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20120619_PC_mtg_min_.pdf 1 PLANNING COMMISSION CITY MANAGER Demery Bishop Diane Schleicher Randi Bryan Rob Callahan PLANNING & ZONING MANAGER John Major, Vice Chair Dianne Otto, CFM Tyler Marion Monty Parks, Chair CITY ATTORNEY Edward M. Hughes MINUTES Planning Commission Meeting June 19, 2012 – 7:00 p.m. Chairman Monty Parks called the June 19, 2012 Planning Commission meeting to order. Commissioners present were John Major, Rob Callahan, Demery Bishop, Tyler Marion, and Randi Bryan. Chairman Monty Parks asked for consideration of the Minutes of the May 15, 2012 meeting. Mr. Major stated that there were a couple of typos that were noted to Ms. Otto. Mr. Parks asked for a motion to accept as amended; Mr. Major moved to approve, Mr. Bishop seconded the motion. The vote to approve the minutes was unanimous. Mr. Parks asked if there were any Disclosures or Recusals; there were none. Mr. Parks announced that Demery Bishop had received the Attorney General’s award for outstanding community service and stated it was a pleasure to serve on this commission with him. Mr. Parks announced that the Mayor and City Council are considering applicants to serve on the Planning Commission. Applications are available online and outside the Clerk’s office at City Hall. Applications should be submitted to Jan LeViner, the Clerk of Council, by Thursday, July 5, at 5:00 PM. If received after the deadline, it will not be considered. The term for this opening will expire January 31, 2013. The appointment will be made at the July 12, 2012 City Council meeting. The first order of business is a Zoning Variance for a second floor open deck addition at 1012 Lovell Avenue. Ms. Otto stated that the residence at 1012 Lovell Avenue is owned by Leslie Trolan Fuller and she is the applicant for the zoning variance. The request is to square off the front left side of the structure with an open deck. The result of this would be both a side and a front setback encroachment however the entire structure is non-conforming. It will not be any further encroachment than the current 14.6 front setback and the 7.2 side setback. The applicant is unable to attend but has sent a representative to answer questions. Mr. Parks asked if there were any questions for staff. Mr. Bishop stated that in the analysis, the applicant was not in favor of staff suggestion that the north side of the new deck be built to conform to the required 10 foot side setback therefore the “200-foot 2 rule” was not explored. He asked if there was a reason provided as to why they did not want to explore that. Ms. Otto stated that in the vicinity here [using video], if she had opted to narrow this to meet a 10-foot side setback the applicant expressed she would not have room for a 3-foot door opening into the kitchen which was one of her intents with this request. Mr. Bishop stated that because it is both a side and front variance that negates the 200-foot rule. Ms. Otto stated if it couldn’t conform to the side there was no purpose looking at the front to see if it would have met the 200-foot. Mr. Bishop asked, if this was to be approved, than it would not alter the existing non-conforming setbacks? Ms. Otto stated that was correct. Mr. Major asked, according to the staff report, strictly based on our variance ordinance 5-090, this does not meet the requirements of hardship based on what is defined in there, the unique physical circumstances of the property, is that correct? Ms. Otto stated that is correct. Based on the physical characteristics of the land, there is nothing unique here that would allow the variance. Mr. Major stated that the staff narrative noted this was built in the 1930’s and there is another ordinance, 3-040, that talks about substandard lots of record. Lots that were developed prior to March 24, 1971, and our City Attorney has said more than once, that if it is a substandard lot of record that in itself can constitute a hardship. Ms. Otto stated he was correct. It is not stated in our ordinance but his interpretation is that a non- conforming structure is in itself a hardship. Mr. Parks asked if there were other questions for staff at this time; there were none. Mr. Parks asked if there was anyone from the public, or a representative for the applicant, that wished to speak. Mr. Dave Haney introduced himself and stated he would be the one building the deck if it is allowed. Mr. Parks asked if there were any questions for the applicant at this time; there were no questions and he then asked if there was anything Mr. Haney would like to add. Mr. Bishop stated there was a reference to a circa 1970’s concrete stairs on the back side of the house. In the last sentence it says “the deck, accessed only the second floor would be safer for me at night” because the concrete stairs are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate and the new deck would facilitate safer and easier access to the outside. He asked if there was any thought or consideration to, as opposed to seeking the variance, modifying or redoing the circa 1970 concrete stairs to allow that ingress and egress. 