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20121218_Minutes_PC_.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 David McNaughton CITY ATTORNEY Monty Parks, Chair Edward M. Hughes MINUTES Planning Commission Meeting December 18, 2012 – 7:00 p.m. Chairman Monty Parks called the December 18, 2012, Tybee Island Planning Commission meeting to order. Commissioners present were John Major, David McNaughton, Rob Callahan, Demery Bishop, Tyler Marion, and Randi Bryan. Mr. Parks - The first order of business is the Minutes of the November 13, 2012, meeting. Do I have any discussion on the Minutes? [There was none.] Do I have a motion on the minutes? [Mr. Bishop made a motion to approve; Mr. Callahan seconded.] Mr. Parks – All those in favor signify. [The vote was unanimous.] Are there any Disclosures or Recusals at this time? [There were none.] Mr. Parks made an announcement regarding three commissioner positions that will be open at the end of January 2013. The application process is posted on the City’s website; applications will be accepted through January 3rd. Terms ending are John Major, Tyler Marion, and David McNaughton. Variance – 20 Taylor St. Ms. Otto – This request is at property that has an historic battery located on it and there has been a single family dwelling atop the battery for many years. The request here is to demolish portions of the single family dwelling that are not part of the historic battery. The plan in your packet has a legend describing the various parts of the property that are proposed for demolition or other work. Also in your packet is a list that corresponds to the legend A through F of various areas on the property that are being requested; not all of those require variances. Another component of this variance request is to install a 2- to 3-inch stone veneer on the exterior wall of the historic battery and other areas. The diagram on the screen shows where the veneer is proposed to be installed; some of those areas are in Tybee’s jurisdictional area for shore protection. Tybee’s shore protection area is 10-feet off the landward toe of the landward most dune. The yellow line is Tybee’s; the pink line is DNR’s jurisdiction line. They are proposing to install 2- to 3-inches of stone veneer on the exterior walls. That would require a variance to be working in that area. This diagram [referring to PowerPoint] will help as we discuss the A through F proposals. I’ve highlighted in red those areas that are in Tybee’s jurisdictional area. Mr. Parks – The demolition is described as being a non-historic. What is the date on the structures? Ms. Otto – Part of it is 1970s and another part, I believe, is 1950s. Mr. Parks – Do we have the applicant or representative that would like to take the podium? Kyle Nikola came to the lectern and introduced himself. I’m the property owner. My father and I purchased the property in August 2010 and since then have been making plans to build our dream home. 2 Mr. Parks – Ms. Otto, describe letter A. Ms. Otto – Letter A is in red in the top right corner. It’s the area with the fine black lines going up and down through it. The legend tells us that they would like to leave the slab but remove the structure. It is my understanding this portion is from the 1950s and there is a very old swimming pool up above there. I have seen preliminary plans for the future that proposes this would become a garage area. Mr. Parks – Has Cullen [Chambers] looked at this? Ms. Otto – I’ve sent it to him but did not receive a response, however, in the past he has expressed that this property no longer has historical significance. Mr. Bishop – The top area, the floor, is going to remain and just the pool area will be removed? Ms. Otto – It is my understanding the slab at the ground level will remain but everything above that would be removed. Mr. Parks – What is the method for removal? Mr. Nikola – They would use a concrete saw. We want to keep that there so we don’t have as much disturbance. We are going to cut it above level so that there would be no disturbance on the opposite side. Ms. Otto – To clarify, this fine line running right above the red A block is Tybee’s 10-feet off the landward dune line. Because the landward dune runs on the other side of that wall, 10-feet off of that would be through this section of the building. Mr. Parks – So it requires a variance. Ms. Otto – Correct. Mr. Parks – Introduce item B. Ms. Otto – That is not in jurisdictional area and the proposal there is to remove the entire structure. It’s a tower; it has external stairs that go up to the level we just talked about. Mr. Parks – That’s a structure within the boundary of the property; there’s no variance required on B. Mr. Nikola – Yes, that is outside. Mr. Parks – On to C. Ms. Otto – C is the wall, the heavy black line shown here which is running along the area we just talked about where they want to take it down to the slab. They would like to remove that wall down to 14-feet above sea level. There is vegetation and natural growth on the other side of that and by keeping the wall they would not have to disturb what is on the ocean or river side of that. It would be of use in the future building project. Again it is in jurisdictional area and reducing the height of it would require a variance. Mr. Parks – We’re not going to disturb vegetation by removing that? Mr. Nikola – The way we would be doing the construction would be actually taking off parts that are bad. If you look at that property, prior to us owning it, there is scrap and a lot of things that need to be done. 3 Ms. Otto – To clarify, I may have overstated by saying the vegetation wouldn’t be disturbed because that is an area where the veneer is to be applied to the outside of the wall which is where the vegetation is. D is down here in the corner. It is not an original historic battery area. It is proposed for demolition in its entirety. It’s from the 1970s and there is a very fine jurisdictional line cutting off that one corner. Mr. Parks – Onto E. Ms. Otto – E has many areas that are walkways and stairs; all of these are proposed for removal. The only part of it is down in this lower right corner and it is chopped off on the screen. This is in jurisdictional area along with that very corner of D. Mr. Parks – E is labeled as variance not required. Mark Boswell came forward and introduced himself. That is an old property line from where the property was recombined. There were three properties that were combined and that’s one of those lines that are still on there. Ms. Otto – As part of the recombination that line will go away. Mr. Parks – E remains variance not required by Mark’s interpretation. Mr. Boswell – Correct. Mr. Parks – We’re on to F. Ms. Otto – That’s up in this territory [referring to PowerPoint]. That is to be removed with the wall and they are taking it down to the slab. The top third of that is in jurisdictional area. Mr. Boswell – This whole wall will be taken out in its entirety down to the slab. This one here [referring to PowerPoint] we’re leaving high to function as a retaining wall to protect the dune line. It’s in the Tybee Shore Protection area. Mr. Parks – In my packet, F is labeled no variance required. Mr. Boswell – Maybe a foot of that wall. Mr. Parks – Just a little variance. Mr. Boswell – Three feet down to elevation 14 which is still above the dune line. Ms. Otto – North of the dotted line. Mr. Major – We’ve seen the staff write-up that we deal with the required building setbacks not with the jurisdictional lines. It says the existing structure doesn’t meet the 20-foot setback line at the lower right corner of the battery wall. We say we’re going to increase the encroachments by 2- to 3-inches when we add the veneer; how much are we missing the 20-feet now? Ms. Otto – If you look down here [referring to PowerPoint] and it is hard to see because it is so far away, this line is the 20-foot building setback line; it cuts that corner of the battery there. Mr. Major – How much are we into the setback? 