BOA - November 25th 2014
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Nov 25, 2014
The Board of Appeals met in rescheduled session on Tues, Nov 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Main Conference Room. Chairman Prcela presided.
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Present: Mr. Joseph Prcela (Chairman), Mr. Paul Fikaris (Chairman Pro Tem), Mrs. Shirley Shatten, Mr. William Russ, and Mr. Vetus Syracuse
Also Present: Ms. Diane Calta (Law Department), Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner), Mr. Jack Clifford (Building Inspector), Mr. Jim George (Building Inspector), and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)
CONSIDERATION OF MEETING MINUTES: May 20, 2014
Mr. Russ, seconded by Mrs. Shatten made a motion to approve the Minutes of May 20, 2014.
Ayes: Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Russ
Abstain: Mr. Syracuse
Motion Carried. Minutes Approved as Written.
CONSIDERATION OF CASE: #2014-04
Lynne Hamill & Tim Scasny
648 Meadowood Dr.
Appeal of the Building Commissioner’s Decision
- An appeal of the Building Commissioner’s Sept 8, 2014 pending status of permits for electrical, plumbing and gas piping for accessory building at 648 Meadowood Drive. Section 1105.02 (b) & (e).
ABUTTING PROPERTY OWNERS:
Board Member Pat Caticchio
Chairman Prcela called the meeting to order. I’d like to begin with the first organizational item, which is the resignation letter that was delivered to all the Board Members of our esteemed colleague, Mr. Pat Caticchio who has resigned for health reasons. I’d like to make a motion that this be put into the record.
Mr. Russ, seconded by Mr. Fikaris made a motion to accept the resignation letter of Mr. Pat Caticchio, effective immediately.
Motion Carried. Resignation Letter Approved.
OATH OF OFFICE
Board Member Vetus Syracuse
Chairman Prcela states the next order of business is our new Board Member who is Vetus Syracuse appointed by the Mayor to replace Pat who is resigning. Welcome to the Board.
Vetus Syracuse is sworn in by Assistant Law Director Diane Calta.
CONSIDERATION OF CASE NUMBER: 2014-04
Chairman Prcela states, we have only one item on the agenda tonight. At this point I’d like to open it up to a group swearing in.
Chairman Prcela stated that anyone wishing to speak must be sworn in, administering the oath to the Board Members, Applicants, & Appellants and asked anyone wishing to speak to state their name and address for the record.
Background by Building Commissioner
Ms. Calta requested a little background from Mr. Marrelli.
Mr. Marrelli begins. Back in April/May Tim came in and informed me he wanted to finish the out building. I questioned what he meant by that. He said he wanted to insulate and dry wall. Before I would issue any permits for that, I went back through the files to find that he never got an electrical permit for the wiring for the receptacles & lights, and we didn’t have permits for a lot of the plumbing, and we didn’t have permits or inspections for any of the gas piping. Between April and August we tried to get information from him. There are numerous e-mails, questionnaires and floor plans that went back and forth so we could try to determine exactly what was going to be done in the out building.
In August we got together with his attorney and went over the floor plans. We got to the point where we agreed on all of the electrical work with some stipulations; the gas piping and some plumbing work with more information that we were asking for that I needed to approve the plans. We drew the line at putting in a cooking device/appliance in the kitchen.
Please refer to the multi colored floor plan for the accessory building. What we have is a bathroom, kitchen, a recreation area complete with stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer, a sink and a bathtub.
Our ordinances, the way they’re written makes this a dwelling unit with these appliances in it…..
Attorney Bryan Carr interrupts. If I may Mr. Chairman, you asked for a little background, and now we’re talking about the ordinances…..
Ms. Calta advised Mr. Carr, you’ll have time to speak when it’s your turn. John, please continue…..
Mr. Carr said it’s not appropriate for your representative to start arguing the ordinances…..
Mr. Marrelli said she’s asking for my opinion, isn’t she?
Chairman Prcela jumps in. Let’s have John finish and then we’ll open it up.
Mr. Marrelli continues. To make a long story short, I drew the line at the cooking appliances because you can’t cook in an accessory building. It’s not permitted. It turns this supposedly storage building into a living unit. We drew the line meaning I issued for everything else in here but the cooking facilities.
