the Zoning Board. The Planning Commission and City Council would need to review it, she said.

He also asked if his request before the board could not be granted, could up to the 25 percent increase, which the board does have the power OK, be granted. This would increase the size from 400 feet allowed to 500 square feet.

Dulworth told the board there still are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions to grant the increase.

Board member Randy Rose complimented Kirirah for being so knowledgeable. The board recommended for Kirirah to follow up with the city once the conditions have been revisited.

In final business, Gloria Verdier’s request for a conditional use permit for a home occupation at 1521 Beck Drive, was granted for the fabrication and customization of clothing and household goods.

The property is a single-family dwelling located in the suburban residence district. Home occupations are a conditional use.

Several residents in Verdier’s neighborhood voiced opposition to the business, including a letter received by the board. Her neighbors contended that the neighborhood is quiet residential area and they do not want increased traffic or noise, especially at night and on weekends.

Verdier said they have always had machines from her husband’s hobbies, and never had complaints before, but said they have decided not to conduct any wielding, weekend or night time work.

The permit was granted under the following conditions:

• No one other than residents of this property may be employed in the home occupation;

• No sale of items may take place at the residence;

• The home occupation must be conducted solely between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday;

• No outdoor storage or display shall be allowed. One sign, no more than 12” x 12”, mounted flat against the wall of the residence shall be allowed with approval of a permanent sign permit;

• A backflow prevention device must be installed;

• Any public advertisement may not include the address of where the home occupation is being conducted;

• The business must be conducted in compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances;

• The residence must comply with fire safety requirements of the Fire Department.

The permit was granted with a 3 to 2 vote. Board members Jim Weaver and Randy Rose voted no because it is located in a residential neightborhood.

By Sheryl Roadcap


Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.