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20080520_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 May 20, 2008 – 7:00 p.m. Chuck Powell called the May 20, 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 called for a motion on the Minutes of the April 15, 2008, Planning Commission meeting. Anne Miller motioned to approve. David Postle seconded. The vote was unanimous. Chuck Powell asked if there were any disclosures. There were no disclosures. Rodney Hickox presented a request for a Zoning Variance (Land Development Code Section 5-090) from Section 3-090, Schedule of Development Regulations, for 11 Naylor Avenue, PIN 4-0002-03-012, Zone R-1-B. The applicant was requesting setback variances for a new single-family dwelling. Hickox gave information about the lot and specifics about a large Pine tree and Oak tree located on the property. He described a structure on the lot as being historic and said it was to be relocated. Hickox said that the variances were to save the trees. Demery Bishop commended Hickox on the research on the trees. He verified with Hickox that the eastern line of the current structure would be the same for the proposed dwelling. David Postle complimented Hickox on the documents he provided. He asked about dirt at the base of the Oak tree. Hickox said that something had been dumped there and he planned to remove it. He spoke of trimming of the Oak that would be done. Postle asked if there would be one living floor or two. Hickox said two above a garage enclosure. Whitley Reynolds asked about the house being 6 feet off Wilson Avenue, which was a 10-foot right-of-way. Hickox said that the only alternative was to take the Pine tree out. Chuck Powell spoke of Wilson Avenue being a one-way street. Libby Bacon asked if all of the stairs would be within the proposed footprint. Hickox said the steps would be within the right side. John Major stated that the request was consistent with the ordinance for the unique circumstances with the property and with the Master Plan. He asked if Hickox intended to follow the arborist’s construction schedule recommendation. Hickox said that he was going to do what the arborists advise. Powell commended Hickox on the research. He asked if there were comments from the public. Powell closed the Public Hearing. Anne Miller motioned to approve. Bishop seconded. The motion to approve passed unanimously. Powell said that the petition would go before City Council on June 12. Archie Lanier presented a Zoning Variance petition (Land Development Code Section 5-090) from Section 3-090, Schedule of Development Regulations, for 17 Logan Street, lot 47, PIN 4-0003-01-053, Zone R-1-B. The applicant was requesting a setback variance for a new single-family dwelling. Lanier said that he owned lots 45, 46 and 47. He said that there was a dwelling on two lots, 45 and 46. He 2 described the proposed dwelling, which would include a screened porch. Lanier said he was asking for a variance at the front for steps. He spoke of the setbacks of the existing homes on Logan Street. Libby Bacon asked if Lanier owned the house to the east. Lanier said he and his ex. Bacon asked if he intended to teardown the garage and remove the driveway. Lanier said that was correct. Bacon asked him to explain the hardship. Lanier said that he tried to get the house down as small as he could. He said there would be two living floors. He said he wanted the porch and that the steps had to come out a little bit. He said he wanted to keep the steps in the front so he did not have steps from inside the house. John Major verified that the lot was 70 feet by 50 feet, 3,500 square feet, and that it was a substandard lot of record. He spoke of the ordinance dealing with substandard lots of records stating that it could be built on with certain restrictions, among which was that all setbacks were met. Major asked if a variance from the substandard lot of record ordinance was being requested. Brannyn Allen said yes. Major stated he was not sure that a hardship had been defined. Demery Bishop asked if Lanier had looked at building without a variance. Lanier said he had looked at several plans, trying to get something to work. He said that he wanted a front porch for the view and he wanted to keep in line with the other houses but eventually he would probably tear the other house down and do something there. He spoke of an Oak tree on lot 45. He said that he was looking for an 1,800 square foot house. Whitley Reynolds said that Lanier was making the best of the situation. He spoke of it being hard to meet FEMA requirements on a 70-foot deep lot. He said that the proposal was consistent with the block. Powell asked if anyone from the public wished to comment. Powell closed the Public Hearing and asked for a motion. Reynolds moved to approve. Sandy Chandler seconded. Voting in favor of the motion to approve were Boyle, Chandler, Anne Miller, and Reynolds. Voting against the motion to approve were Bacon, Bishop, Major, and Postle. Due to the tie vote, Powell voted. His vote was in opposition to the motion to approve. The motion to