4 Mr. Boswell – Right now it is encroaching 2.31 square feet; the proposed is 3.66 square feet. Mr. Major – 2.31 is existing and 3.66 is proposed. Mr. Boswell – Yes. Mr. Parks – I’m taking that as being the exterior wall variance request? Mr. Boswell – Correct. Mr. Parks – That’s number two. Mr. Boswell – The DNR has given us permission to go behind that wall. Mr. Major – What we’re asking for is a setback variance? Ms. Otto – It would be both, a setback and a Tybee line. Mr. McNaughton – What is the purpose of the veneer; is it just cosmetic? Mr. Boswell – We’re trying to dress it up and protect it from the sand blowing against it and blasting against that outside wall. Mr. Nikola – If you look at the actual outside wall, it’s cracking; this is a way to help preserve it. Paul deLevis came forward and introduced himself. I’m the residential designer of record. Mr. Parks – This is to shore it up structurally. Mr. Boswell – Not to shore it up but put a layer on the outside to protect it. Mr. deLevis – It’s deteriorated over the turn of the century so you’ve got one hundred and some odd years and it’s in need of protection. Mr. Parks – This part of the variance is historical? Mr. deLevis – That’s the original but we’ve got a document in file dated 2005 from the historic board, Mr. Cullen Chambers, that they have no interest in this and Mr. Boswell reiterated that with him sometime between September 1st and October 15th of this year. Mr. Boswell – He [Cullen Chambers] said we have no interest whatsoever. Mr. deLevis – We want to preserve the original battery that was there. What we are touching is something that was done in the past. This angle that we’re dealing with was the Department of War. The drawings are dated 1936 but that’s when it was being circulated through Congress or whatever at that time. Mr. Nikola – For the veneer, the DNR gave us permitting allowing us to go in and do it. Mr. deLevis – In the disturbed area in the upper left hand, that is no longer in DNR; the Shore Protection Line doesn’t run there any longer. 5 Ms. Otto – I have a document signed by Cullen Chambers dated February 13, 2012. “Dear Dianne, I have made a site visit to 20 Taylor Street in regards to the request for demolition. Please proceed with the request as the building cannot be moved. The historic integrity has already been negatively impacted. Sincerely, Cullen Chambers.” Mr. Parks – Do we have any residents that would like to speak about this? Doug Groomwall, neighbor, came forward and introduced himself. On the area where the stairs come down from the pool, those walls are 6-feet thick and arched. Are they the parts that were added in 1970? Ms. Otto – No sir. The area from the 1970s was down here in D. Mr. Groomwall – Is that the area you’re talking about taking down? Ms. Otto – This area is being removed but I think the area you are referring to is B. Mr. Groomwall – From about 12-foot up is concrete block and descends down the stairs; the walls beneath the pool are 6-feet thick and arched. Is that the part that’s going to be torn down and made a garage? Ms. Otto – It’s to be torn down. I’ve seen on a preliminary plan that the garage is in that area. Mr. Groomwall – That is new area? The 6-foot wall parts? The block piers start about 12-feet up and follow the stairs down to the turnaround. Mr. deLevis – That tower has a stair in it and that is coming down to the slab, we’ll maintain the slab. That is coming completely out [referring to PowerPoint]; the slab line is right about there. Mr. Groomwall – The cinder block only comes down to about 12-feet above the ground. Mr. deLevis – We’ve got a demolition contractor cutting these. Mr. Groomwall – So the original part of the fort wouldn’t be destroyed. Mr. deLevis – That is not the original part of the fort. This whole addition was added at some point later. Mr. Groomwall – I was curious because of the walls being 6-foot thick and arched. Mr. deLevis – Yes, there is some thickness in here too. Right here [referring to PowerPoint] was the Department of War’s addition, that whole angle, and this was added sometime later. Mr. Parks – Do I have other questions? [There were none.] I’m closing this public hearing. I will take a motion or discussion. Mr. Major – I move to approve as submitted. Mr. Bishop – Second. Mr. Parks – Those in favor of motion to approve as submitted, please signify. [Vote was unanimous.] Ms. Otto – This goes to Council on January 10th. Site Plan Approval – 204 First St. unit D 6 Ms. Otto – Eyebrow was a new term for me so if you hear me refer to it as an overhang that is what I’m picturing. The contractor is here tonight and in his world it is called an eyebrow. This is at 204 First Street where there is currently a laundromat. It is requested to extend an area out over the sidewalk so that when people are coming in or out of the laundry they will have a covered shelter from rain. Because this is a commercial development it requires Site Plan Approval and that is why it is before you. They were issued a permit to do roof work and it developed into the owner wanting to do this additional eyebrow/overhang area to improve the customers’ use of that property. Mr. Major – On the drawing, are the areas shaded in yellow where they want to add this overhang? There are two areas in yellow; one is a 2-feet eyebrow awning that is on the side where there are no doors or windows and then the 46-feet area. Ms. Otto – The area that needs Site Plan Approval is the 46-foot area. Mr. Major – The other is going to be a 2-foot eyebrow/awning? Mr. Otto – We allow an overhang of 24-inches that doesn’t need a variance. I’m not recalling if that is part of this project or not. Mr. Bishop – The current mansard type roof structure, will that go away? Ms. Otto – No. Mr. Bishop – So we’re going to extend out additionally 46-inches? Ms. Otto – There is the 2-foot at the bottom [referring to PowerPoint] but it’s a total of the seven that you see here. Mr. Bishop – So it will extend a full 7-feet out from the current roof? Ms. Otto – From the current face of the structure. Down here, [referring to PowerPoint] see how it is already out, it would be 7-feet total. Mr. Parks – At this point do we have a representative that wishes to address the Commission? Mike Ward came forward and introduced himself. Actually the eyebrow term was used for the side of the building where we don’t need a variance. This is the existing roof line [referring to PowerPoint], and what I want to do is come out another 3-feet, 6-inches. We’re going to angle that roof out a little bit and then tie into the existing roof that comes across this way. They back vans in there because they clean laundry for the condominiums and sometimes his help gets wet in transferring laundry back and forth and that is the reason for the extension of the roof. Mr. Major – So the height of the awning won’t be any problem with delivery trucks; they will be able to get under there? Mr. Ward – There is plenty of room in the parking lot for delivery trucks to get around any cars that are there. See the lines in the parking lot right here, [referring to PowerPoint] it won’t come out to those lines; it stops short of the edge of that line. There won’t be any posts coming to the ground; it will all be suspended by the original roof. Mr. Major – Will this meet all wind requirements? Ms. Otto – Yes. This has the architect’s stamp on it already. Mr. Parks – Anyone from the public that would like to comment on this? [There were none.] At this time I will close the public hearing. I am open to a motion or discussion. 7 Mr. Major – I move to approve as submitted. Mr. Callahan – Second. Mr. Parks – All those in favor please signify. [Vote was unanimous.] Ms. Otto – This goes to Council on January 10th. Lot Recombination – 11 Meddin Dr. Ms. Otto – The applicant is not able to join us this evening; he comes to Tybee periodically and currently he is in Albuquerque where he lives. Maurice Fitzgibbon owns the property and has lots 16 through 20. He would like to retain lots 19 and 20 which currently have a single family home on them, and use lots 16, 17, and 18 to create a new lot. The minimum lot size in an R-1 district is 12,000 square feet. This proposal would not meet that standard. It is before you as a lot recombination but also with the understanding that it does not meet that lot size. The newly created lot would be 5,400 square feet and the lots that have the house on it would be 7,200 square feet. The current square footage of the entire property is 12,600 square feet but is broken up into five lots. It seems to be from very old Fort Screven times that these lots are so very skinny – 25-feet on lots 17 and 18 and 10-feet on lot 16. As they are, they could not be developed into any type of dwelling. Mr. Major – In the Staff Report under the proposal, it says, “if approved the property could be sold for construction of a single family dwelling.” This would require all kinds of variances to put a single family dwelling on 5,400 square feet in R- 1. Ms. Otto – I don’t know that I agree with you. It’s 90-feet deep and in R-1 you have to have 20-foot front and back so that would leave a house that could be 40-feet deep. Mr. Major – It wouldn’t be on 12,000 square feet. Would that not require a variance because the lot is half of the requirement of the zoning area? Ms. Otto – No, it would become