ZBA approves one variance request

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — Only one request for a variance from city code brought before the Zoning Board of Appeals was granted Monday afternoon.

Paul and Beth Ferguson had their request unanimously approved to install a permanent, above-ground pool not located in the rear yard and a 4-foot-high barrier fence at 242 Gemini Drive in the single family residence district. The Ferguson’s property met the required exceptions to grant the variance.

The board denied two other requests from residents for variances.

John and Beverly Bricker, on behalf of Tim and Mary Pat Echemann, asked for a variance to allow an accessory building to be located in the front yard of 1515 Bon Air Circle in the suburban residence district. The proposed structure exceeded the maximum square footage of 1,500-square-foot as allowed by city codes. The second variance requested a conditional use permit for the additional footage over the 1,500-square-feet. The third variance was for a conditional use permit to allow the accessory structure square footage totalling 1,636-square-foot at this location.

The main issues causing the requests to fail was the city code’s setback footage requirements to allow an accessory building in the front yard, and the setback footage requirements for the building near the principal structure on the property. Also, the property did not meet the standard of exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions. Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth said there is “ample room” available in the back yard for the structure.

Chairman David Fleming said the board cannot grant the request because it is an issue of city code, but if the property owner chooses to build a smaller structure, permission may possibly be granted if it meets the footage requirements. A new petition would be necessary for reconsideration.

Several neighboring property owners were present and voiced their opposition to the request for aesthetic reasons and for concern it would negatively effect their property value.

Board member Tom Ehler excused himself from this item of business due to a conflict of interest.

Also heard was the request of Mary Wagner to construct a 6-foot-high privacy fence in the front yard where a maximum 42-inch-high open fence is allowed at 750 Clinton Ave. in the single family residence district, which was denied.

Wagner had began replacing the old, open-link fence currently on the perimeter of her property with a new, taller privacy fence when the city required construction to cease. Wagner’s grandfather attended in her place due to her work demands and said they began the project without permission because they thought she was allowed to replace the existing fence. However, the city code requires the new fence be the same type of open fence, if placed at the property perimeter, since there is no exceptional circumstances present to grant the change. Otherwise, she may erect the taller privacy fence closer to the house to allow traffic on the roadway to see without obstruction.

In addition, the Zoning Board of Appeals newest member Randy Rose attended his first meeting Monday afternoon.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.