History by Law Department
Ms. Calta states, for purposes of tonight, this is an appeal to the Board of Appeals from a decision that John has rendered in his Sept 8th letter. This is not a variance request. Keep that in mind. What John has summarized is that he’s looked at the pieces and parts of this. This Accessory Structure is a permitted Accessory Structure on this lot. Without going into a lot of the history, we do have some history with this structure. The starting point for this Board to know is that this structure as the footprint is currently existing on that lot today is permitted. It’s permitted as part of a settlement with the property. However, that Settlement Agreement says that any future construction that occurred after the date of the settlement was required to comply with the Village’s code.
When Mr. Scasny came in, that’s what we asked him to do, to let us know what permits and what things he wanted to do. We took some time to go back because this structure has been built over numerous years. We took a significant amount of time to make sure that anything he was asking for had not been previously permitted. We went through a list of all the permits that had been issued in the past to make sure that anything that had been previously permitted we were not interrupting in any way.
What we have right now is this floor plan and all of the components John’s looked at. We do have a very clear accessory living accommodation provision in the Village’s code that allows accessory living accommodations. However, cooking equipment is not permitted.
Chairman Prcela refers to that section; Planning & Zoning Code Section 1113.08; Dwellings & Other Living Accommodations.
Ms. Calta continued, this accessory structure has some of those components to it, it has some storage, and some features set out on the floor plan. But when we take all those into consideration, if it falls under the definition of what we would consider a dwelling unit, then we enter into the realm of having (2) two residential structures in a single family zone. This Board does not have the ability to grant zoning variances in the sense of rezoning property. That is only something in this Village that can be done by referendum.
Chairman Prcela thanked Ms. Calta and thank you for your patience Mr. Carr.
Mr. Fikaris asked for clarification. What is the decision we’re talking about?
Ms. Calta replied, John’s Sept 8th letter (attached). It breaks out plumbing permit application, gas piping & electrical permit applications. He sets forth his review of the permit applications that were submitted by Mr. Scasny and what would be required to approve all of those.
Presentation by Bryan Carr, Esq.
Bryan Carr, Esq introduced himself. My office is at 1392 SOM Center Rd, Mayfield Hts, Ohio. I’m not going to dispute or argue at this point comments made by Mr. Marrelli or Ms. Calta, extend or lengthen this hearing for the sake of getting into arguments. Mr. Fikaris, you asked what is being appealed here. I want to start off by saying this isn’t your usual customary appeal. I filed the appeal to preserve the rights that I think my clients have under the Codified Ordinances. It was my decision to bring this issue to this Board.
What my clients are appealing is the Sept 8th 2014 letter/decision of the Building Commissioner. Specifically we’re looking at page #2, a note/decision from Mr. Marrelli that states in quote;
Note: “Under no circumstances shall the issuance of this permit or any other permits previously issued or hereinafter issued be deemed to allow the owner of the premises to use the detached garage as a second habitable dwelling unit. The garage structure may not be used as a habitable dwelling unit”.
Mr. Carr said, that is the quote/unquote decision that leads us here today. That is the issue. It’s our position that there is no support under your Codified Ordinances for such a holding.
Some background your Counsel has touched on for a second. The exterior of this building and some other issues were a point of litigation that was resolved a number of years ago. Once that litigation was resolved, some construction continued. The permits were applied for that ultimately brought us here today. Between June and Aug & Sept of this year, I don’t believe there were any written agreements or otherwise that indicate some agreement or understanding.
Exhibits 1 – 5 by Bryan Carr, Esq. (Exhibits are in attachments at top of page)
Mr. Carr states, I want to take you back in time beginning with Nov 2006 when my clients first applied for a blanket permit.
The document describes work being done;
New gas main, egress, utilities to small house, new east side footer, etc etc.
What was being applied for was plumbing & electrical permits, and approved on 11/8/06 by Mr. Marrelli.
Ordinance Review Minutes Dec 14, 2010
Fast forward to 2010. Around Dec 2010 we had some neighbor complaints about what was going on with this structure. The Board of Appeals in Case #2010-02 began reviewing my client’s structure, permits, construction, etc. The position starting arising as to what could/couldn’t be placed inside this accessory structure. The B.O.A. referred the matter to the Ordinance Review Committee. Obviously there was concern and some confusion with regard to the ordinances.
Pages #5 & #6
This issue is clearly defined as an Accessory Use issue under 1157.06. In highlighting some of the comments, I don’t believe the Village and some of the neighbors were really understanding what was going on here. The Building Commissioner’s interpretation of what could/couldn’t go in here was differing from my client. At this point in 2010, my client was not represented by Counsel.