a lot of record and if they could build within the required setbacks, it would not need a variance. Mr. Parks – Once we put the stamp of approval that it is a lot. Ms. Otto – Your approval of this request would create two substandard lots of record. In my opinion, based on the other lots in that area, there are a number of substandard lots of record and not all of those have needed variances to develop. Again, it is 90-feet deep so you could build a house with a front and back 20-foot setback of 40-foot in depth; it’s going to be 60-feet wide so the two sides would leave 40-feet in width to build a house. Mr. Major – If you have three substandard lots of record and you combine those, you still use the original dates when those three lots were combined or is there a new law of record which doesn’t fall before the 1979, March 1st, date where we created substandard lots of record. How would this newly created January 1st, 2013, still be a substandard lot of record? Ms. Otto – It’s substandard in that it doesn’t meet the minimum lot size. Mr. Major – Of record is defined as existing as a lot prior to March 1st, 1979. Ms. Otto – In this situation, if this goes through to Council and is approved, this action creates a lot that is not of the size required in R-1; a legal lot, doesn’t meet the requirement, but certainly could be developed without any variances if they 8 could design a structure that fit within the required setbacks. It is understood that if this proceeds and is approved it is creating two lots. Mr. Major – Is that part of our Land Development Code where we can say here is where it says that, that if we combine two substandard lots of record into a third substandard lot of record, then you can build on it? Ms. Otto – If it is a lot of record, it’s developable. Ms. Bryan – Wouldn’t you still need a variance if the lot size is less than 12,000 square feet? Ms. Otto – If you wanted to build in the required setbacks. We issue permits for new construction on lots of record that are less than the minimum lot size for the zones they are in, but because the construction is conforming to setback requirements no variance is required. Ms. Bryan – But they could come back and request a variance if they wanted to build a bigger house. Ms. Otto – Yes. Ms. Bryan – We would still be creating a substandard lot. Mr. Bishop – If we approve it, our action would create a substandard lot of record and if they came in and built a house 40- by 50-, that would meet the requirements front, back, and two sides. It just creates a substandard with no need for a variance unless they come back and request a setback variance. Ms. Otto – You are correct. What may happen, and I’ve not investigated it, as you can see the existing home is very far forward. If that is true of the homes 200-feet each way, staff could grant up to 10-foot on the front because everybody else is forward. If they wanted greater than a 10-feet front, if it fell under that rule, they would have to come to you. As it is, this property has a very large side yard to the house. He couldn’t build another structure there without subdividing and we would be in the situation we’re in today. Mr. Parks – Do we have any member of the public that would like to speak before the Commission. [There were none.] I’m going to close the public hearing. Mr. McNaughton – I move to deny. Ms. Bryan – Second. Mr. Parks – Those in favor of the motion to deny this request, please signify. Major, McNaughton, Callahan, Marion, and Bryan voted to deny. Bishop voted against the motion. Ms. Otto – Council will consider this on January 10th. Variance – 8 Tenth St. Ms. Otto – At 8 Tenth Street there is a single family home and currently the side deck, which would be the ocean side or the right side if you were standing on the street, goes to the property line with a 0.5-foot side setback. The request before you would still need a variance but it is going to improve what is now a 0.5- to a 4-foot setback on that side. It’s also in the front setback. Rather than having a short deck, it would be long and run the length of the house and go to the back but it would be much narrower than what is currently there. In your packet are renderings of what it would look like if approved and permitted for construction. 9 Mr. Major – In the zoning variance application, under the EXPLAIN THE HARDSHIP section, it says to see the attached description of the hardship and I don’t see a description of the hardship as it would apply to our code. Ms. Otto – The applicant’s representative is referring to the two pages that follow the application, dated December 3, 2012. It is addressed to me and it explains the variance request. Mr. Parks – I took it to be stormwater runoff and materials. Any other questions for staff? [There were none.] Do we have a representative for the applicant here tonight? Reshma Johnson came forward and introduced herself. I’m the architect. Mr. McNaughton – I’m confused on the drawings. It says the owners would like to renovate by removing an existing deck and rebuilding on the middle and top levels. What would be rebuilt? Ms. Johnson – The deck would have a screened enclosure on it whereas right now it is an open deck. Mr. Callahan – On the top level you are extending the existing? Ms. Johnson – Extend the existing sundeck. Ms. Otto – This is currently what the top looks like and it would become this [referring to PowerPoint], if this is approved. Mr. Major – This is an R-2, 4,500 square foot minimum lot size. This is 4,200 square feet with the house built in 1938. So this, by definition, is a substandard lot of record which makes it eligible to be considered for a variance. Ms. Otto – It’s a non-conforming structure which makes it eligible, not the substandard lot of record. Mr. Major – It’s actually going to improve the setback from 1/2-foot to 4-feet? Ms. Otto – That is correct. Mr. Major – And not have any further encroachment? Ms. Otto – It would be less encroachment in that area but it would be extending the length of the house where right now there’s only encroachment up toward the street more, about half the length of the house. Ms. Johnson – It would go towards the back, the brick wall, about another bay. Ms. Otto – The deck stops here right now [referring to PowerPoint], it’s going to be deeper; it’s going to go back more. Mr. Major – But not at ground level. Ms. Otto – No. Mr. Parks – Other questions? Are there any members of the public that would like to address the Commission? [There were none.] At this time I am closing the public hearing. I’m open for a motion or discussion. Mr. Bishop – Motion to approve. Mr. Callahan – Second. 10 Mr. Parks – All those in favor of approval as presented, please signify. [The vote was unanimous.] Ms. Otto – This will go to Council on January 10th. Site Plan – conceptual only – Tybee Island Marine Science Center Mr. Parks – The next order of business is a no-vote situation. It is a conceptual site plan, new commercial construction for the Marine Science Center. Ms. Otto – This is for feedback input to the design team as they continue their work on the proposed project. In your packet is a diagram of DNR’s jurisdictional area, which is shown here, [referring to PowerPoint], and all of the construction is proposed within the boundaries of that area. There is no issue with Tybee’s jurisdictional area since the landward toe of the dune is further away. They are working with DNR. Here you see that it is in the North End Cultural Overlay, which is a special part within the R-1 district that allows this type of use, which will be a museum. This is City property and they entered into a lease with the City many years ago and are ready to begin conceptual project design. They need input on what the end product is going to be and they don’t want to have further expenses until they know that the City is backing what they are working on. When this project was originally proposed, it was understood that there would be parking beneath the structure. Here is the preliminary drawing that was created at that time. When the architects began preliminary ideas as to how this would work on the ground, you will see that the drawing [referring to PowerPoint] does not take into account the piers that would be needed to support a structure above. Those piers would definitely impact the number of parking spaces and the flow of traffic underneath the building. What you have is an alternative plan that would not have parking underneath but instead proposes additional parking areas at the North Beach parking lot to compensate for the loss of parking beneath the structure. This slide shows the area of the structure itself. It’s in the north corner