Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting 05/13/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Zoning Appeals met for an advertised meeting on Monday, May 13 at 7:00pm. Following is a summary with full audio of the meeting: 

  1. Call to order – Pledge of Allegiance 
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Darrell Stidham, Danny Oakley, Paul Collier, Zach Payne and Barry Early. Also in attendance was Tony Jackson.
  3. New Business
    • 131 Herbert Drive (Variance Request for Carport)
      • Petitioner is requesting a variance to install a carport over his driveway to cover his vehicles. Mr. Stidham asked for more information. The petitioner said that the cover will protect the vehicles from hail or damage. He’s requesting a variance for the ordinance regarding setback from the road. He said that he thinks the distance is 50-55 feet and that Tony Jackson (Building Commissioner) said that he would need a variance. The petitioner said that the carport would not go to the sidewalk that it’s 19×20 feet. Tony Jackson clarified that the setback rules state 55 feet from the center of the road or 35 feet from the edge of the road. Mr. Stidham said that when he measured from the center of the road to the edge of the house was 55 feet. He asked how close the carport will be to the sidewalk. The petitioner said it will be at least two feet from the sidewalk.
      • Mr. Stidham said that the request does not comply with the ordinance and the petitioner said that’s why he’s requesting the variance. Mr. Stidham asked about other structures on his property.
      • Questions from the board:
        • Barry Early – He asked if the petitioner had previously installed the carport. The petitioner said that he was asking questions of the city and was told that the BZA variance was really “just a formality” so he thought he could get approval. Mr. Early asked for clarification on the timing of the carport construction. The petitioner said that he has appeared before the board before (represented by his mother the first time), and received an order to remove the structure at his second visit. This is his third appearance. Mr. Early noted that the owner has a two car garage and asked how many vehicles the petitioner owns. The petitioner said that he currently has two and is getting his son one soon. Mr. Early asked why he doesn’t park his cars in the garage. The petitioner said he has a pool table and entertainment area in his garage. Mr. Early asked questions about how the carport is anchored and the petitioner explained the frame is anchored by concrete. Mr. Early said that if he uses concrete to anchor it that makes it a permanent structure and is against the ordinance.
        • Zach Payne – He asked how long the ordinance has existed that restricts this carport and how long the setback has been in place. Tony Jackson said that the setbacks have been in place since the original construction in the 1990s and that Indiana Code sets the definition of a structure. Mr. Stidham said that the city’s codes follow the state codes and there are no variances allowed. Tony Jackson said that there are five criteria required to grant a variance. Mr. Payne asked if this board has granted a similar variance for a permanent structure. Tony Jackson said that each individual variance sets on its own merits. Mr. Early said that Indiana Code does not set precedence. Mr. Stidham said that in recent years the Plan Commission restructured certain city codes and that he made a motion to the board at that time that the residences of the city would not have more than two accessory buildings on their property.
      • Motion to deny variance made by Paul Collier
      • Motion seconded by Barry Early
      • Unanimous denial the variance petition.
    • Barry Early noted that the Board had not yet approved the prior meeting’s minutes.
      • Motion to approve made by Paul Collier
      • Seconded by Zach Payne
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
    • 7921 Stacy Road (Variance request to split lot)
      • Tony Jackson represented the property owner in this instance.
      • Mr. Stidham said that from what he can determine from the documents provided there’s never been a clarification of what the property is.
      • Tony Jackson said that the petitioner is requesting a variance to split a lot and for access off of a private drive. Mr. Jackson said there are three other houses on the private drive and that the petitioner knows he needs to clarify shared access to the drive on the deed.
      • Motion to grant variance contingent upon successful attainment of the deed made by Barry Early
      • Seconded by Paul Collier
      • No additional discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  4. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Paul Collier
    • Seconded by Zach Payne
    • Unanimous Approval

Full audio available here (26:48):

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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