3 Mr. Haney stated the concrete is old and needs shoring up and they are difficult to climb. Mr. Parks stated that they could be rebuilt and Mr. Haney stated she doesn’t want to go down there to set a barbeque because the neighbor’s house is a rental and she gets uncomfortable. She lives alone and if she comes out this other door, onto the deck, and she has access down the original steps, I think that is where her safety concern is although it is also the condition of the steps, they are old, and it is very uncomfortable walking down. Mr. Bishop stated that he had observed them when he was there but was also curious if that could be an alternative, by not seeking the variance, for ingress and egress. Mr. Haney stated it could be, it might come to some expense for her to rearrange her kitchen in order to accommodate to make things easier because she has further plans on doing things in the future. If this all goes through, I think she wants to change out her counter tops to accommodate all this and are you speaking about building a deck out over the….(hesitation) Mr. Bishop stated no he was speaking strictly of the stairway because her concern was it is steep and it’s old and it could be replaced to give her ingress and egress outside because she said it is difficult to navigate and the new deck would facilitate an easier access to the outside. By having the new deck then she would have a safer means to enjoy the outside. Mr. Haney stated, her safety, the way she explained it to him, was because she didn’t like going down to her yard below, she is really uncomfortable because the house next door is a rental house and the people make her real nervous so she doesn’t use it. That’s just the way she feels. Mr. Bishop stated that rebuilding the stairs would not negate the safety of her other issues. Mr. Haney stated not in her eyes. Ms. Otto stated for clarity, there is another means of egress on the front of the house, under the front porch, she wanted to ensure they were aware of it. Mr. Parks asked if there were other questions for the applicant at this time; there were none. Mr. Parks asked if there were any questions from the public at this time. Mr. Rusty Black approached and introduced himself. He asked what the variance distance was they are requesting on this project. Ms. Otto stated the request is to square off the front corner, the result would be the same as the existing front setback of 14.6 feet and the side would remain the same but would not come past the current 7.2 feet side setback. Mr. Black stated so they already have the 14.6 foot variance already in place. Ms. Otto stated this house was built long before setbacks and it is a non-conforming lot. Mr. Black stated that being a non-conforming lot, they will get this variance no matter what. 4 Ms. Otto stated no, this variance process will determine whether or not she would get the variance. Mr. Black stated that because this is a new addition, it will be looked at just like another house that is not a non-conforming lot. Someone (unknown) replied no. Mr. Black stated that because this is a non-conforming lot, it’s going to pass in other words. Ms. Otto stated that she doesn’t vote and could not say if it was going to pass and each is looked at separately. Because it is a further encroachment into the required setbacks and a non-conforming structure, this is the process required in order for the project to be built. Mr. Parks stated if what you’re asking is because it is a non-standard lot before 1971, does that guarantee passage, the answer is no. Mr. Black stated that was the reason he was asking because he came before to request a 10-foot setback on his conforming lot, and it was denied. If it plays out favorably, maybe he could present his proposal again. Mr. Parks asked if he was further down. Mr. Black stated he is 1210 and she is 1012. Mr. Parks stated he believed most of the Commissioners were here on that. Mr. Parks asked if there were any other members of the public that would like to address; there were none. Mr. Parks closed the public hearing and asked for a motion or discussion from the Commission. Mr. Bishop directed a question to Mr. Major and asked if he would repeat his question and response on the non-conforming lot by definition with the City Attorney. Mr. Major stated Section 3-040 of our Land Development Code, is called substandard lot of record and it says where a lot that doesn’t conform with the setback requirements existed prior to March 24, 1971, nothing can be built on that unless it is served by city water and sewage and that a single lot, if it meets those requirements, can be developed with a single family dwelling. That’s what it says, but on at least two occasions where our attorney, Mr. Hughes, has given an opinion on this, he has brought case law and it said that the fact it is a substandard lot of record, does, on its own, by that merit, constitute a hardship. Ms. Otto stated she can confirm what Mr. Major has told you is correct information. Mr. Major stated it is not in our ordinance; we have proposed language that would include safety reasons, historical preservation reasons, environmental reasons, plus the existence of a substandard lot. Ms. Otto stated that is correct, that is in Article 5, which, until the C-2 corridor has been processed, they are not considering that revision. 