approve failed. Powell stated that the petition would go before City Council on June 12. Tom Waters, agent for Bobby Chu and Dozier Cook, presented a Zoning Variance petition (Land Development Code Section 5-090) from Section 5-010.J, Shore Protection with Variance Clause, for 1 & 3 Nineteenth Street, PIN 4-0009-10-010, Zone R-2. The applicant was requesting Tybee shore protection line variances for fences at a duplex. Waters said that Nineteenth Street was very busy, day and night. He spoke of there being no restroom facilities nearby and that beachgoers used the property for that purpose on a daily basis. He explained that there was a fence on the Nineteenth Street side and they were requesting to continue the fence across the front and the other side of the property. Waters said that the fenced yard would be used for confining Cook’s dog but the main concern was keeping people off the property. Waters said that an area of the fence would be beyond the Tybee shore protection line. Sandy Chandler asked if the Tybee shore protection line would move now that the duplex existed. Brannyn Allen said that depended on interpretation of the current Code. She said that Chu received a variance from the shore protection line to build the duplex. Chandler asked if, since he did get the variance, would the line change since it went building to building. Allen said that the petitioner would still need a variance to build the fence because it would be outside the Tybee line. Chandler questioned a masonry fence across the dune line. He asked if a fence to the shore protection line would not achieve keeping the people off. He said that a lot of the traffic was off of the street, and if the fence was long enough to prevent access that would solve a lot of the problem rather than building a fence all the way around. He said that the dog problem was a separate issue. Waters said that there really were no dunes. He pointed out the DNR toe of the dune line. Chandler asked if that was excavated to put the corner of the house there. Waters said no. Chandler said that the toe of the dune was further north than the shore protection line. He asked if they would not achieve the same purpose, absent the dog problem, by running the wall where they could run it legally rather than crossing the line. Waters and Chandler discussed the proposed fence and the Tybee line. Allen explained that if the Tybee line were redrawn every time someone got a variance, it would keep creeping forward and ultimately end up in the water. Chandler said that would negate the idea of going structure to structure. Allen said that it was a 3 matter of interpretation. She commented that this was the first step in permitting for the proposed fence; Waters would have to go to the DNR for their permission. Demery Bishop said that there were restroom facilities nearby, adjacent to Eighteenth Street. He asked how many incident reports of people using the property as a restroom had been made to the Tybee Police Department. Waters said he did not know but he had seen it on four or five occasions and it was bad enough that Cook asked them to do something about it. Bishop asked if Waters did fence the property would the gate access from Nineteenth Street also be enclosed. Waters said that a steel gate was being built to go there. He said that people have broken the glass twice and gone inside the building and spent the night. Bishop asked if that was reported to the Police. Waters said absolutely. Bishop asked where the hardship was for sand accumulating against the entrance doors. He asked if that was not contemplated at the time the duplex was built. Waters said that he guessed not. Chuck Powell asked if the owners had petitioned the City for a port-a-john. Waters said that he doubted it. John Major asked what the two points of the Tybee shore protection line were. Waters said that the line that was established was from the Lawrence residence to a gazebo. Major said that the proposed fence would cut through the dune. Waters said that the toe of the dune goes in and out. He said that the DNR does not make a curved line when they delineate. Waters explained that they got a permit from the DNR for the existing fence and DNR asked at that time why the fence turned in just 10 feet instead of going on across. Major spoke again about the fence cutting through the dune. Waters said that the fence would cut through the dune line, but not the dune. Libby Bacon said that DNR policy was to not allow construction within 10 feet of the toe of the dune and she would assume that would include a masonry fence. Waters said that the line was at an angle so they would not be going into the dunes. Bacon asked how the fence would increase the dune field as stated in the explanation of the hardship. Waters said that the dune would build up in front of the fence and that would increase the dune field. Bacon asked if Council granted the variance, would Waters have to get a DNR permit. Waters said that was correct unless a DNR staff decision was made. David Postle said the seawall that Tybee built in 1939 was buried in the dune