near the northernmost crossover to the beach. Their team is here this evening. I’m glad to answer any questions. Again, this is input from you, feedback, conceptual only. There is not an approval or denial tonight. Mr. Parks – Are there members of the public that would like to address at this point? [There were none.] Ms. Otto – This has been advertised as a public hearing and we do want to solicit the input from the neighbors at this time. They will have additional opportunities when this does come back for formal Site Plan Approval. Any feedback on input at this point would be of a great benefit to the design team. Christian Sottile, with Sottile and Sottile, came forward and introduced himself. I’m here with Craig Clements, one of the architects working with us, and Mike Neal from the Board of Tybee Island Marine Science Center, as well as staff and board members from Tybee Island Marine Science Center. I’m on the architectural team working on the project. This brings to fruition about a year’s worth of work. We began in earnest with a site analysis process early in 2012 to prepare for community input and a community design workshop; what you see on the screen are some examples of the input that we received. During the design session, we asked the community to show us their vision for this new landmark and had citizen led teams map out the first ideas for the future Marine Science Center and ended up with five different master plans. The design team continued to work in the onsite studio for the next few days to bring those ideas together and put into one proposal that we have been working with since that time. One of the largest ideas was the importance of seeing the significance of the north end and honoring that idea of a cultural overlay district with the addition of the Marine Science Center as a museum, not as a standalone structure, but an addition to this larger campus environment with the lighthouse, old Fort Screven, and the third element to help anchor that cultural district. Many of the maps that we reviewed actually showed all the facilities to see how they would relate to each other. Various strategies were looked at with one of them to reduce the footprint of the original lease agreement to a much smaller size and to be considerate of view sheds from the site. This image [referring to PowerPoint] starts to envision what the structure looks like. What we found in adding to this grouping of buildings, the old fort and the lighthouse, was to develop a structure that would have a lower-slung character using materials that would be native to Tybee Island, be recessive in color, and form a character of forms that would be articulated as multiple pieces rather than one footprint. 11 You can see in this conceptual view of the structure, this one longer element and then an open air classroom pavilion looking out towards the dune scape and the coastal habitat. We heard over and over for observation places and places to let the natural landscape really be the feature. One of the concepts that emerged was to have an outdoor theater that would allow views toward the channel, the dunes, and the water beyond. We’ve approached this with very serious intent to add to a world class ensemble of historic structures with the lighthouse being the vertical landmark and the battery being this wonderful and substantial horizontal expression. We took to heart some of the early postcard views of Tybee Island and thought if you could look into the future and imagine a postcard view that included the Marine Science Center in conjunction with the historic fort wall, battery wall, and the lighthouse. You see in this image a postcard view of that facility becoming part of the overall visual landscape at the north end. Those were the conceptual drawings and we’ve been working diligently since that time to refine those concepts and produce the floor plans that you see. Craig Clements – This is the conceptual floor plan [referring to PowerPoint] as it stands currently. What you see is a generous wide slow ramp approach to the lobby of the building. One of the things that became important was making the public entrance accessible so everybody comes into the building the same way; you’re not setting aside a second entrance for people with disabilities. Here is the lobby [referring to PowerPoint] that bisects the two masses and you pass through that lobby into that outdoor theater space. Flanking the lobby is an outdoor classroom gallery space and more of an indoor similar to what is at the center now with botanics and the aquatic life exhibits. Much of it is open air and most of it is passively cooled; sustainability strategies were very important to the development of it. You’ve got a roof that has the capability of collecting rainwater possibly with a catch basin adjacent to where you pass into the lobby. The low flat roof potentially could be a green roof or a place for solar collection. Primarily it is the lobby and the gallery spaces that are conditioned; most of the open air classrooms are passively cooled. One of the things we noticed being around the north beach and being in the North Beach Grill as part of our research, was how well that building operates throughout the season without the benefit of air conditioning. It does a great job of being a comfortable place to be and not using all that energy. We thought the Marine Science Center was really about being out in the habitat rather than being in this enclosed space and that was a big part of the idea. Mr. Parks – Are there setbacks from DNR on this? Ms. Otto – The DNR has flagged their jurisdictional area and this project is proposed within; there are no encroachments of the project into DNR jurisdictional area. Mr. Parks – There are no setbacks as far as residential? There is no height variance on this? Ms. Otto – There is not a variance. I received correspondence after your packets went out; that was one topic not addressed in the materials. The highest peak of the roof, as shown on the right side of that building, would be 34-feet and the main body where the flat roof is proposed is 26-feet. Mr. Callahan – That’s the height above ground? Ms. Otto – Above grade, yes. The 34-feet would be a foot shorter than our maximum of 35 that is allowed. Mr. Bishop – At 34, is that taken with the average elevation? Ms. Otto – We take an average grade of the footprint area of the proposed building and from that average grade they can go up 35-feet; they are proposing 34-feet. Mr. Bishop – The current crossover, will that still be publicly accessible? Ms. Otto – Yes. 12 Mr. Clements – Last week we met onsite with Joe Wilson and our intention is to keep the crosswalk open but also allow the Science Center to tie into it. It is still publicly accessible but groups of school children taking advantage of the educational program can actually circulate directly onto the beach access rather than having to go through the parking lot but it is maintained as a public access and that is actually a requirement. Mr. Callahan – Could you tell us what you have thought about in relation to hurricane winds and flooding? Mr. Clements – The building is in a velocity zone so it is very limited what you can do under that floodplain. It will be breakaway construction from basically the floor down. You can do a few limited things such as store certain things under there but basically it is uninhabitable space so the idea is that if a storm comes in that construction breaks away. Mr. Callahan – How high does that extend? Mr. Clements – That extends up approximately 12-feet because that is where the finished floor is. Above that we are held to a high standard of wind resistant construction. The building hasn’t been structurally engineered yet because we are still at conceptual review but certainly that would be taken into account. Ms. Otto – Staff will require certification that it can withstand 130-mile per hour wind. Mr. Parks – What I was looking at is the ocean at one time came much closer to the parking lot then it does now. I think it is renourishment that has pushed the dune line out. What if the renourishment cycle changes; if we go every fifteen years rather than the current one and the ocean comes closer? Mr. Clements – I’m not a civil engineer so I can’t claim to know the ins and outs of how that works. In that photograph there is no dune line. What has happened since that photograph was taken is the Shore Protection Act has re- established the dune barrier between our site and others around the island and the ocean front. Mr. Callahan – I know that may help in the event of a hurricane but this is going to be a huge investment for Tybee Island. I don’t know if you