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20080415_PC_mtg_min 1 PLANNING COMMISSION CITY MANAGER Libby Bacon Diane Schleicher Demery Bishop James P. Boyle PLANNING, ZONING & ECONOMIC Sandy Chandler DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR John Major, Vice Chair Brannyn G. Allen Anne Miller David Postle Chuck Powell, Chair CITY ATTORNEY Whitley Reynolds Edward M. Hughes MINUTES Planning Commission Meeting April 15, 2008 – 7:00 p.m. Chuck Powell called the April 15, 2008, Planning Commission meeting to order. Other Commissioners present were: Libby Bacon, Demery Bishop, James Boyle, Sandy Chandler, John Major, Anne Miller, David Postle, and Whitley Reynolds. Chuck Powell said that Commissioner Sandy Chandler had submitted a letter of resignation for personal reasons. Powell thanked Chandler for his years of service. Chuck Powell called for additions, corrections or approval of the Minutes of the March 10, 2008, Planning Commission agenda meeting. John Major motioned to approve. Whitley Reynolds seconded. The vote was unanimous. Powell asked for a motion on the Minutes of the March 18, 2008, regular meeting. Anne Miller motioned to approve and Demery Bishop seconded. The vote was unanimous. Chuck Powell asked if there were any disclosures. Whitley Reynolds said that he worked on the first two items on the agenda and that he would step out of the room during them. Libby Bacon recused herself from the Mack Kitchens’ petition due to discussions with him when the property was put under contract. Mark Boswell represented Mack Kitchens for a Site Plan Approval petition (Land Development Code Section 5-080) for 17 Izlar Avenue (Lot 2), PIN 4-0008-05-014, Zone C-1. The applicant was requesting Site Plan Approval for a new condominium building containing 3 units. Libby Bacon and Whitley Reynolds recused themselves. Mark Boswell said that the request included a 10-foot front setback variance. John Major asked the hardship. Boswell said that they were not claiming a hardship. He spoke of the plan having all of the parking under the building and the building lining up with the adjacent structure. Demery Bishop said that 12-A and -B Izlar Avenue appeared to be back further than what Kitchens was requesting. He asked what would be gained by the 10-foot setback, other than a larger facility. Boswell said that with the 10-foot variance the parking could be completely under the building. Bishop asked if the purpose of the variance was to come within the parking guidelines and to have three complete units versus two units without the variance. Boswell said that Kitchens could not get the three cars completely under the building without the variance. David Postle said that even with the variance, three cars would be parked beside each other, the farthest away from the street, and the fourth car would be parked behind one of those three in front of it and would still be sticking out into the variance area. Boswell said that without the variance the back three cars would hang out from under the building. Postle said that only one would be hanging out if Kitchens did not get the variance. Boswell did not agree. Postle, Boswell and Chuck Powell discussed the parking. Brannyn Allen said that the The Planning Commission agenda meeting was not held April 7, 2008, due to City Hall being closed. 2 issue was not about having cars encroaching into the yellow shaded area; the issue was whether or not the structure could be built in that area so that all of the parking would be covered. Postle asked the height of the building including the elevator shaft. Boswell said that the building would not exceed 35 feet. He said that Tybee allowed elevator shafts to go above 35 feet. Allen said it was Site Plan Approval and they were not looking at building plans. John Major asked if they were reviewing the variance and the Site Plan simultaneously. Allen said that the Site Plan included a variance. She said that if they denied the variance they did have other options. Sandy Chandler asked about the 200-foot rule. Allen said that it did not apply in commercial districts. Bishop said that there were other options in lieu of the 10-foot front variance. He asked at what point those should be discussed. Allen said they could make a motion regarding the Site Plan, open it for discussion, and talk about conditions or other options. Major asked if three units could be built without a variance with part of the parking not under cover. Boswell said yes and that the units would be smaller. Allen agreed. James Boyle clarified that the variance was for the construction line and the parking was incidental to that. He verified that the building front would be a 10-foot setback instead of 20-foot. He asked the setback of the adjacent building. Boswell said that the one to the east was about 2 feet and the one to the west was about 10 feet. Boyle and Boswell discussed Kitchens’ lot and the adjacent properties. Powell asked if anyone from the public wished to speak for or against the petition. Powell asked for a motion. Anne Miller motioned to accept the Site Plan as presented. Boyle seconded the motion and said it was consistent with the neighborhood. Chandler agreed with Boyle. Voting in favor of the motion to approve were Boyle, Chandler, Miller, and Postle. Bishop and Major voted against. Bacon and Reynolds had recused themselves. The motion to approve passed with a 4-2 vote. City Council would consider the request on May 8. Paul Ewaldsen, Jr. presented a Zoning Variance