5 Mr. Major stated that was part of our recommendation. Ms. Otto stated yes. Mr. Parks asked if there was further discussion or a motion. Mr. Callahan made a motion to deny the request; Mr. Marion seconded. The motion to deny was overturned by a vote of three to two. Mr. Parks asked if there was another motion at this point. Mr. Bishop made a motion to approve; Mr. Major seconded. Those in favor were Mr. Major, Mr. Bishop, and Ms. Bryan. Those opposed were Mr. Callahan and Mr. Marion. It was 3 to 2 in favor of approval. Ms. Otto stated the City Council will hear this request on July 12. ----------------------------------------- The next order of business is a Text Amendment, Section 3-080, Off-street Parking Requirements. Ms. Otto stated the primary reason for this is the survey that was done recently by the city at the request of the State of Georgia. We found an opportunity where if, at our large commercial parking lots, we required at least 30% of the lots to have compact car spaces that would be considered a greener attitude toward parking and additional points within the worksheet would be allowed if we changed our ordinance. What is before you tonight is primarily in section 3-080, what would become section B, it talks about compact parking spaces. Within the ordinance prior to tonight’s proposed changes, it was a 20% allowance; it would now be a requirement for parking lots with fifty-one or more parking spaces that 30% of the total required parking be compact spaces. Development on Tybee has significantly reduced since earlier in this decade and it is not known, or expected, that there will be any parking lots coming before you that would require fifty-one or more parking spaces. If that instance did come, it would be with the understanding, if this is adopted, that 30 percent would be required to be compact. The other modifications within the document are mostly minute tweaks to previous verbiage. There is a place, Section E, since we recently dealt with a miniature golf course, and there was not a standard in the ordinance for parking required at such an establishment for you to enter some numbers in the requirements in that section. The final sentence in the entire section regards churches and places of worship. It’s been suggested that the language should be clarified that for structures whose primary use is as a church or a place of worship, where previously it just read all churches or places of worship, it would now have to be a structure where that is the primary use. Mr. Major asked if this only applied to future parking spaces and is the city parking lots impacted by this. Ms. Otto stated it would only impact future site plans that fell under this. The page from the worksheet where this was proposed, it reads contrary to most of our ordinances where we say “at a minimum”, and this is “at a maximum”. They want it to be required to be 30% rather than our current ordinance reads up to a maximum of 20% so it’s a little bit different on how you would approach a parking lot development, this would be a required 30%. 6 Mr. Major stated that the bottom line impact is that future parking lots, under 50 spaces, will have fewer spaces allowed because they can have no spaces for compact parking. Ms. Otto stated that would be one of the outcomes if this proposal is adopted. Mr. Bishop stated this goes to item (D)(5), second page, where it starts off driveways shall be constructed of pervious materials. He stated that there has been discussion as to what is pervious, what is porous, and the distinction being made in this section, although that is the way it currently is. Isn’t there current discussion about whether crush and run can be used, or can’t be used, and whether it’s going to require pavers now to meet the stormwater runoff and soil erosion in compliance with the Coastal Stormwater Management. Ms. Otto stated yes and within City Hall we have been developing a guide to permeable surfaces to help guide people that need to know that information. On that, there are six options of meeting the criteria of a 25-year, 24-hour storm; crush and run is not one of those options. The ones that do meet that are pervious concrete, pervious asphalt, the interlocking brick pavers, the plastic grid, and there is one more in that group. The sixth option, which is not in the Coastal Stormwater supplement option, is an allowance that you could install concrete drive strips where the tires drive up onto the property, those could be concrete with stone, sod, or grass between the drive strips and that’s where the permeability would come from. That’s an option that we see on the island that is retro from the older days but it does accomplish the intent of the standard of the 25-year, 24-hour storm. Those are the options that are