have a preliminary cost estimate or not, but I’m sure we’re in the millions with this project. The only thing I ask personally is that extra consideration be given to what could be a huge natural disaster as I would hate to see the whole investment lost in one fell swoop. Mr. Bishop – With the number of current parking spaces that go away with this project, behind the facility where it says “N/F William C. Fleetwood Lot 4” and it looks like parking spaces in there, is that currently owned by Tybee? Ms. Otto – No, it is not. The Marine Science Center has entered into an agreement with Mr. Fleetwood to make use of his property for additional parking in that area. Mr. Bishop – Would that be 24/7 parking as it currently is now in the North Beach lot? Ms. Otto – They have expressed their intent that it would be public parking. Mr. Bishop – Off of Gulick where it says “Additional Parking”, where the dumpster is going to be moved, and those slots that were put in for future parking, will that be parking? Ms. Otto – I did not attend the meeting that Joe Wilson, Director of Public Works, had with these folks. When he reviewed the plan with me, he was firmly against having parking in that area. Did he share that with you folks? Mr. Clements – Yes, he did. We proposed that and dashed it in as a possibility but just being out there, there is land that looks like it is parkable. What we learned is we cannot, because it’s not on the property; that is part of the lighthouse’s jurisdiction. We weren’t certain whether we could do it or not, we were just looking for ways to increase the count. 13 What we did find, and confirmed in our meeting with Joe, was that there are about 273 [parking spaces] now, we were going to be down at 266, which is about a 2% reduction. That was our guestimate based on being onsite and trying to count cars as best we could on a very busy weekend. This is Joe Wilson’s drawing [referring to PowerPoint] of the north beach lot. There are things on this drawing that were never done; sidewalks, curbs, and things of that nature, but this reflects his layout of the parking lot as it stands now. This shows 225 parking spaces currently and, according to Joe, the area that has recently been cleared behind the fort yields about an additional 40 for overflow parking. There are about 265 cars parking in that lot now. Through some tweaking of the layout and through the addition of some of the use of Mr. Fleetwood’s property, we are able to maintain that count. We are actually a little higher than the current count right now but we imagine that, as we find out the occupant load of the building and how many handicap parking spaces we need, we’re not counting all the extra spaces, but we are trying to keep the count where it is. Mr. Callahan – To include large buses and such, do you have any particular accommodations for large vehicles? Mr. Clements – With the site plan, what we’ve got on the north beach is a bus drop. We have talked to Cullen Chambers about some shared use of his facility’s bus parking. To say that we have every bit of the logistics worked out would not be true. A lot of the buses that go to this facility now are school buses and they drop off groups of children at different hours of the day and days of the week; it’s not the 4th of July weekend. My point is off peak with most of the traffic, the days when this lot fills up. Mr. Callahan – I believe parking demand will increase even recognizing that you’re talking about peaks being different. I think with such a nice facility we’re going to see a lot of traffic attracted to the area. Mr. Parks – What do you estimate the occupancy load to be? Mr. Clements – It’s actually not as large of a facility as it might appear. It’s about a 20% increase over the facility that they’ve got now. I would guesstimate the occupant load of that building being in the range of 110 people and that’s when you have education programs going on where you have actually dropped off a load of children. Island wide it does represent somewhat of an uptick in the parking load but it’s not a facility that’s twice the size or three times the size, it’s a slightly larger facility that is being necessitated by the fact that the center needs to relocate. Mr. Parks – I think if you fill up that wonderful seating area, the classrooms, and the galleries, I think 110 is conservative plus the line outside on the ramp to get in. Mike Neal – To some degree we hope so. As a facility to further the appreciation of coastal Georgia and Tybee Island, we want to also have the same visitors that are just going to the beach be able to utilize that facility and be seamless with that. That is why the biggest part of that facility is not actually structure it’s just the area having that natural exhibit of the outdoors and the tie in to the beaches and not being tied in where we are now to the party zone. Mr. Parks – Let’s say they get dropped off at the lighthouse; we’re talking about how do they get from the lighthouse to this facility. Do we have a tunnel that’s going to be built through the battery or through the beaten path which is beautifully worded as ‘challenged’ in the document? What would be your preference? Mr. Sottile – The package describes the numerous ideas we heard during the design workshop. I think what we took from that was the recognition by the community and we heard it in different ways from different community members. We heard everything from making a connection at grade through the old battery wall where there is an existing passage. Mr. Parks – How would you go through that battery wall? Mr. Sottile – That would require structural analysis that has not been done yet. I preface that to say these ideas were put forward as potentials. We also heard the potential of the platform at the top of the wall is a wonderful viewing area that is underappreciated and that may have some ability to connect across at some time, maybe there was a small 14 walkway. What really struck us was the awareness that all these pieces fit together and certainly the most achievable ways of helping to facilitate those connections are looking at the passages that currently exist. I think the walk around the North Beach Grill is currently one of the best ways to get there and maybe there are small hardscape and landscape improvements that help facilitate that connection in the short term. Mr. Parks – How many people were at the charette? Mr. Sottile – I believe we had, across the three days, 150 people. Mr. Clements – We did send invitations to everyone on the island. Mr. Parks – This facility is going to be swamped. How do you get from the lighthouse? Mr. Clements – Those passages we talked about, they’re not for the large groups, they are for the ordinary pedestrian who feeds the meter on one side and just wants to get over. Large groups are likely going to come in on buses, drop off at the center and then the bus moves out of the lot and parks somewhere else. Mr. Parks – Selling refreshments? Is there going to be a vending area? Will there be a cafeteria-type thing? Mr. Clements – I wouldn’t call it a cafeteria but just like the current center, you can go in there and buy a soda or a snack or sea turtle or whatever. Mr. Major – I look forward to it. Mr. Parks – I think it is an overwhelming excitement. I think it is a beautiful project. Thank you so much for coming here tonight. Mr. Callahan – Great job. Mr. Neal – I would like to thank you from the Board of Directors. We are very happy to be here at this point moving forward and beginning construction as soon as possible so we can start showing people that this is not just a dream but a reality that is taking place. 