Harrison Township Zoning Commission
October 8, 2012
The Harrison Twp. Zoning Commission October meeting was called to order by Chair Kelly Spriggs at
8:00 p.m. Present were Barbara Younkin, Dorothy Green, Kelly Spriggs, Ronde Cook-Brushart, Jim Wells, Joe DeFelice, and Carol Balthaser. Visitors in attendance were: Deborah Crolla, Donna Collier, Valerie Allen Green, Shirley Tompkins, Don and Connie Maines, Amy and Richard Urban, Jud and Michelle Hines, Steve Scott, Robert Thompson, Chris Pence, Chad Cunningham, Heather Ward, Tara Rickards, Cindy Bell and Mr. and Mrs. Brian Bell.
Minutes from the July 9, 2012 meeting were read. Barbara moved to approve the minutes as read. Dorothy seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Kelly asked the Board to review potential zoning verbiage on abandoned and/or destroyed buildings and be prepared to discuss the topic at the January meeting. Joe will check with Bill Toole, City of Circleville inspector, prior to the next meeting to obtain information on what Circleville regulations require for abandoned and/or destroyed buildings.
Jim Wells was introduced as the new member of the Zoning Commission.
Kelly inquired as to whether there were any forthcoming zoning applications. Barbara responded that she was going to be applying for a zoning application possibly prior to the January meeting.
As there was no further business to discuss, Kelly opened the hearing concerning Brian Bell’s application to rezone 0 Bulen Pierce Road, Lockbourne, Ohio 43137 from Farm Residential to General Business.
Prior to hearing any speakers, Kelly asked that all attendees silence their cell phones. In addition to that, she asked anyone taking a phone call to please do so outside so as not to disrupt the hearing. At this point, she asked Carol to read the ground rules for the hearing. After this, Kelly explained to those in attendance that the Zoning Commission does not make a decision or determination on the zoning application, but instead makes a recommendation to the Township Trustees regarding the application. The Trustees will make the final decision/determination at a future date and hearing. Residents who were notified of tonight’s hearing will also be notified when the Trustees hold their hearing on the application.
At this point, Kelly asked Brian Bell to address the Zoning Commission regarding his application.
Brian stated that he had a small business that involved siding, gutters, and soffit work. He currently operates out of his home, but purchased the land off of Bulen Pierce Road so that he could move his business out of his home. He stated that possibly sometime in the future, he would consider building a home on the property. Ronde asked why a development plan was not submitted with his zoning application. Kelly referred the question to Joe. Joe stated that he did not ask for a development plan as there were no firm future development plans and that a building already exists on the property. Ronde stated that if a house would be in the future, that there would need to be a development plan regarding septic, piping, etc. She asked if there would be any work on the weekends. Brian stated that there would be some Saturday work, but no Sunday work. She also inquired about the noise level, which Brian stated should be low. Kelly asked how many employees he currently had. Brian responded that he had one (1) employee, but had eighteen (18) people who worked for him as subcontractors. He has crew leaders who keep their trucks at locations off the property on Bulen Pierce. There would be approximately two (2) or three (3) trucks making trips in and out of the property for maintenance purposes. The fabrication work that the business involves is done at the work site and would not be done at the Bulen Pierce location. Many times his trucks will be leaving on a Monday and not returning until a Friday. The building at the Bulen Pierce road location would be primarily an office for his business. Barbara stated that she thought that a business required restroom facilities. Brian responded that that was in his plans for the office. Kelly told Brian that he had allowed for parking for his business, but there was the possibility that he may need to allow for screening of this area also. Barbara stated that the woods would act as a buffer, and Kelly responded that there was still the potential to require screening based on what happens and where things are placed. Ronde again inquired about a development plan if he were to establish his office in the building and install a restroom. Brian replied that he understood that, but his business would not involve customers coming and going to the Bulen Pierce location to look at product but would instead be selling contracts.
At this time, Kelly asked for any proponents to speak for the change in zoning.
Chris Pence stated that he owned the ground behind 0 Bulen Pierce Road and in addition sold Brian Bell the property at 0 Bulen Pierce Road. He stated that he had had another offer for the property, but knew of Brian and his reputation and felt that the small business would be a good fit for the property along with being a good neighbor. He said in talking with Brian, he knew that there would be a minimal amount of traffic in and out of the property which would be small pick-ups and box trucks. Chris felt that Brian has been successful in growing his business and would continue to be so in the future.
Cindy Bell spoke in favor of Brian’s business. She said that he has worked hard to grow his business and that he wanted to stay in the community where he has lived. She said that Brian purchased the land as a place to store his trucks, and she felt it was a great opportunity for him to continue to grow his business.
