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HomeMy Public PortalAboutZBA Minutes 2005-09-20CITY CITY OF RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS 817) 299-1870 • 3200 DIANA DRIVE •RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS • 76118 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ND REGULAR MEETING MINUTES CITY OF RICHLAND HILLS ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT SEPTEMBER 20, 2005 1. CALL TO ORDER Chairman Brantley called the meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to order at 7:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers of Richland Hills City Hall. Regular members present: Al Hamilton, William Fey, Joe Moore, and Chairman Malvin Brantley. Regular member absent: Eddie Leon Nelson. Alternate member present: Mike Logan, who will be seated tonight in Member Nelson's absence. Staff members present: Director of Community Development Howard Gregory, City Attorney Tim Sralla, and Recording Secretary Linda Cowart. 2. APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST 16, 2005 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES Member Moore made note that the word "unanimously" on page 5, under "vote on motion" should be eliminated. Motion: A motion was made by Member Fey, and seconded by Member Moore, to accept the minutes as corrected. Vote on Motion: The motion carried by a vote of 4 to 0, with Alternate Member Logan abstaining since tonight is his first meeting. Before hearing case no. 12-05, Chairman Brantley explained what an appeal for a variance is, the interpretation thereof, and the procedures that the Board follows: Basically, the definition of a variance is when a person feels the literal enforcement of a zoning ordinance results in an unnecessary hardship developing the land. It is not Printed on Recycled Paper Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 2 intended for a special privilege for one piece of property and not another. A variance shall not be granted to relieve a self created or personal hardship, nor shall a variance be granted for financial reasons. Since our Board is a quasi judicial body, any decision must be in conformity with the provisions and the statutes of the State of Texas. An appeal of a decision of this Board must be presented to a court of record, District Court, within ten days. Regulations require that all those giving pertinent testimony are to be sworn in. First, we will hear from the applicant, to be sworn in, and give justification for the variance request. Second, we will hear from others that wish to speak in favor of the request. Three, we will then hear from others that wish to speak against the variance. Four, the applicant will have the opportunity for rebuttal and answer any questions that may arise. Board members may ask any questions that they may have to clarify any questions that they may have. 3. CASE N0.12-OS REQUEST FOR VARIANCE UNDER SECTION 90-52(3) OF THE CITY OF RICHLAND HILLS ZONING ORDINANCE TO ALLOW OWNER TO VARY FROM THE DEVELOPMENT CONTROLS SET FORTH IN CHAPTER 90, SECTION 90-334 "CARPORTS" (B) (2) "SIZE", AND ERECT A CARPORT IN THE R-1 RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3824 NORTON DRIVE, BLOCK 56, LOT 1, RICHLAND HILLS ADDITION (REQUESTED BY LEVOY C. GILSTRAP) L.C. Gilstrap, applicant, 3824 Norton Drive, was sworn in. He explained to the Board that he wants to build a cover for his travel trailer to protect it from the elements. The plans that he submitted to Mr. Gregory do not meet the City's requirements carports. Alternate Member Logan requested that Chairman Brantley clarify whether the request is a complete deviation from the construction requirements that are set in item B, subparagraph 2, Size, from the twenty foot length, twenty four foot width, and nine foot height. Chairman Brantley affirmed that on the application, Mr. Gilstrap requested a variance from the requirements for `size' of carports. Alternate Member Logan asked Mr. Gilstrap if there is already a concrete slab there. Mr. Gilstrap verified that there is a concrete slab there now that was permitted in 1993. Alternate Member Logan asked Mr. Gilstrap to explain to the Board why he is asking for the eighteen foot dimensions on the carport. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 3 Mr. Gilstrap stated that he wants to make sure the travel trailer is totally covered. It is exposed now to the west sun, and by making the roof eighteen feet wide there would be some protection from the late evening sun. It would be located at the very back of the property, about thirty to thirty-five feet from the fence line to Hardisty Street, which is the only road that comes into that corner lot through a separate, back gate. The approach and concrete were approved years ago along with the utilities. Alternate Member Logan asked if the carport is going to have any sides to it, and wanted to know the size of the trailer. Mr. Gilstrap confirmed that the carport will be an open metal structure, with four by four poles, and type `R' roofing with welded metal trusses. The trailer, including tongue and all, is approximately thirty-eight feet long; the actual trailer is about thirty five and a half feet long. Alternate Member Logan asked Mr. Gilstrap the height of the structure. Mr. Gilstrap stated that the height of the structure, giving clearance for the air conditioners on top of the trailer, would make it about fourteen feet tall. The house is about fifteen feet tall, so it should fall below the peak of the house. Since the carport will be erected on the back of a side lot it will hardly be noticeable. Alternate Member Logan advised that Mr. Gilstrap's diagram shows that the height is going to be twelve feet to the bottom of the ceiling joist, and that the peak of the roof line is going to be fourteen feet. Mr. Gilstrap believed that there will be just enough pitch to run off a little rainwater; the peak will actually have a ridge row on it. Member Moore stated that section 90-334 (a) speaks of the location, and the only description of the carport given is `an attached carport'. This carport will not be attached so do the dimensions for an attached carport apply to a detached carport? Mr. Gregory informed Mr. Gilstrap that he had received a code enforcement complaint stating that someone was living in the travel trailer. Mr. Gilstrap assured Mr. Gregory that no one is living in the trailer, but is rather an overflow in case he has extra guests want to stay there. Alternate Member Logan asked for clarification concerning the requirements for a detached carport. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 4 Attorney Sralla acknowledged that the only reference in the code to an attached carport is section 90-334 (a) (1), which relates to the front building setback line. All others refer to carports generally, so all the other regulations would apply to either attached or detached. It's just that one particular provision that permits only an attached carport to extend beyond the front building line. Alternate Member Logan required clarification that the provisions do apply to an attached as well as detached carport, except for the building line requirement. Attorney Sralla verified that to be correct, that all of the regulations apply to both attached and detached carports, except for the one provision which permits only attached carports to extend beyond the front building line, so a detached carport would not be permitted to extend beyond the front building line. That is the only differential. Alternate Member Logan asked if any property owners were notified, and if any responded approval or opposition to the structure. Mr. Gregory responded that there were twenty-one letters mailed to surrounding property owners, and there were no responses. Chairman Brantley affirmed that if there were enough responses in opposition to the application, it would affect the number of Board of Adjustment votes needed to grant the variance request. Alternate Member Logan said that it is apparent then that the City has had no complaints about the mobile home sitting on that property. Mr. Gregory advised that there had been one complaint about it. Mr. Gilstrap stated that there have been other vehicles on that property from time to time, including a trailer and another motor home which was used for familial guests only. The motor home is not being rented out. Member Moore wanted to know what year the ordinance regulating the size of accessory buildings was written. Mr. Gregory responded that the ordinance was written in December 2000. Member Moore questioned if those that are larger in size were erected before 2000. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes r September 20, 2005, Page 5 Mr. Gregory (Inaudible.) Alternate Member Logan requested that Mr. Gregory repeat what he just said. Mr. Gregory (Inaudible.) Member Moore questioned if Mr. Gregory recalled, as far as precedence is concerned, where this Board has granted a variance for the length or height of the same type of structure during the time he has been working for the City. Mr. Gregory (Inaudible.) Chairman Brantley advised, for the record, that this Board has previously denied a request for variance for a storage building, with the dimensions thirty feet by forty two feet, for the purpose of housing the homeowner's motor home. Member Hamilton inquired if Mr. Gilstrap's motor home is on concrete at this time, and if the only reason he wants to build the structure is for protection of the motor home. Mr. Gilstrap responded that it is on concrete at this time, and that the roof of the motor home probably would not withstand hail or damage of that kind, and it would cut the value by at least two thirds. Member Hamilton wanted to know if the motor home had received damage like that since it has been there. Mr. Gilstrap confirmed that the motor home has not received any damage of that kind. Chairman Brantley informed Mr. Gilstrap that a structure of this size seems too large for a back yard on property in the R-1 single family residential zoning district. Alternate Member Logan affirmed that his concern is the width, and asked Mr. Gilstrap if he would be willing to reduce the width. Mr. Gilstrap confirmed that he would if this were the only way he could get the variance. Member Logan respected Mr. Gilstrap's desire to protect his investment, and acknowledged that the sun, weather, and storm conditions are things we all have to deal with. He stated that an eighteen foot cover over a ten foot slab is pretty significant. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 6 Member Hamilton stated that the travel trailer is thirty-eight feet in length, and inquired as to the width of the trailer. Mr. Gilstrap responded that the travel trailer is nine feet wide, with aslide-out that comes out about three feet, and remains so when company stays there because it is too restrictive otherwise. Member Moore (Inaudible.) Chairman Brantley (Inaudible.) Motion: Member Moore made a motion to grant the variance as presented, as to the size of the structure, the location of the structure on the property, with a height of fourteen feet; and since the ordinance does not cover such things as RV's and motor homes, recommend that the City Council look at revising the ordinance to include shelters, or carports, for RV's. Mr. Gilstrap assured the Board that the carport would hardly be visible, either from the front of the house or the side street, which is Hardisty. There is a six foot fence and a lot of trees and greenery that would prevent it from being seen. Restatement of Motion: Member Moore moved that the variance request be granted as presented, with the exception that a maximum height of fourteen feet be defined, and that in conjunction with the approval of this variance the City Council be requested to address a potential change to the zoning ordinance regarding covers for motor homes and trailers. The motion died for lack of a second. New Motion: A motion was made by Member Hamilton, and seconded by Alternate Member Logan, to approve the request with the conditions that the carport not exceed twelve feet in width or fourteen feet in height from the highest point of the structure to the ground, and that the overhang not exceed more than one foot on either side of the existing concrete slab. Vote on New Motion: The motion failed 3 - 1, with regular members Hamilton, Moore, and Alternate member Logan voting affirmative, Chairman Brantley voting in opposition, and Member Fey abstaining. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 7 3. CASE NO. 13-OS REQUEST FOR VARIANCE UNDER SECTION 90-52 (3) OF THE RICHLAND HILLS ZONING ORDINANCE TO ALLOW OWNER TO VARY FROM THE DEVELOPMENT CONTROLS SET FORTH IN CHAPTER 90, SECTION 90-202 "SPECIAL CONDITIONS", AS AMENDED BY CITY ORDINANCE N0.986-04, SECTION 2 (bb), IN THE C-2 COMMERCIAL DISTRICT ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 6801 BAKER BOULEVARD, BLOCK 45, LOT 1, RICHLAND HILLS ADDITION REQUESTED BY ABDUL RAHMAN BANGURA) Applicant Abdul Rahman Bangura, PO Box 1163, Hurst, Texas, was sworn in. He briefly explained to the Board that he is requesting a variance to install a tire store at 6801 Baker Boulevard, which years ago was a gas station. Alternate Member Logan asked Mr. Bangura if he understands the provision that there is no outside storage allowed in the C-2 General Commercial zoning district within the city of Richland Hills. Mr. Bangura was confident that he does understand the provision that there is no outside storage allowed in the C-2 district, and that he also understands that the front bay doors must be locked, and positioned in the back. Alternate Member Logan affirmed that the front bay doors should be taken out and the openings enclosed rather than just locked, for access to the back only, so that the building would be in compliance with the city ordinance. Mr. Bangura stated that at this time he is financially unable to accomplish the front bay door enclosure, but that if allowed occupancy at this location, it is possible that he could become financially able to do this in the future. Alternate Member Logan stated that the Board is bound by the city ordinances, and that the request cannot be granted on what might occur in the future. One must stay in compliance with the ordinances. Member Moore asked Mr. Bangura if he has already signed a lease contract for the property and if he was aware of the code requirements when he signed the lease contract. Mr. Bangura responded that he has signed a lease contract on the property, and that he did not know anything about the code requirements until he came to the City to obtain a certificate of occupancy. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes err September 20, 2005, Page 8 Alternate Member Logan advised the applicant that no matter what kind of tire store would be built in the city, whether it is a new or existing building, they would not be able to have open bays in the front of the building facing the street. Everything would have to be a rear entry. The building needs improvements made, and there is some concern about the inability to use the front bay doors, how merchandise would be displayed and stored, how used tires would be stored, and the removal of used tires. Mr. Bangura feels that if the building continues to sit vacant it will continue to deteriorate. It would take time to bring the building up to code and to make needed repairs and clean up. There are three bays there now. One bay could be used for storage and the other two for fixing tires and the like, in much the same way that Discount Tires does their operations. The rear of the building is already open for bays, so the front bay doors could be closed and the back doors be used instead. A contractor will pick up discarded tires on a regular basis. Mr. Gregory stated that he was under the impression that Mr. Bangura's lease strongly hinged upon tonight's decision by the Board. Mr. Bangura confirmed that he has had a contract since Apri129, 2005, and doesn't know how the City's decision would impact the agreement. Mr. Gregory advised Mr. Bangura that it's his understanding that Nu Way Oil does not want to spend any money on the building, therefore, if he were granted a variance, then Nu Way Oil would not have to spend any money on the building. Member Fey inquired as to how many letters were mailed to surrounding property owners, and if there were any negative responses. Mr. Gregory responded that there were sixteen letters sent out, with one inquiry, but no opposition to Mr. Bangura's request. Alternate Member Logan stated that if this were to be approved, and the back screening fence repaired, it would be a help to the surrounding property owners. Attorney Sralla advised that because the building has been vacant for several years, under the zoning code for a new use, Mr. Bangura would be required to put up a six foot decorative masonry wall, and comply with the twenty foot buffer as well. Alternate Member Logan acknowledged that putting up a masonry wall would restrict Mr. Bangura from the rear entry, and prevent him from maneuvering automobiles in the back bay area, and asked Mr. Gregory if everyone down that commercial property line is required to be twenty feet off residential. Zoning Board of Adjustment Regular Meeting Minutes September 20, 2005, Page 9 Mr. Gregory (Inaudible). Alternate Member Logan stated that he thought the Board was dealing only with an existing structure and an existing property line. Mr. Gregory established that we are just deciding the issue of the bay doors tonight. Attorney Sralla confirmed to the Board that the application request is for a variance from the garage bay ordinance, so that should be the only decision tonight. The other issues can be considered at a subsequent meeting. Motion: A motion was made by Alternate Member Logan, and seconded by Member Fey to deny the request. Vote on Motion: The motion carried by a vote of 5 to 0. 5. PERSONAL APPEARANCES (CITIZEN PARTICIPATION REGARDING NON-SCHEDULED ITEMS AFFECTING THE ZONING AFFAIRS OF THE CITY) There were no personal appearances. 6. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business, Chairman Brantley declared that the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. y.--' C: Linda Cowart, Recor mg ecretary Malvin Brantley, Chairman