2013 will be a year of groundbreaking and structure-raising. Mr. Callahan – So you already have the money in the bank? Mr. Neal – We have a percentage of the money and can break ground and start the beginning of the building so that we can show people that it is a reality. We want to show people that we have a physical item that they can contribute to, that they can push forward with, and to show people that this is an action item, not a dream item. Mr. Clements – Part of why we’re here and why we’ll be before Council is there is a capital campaign, a fundraising effort, that needs to happen and that is part of why we are here is to get that first reading so as we launch into that we can do it with confidence that we have the buy-in of the City. We do appreciate it. Mr. Parks – Is it possible that these gentlemen would come back? Ms. Otto – It needs to come back for Site Plan Approval. Mr. Parks – Thank you for your time. Text Amendment – Article 18, Lighting 15 Ms. Otto – This has been before you numerous times and prior to that there was a subcommittee working on it. If adopted this would become a new section of the LDC. The document before you has your input from the November meeting and is here for your further consideration. Mr. Parks – This also includes the feedback that was received from the State? Ms. Otto – From DNR, Marine Science Center, and from the City Attorney’s office. Mr. McNaughton – I have some concerns about this proposal which is well intentioned. I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of making the lighting fixtures mandatory for the entire island. I’m also uncomfortable with the size of the fine. Ms. Otto – The section that Mr. McNaughton is referring to is Section 18-009, which is on page 4, about existing lighting. This was a late addition to the document. When the subcommittee met to discuss this, it was their consensus that it be proposed all lighting within the city would be in compliance by the end of five years. It is contrary to what we typically do when a new standard is adopted, it generally is enforced from that point forward for new development and does not go back and capture prior instances that would be in violation of the new ordinance. This is different; other commissioners could share better than I the direction that was selected to take on that. Mr. McNaughton – I have no problem with an ordinance that is different in that it requires changes to something already in effect but I look at it from two points. I can’t speak for the Council but if it is mandatory to the entire island, would Council feel comfortable approving it because there’s going to be a lot of unhappy people. Also, looking at the Jekyll ordinance, it does not require the whole island, just the lights from the beach according to the email Dianne [Otto] sent out. I can understand the reasons but I’m still concerned whether it would get any farther if we did the whole island and I know that people will be unhappy with it. Ms. Bryan – I agree with David. Looking at the Jekyll ordinance, it does just pertain to the beach, the lighting, and the nesting areas. I think that it is too much to say that in five years you’re going to require that everybody change. I don’t agree with it. Mr. Parks – I think the protection that it offers residents is important for the island. I think it allows that your neighbor isn’t going to put in something that crosses over your property line with more than a certain level is important. Right now we don’t have that. Mr. McNaughton – There are other sections that would prevent someone in the middle of the island from flooding his or her neighbor with lights. The way I understand it, there is still control on the lighting. Ms. Otto – That would be for new fixtures that are installed if this is adopted. For those folks that are currently dealing with light trespass issues, if that section wasn’t there that would never be addressed. Mr. Parks – I think it is important that we guide lighting on this island towards where we want it to be. If we allow our lights, billboards, and commercial lighting to be facing outward in people’s faces, blinding drivers, or trespassing on property lines, then we aren’t doing our service to the residents and commercial users of this island. As we sat through these meetings and came together on this, we tried to look out for the residential side of this as well as the turtles to keep the light pollution to a level that keeps the island as we love it. Ms. Bryan – I don’t have a problem with that. The problem I have is making people change after the timeframe. Mr. Parks – What would be a suggested timeframe? Ms. Bryan – I think as fixtures wear out, they would be replaced with new fixtures on the market. 16 Mr. Parks – Several of us felt that five years is a fair life span for many lighting items on the island. Ms. Bryan – I’ve been in my house for eight years and mine are still fine. Mr. Parks – Are yours in compliance? Ms. Bryan – Probably, they are all down lit. Still, I wouldn’t want to replace everything. It’s a lot of money. Mr. Parks – It could be and we tried to take that into consideration. So you would recommend when replacement is necessary? Ms. Bryan – I don’t know how you would do that. Mr. Parks – When you come in for a permit, basically to replace your light, because it is electrical work it would require a permit. Ms. Otto – If you’re replacing fixtures, yes, but solutions can be as simple as reducing the type of bulb that is used so there is no issue because you’re flooding your neighbors with lights. A lower wattage bulb may solve some circumstances where you are not dealing with replacing the fixture but the source of the light. Mr. McNaughton – Outdoor lighting, are there any building codes that set minimum wattage use that we follow on Tybee? Ms. Otto – No, and that is the reason that Council adopted to begin this process based on concerns that were occurring because we didn’t have any enforcement actions that we could take. We had nothing on the books other than the one for the turtle nesting season. Mr. Parks – Which is important. It is crucial that we put turtle nesting protection on the books but I also think it is critical we protect the residents from over lighting and offensive lighting as we become denser. Mr. Major – When we began this subcommittee workshop, I was pretty much where Randi [Bryan] was; that we should, as things wear out, put the new ordinance in effect. I concluded that it is not enforceable because if I have a fixture in place and it is out of compliance, and my story is that it is lasting forever, how would the City know. We might say it is 10 years or 20 years, but at some point, this is what we want to look like and then how do we get there. Mr. Parks – I think we took five years on Bubba’s [Edward Hughes] advice. Bubba guided us on that because it was a reasonable timeframe. Ms. Otto – The model lighting ordinance that this language came from, which is from the International Dark Sky Association and the Illuminating Engineering Society, suggests a period no longer than ten years. Mr. Bishop – The Dark Sky initiative, when we first started this under Mr. Levy, the question becomes with regards to the five years. In order to create an ordinance, you’ve got to have a sunset period otherwise it becomes ineffective and you will continue to have individuals who will fail and absolutely not comply in anyway. Luminesce doesn’t mean that you have to remove your fixtures. It is intended that at a certain point when you have to replace a bulb you do so with a specific type of lamp that is required. If you look in the research we did initially, the incandescent light bulb is going to be a thing of the past; you will not be able to buy those very much longer. I don’t think by having a sunset of five years is going to be a detriment. I think it has to have a means of a sunset so that we do have some legitimacy to an ordinance and I think by a technical perspective that issue is not going to be a problem five years out. The only type of luminesce that you can buy in the sense of a lamp is going to be compliant with the Dark Sky initiative because that is what all manufacturers are beginning to migrate to. 17 Mr. Parks – There was also discussion on mercury, or sodium vapor, but it’s no longer going to be manufactured. The parking lots, which was the main focus, although residential is important, it was the parking lots, security lighting, and billboard lighting that would be the five years. We didn’t want to say commercial or target somebody. The main concern was the big industrial commercial lighting; let’s bring that into compliance within the next five years. Ms. Bryan – I agree with that but we usually take a Tybee tour at some point over a weekend night and the neighborhoods aren’t a problem. Let’s don’t make everybody do it; why don’t we target the people who are offenders? Mr. Parks – The commercial. Ms. Bryan – Exactly. Mr. Parks – We’ve got two discussion points – change the wording to five years commercial or go ten years. Mr. Marion – We’ve all dedicated a lot of table time and talk in our meetings for this particular issue. My opinion is we leave it absolutely as we have it in front of us without modifying years or anything else. Mr. Major – If I could ask Randi [Bryan] a question, what could you support? Ms. Bryan – Either one of the things we just talked about, either commercial or ten years. Mr. Major – I think Council will have the benefit of this discussion and these concerns in our recommendation. Michael Bodine came to the lectern and introduced himself. I’m a resident and amateur astronomer and I need to take issue with home lighting not being a problem. For astronomical