Mr. Marrelli states; “I decided we should re-look at this Ordinance. It doesn’t say if it’s one building or two at 675 sq. ft. maximum. My predecessor (Mr. Carr said for those of you who don’t remember, it’s Bernie Samac) has allowed that square footage no matter if it was one building or two.
Mr. Carr said, obviously the concern in Dec 2010 rightly or wrongly, is your Accessory Use Ordinance was a little bit on the vague side. Your Building Commissioner at that time in 2010 wanted clarification.
E-mail correspondence Jan 2011
Ordinance Review Minutes Jan 11, 2011
Fast forward to 2011. Again, this issue of what kind of permits are allowed, what’s permitted to go in there, the Village doesn’t really have a good answer for that.
Pages #4 - #6
While the B.O.A. is tabling this issue with Mr. Scasny’s accessory structure, it’s going back to the Ordinance Review Committee. The minute discussion on my client’s structure, permits, what’s permitted to go in there, heating, electrical, plumbing and what have you, is discussed.
There’s some discussion here I think is very important. We’ve got Mr. Marrelli and Mr. Saponaro having a discussion about exactly what this structure is.
Mr. Marrelli states; “That way, he (meaning my client) can’t have parties in there, watch TV and make popcorn because it’s full of wood.” At this time there was a dispute between the garage and a woodshed.
Mr. Saponaro then asked; “What does he want to use his garage for, a clubhouse?”
Mr. Marrelli replied; “Pretty much”.
Mr. Carr said indeed, that’s been the idea or concept that my clients have had, is that this is a “Man Cave” for lack of a better phrase.
At the end of this discussion, the Assistant Law Director makes a comment; “BZA was trying to distinguish a garage from a dwelling”.
Chairman Saponaro goes on to say; “The water’s muddy at best. Just because you have electricity and plumbing doesn’t mean you can live in it”.
Mr. Carr states, the following comment from Mr. Marrelli is very important and is what brings us here today. The Ordinance at issue, whether it’s dwelling, dwelling units or accessory structure, have not been changed at all. Mr. Marrelli states; “That’s why it’s on our Ordinance Review agenda, to try to determine at some point in time how we’re going to describe and draw the line so we don’t have accessory buildings like cabanas anymore”.
Mr. Carr said, as you all know, you’ve got cabana’s, carriage houses, large structures of many residences here in the Village, including four doors down from my client’s house.
Mr. Saponaro goes on to say; “Enforcement is nearly impossible when you start picking what items are allowed and not allowed in the structure. We have to clean that language up”.
Mr. Carr said, that is the Ordinance Review Committee Chairman’s comments “We have to clean that language up”. From Jan 2011 to the date today, that language has not been cleaned up or amended.
Letter to Hamill / Scasny dated Jan 12, 2011
The day after the Ordinance Review meeting, Mr. Marrelli writes a letter to Hamill/Scasny;
“At our Ordinance Review meeting on Jan 11th, it was recommended as part of our research, in an effort to revise the accessory building ordinance, that we could review photos of the interior of your garage.”
My clients of course provided the pictures and any other materials the Building Commissioner requested.
Ordinance Review Minutes Feb 8, 2011
Mr. Carr said, the Ordinance Review Committee meets again. This is now the third Ordinance Review Committee meeting that is solely directed at my client’s issue because no one seems to have a handle as to what an accessory structure can or cannot have.
Chairman Prcela interrupts, the agenda shows that it’s not solely directed at your client’s issue.
Mr. Carr apologizes. You’re right. There are other agenda items.
Mr. Carr brings attention to discussion by Mr. Marrelli;
“Mr. Marrelli has gone through other city ordinances. Nobody has gone down the road when it comes to the ‘accessory buildings’ definition to say you can’t have electric, water, etc., they say:
“Accessory structures in residential zones shall not contain or be used as dwelling units, home occupations, or for commercial or industrial purposes”.
Mr. Carr notes, those are other city’s ordinances. Those could have been adopted with language like this, but the Village did not do so.
The Chairman makes a comment that he doesn’t want to keep adding verbiage to the ordinances. The problem to him is that you’re putting more law on top of law.
The Assistant Law Director states she feels it needs more definition aside from the utilities argument.
Significantly, Mr. Marrelli comments; “We have two definitions of dwelling units in our codes and they contradict each other. It needs to be cleaned up”.
Mr. Carr said it’s never been cleaned up since Feb 8, 2011.
Another comment by Mr. Marrelli;
“Our accessory structure ordinance is unclear because it uses pleural and singular language in the same paragraph. We have to be specific in how many buildings are going to be allowed and what the maximum size is per building or per two buildings.”