At this time, Kelly asked for any opponents to speak against the change in zoning.
Heather Ward said that her concern was the additional traffic between Bulen Pierce and Weigand Road which would require additional monitoring of children in the area to make sure that they were safe. She stated that with vehicles being left outside the business, they would possibly be an eyesore/distraction and would not necessarily be something that the neighbors in the area would want to see. She is also concerned that the noise level of the traffic going in and out as well as the work being conducted on Saturdays would not be something that she would want in the neighborhood.
Donna Collier stated that she moved out in the country to get away from business noise. She continued to say that she also had the opportunity to purchase the land at 0 Bulen Pierce, but when she consulted the deed restrictions, it stated that there would be no businesses. Since she had intended to use the land for a kennel business, she did not proceed with the purchase.
At this time, Kelly asked Chris Pence if he received the same deed restrictions when he purchased the property. Chris stated that he did but did not see anything about no businesses. He stated that he understood that since the land was in the Farm Residential district that it would have to go through the current rezoning process in order to be used for a small business. Chris stated that Bob Griffey, the previous owner, built the building on the property and was going to move a small remodeling business to the location and had already gone thru a process to do so. But Chris felt that Mr. Griffey was under the “old” rules so he didn’t really feel that the deed restrictions were on there.
At this point, Joe stated that deed restrictions are not involved with zoning . The Zoning Commission does not determine to override any deed restrictions. Deed restrictions would be a civil matter and would be enforceable through the court system and would override whatever would be decided by the Harrison Township Zoning Commission.
Shirley Tompkins inquired of Brian Bell as to the number of his employees. Brian stated that there were on average about twelve (12) or fifteen (15) guys that do work for him plus hiring an occasional two (2) or three (3) extras. Currently there is a gray area as to considering whether they are employees or subcontractors, and he is working with his attorney to define it. Shirley stated that she is for small business, but with the increased traffic that she has seen since he purchased the property, she is concerned about having any type of business at the 0 Bulen Pierce Road location. She is also concerned about a possible change in the type of business the property would be used for if Brian decides not to continue his current business or resells the property.
Joe stated that there is a specific type of zoning called planned zoning that would restrict Brian to a specific plan that he would have to have approved. Anything that Brian would elect to change after that plan was approved, would have to go before the Zoning Commission and be re-approved under planned zoning. Planned zoning would quantify what Brian is doing with the property.
Richard Urban stated that he was concerned with property values going down. He also stated that he was for small businesses, but he moved out to the country to get away from businesses. He too is concerned that if the land was rezoned to General Business that in the future it may be used for entirely different type of business.
Michelle Hines inquired as to who enforces the planned zoning rules. Joe responded that he enforces the rules based on the regulations that the Zoning Commission sets forth and are approved through the Trustees. For example, Brian would be given a specific time frame to accomplish what is set forth in the plans and if it is not accomplished in that time frame, he would be required to come before the Zoning Commission again and restart the process. If Brian does anything outside the plan, Joe would be notified by any of the neighbors. He would make contact with Brian and notify him that he has thirty (30) days in which to correct the issue. If the issue is not corrected after several attempts, Joe contacts the Pickaway County Prosecutor to proceed with legal prosecution to rectify the problem.
Valerie Green stated that she didn’t think the property was to be divided as three (3) families were interested in purchasing the land and dividing it, but were unable to do so. She said that she moved out in the country to get away from businesses. Her daughter and grandchildren live next door and she is concerned about something happening to them with a business so close. She is against the change in zoning.
Deborah Crolla said that they already have problems with somebody going through cars during the night plus the barn was broken into a couple of times. She feels that the issues will increase with a business at that location. She also stated that she didn’t want to look at a business and see trucks back there. She is against the rezoning of the property at 0 Bulen Pierce Road.
Connie Maines said that she is against the rezoning. She said that she wanted to put a culvert in and flatten her yard out so that she did not have to worry about maintaining the ditches, but was told that she could not do that. She also had to remove the mailbox that had been set in concrete. She feels the rules should be maintained as written and not changed to accommodate Brian’s application.
Robert Thompson said that he has purchased tract 6 which butts up to the driveway for 0 Bulen Pierce and intends to build on the property. He bought the property for the view and the view of the woods. He did not buy it with the expectation of having vehicles going in and out of the adjoining property.
Amy Urban stated that she had three (3) daughters and did not like the idea of subcontractors and others who were not from around the area going in and out of the property. She hoped that Brian’s business did well, but in turn if it did, that would mean more strangers, trucks, traffic and subcontractors going in and out of the business. She said that her daughters can play in the neighborhood at the present time and have a good time and she doesn’t want that to change.
