SIDNEY — The Sidney Zoning Board of Appeals approved a variance request Monday to construct an accessory structure in the side yard of a residence on Hill Avenue. The board also tabled a conditional use permit request for a self-service storage facility on Main Avenue in the community business district.
The variance request of Robert Wood was to construct an 8-foot by 12-foot accessory building in the side yard at 107 Hill Ave., north of Court Street, in the R-1, single family residence district.
Barbara Dulworth, community development director, said the residence on this property faces, and is accessed by, the north-south alley to the west of Hill Avenue. The alley to which the residence faces is the rear yard as defined by the zoning code, while the front yard functions as the rear yard, with no access to Hill Avenue as the grade is steep. The code requires detached accessory structures be in the rear yard. In this case, because of the orientation of the residence, placing the accessory building in the defined rear yard would be difficult.
City staff recommended approving the variance due to the following findings:
• The steep grade and orientation of the residence creates an exceptional and extraordinary circumstance and conditions applicable to the property in question that do not apply generally to the other lots in the same vicinity and district;
• This variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other properties in the same vicinity and district but which is being denied to the property in question;
• The granting of this variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in such vicinity and districts in which the property is located;
• The granting of this variance will not alter the land use characteristics of the vicinity and district, diminish the marketable value of adjacent land and improvements or increase the congestion in the public streets.
All board members who were present unanimously approved the request. Board Chair Tom Ehler was absent Monday and was excused by the board. Board member Richard Sommer conducted the meeting in Ehler’s absence.
The board also unanimously voted to table the request of Steve Meade for a conditional use permit for a self-service storage facility at 432 N. Main Ave. until the May 18 meeting. It is located in the B-2 community business district.
Dulworth said the property has been vacant or used for storage in violation of the zoning code since the previous restaurant use, which ceased in the early 2000s.
She noted a self-service storage facility is a conditionally permitted use in the B-2 district. While the property has an existing paved surface, with existing drainage pattern for stormwater, city staff had not received information from the applicant on outdoor lighting or signs.
The item is to be tabled as city staff is also requesting information to the following additional questions:
• Does the current certificate of occupancy (Ohio building code) cover the self-storage use?
• How will lessors access the building and how will individual rental units be secured?
• The property is connected to the city water and sewer service, but water is currently off? Have the plumbing, water service, and sewer lateral been evaluated and what is the plumbing system condition?
• What kind of exterior security and limits on access to the property will be used?
In addition city staff has the following concerns:
• The property is adjacent to a residential use to the rear and across Main Avenue to the front. A self-service storage facility could negatively impact these properties due to potential for activity 24-hours and outdoor lighting.
• The building on the subject property is 1,080-square-feet and the floor plan is not designed for self-storage, which would require either substantial alterations or limiting of the storage area square footage. No outdoor storage will be permitted.
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