available for people coming off of the list of what had been previously allowed for driveways. Mr. Bishop stated it came up for discussion several months ago, Councilperson Doyle brought that up, and their discussion was we did not define pervious at that time and it was an issue by council based on the Planning Commission decision. So what is changing, the crush and run, the white aggregate rock, would not be part of the pervious materials that would be allowed now? Ms. Otto stated that material does not meet the requirements as they are currently listed in item 5. Ms. Bryan stated they used to get a copy of what happened at the city council meetings; what got approved or denied and stated the reason she was asking is because at the last Planning Commission meeting, they approved the miniature golf course and they wanted parking and now it has come up on this. What did City Council do? Ms. Otto stated the outcome from council, that there was no standard in our ordinance for miniature golf course to meet for parking. What was done on that project was to calculate the required parking for the existing uses and it was determined that there was…(interruption) Ms. Bryan asked if there wasn’t there a variance for one parking space. Ms. Otto stated yes. Ms. Bryan asked if that was part of the Site Plan review. Ms. Otto stated it was Site Plan with Variance. Ms. Bryan stated it doesn’t seem to matter so why do we even need anything in here – can we just delete it? Ms. Otto stated all these proposed changes are up for discussion. Since there wasn’t a standard with the miniature golf course, if you wanted a standard now, should there be another miniature golf course before you, then there would be a standard for it to meet where now we don’t have one. 7 Mr. Parks stated that during the discussion of the golf course, they had discussed a formula of two people per hole, if it was an 18-hole golf course, which would be 36 people, 4 people per car, which would be 9 cars; basically the total number of holes divided by 4. Ms. Otto stated as far as the vote reports, there has been some staff changes and we will get back to providing those in your packets. Mr. Parks asked if there was other discussion on the text amendment. Ms. Bryan made a motion to send it on like it is with the exception of the miniature golf course has to be taken out. Mr. Callahan asked what the exception was. Ms. Bryan stated the miniature golf course parking. Mr. Callahan asked if she wanted to delete that and Ms. Bryan stated yes. Mr. Parks stated to delete Section (E)(4). Mr. Callahan asked if she preferred to use the standard we created and Ms. Bryant stated she didn’t think it matters. Mr. Parks stated it would be sent with no standard; is there a second for the motion on the table. Motion dies for lack of second. Do I have a new motion? Mr. Major moved for approval but to include the standard that the Commission came up with; the number of holes divided by four. Mr. Parks stated I have a motion on the table with the addition of a standard for miniature golf courses. Mr. Callahan seconded it. Mr. Bishop asked for discussion and asked if they would elaborate on what it will say. Could you specifically say what is going to fit into that: “miniature golf courses will provide _(blank)_ parking space for _(blank)_”. Mr. Major stated it was basically the number of holes on the golf course times two then divided by four. Mr. Callahan stated one place per two holes. Mr. Parks stated that is true assuming four people per car and two people per hole. Mr. Bishop stated that’s why he thought it would be better to fill in the blank versus using the formula. Mr. Parks asked are we rewording the motion, retracting, or replacing. Mr. Major stated he would amend his motion. Mr. Parks stated the motion has been retracted. Mr. Major moved that we accept the ordinance as written with the blanks filled in, one parking space per each two holes on a miniature golf course. Mr. Parks stated we have a motion, do we have a second. Mr. Callahan seconded it. Mr. Marion asked if we’re doing this without the consideration of ADA plan parking because it is grandfathered in and it does not need to be observed, correct. Ms. Otto stated ADA parking is addressed under Section (A) of this section. Mr. Marion stated which doesn’t apply to the golf course. Ms. Otto stated it does apply with all of the uses that are outlined. Mr. Marion stated, outside of the formula, do we need to specify and/or what represents that component or is that part of it. Mr. Parks stated it was inclusive. 8 Ms. Otto stated it would fall to the standards in that accessibility code where there is up to 25 spaces there is one required handicapped and up to 50 spaces there is 2, and continues building from there. Mr. Parks stated at this time we have a motion on the table and a second. Motion passed four in favor and one opposed (Ms. Bryan). Ms. Otto stated City Council will consider this on July 12. Mr. Parks asked for a motion for adjournment, Mr. Callahan made a motion, Mr. Major seconded. Minutes prepared by Jerris Bryant