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20120117_PC_mtg_min_.pdf 1 PLANNING COMMISSION CITY MANAGER Demery Bishop Diane Schleicher Marianne Bramble Rob Callahan Planning and Zoning Manager Henry Levy Steele Knudson John Major Tyler Marion CITY ATTORNEY Monty Parks Edward M. Hughes MINUTES Planning Commission Meeting January 17, 2012 – 7:00 p.m. Chair Monty Parks called the January 17, 2012, Planning Commission meeting to order. Other Commissioners present were Demery Bishop, Marianne Bramble, Rob Callahan, and Tyler Marion. Chair Monty Parks asked for consideration of the Minutes of the December 20, 2011, meeting. Mr. Bishop moved to approve. Mr. Marion seconded the motion. The vote to approve the Minutes was unanimous. Chair Monty Parks asked if there were any Disclosures or Recusals. There were none. Chair Monty Parks opened a Public Hearing for a Zoning Variance at 1306 Sixth Avenue, PIN 4-0011- 05-002, Zone R-2. The petitioner was Paul and Mary Gilker. Steele Knudson said this is for an exterior staircase in a side setback at 1306 Sixth Avenue. The applicant is looking for a variance on Land Development Code Section 3-090, Schedule of Development Regulations, regarding minimum setback distances. The setback variance is to relocate and rebuild an existing exterior staircase. The applicant is also looking to relocate the new staircase on the side of the home from the back of the home. The old staircase has been there for years. They can enter on the side with no additional encroachment. In terms of square feet, the encroachment is actually reduced. Mr. Marion asked if there was a back entry way and if there was a secondary entry? Mr. Knudson explained that stairs are enclosed and you have to enter through the garage. He further advised that he had looked at the exterior for alternatives. Safety is of concern going in the back as you can’t see the front of the house. With the stairs on the side, they can enter from the front of the house and enter into the living room. Mr. Bishop said that there appear to be forms, strings, under the back, eastern portion of the house. There is another ingress, egress in the center of the house. Mr. Bishop said he agrees that the old stairs need to be removed and asked if the new stairs, if approved, need no additional setback. Mr. Knudson advised that a slight turn to north would be in 20’ setback. Mr. Bishop also stated that he assumed that the existing deck would be closed off and not be a hazard. Mr. Knudson said that, under code, it would be closed off or removed and believed that it was removed. Mr. Parks then asked for the applicant to take the podium. Mr. Paul Gilker, owner, said that the house is a typical Tybee house. It looks like double wide on stilts. The plan is to put garage doors in front, Tybee lattice around back to have the house look like a Tybee cottage. They do have access in the garage but are trying to provide a front door. They don’t want to have visitors come up inside the garage to ring the bell to have access into the house. Mr. Gilker said that from a street view, they want to come in up the stairs, onto porch, ring the doorbell, so that we can see you from our living room. The Juliette back porch is gone now. It will be sealed off as there was extensive water damage. There is a chimney that sticks out as an encroachment and the stairs will line up with that. Mr. Gilker also said that down the street a few blocks, two houses have been broken in to. He and his wife hope to have their daughter move into the 2 house. They don’t want anyone to be able to get into the house from the back. He said that he and his wife live across the street. We want to give the house some street appeal and not have it look like a double wide. We want it to look like a Tybee cottage. Mr. Gilker said that they had moved their house from the Back River. It is a 1920’s era house. They had renovated and kept in its flavor. They want to paint the 1306 house Tybee colors and perhaps go with a tin roof. Mr. Bishop asked if there was no other planned ingress, egress other than what currently is in house. Mr. Gilker advised that there are no other plans. Mr. Parks asked for public comments and input. There was none. Mr. Parks closed the Public Hearing and called for a motion. Mr. Bishop moved to approve. Mr. Tyler Marion seconded the motion. The vote in favor of the motion to approve was unanimous. Mr. Knudson advised the request would go to the Mayor/City Council the 9th of February. Chair Monty Parks opened a Public Hearing for a Text Amendment of Section 3-165, Greenspace. Steele Knudson said they had looked at designated setback