petition (Land Development Code Section 5-090) from Section 3-090, Schedule of Development Regulations, for 3 Second Terrace, PIN 4-0004-05-004, Zone R-T. The applicant was requesting setback variances for stairs, decks and an elevator. Whitley Reynolds recused himself. Ewaldsen explained the project including that he would put a porch under the existing second and third floors. He said the second issue was the stairs from the first to the third floor. He said the stairs were a safety issue and steep. He said his hardship was because there was no way that any handicapped or elderly or anyone can get up to the second or third floor without having a tremendous time or someone almost carrying them up. Third, he said that he proposed building an elevator. Ewaldsen said he would be within the property line for the stairway and elevator shaft. He explained that he proposes taking off the part that overhangs the property line by a foot. Ewaldsen said that they would have a drainage system. He said that the last item he was asking for was porches on the northeast side of the house. Brannyn Allen said that they were not included in the application. Ewaldsen requested adding three balconies to the lane side of the existing structure and that architecturally he would like to do that. Chuck Powell said it was alluded to but was not on the drawings. Powell said that they would not be considering the balconies. Ewaldsen described 3-feet wide balconies for a view. He said he was not abusing any of the setback issues or anything like that. Powell said that the balconies were on the drawing but it said that they were proposed for a later date. John Major asked Ewaldsen if he was changing the footprint. Ewaldsen said no. Allen said that it was technically an expansion of a non- conforming use. Major asked how it was an expansion. Allen said that Ewaldsen was expanding the use by adding the front porch, the elevator, and reconfiguring. She said it was not an expansion of the footprint but it was an expansion of the use. Ewaldsen said that it was a tremendous hardship as far as safety and people. Allen said that one of the issues was that there was no internal connection between the two floors. Major said that the elevator would accomplish that. Allen said there was no internal connectivity between the two floors and by the letter of the Code it was an expansion of a nonconforming use. Major asked about scaffolding on the east side. Ewaldsen said that they got a permit and that the railing was not Code. He said if you go up on the third floor you are up there with birds. Major asked how tall the building was. Ewaldsen said he did not know. Allen said that there was not a 3 height certification for it. Major said a drawing showed 46 feet. Powell asked if that was correct. Allen said she could not speak to that. Major asked Ewaldsen who had made that calculation. Ewaldsen said he had never seen that. Allen said that the question would be where they were measuring from; what the surrounding natural grade was. The height of the structure was discussed. James Boyle asked about a door marked proposed elevator. Ewaldsen said that there was no way to build an elevator in that shaft. He described electrical, sprinkler systems and Freon being in it. He said they moved the elevator further up just to be able to have a better stairway. He described the elevator and stairs. Boyle clarified that the elevator would stop on the second and third levels. He spoke of there being no internal egress from the third to the second level. He asked if the plan reduced the size of the staircase. Ewaldsen said yes. Boyle asked if the front porch required a variance even though it was under the property line. Allen said that in this case it did because it was an expansion of the use. She said what they had now was just a staircase and they were asking to improve that. Postle asked if it was expanding the use even though the elevator would not go outside the footprint of the house. Allen said that because they do not currently have an elevator, to add an elevator would be expanding the use of the property. Postle asked if the outside stairway already established access to the second and third floors. Allen responded yes. Postle asked if there would be two instead of one. Allen said that was correct. Libby Bacon asked if there was not an interior stairwell connecting the two levels, was it a duplex or a single-family. Ewaldsen said that it was a single-family. He said it had one meter. Bacon asked if there was one kitchen. Ewaldsen said it had two but he planned not to use it that way. Bacon asked if he was going to condo it. Ewaldsen said no. Bacon confirmed that what was being asked for was under the existing roof. Ewaldsen agreed when Demery Bishop stated that there would be no further incursion into the setbacks. Sandy Chandler asked if there was a structure already in the house that was intended at one time to be an elevator shaft. Ewaldsen said that it was not in the house. He spoke about sprinkler piping, insulation issues, Freon, and heating/air conditioning coils. Chandler asked if those could be rerouted. Ewaldsen said that the shaft would exit into bedrooms on the second and third floors. Chandler spoke of the current height of the structure and the proposed elevator shaft going higher than that. Ewaldsen disagreed. The two discussed the height and then Ewaldsen said he could assure that the shaft would not go further up than the present roof. After a discussion of