Mr. Carr said, you never cleaned it up. It’s remained on the books as is with no direction, no instruction.
Mr. Marrelli recommends the Committee brainstorm on how to get a solid definition consistent through your zoning code of what a dwelling unit is.
That was never done. Section 1157.06 has remained the same.
Further down on this same page, the Building Commissioner clarified the minutes that the sanitary sewer was approved in 2006 and Mr. Scasny ran a gas line to the generator.
Mr. Carr said, these minutes conclude with the Chairman wording that the Village is going to be violating its own ordinances if it continues to put Mr. Scasny through these paces.
This concludes Bryan Carr’s interpretation of Exhibits.
Mr. Carr states, what we’re asking for quite simply is that this Board articulate a directive or a mandate or a decision indicating that this decision or finding or mandate from the Building Commissioner is reversed or is not well founded. I ask you to look at your own Codified Ordinances and ask yourself; where does it say this? Where does his quote in his letter contain in any one of your Codified Ordinances? There was some discussion from Mr. Marrelli going back to the summertime explaining how this matter came to pass in the summertime. I’ll put my two cents in and indicate for this Board Mr. Chairman, that I’ve asked that same question I just asked, where is this located in your Codified, three times between July and today. I’ve never gotten an answer. In the Sept 8th letter, Mr. Marrelli begins by calling this an accessory building, twice. And then in his little quote on page 2 he refers to it as a garage structure again. We have inconsistent language here. What I think is also significant is Mr. Marrelli’s decision leads to a dwelling unit. What’s inconsistent with his concern in my opinion is that verbally Mr. Marrelli, your Building Commissioner asked my client to install not two, but four smoke detectors in the garage. Two ionized and two photoelectric. My client did. Why did Mr. Marrelli request that? Because for this “Man Cave”, it’s a good idea. There was some discussion about safety and things of that nature at one of these meetings I just identified. The Building Commissioner wanted four smoke detectors in this accessory building. My client did it. My client has always worked with the Village and the Building Commissioner whether it was Mr. Samac or Mr. Marrelli.
In one of the minutes I read, the Building Commissioner’s concern was that the Planning and Zoning Code had two definitions of Dwelling and one definition of Dwelling Unit; 1145.01, 1113.08 and 1113.08 (b). Back in Feb 2011, Mr. Marrelli didn’t like that because they were conflicting. Before I came here, I took a look at your Codified and noticed that notwithstanding all these Ordinance Review meetings, 1113.08 (a) & (b) are the same and 1145.01 is still the same. So, nothing has been changed.
Residents can only act when ordinances give them the instruction, the clear unambiguous instruction how to act. There is nowhere in your Codified that states accessory buildings can’t have a kitchen, or a TV, or a washer & dryer. Nowhere. The Committee wanted it, there was some discussion about it, but it’s just not there.
I’d also direct this Committee to a couple of addresses where very large accessory structures are on the property; 6835 Metro Pk Dr, 6818 Metro Pk Dr, and Oakton Circle. Some of these have pools with very large cabanas. Are those dwelling units? Are those dwellings? Your Codified doesn’t speak to it. It just doesn’t give me direction.
Ms. Calta asked, have you brought those permits with you that the Village issued for those addresses?
Mr. Carr replied, no.
Ms. Calta asked, are you aware there are no permits for those?
Mr. Carr replied no, I’m not aware.
Ms. Calta said, because you didn’t look.
Mr. Carr said I’m not going to answer questions. Let me finish my presentation.
Chairman Prcela advised we’re going to keep this civil.
Mr. Carr said my point is you’ve got cabanas, you’ve got large accessory buildings in the Village. You just don’t have the Codified language to back up Mr. Marrelli’s mandate, holding, or whatever you’d call it.
Mr. Carr concludes. I would ask that this Board reverse or redirect the Building Commissioner to issue the permits. No one is asking for any electrical codes to be shortcut or curtailed. The mandate that this not be used as a dwelling, dwelling unit or otherwise, that just simply cannot stand. Thank you.
Chairman Prcela opened up the floor for any questions, comments or concerns.
