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December 2012

December 10, 2012

Harrison Township Zoning Commission

Hearing Minutes

Barbara Younkin – Zoning Change Application

Applicant:                                            Barbara Younkin

Applicant Address:                          1433 Duvall Rd.

                                                                Lockbourne, OH  43137

Parcel for Zoning Change:            11015 US Rt 23

                                                                Lockbourne, OH  43137

The hearing was called to order by chair Kelly Spriggs at 7:00 p.m.

Roll call for commission members:

                In attendance:                  Kelly Spriggs, Dorothy Green, Rondi Cook-Brushart, Joe DeFelice,

                                                                Barbara Younkin (attended as applicant)

                Absent:                                                Jim Wells, Carol Balthaser

Kelly addressed the commission members indicating that Barbara Younkin would be attending as the applicant and not voting and that Carol had received word that Jim Wells was out of state and not able to attend.  She asked the commission members, in an effort to determine quorum, if there would be any other commission members who felt they would abstain from voting.  The three commission members in attendance each indicated they would not be abstaining from a vote.

Kelly informed the commission members and those in attendance that Carol Balthaser would not be present to take minutes and asked community members from the floor that we would need them to address the podium where a recorder had been set to address the group and answer or ask questions.  Kelly will also be taking notes and will compile the minutes from the hearing.

Since this is a special hearing, minutes from the regular October meeting were not read. Those will be read and approved at the regular quarterly meeting in January 2013.

Kelly read the procedures for the hearing and reminded those in attendance that it is not this commission’s role to approve/deny an application but instead simply to make a recommendation to the Trustees for consideration.

The announcement placed in the Circleville Herald and mailed to all required property owners was read.  Per information from Carol, the letter to the ODNR was returned. She researched a more current address and resent prior to the meeting.  (A copy of the announcement is attached to these minutes.)

Barbara Younkin addressed the group regarding her application.  Ms. Youkin indicated that she wishes to change the zoning of the property located at 11015 US Rt 23, Lockbourne, OH  from Planned Commercial to General Business.  She indicates that her son’s business that was being operated on the property as per the plan (Benchmark Construction) has ceased to exist.  She would like to rent the building to recoup some income for expenses to maintain the property.  Currently there have been  no inquiries to rent the property for construction, but they have received inquiries to hold auctions there.  Ms. Younkin has spoken with Patty Korn and Irene Younkin (owner of Greenlawn), neighboring property owners, who have no objections to the rezoning. She has spoken with an onsite staff member of American Heritage Homes (neighboring property owner) and the staff member indicated if there were objections she would have the supervisor contact Ms. Younkin.  Ms. Younkin indicates that the State of Ohio will at some point in time take the property (4.5 acres).

Larry Valentine (Ms. Younkin’s husband) addressed the group in support of the application. Mr. Valentine references items G & H of the application and indicated that they added extra details for the group’s review.  In addition, Mr. Valentine indicates the land to the west of the property is flood plan and nothing will be built there. To the south is American Heritage who is also a commercial business. To the east is US 23 and across the road is Barbara’s home property and Greenlawn Mobile Homes’ property.  Mr. Valentine indicates in the last phase of the roadway expansion everything (all buildings/businesses in that area) will be gone in that area, so this zoning change does not have long-term impact.  He indicates that when ODOT does come to buy the property  they will value the property higher with buildings and business in it.   Mr. Valentine indicates a rezoning to General Business will increase jobs and tax income by having a business in the building and will be a benefit to the township.

Todd Younkin addressed the group.  Todd is the former owner/operator of Benchmark Construction and son of the property owner.  He indicates his support is out of concern that the buildings be full and have use.  He doesn’t want to see vandalism, burglary, and damage from empty buildings.

Having heard from all proponents, and having no opponents present, Kelly read letters that were supplied from both Gary Smith of G2 Planning & Design and Terry Frazier of the Pickaway County Development & Planning Office.  (Copies of these letters are attached.)

Following the reading of the letters, Mr. Valentine asked to address the commission.  He indicates that the state will not tell you when they will be doing anything, just that they will be done.  He does not think this will be a long-term situation.  Mr. Valentine indicated that they (the family) could draw up a new plan for the property but if it doesn’t lease based on that plan then you’re back to drawing up more plans, but doesn’t understand reasoning for something that will be short-term.  He indicates that he doesn’t think an auction facility would generate much traffic, but indicates that is his personal opinion.  Mr. Valentine indicates that he would like us to tell him how many hoops they need to jump through to get this resolved. He feels that the recommendation from the advisor is a double-standard since there the zoning is an option and there are other properties zoned General Business but then the recommendation was based on future loss of control of businesses that could be on the property.  He feels they’re in a not so good situation from the state and now the county will not let them proceed to use the buildings.