purposes, there are a lot of issues on the island where you can’t go into your yard or go into the park and set up a telescope and get any decent viewing. Whereas, if people would put down their shades or down lighting on their domestic outside lighting, it would be awesome. It would be some very nice viewing on Tybee. The Astronomical Association goes out to the pier about once a month and aims their telescope east away from the Strand and you can get some nice views that way. Inland on the island, on the streets, it can be very difficult to find a place to set up a telescope and get anything decent. There are home issues as well as commercial issues. Mr. Callahan – Could we do five years for commercial and ten years for residential? Ms. Bryan – I would go with that. Mr. Parks – I’m willing to entertain a motion if we’ve reached the end of discussion. Mr. Major – I move that we approve it as submitted with our concerns including Rob’s [Callahan] most recent one and submit to Council for their consideration. This is what the subcommittee came up with and this is what I recommend we go with. Mr. Bishop – Second. Mr. Parks – Those in favor of the motion, please signify. [Major, Bishop, and Marion voted for approval. McNaughton, Callahan, and Bryant opposed.] I’ve got three and I’m going to go with approval. Text Amendment – Section 3-230, Turtle Nesting Protection Ms. Otto – If Article 18 Lighting is adopted, Section 18-006 is redundant to Section 3-230 so this Text Amendment would repeal Section 3-230. 18 Mr. Callahan – Recommend approval. Mr. Bishop – Second. Mr. Parks – Those in favor of the motion, please signify. [Major, Callahan, Bishop, Marion, and Bryan voted for approval. McNaughton was opposed.] Text Amendment – Section 5-090, Variances Ms. Otto – At our November meeting, there was much discussion centered on Section A of this document. Before you is a rewritten Section A trying to incorporate your thoughts at the prior meeting. It had been considered, and your direction to me, was to combine what was then items 1 and 2. When I attempted to write it in that fashion, it was unclear when the thought pattern changed from discussing the property to now discussing people, so what is before you does again have a 1 and a 2 with number 1 being about the property and 2 being about the occupants of the property. If you want to somehow suggest that those be combined into one item I will attempt again to do so but for clarity I think it best to separate the two items. The paragraph following what is now 1, 2, and 3, has also been worked on. Where before it was circumstance and condition the word ‘consideration’ was added as well. Mr. Major – Our current ordinance, 5-090, says that variances can be considered, can be submitted as an application when there are unique physical circumstances or conditions beyond that of surrounding properties. We talked about irregularity, narrowness or shallowness, and because of this the property cannot otherwise be developed. About a year and a half ago we started this discussion in our subcommittee reviewing Section 5, and at that time we recognized that Planning Commission and City Council have regularly approved variance requests that didn’t fall into that narrow definition but dealt with issues of environmental circumstances or historical or safety. We granted variances for fewer parking spaces to save a giant oak tree. We have allowed variances for historical buildings to exist within setback requirements. We’ve allowed stairways into the setbacks because of safety issues; people that could not get themselves out of their third floor. I can’t remember ever saying no to an oak tree, a safety issue, or an old building. That is why we came up with this language to say that let’s recognize in our ordinance what we’ve done as a practice. I think generally the public doesn’t understand when we talk about hardships to the property and even tonight the hardship didn’t really address the issues as stated within our ordinance. We drafted the language and one of the things about irregular lots, or narrow lots, or environmental, safety, or historical issues, if the property changes hands, those circumstances are still there. If I sell my home and I’ve got a big oak tree and I created a variance to save that tree and somebody buys my home that tree is still there. The same if it is a historical building, it is still going to be a historical building. If there is a safety issue it goes between property owners. We have introduced this concept of disability which I think is a tremendous sentiment but if I request a variance because of a personal disability and I get well, don’t have the disability, or move out, does the new owner have to remove what was constructed because now I have a disability for which the driving condition no longer exists? We say in that new paragraph, just after new number 3, we say a request for a variance and the granting of a variance shall not be based upon consideration of personal or financial hardship and I submit that a personal disability is a personal hardship; we are contradicting that. I think it is a great sentiment but I think it is wrought with danger moving forward. You are no longer tying a zoning variance to a property but now to a personal circumstance. I think that is a giant leap from where we have been. Ms. Bryan – I agree with you. I was the one wanting to get that disability part in there just because we had done it before. I still think we should tie that somehow to this safety issue. Mr. Major – If it is a safety issue for me because I have a cast on my leg but it is not a safety issue for you then we are tying it to a personal hardship. I can say it is a great sentiment and Council can always grant variances. Council can look at circumstances and they prove that regularly. But to write into an ordinance something based on personal hardship, I think is a mistake. 19 Ms. Bryan – Maybe if we took the personal hardship out but left in the disability because if you put an elevator in and you sell your house, the elevator is still going to be there. Mr. Major – If you and I have identical homes on identical lots and we both want an elevator but you have someone that would qualify as disabled in your family, you can get your elevator but I can’t get mine because we are not looking at the property. Ms. Bryan – You wouldn’t need it but I would. Mr. Major – But then someday you’re not going to need it and now you’ve got an elevator and I don’t. Mr. Callahan – Can you make a variance temporary or until no longer needed? Ms. Bryan – No. I do agree with you [referring to Mr. Major] in re-reading this again. It doesn’t match because we are putting physical into concrete stuff so I do agree with you but I still think that somehow, someway, we need to put something somewhere because we see it all the time. Mr. Parks – To pick that sentiment up, I think John [Major] is absolutely right that Council has the right to grant a variance for somebody that their only option is to put something in and that would be on a case by case, demonstrate your need, basis. If we write it in here that if you have a physical disability, do we ask them to prove it, do we ask to the extent? We’re on that slippery slope of we’ve written something that we can’t enforce. Ms. Otto – I don’t work with it on a daily basis but I know there are medical privacy laws where I would not be comfortable asking for information about somebody’s disability. Ms. Bryan – Being a nurse and a director, yes, you can for a situation like this. You couldn’t discuss it with other people but if they were asking for variance and you have to give a legal document, yes, you can. Just like when you get Medicaid for some disability, you have to provide documentation. Ms. Otto – I’m not vested in whatever direction you choose to go with this. Not related to the people’s disabilities, as far as the environmental that’s been added, I can recall two variances that were approved for trees, one very quickly and one several years later, one commercial and one residential, that those trees were removed. The people got their variances based on an environmental factor but the tree did not survive the length of the benefit they received from having a variance. Mr. Bishop – Last month I asked how was “legitimate considerations” defined because I couldn’t find it anywhere. That led us to the creation of the new paragraph 2. To accommodate the discussions John [Major] and Randi [Bryan] were having, why wouldn’t the current wording of subparagraph number 1, that says “related to environment or to safety peculiar to the particular property” allow that to fall within the prevue of Council to grant a