elevators, Major suggested a stipulation that it would not increase the height. Ewaldsen encouraged them to do that. Major asked about an existing air conditioning unit setting 8 or 10 feet from the building. Ewaldsen said that he would like to move it closer. Powell asked if there were any comments for or against the petition from the public. Pat Ewaldsen said that when they invested in the property it needed a lot of work. She said it was a very expensive piece of property and it needed to have some real concern with the safety and the aesthetics for them to be able to recoup what they had to pay to buy it to try to improve the neighborhood. She said that she was not sure of why they would have to get permission to improve something that could be extremely hazardous. She said that they are going to do the best they can to improve the property and make it worth what they had to pay for it. She said it was going to cost a lot to make it worth that. She said that the aesthetics on the lane side, which they have to look at all the time, was another reason why they were interested in taking the time and effort to make the property something the island would be proud of. Powell asked for a motion. Boyle motioned to approve. Major seconded. Bacon asked if they could put in a stipulation that the elevator shaft would not go above the ridge of the roof. Boyle accepted the amendment. Major seconded the amended motion. The vote was Bacon, Bishop, Boyle, Major, Miller, and Postle in favor and Chandler opposed. Reynolds had recused himself. The motion to approve the Zoning Variance with the condition that the elevator shaft would not go above the ridge of the existing roof passed with a 6-1 vote. Powell stated that the petition would go before City Council on May 8. Paul Ewaldsen asked if it would be permissible to get a building permit for the front porch. Allen said no, that it was a Public Hearing and had to go to City Council. Erin Sheldon presented Site Plan Approval (Land Development Code Section 5-080) and Special 4 Review (Land Development Code Section 5-070) petitions for 13 Fourteenth Street, PIN 4-0007-06- 001, Zone R-T. The request was for approval as a Special Event Facility (Ordinance No. 2007-07). Powell opened the Public Hearing for Site Plan Approval. Sheldon said they would like to meet a need that they have heard from the Visitor’s Center and wedding planners. She said that their home was perfectly suited for use as a special event structure because of its private garden, its beach access, and the proximity to hotels and parking lots. She said the use allowed them to preserve the house and gave an alternate use. Libby Bacon asked about an item listed in the Staff Report. Brannyn Allen said that was a mistake. Bacon asked about five onsite parking spaces, which Sheldon clarified. Bacon asked if the items recommended in the Staff Report had been provided. Allen said that the items would have to be in place before issuing a Business License. Chuck Powell spoke of the request to rezone the property from R-T to C-1. Allen said that City Council would rehear the petition to be zoned C-1 Conditional, and the condition would be that the property could only be used for a Special Event Facility. She said that the rezoning would not move forward unless the Site Plan and Special Review were approved so all three [Map Amendment, Site Plan Approval, Special Review] would go before City Council at the same time. The group discussed the circumstances. James Boyle said that the C-1 would be adjacent to R-T and there were buffer requirements. He asked about the parking arrangements. Sheldon said that there was an access easement that was the The Georgianne Inn’s driveway. Boyle asked about plans for buffering. Allen spoke of the conditional rezoning and she said that the property would be rezoned strictly as a Special Event Facility tied to a Site Plan. She said that the buffer requirement was met with the access easement of The Georgianne Inn. Regarding buffers, Allen said that it was City Attorney Bubba Hughes’ opinion that roads constitute transitions. Boyle said that it was not a road. Allen said that it was a drive that provided access for more than one property. John Major asked if any requirements had been waived. Allen explained that drainage requirements were waived because there would be no land disturbing activity. David Postle asked if most activities would be outdoors. Sheldon said yes. Postle asked if outside activities would add to noise problems. Sheldon said that noise was an issue on the corner with the growing commercial around them and if they had an outdoor activity it would add noise. She said that when they had The Tybee Trees Inn they hosted three outdoor wedding receptions to see how it worked in terms of noise. She said they got no complaints from the neighbors or businesses. Sheldon said that they were very sensitive to noise in the neighborhood and would do nothing to make it worse. The noise ordinance was discussed. Powell called for comments from the public. He called for a motion for the Site Plan Approval. Whitley Reynolds moved to approve. Sandy Chandler seconded. The vote was Bacon, Demery Bishop, Chandler, Major, Anne Miller, Postle, and Reynolds in favor. Boyle voted against. The motion to approve Site Plan Approval passed with a 7-1 vote. Powell said it would be before City Council on May 8. Powell opened the Public Hearing for the Special Review application. Major asked if people would stay overnight. Sheldon said