Rondi asked if there were any plans to change the buildings.  Todd Younkin provided maps of the property marked with planned parking around the facility. He and Ms. Younkin  indicate there is no plan to change or add buildings and that there’s no room based on zoning code.  He indicates that the buildings as they stand were built to current code as of 2005.  He commented that the question from Mr. Smith’s  letter asked about sprinklers, but those were not in the code when the plans and building were previously approved as they were not required at the time.  There are emergency egress lighting and unisex restrooms. 

Mr. Younkin indicates that as far as property access/egress, the entrance located on US Rt 23 is only used in the event of emergencies when the state closes St Rt 762.  He indicates that traffic flow around the building has been designed in a circular pattern for ease of access and parking. 

Mr. Younkin indicates that auction company that has contacted him about the facility has indicated they would like to have 1 auction per week (4 times per month) at the site and assumes approximately 60-75 cars attending the auction. 

Kelly asked if any portion of the property was in the flood plain. Response was that the buildings and the parking are not in any portion of the flood plain.

Dorothy asked if there had been discussion on the day of the week the auctions would take place. Mr. Younkin indicates there has been no discussion as to the day of the week the auction(s) will be held. 

Rondi asked if there were any plans to change signage. Todd indicated that the new tenant would use the current sign structure already in place, just replacing with their own sign. Joe indicates that based on the current plan the sign would need to remain the same size.

Kelly asked Ms. Younkin if she has heard from the state on when they plan to take the property. Ms. Younkin indicates that the state has not determined when they will be taking the house and property located west of US 23 as that will be part of Phase 5 of their plans.  She indicates that currently the state is working on Phase 1 which is all to the east of US Rt 23.  She indicates that while work is currently beginning, all details for Phase 1 have not been completed with the property owners.  She indicates she has received no information on the timeline for future Phases.

Joe DeFelice (Zoning Inspector) asked to address the group.  Joe indicates that based on the recommendation from the Pickaway County Planning and Development Office, he would like to see Ms. Younkin submit a modification to the current Planned Commercial property to include the current construction plan and addition of an auction house plan.  Joe indicates that he wants to see properties in our township used as fully and best possible, but is not sure that a change to General  Business allows the township the control they should have on the property to make decisions in the best interest of the northern corridor which will be the gateway into Harrison Twp/Pickaway County. Joe asked that the plan should contain more details surrounding the times/dates of the auctions.

Mr. Valentine indicates that he believes it wouldn’t be a problem designing new plans.

Rondi indicated that she believes that what the Younkins want to accomplish with their property can be accomplished through a change to the current Planned Commercial property without rezoning the property to General Business.  She indicates that we do want to see business on US 23 and in Pickaway County and believes that’s a good thing for our communities.  She indicates that she believes it’s important for the township to maintain control in approving businesses along that roadway to make sure we have the right kind of businesses.

Kelly agreed that businesses along US 23 are a good thing.  She indicates that she would definitely like to see the buildings put to good use instead of sitting vacant, but thinks that a modification the Planned Commercial property would allow the township to permit the property to be used as the Younkins would like and allow the township to be thoughtful about the type of future business developed in that area.

The Younkins were agreeable to modifying the plan for the Planned Commercial property.  They asked the commission members and inspector how much detail should be included and if the plans could include all potential components that they’ve currently been approached about – leaving the construction business plan, and adding both auction and commercial storage plans.  The commission was in agreement as long as plans were in line with storage restrictions in our code. 

Rondi made a motion to table a recommendation to the Trustees until the next meeting in order to allow the applicant to modify their plans for the Planned Business with the newly proposed businesses.  Motion was seconded by Dorothy Green.

Voting on the motion:

                Rondi                    Yes

                Dorothy               Yes

                Kelly                      Yes

Rondi asked the commission about proxy voting for at the January meeting.  Kelly will review current Zoning Ordinances and Ohio Revised Code to determine if there are accommodation for proxy voting and will inform Rondi.

The Younkins asked if the modified plans will need to be forwarded to the county for review again.  Kelly and Joe indicated that based on our code the feeling was that the plans would need to be resubmitted, but Joe would contact Terry Frazier on Tuesday for confirmation.  Joe indicated that he would contact Kelly and the Younkins with the decision and if necessary the deadline for submission of the modified plans in order to have them on the agenda for the County’s next meeting.

Motion to adjourn was made by Rondi, seconded by Dorothy and all voted in favor.

The regularly scheduled quarterly meeting will be held January 14 at 8:00 p.m. at the Township house.

Respectfully submitted,

Kelly Spriggs

Commission Chair