field. He asked if the dune buried the fence, what Waters would do. Waters said that he could not answer that. Postle spoke further about sand buildup. He said that there were a number of people that wanted to get rid of the Tybee shore protection line and adopt the State line and if they had done that in this case the structures might never have been built because the Tybee line provided more space for building than the DNR line. He said they already buried one wall that tried to control the flow of sand and now were proposing a second one to do the same thing, many feet inside the first one and he did not see that as a long-term solution. James Boyle asked how many lines on the survey were arbitrarily located. Allen said that it was the recorded plat and it was not the document that was used when the petitioner first came for the shore protection variance. She said that should have included that so they could see the structures that the line was pulled from. Boyle suggested fencing between the pillars under the structure or angled fencing between the walls. Waters said they could connect from the existing fence to the building at an angle. He said it would be unsightly but could be done. Boyle asked if fences could be built on the DNR dune line. Allen said not without permission from the DNR. Powell commented that the purchaser knew the duplex was next to a public parking lot. He also said that since the structure was given a variance to be built over the DNR shore protection line, certainly dynamic dunes would be a consideration of the homeowners. He recommended that the owner petition the City for relief from the parking lot problem or people coming over. He said that a fence could be built between the pillars of the house. He said that some of the problems were inherent with the property and why they were petitioning was because it was allowed to be built with a variance in an area where it probably should not have been built anyway. Major said that in the Master Plan there was a recommended strategy to prohibit any develop on the beach or in the dune systems. Powell asked if anyone from the public wished to speak. He called for a motion. Whitley Reynolds moved to approve. Boyle seconded. Voting in favor of the motion to approve were Boyle and Reynolds. Voting against the motion to approve were Bacon, Bishop, Chandler, Major, Anne Miller, and 4 Postle. The motion to approve failed. Powell stated that the petition would go before City Council on June 12. Chuck Powell thanked the Commissioners for doing their homework on the issues. Brannyn Allen said that she and City Attorney Bubba Hughes have been working with the DNR and various other consultants and experts on a new shore protection ordinance supported by a map, to clarify some of the interpretive issues that continue to arise. She said that there were some delays finalizing it. She requested that the Commissioners consider having a special called meeting on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, to consider the shore protection ordinance and three other ordinances. Chuck Powell asked if it was a working meeting or Public Hearings. Allen said it would be Public Hearings. After discussion during which Libby Bacon stated a conflict that would prevent her from attending, all voted in favor of the meeting. Allen said that they would be receiving an email of the ordinances and that City Council would review the same ordinances at their meeting on June 12. David Postle asked how much of the report submitted by the Shore Protection Line Committee was ingrained in the new ordinance. Allen said the crux of the recommendation was for the City to pursue becoming the issuing authority and that after conversations with the DNR that was not an option that the City could pursue. Postle asked about not building any more seaward. Brannyn Allen said that the island was broken into three zones. She said that the easiest zone to talk about without any visuals would be the center of the island. She said they were looking at a line that would run either ten feet from the toe of the dune or eighteen feet from the seawall, whichever was more landward. She said eighteen feet from the seawall was a provision in the City’s Charter. The group discussed eliminating Planning Commission agenda meetings. James Boyle motioned to amend the by-laws to suspend the agenda meetings. Whitley Reynolds seconded. Brannyn Allen said that she would like to prepare a document that they could vote on at the meeting the next week. David Postle asked if there would be two business meetings per month and if they would get packets the Friday before the meeting. The timing for the distribution of packets and that there would be only one Planning Commission meeting per month were discussed. The steps required to reinstate agenda meetings were also discussed. Boyle withdrew the motion and Reynolds withdrew his second to the motion. Chuck Powell reviewed the announcements as listed on the agenda. Demery Bishop motioned that the meeting be adjourned. John Major seconded. The vote was unanimous and the meeting adjourned.