areas and tried to define planting materials and mulch versus greenspace, trees and grass. He feels that the best approach is to use the term already defined in the LDC. The designated setback area left confusion in calculations. The term “yard” is defined in code, and is very clear. Basically, it is the entire property minus the building footprint. In the last meeting, I believe that it was the preference of this commission, in this section, to address permeable surfaces rather than trying to address plants and mulch and grasses versus shrubs and trees. I believe the best approach is rather than to discuss what is allowed in the 65%, and come up with definitions to express what we’re doing, it is easier to discuss what is not allowed in 35%. The new text would read “in all zoning districts, impermeable surfaces shall constitute no more than 35% of the yard area of any property. That is as straight forward as we can get. The formula “impermeable surface area greater than or less than .35% of the yard area” is as straight forward of a calculation as we can come up with. It does what this ordinance was intended. Since not getting into the definition of trees, grass in this, staff suggests that we change this from the Greenspace ordinance to Permeable Surface Requirement as a title. Parks asked for questions. Mr. Bishop stated that he was glad to see the definition of yard. Reading this, the first thing Mr. Bishop had to do was go to the LDC to see if “yard” was defined, which it is. He also commented that he concurs, this is the right track. Mr. Bishop suggested, should this be approved, where 35% of the yard area is mentioned, to avoid having to refer to section of LDC, just make reference to the section of the LDC where it is defined, would be beneficial to anyone looking at it. Mr. Parks asked if Mr. Knudson, felt that this is enforceable. Mr. Knudson said that he feels that it is much more enforceable than previous drafts. He further stated that there has been alot of tinkering with the code. We have updated what surfaces are allowed on driveways, updating tree ordinances, also looked at soil and erosion control, rather than have these overlap or conflict; we wanted to address exactly what the intent of this was from day one. The ordinance always talked about permeable and impermeable surfaces. To make it clear and simple, with a precise calculation, paring down the language to one precise defined term and a calculation number, makes this much more enforceable. Mr. Parks asked Mr. Knudson if he felt that he could visit a homeowner’s yard and make this happen. Ultimately, this ends up, partly, in your lap. Mr. Knudson agreed. Mr. Knudson said that, now, the ordinance is either permeable or not, either covering 35% or less. It makes it easier. Rob Callahan stated that theoretically that whole 35% could be in their front yard and if someone wanted to pave their whole front yard, they would still meet the code. Mr. Knudson confirmed that was correct. Mr. Knudson said that he looked at all materials, when comes down to it, it is easier to say, you can only cover 35%. Mr. Parks asked if this affected setback area. Mr. Knudson stated that we are not using setback area any longer. Mr. Parks asked if concrete could be poured on the city’s 20’. Mr. Knudson advised that is in another part of the ordinance, it was not allowed to pour concrete any longer. Every surface has to be permeable. Mr. Parks then asked if impermeable on the 20’ in front of house. Mr. Knudson said, with proper permits for pouring something, it may be possible. He further stated with new ordinances he believes that it will apply more often than not for swimming pools, and not driveways. Mr. Parks asked for a motion. Mr. Bishop made a motion to 3 approve the proposed amendment with the addition of specifically citing, in parentheses, the LDC code section that defines “yard.” Mr. Callahan seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. Mr. Parks said that he has scoured Roberts Rules of Order and has found many suggestions for activities. Yet it does not give guidance for thanking someone for putting municipal affairs before theirs, for being faithful in attendance, for being wise in questioning, and being a part of this whole thing for two years. He said, “I don’t know how to do this formally. I and the other members of this commission would like to thank you, Marianne, for your service.” Mrs. Marianne Bramble was appreciative of the comments. Rob Callahan motioned to adjourn and Mr. Bishop seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous. The meeting adjourned. Minutes prepared by Sharon Shaver