variance specifically specifying fulltime occupancy by an individual with a physical disability. We are creating a unique class and I think that is going to open up, potentially with that wording, other unique potential classes for variances. Variances pass to the property not to the individual. This is the Land Development Code, a property issue, not a personal item. Ms. Otto – During that discussion last month it was, at a time, proposed health and safety in that section. Mr. Parks – Safety has been the catchall for physical disability. Mr. Parks – If they need a fire escape from the second floor, and it’s in the setback but it’s the only way out. It’s that type of thing – safety. Ms. Bryan – Why don’t we take it out? 20 Mr. Major – Remove Section 2. Mr. Parks – I would be very happy with that. Ms. Otto – As a side note, my addition of occupied fulltime was based on conversations I’ve had with people who have grandpa that comes once a year and cannot get up the stairs. They want to install a ramp but it needs a variance and I was trying to clarify that your direction with this would not be to accommodate a once a year visitor but it would have to be somebody that actually lived fulltime in the structure. Mr. Major – I think we should also remove the red part of Section 3 which will now be Section 2. Mr. Bishop – Dianne [Otto], to accommodate your comment, if you added the word in paragraph one “…there are unique full-time physical circumstances or conditions beyond that…,” would that not accommodate the annual visit? It still puts it within the peculiar to the particular property addressing the property versus individuality. Ms. Otto – That would be a solution. Mr. Major – If we take out the personal handicap disability then that is no longer an issue. Mr. Bishop – No, not necessarily. That may be a safety issue peculiar to the property that may be entitled to a variance. I’m just not comfortable with making it specifically fulltime to an individual and physical disability because that doesn’t go to the land. Ms. Bryan – We should take that out too. I’ve got one more thing I would like to take out. The second paragraph in red, not numbered, it says “…a request for a variance and granting shall not be based upon consideration…,” I believe we should take out personal and just leave financial. Mr. Major – Shall not be based on personal – isn’t that what we’re saying? Ms. Bryan – No, if we take out 2 we need to take out this personal. Mr. Parks – I think you’re right. Mr. Major – It says we shall not grant a variance based on personal considerations. Mr. Parks – If we take out 2 and put personal into that paragraph, it becomes boilerplate. Ms. Bryan – I don’t think it should have been in there anyway. Mr. Major – Take the whole sentence out and the whole self-imposed hardship. I think we should lose that paragraph in red and lose 2. Mr. Bishop – If you go back to 1, the way it is currently worded would cover all of these because that is peculiar to the particular property dealing with environment, safety, historical significance, irregularity, shallowness, or whatever. That is what it is about and you have to come in with that as your variance. Mr. Parks – Start with A and “with consideration”, strike that paragraph, if I understand right. “A request for a variance and the granting of a variance” all the way through to “physical circumstance, condition, or consideration.” 21 Ms. Otto – The last sentence in that paragraph, “a nonconforming use or structure does not constitute a unique physical condition.” There has been confusion during discussions if a structure is nonconforming that that justifies a variance. I would like that incorporated somewhere so we don’t lose track in discussions that a nonconforming use is not a hardship. Ms. Bryan – Or you could put it with number 3. Mr. Parks – Yes, that works with number 3. Mr. Major – Back to number 1 in red we say that “conditions beyond that of surrounding properties including substandard lot size.” I would like that to say “a substandard lot of record” which says that the lot existed before March 24, 1971. There are a lot of substandard lots around. Ms. Otto – The substandard lot size there and the nonconforming use that I just referred to are based on that legal action. Mr. Major – It was a substandard lot of record. A substandard lot could be something that was created yesterday. I would reference the section. Mr. Parks – You’re saying only substandard lot sizes from 1938 or beyond. Mr. Major – No, 1971. Mr. Parks – 1971 or beyond. Mr. Major – I think it is important enough to look at Substandard Lots, Section 3-040: “Any lot of record that existed at the time of the adoption of this ordinance from which this section is derived, March 24, 1971, which has a lot area which is less than that required by this Land Development Code shall be subject to the following...” It can be developed if certain things happen without a variance. If it has water and sewer and meets all setback requirements. If it doesn’t meet setback requirements then it can request a variance, and that can be a way to get in to ask for a variance. We’ve included that but it is not just substandard lots. Ms. Otto – I agree with that. Mr. Parks – If tonight’s vote had gone otherwise and if we were Council and if had created a substandard lot tonight, it’s not a substandard lot of record by your definition. Mr. Major – Which is why I voted against that. It’s not my definition. Mr. Parks – Okay, by the LDC. Then on the lot that we would have created tonight, even if they were within setback requirements, it would still request a variance. Mr. Otto – No. Mr. Major – No. My only question was is that a substandard lot of record as defined? Mr. McNaughton – What are we actually trying to do here with adding a substandard lot of record? Mr. Major – How many times people have come to Planning Commission and in some cases been denied because we said you don’t meet our very narrow definition of a hardship? Our counsel, Bubba Hughes, said that he had case law in Georgia where the fact that a lot was a substandard lot of record does in itself define a hardship and therefore make 22 them eligible to request a variance. We heard that so many times I finally said I said, let’s put it in the ordinance if we are going to do it. Ms. Otto – I will send the legal action that John Major is referring to so you can read the document. Mr. McNaughton – If changed as proposed, you could still build on a substandard lot or one that was plotted after 1971 if you got a variance? Mr. Major – Yes, you would be asking for a variance in lot size. Staff can grant a building permit on a lot built before March 24, 1971, that meets all the setback requirements, has water and sewer, without coming before the Planning Commission. So if you have a 6,000 square feet lot and a 12,000 square feet requirement, Dianne grants a permit. Ms. Otto – That is correct. Ms. Bryan – But the one tonight, you would still have to get a variance. If we require 12,000 square feet lot and this is only 5,400, you’re still not meeting the requirements of the zoning district so you would still need a variance. Ms. Otto – No, not if it is a lot of record. There are many, many lots in R-1 where that 12,000 high standard is, that are developed without setback encroachments at the staff level. Mr. Major – Did those lots of record exist before March 24, 1971? Ms. Otto – They are lots of record. I don’t know the date they became lots of record. If they’ve been through Council and been approved as a subdivision, for example, and that standard lot size was not required when that subdivision was created, they become lots of record and can be developed. Mr. Parks – I’m open to a motion. Mr. Major – I recommend approval of the ordinance in front of us with the changes that have been suggested here which include adding in Section 1 substandard lot of record, removal of paragraph 2 altogether, removing from 3 which now becomes 2 the words “or to the use of the property by a fulltime occupant”, removal of all of the following paragraph and renumbering it as number 3 and removing of the first and second sentence leaving as number 3, “a nonconforming use or structure does not constitute a unique physical circumstance, condition or consideration.” Ms. Otto – May we also go back to the first paragraph where it is currently referring to 1, 2, and 3 and clarify that if Item 1 is satisfied then there is no 2 or 3. Mr. Callahan – Second. Mr. Parks – Those in favor, please signify. [Vote was unanimous.] Mr. Callahan – Move we adjourn. [There was no second.] Mr. Parks – Thank you everyone. Meeting ended at 21:35 Minutes by Jerris Bryant; edited by Dianne Otto