one room could potentially be offered for a bridal suite. Major asked Allen if that caused any problems. Allen said no. The attaching of conditions was discussed. Anne Miller asked if Sheldon’s family would be living in the house. Sheldon said yes. Overflow parking was discussed briefly. Chandler motioned to approve with the five conditions recommended in the Staff Report. Powell read the conditions: 1.) Notarized documentation from the owner(s) of Ocean Plaza granting permission to use the Ocean Plaza facilities for over-flow parking; 2.) Notarized documentation from the owner(s) of The Georgianne Inn granting permission to use a portion of the access easement for over-flow parking; 3.) The Business License should be reviewed by staff annually for compliance with City of Tybee Island rules and regulations; 4.) The facility may only be used for special events for a maximum of fifty attendees. Should the petitioner desire to hold events for more attendees the Chatham County Fire Marshal and City of Tybee Island Planning Department must approve the expansion. Expansion(s) to accommodate more than 100 attendees would require review by Planning Commission and City Council at a Public Hearing; 5.) The facility may only be used for catering that has been prepared off-site. Should the petitioner desire to offer on-site catering (food on- site), they must show compliance with Chatham County Health Department rules and regulations. 5 Reynolds seconded the motion to approve with conditions. Miller asked if people were allowed to sleep there would there have to be other permits. Allen said that if they were going to use it as a bed and breakfast then it would become a separate use from the Special Event Facility that they have proposed. Powell commented that the Chandler House was approved with the use of one bedroom. After discussion, the vote to approve was Bacon, Bishop, Chandler, Major, Miller, Postle, and Reynolds in favor and Boyle opposed. The motion to approve Special Review with the five conditions listed above passed with a 7-1 vote. The petition would be heard by City Council on May 8. Brannyn Allen suggested scheduling a Planning Commission work session to discuss the Master Plan that was adopted by City Council in January in lieu of the agenda meeting on May 12. Chuck Powell asked about copies of the Master Plan. Allen said there were copies for them to take tonight. Powell discussed the role of the Master Plan and the purposes of the work session. David Postle spoke of a discussion at a previous Planning Commission meeting related to no longer having agenda meetings and instead having two regular meetings. He said that he did not want the usurping of the scheduled agenda meeting in May to be any suggestion that they were going to do away with the agenda meetings because they had two examples tonight where they voted against Staff recommendations and that was significant. Powell and Allen spoke about the effect of meeting dates on Public Hearing notification requirements. Allen then said that she hoped that the Commissioners did not always agree with her. She said that the purpose of the agenda meetings was not so that the Commission and Staff could get on the same page; that would defeat the democratic process that they have in the regular meetings. She said that the purpose was to make sure that the applicants had presented all of the information that was necessary for the Commissioners to make their decisions and if that was not happening then she would like feedback. Postle thanked Allen for the clarification. Powell commented that it was happening and that the Zoning Administrator and her Staff did such a great job pulling all of the pieces together before the agenda meeting. John Major commented that they had two areas where the Commissioners went in a different direction than the Staff recommendations and that was without having had an agenda meeting. Anne Miller asked about having an agenda meeting like the Council does, thirty minutes before the regular meeting. Allen said that agenda meetings for Planning Commission were to potentially request additional information from the petitioners and thirty minutes before the regular meeting would not give them time to gather that information. She said that the meetings that the City Council has were to take action on items that did not necessarily need to be heard at the regular meeting. Powell said that Staff needed time between the Commission’s agenda and regular meetings to sometimes get additional materials together. Powell asked for a motion to suspend the agenda meeting for May for a training session. Whitley Reynolds so moved. James Boyle seconded. Postle asked when the packets for the regular meeting would be available. The items would be available on the Friday before May 12, the same day that they would have been normally. The vote in favor of a work session in lieu of an agenda meeting at 7:00 pm on May 12 was unanimous. Chuck Powell reviewed the announcements as listed on the Agenda. Chuck Powell spoke about a Planning Commission training that was held at the City of Garden City. He thanked the City for providing the training and he thanked the other Commissioners that attended. Sandy Chandler said that he has enjoyed serving on the Commission. He thanked the citizens for putting their trust in him. He wished the other Commissioners all the best in the future. Chuck Powell thanked Chandler and told him that they would miss his contributions and ideas. The meeting adjourned.