At this time, Kelly asked Carol to read the letter from Terry L. Frazier, Director of the Office of Development and Planning for Pickaway County Ohio. The Pickaway County Planning Commission met in special session on September 25, 2012 to issue a recommendation on the rezoning request for 0 Bulen Pierce Road. The Planning Commission recommended that approval be denied to rezone to General Business District. The Pickaway County Planning Commission felt that the rezoning of the tract to General Business would permit future incompatible land-uses with the adjacent residential and agricultural land-use based on the permitted uses under the Harrison Township zoning code. The development draft plan for the township, which has yet to be adopted, recommends residential and agricultural uses for this region of the township.
Kelly asked Joe if he had any further comments after listening to the evening’s comments. Joe said that his concern is the deed restriction. He was not made aware of the deed restriction until the hearing. He hated to see the Board push the issue until it became a civil matter when it could be stopped before it got to that point. He again stated that the hearing decision that evening would just be a recommendation to the Trustees. He asked that the residents bring the deed to the Trustee meeting when they held their hearing on the rezoning.
Kelly again asked the Zoning Commission if they had any further questions. Dorothy asked Brian where his subcontractors were from. Brian replied that they are from Ashville, South Bloomfield, Circleville, Stoutsville and Columbus. Dorothy also asked for clarification on the fact that the subcontractors go to the work area and do not leave from the property on Bulen Pierce. Brian confirmed that they do go directly to the worksite whether it is a local site or an out of state site. He said that there would only be a maximum of two (2) trucks a day going in and out except on Saturdays when there would be maintenance performed and that would mean possibly four (4) trucks going in and out. Four (4) of the seven (7) trucks that he has on the road stay at the crew leaders’ houses. Kelly asked if that would continue if the property were rezoned. Brian said that it would be more financially feasible to continue the current plan. Barbara asked what the actual acreage was of the lot. Brian replied that it was 5.029 acres. Jim asked if there would be any fuel or gas tanks on the property. Brian replied no. Barbara asked if Brian was going to put up any signage. He replied no. Kelly inquired as to Brian’s plans for lighting on the property. He replied that there is currently lighting on the east, west and north sides of the building, and he has no further plans to add any more. Ronde asked what the work hours would be for Saturday. Brian replied that work would begin at approximately 7:30 a.m. and end between noon and 2:30 p.m. During the week, work would start between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. and run until dark. At this time Brian offered the information to the Zoning Board that he has been assigned an address for the property of 12375 Bulen Pierce Road.
Tara Rickards asked how the rezoning may affect her property values. She also inquired whether someone else could take the property and use it for a different business. Kelly responded to her that she realized that she came into the meeting late, but that those issues had already been addressed. She also restated that the Zoning Commission only makes a recommendation and does not have the power to rezone the property. The final decision rests with the Trustees. Tara stated she had concerns with her children playing in the woods close to the business. Brian replied that they would not be in the woods.
At this point in the hearing, Kelly called for a roll call vote on the rezoning request. Kelly asked that each member vote and state the reason for their decision.
Ronde Cook-Brushart: No on General Business. She would entertain an application for the Planned Business District which would require a new application.
Dorothy Green: No on General Business. She agrees with the residents’ concerns.
Kelly Spriggs: No on General Business. She is taking into consideration the weight of the County Planning Commission’s response and is taking into consideration that rezoning to General Business would open the land to any type of business in the future. She would potentially entertain a Planned Business District.
Barbara Younkin: No on General Business. She is concerned with the deed restrictions and is also taking into consideration the decision of the County Planning Commission.
Jim Wells: No on General Business. He is taking into consideration the concerns of the neighboring residents.
With the completion of the vote, Kelly declared a unanimous recommendation to the Trustees to deny the rezoning of 0 Bulen Pierce Road to General Business. Kelly again informed the residents that if they had any further concerns, that they should attend the hearing held by the Trustees on the rezoning with any documentation. Brian will also be at the Trustee hearing to again present his side for the rezoning of the property. The Trustees may or may not agree with the Zoning Commission on the rezoning recommendation. All residents will be notified by the Fiscal Clerk for the Trustees of the hearing along with a legal notice that will run in the Circleville Herald. At this time, Kelly declared the hearing closed.
Joe thanked all the residents who called with questions and concerns for coming to the meeting to express their views. Kelly also thanked those who attended the meeting whether they were proponents or opponents. She also thanked Brian for bringing his business to the community and wished him well.
Kelly stated that the next Zoning Commission meeting would be January 14, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Dorothy moved to adjourn. Ronde seconded the motion. All in favor—motion passed.
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