Diane Bernstein 6765 Meadowood Dr. introduced herself. I live adjacent to them. We share a property line. I’ve been against this building for a long time because I see 42 lineal feet of property. It has obliterated my green space. Mr. Carr is talking about a lack of consistency with verbiage and he calls Tim’s drawing in 2006 a little house and after the Court Settlement he’s renamed it a mini storage/tool garage. As a neighbor I completely oppose the improvements that have happened as well as any moving forward. It’s an eyesore. It’s lit up. Right now he’s got X-Mas lights on. The other night he was out there with the power washer in the evening once we had the time change. He’s got enough electricity out there to light up the whole back yard and to run all the things we’ve talked about, the heat, A/C, the bathroom, kitchen, the laundry & the big screen T.V. I’ve had dinner in the building. I know what it looks like. I’ve seen the couch, the T.V., the whole thing. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. It is in every sense a dwelling. I see absolutely no justifiable reason for him to continue with this power.
A few years ago when this was in court, Diane Calta and John Marrelli called me into Mr. Diemert’s Law office and said, and I’m paraphrasing here, they said it’s not completely a final decision, but we’re thinking we’re going to let this stay and there’s going to be nuisance settlement because it’s just too much for us to litigate. At that point, I didn’t own the home. I wouldn’t have bought the home if I didn’t believe what they told me. What they told me was there would be absolutely no dwelling unit and there would be absolutely no further work on the property. I put in my trees and thought life would be peaceful. It’s never happened, it’s never stopped.
About a year or so ago, Tim added another window on the back of the house. That’s not on the original plan he submitted back then. Then he put an air conditioning unit in that window. This is after the two of you told me he wasn’t going to work on it any further. He already has A/C on the 1st floor, now he’s added A/C to the 2nd floor. Why does he need air conditioning on the 2nd floor if it’s not a dwelling?
Back when we were in our days of talking to each other, both of them had shared with me verbally that it is a dwelling, and the reasons why it was a dwelling, which I certainly won’t embarrass anyone by saying. That was shared with me.
Diane Bernstein concludes. At the meeting we had in the big room, there were two gentlemen whom I believe were from the Ordinance Committee, they both stood up and spoke vehemently against letting the building stay as it was. One of them used the expression that if it were allowed to stay, it would be a slippery slope, then you’d have other residents following suit, doing things without permits, etc. Here we are 2, 3 & 4 years later, I don’t know if any other residents have followed suit, but we’ve got the same resident still doing things without permits like he’s untouchable. I don’t know how today’s meeting’s going to end. I don’t know if he’s going to try and sue the Village again to get whatever it is he’s requesting. I ask this Board, this time stand your ground. If it requires litigation, follow through with it. I see this as something that is never going to end. You give him an inch, he takes a foot. You give him a foot, he takes a mile. Thank you.
Chairman Prcela thanked Ms. Bernstein for her testimony. Would anyone else like to speak?
Lynne Hamill 648 Meadowood Dr. introduced herself (applicant). The time it would take to clarify what’s been said is not worth it. That was perspective description. It was not accurate according to the facts and Mr. Marrelli can verify that by permits that were given for things like the air conditioner install…..
Ms. Bernstein interrupts, after the fact.
Chairman Prcela reminds everyone we’re going to try and keep this civil. One person will speak at a time.
Lynne Hamill continued. Very simply, the long view of what appears, the inside view, the chronological view or any sort of view at all, that’s verifiably accurate. There’re ways to verify what you have and pretty much so not even an issue.
Chairman Prcela thanked Ms. Hamill. Anybody else?
Tim Scasny 648 Meadowood Dr. introduced himself (applicant). I’m not blocking anything of her view or her woods. It’s not on her property. If it’s blocking anything, it blocks my view of my woods.
Lynne Hamill said, and that’s all been verified. It’s all on paper.
Chairman Prcela thanked Mr. Scasny and opened up to the Law Department.
Ms. Calta makes a couple points of clarification. We’ve been on a nice journey through history here. What’s important is the issue that’s before the Board today. I don’t want that to get confused by what has happened in the past and what Ordinance Review or other Committee’s or Commissions may have looked at and decided and had before them years ago.
What’s before this Board is the decision John made based upon three applications that came into him; one plumbing, one electrical and one gas permit. Those were specific permits for a toilet, a bathtub, a hand sink, a kitchen sink, an outdoor sink, a sink next to a washer, a washer, a Jacuzzi, a dryer, an electrical cooktop, a refrigerator, an electric base board heater, a dryer, and a gas water heater. That’s what’s before the Board because that’s the decision you’re looking at that John rendered based upon these permits.
John is not in a position to rezone property. The Board is not in a position to rezone property. The definitions of dwelling we can sit here and look at or code, dwelling unit, dwelling structure, accessory dwelling. We can look at the Ohio Building Code. The Ohio Building Code has probably 3 or 4 different definitions of a dwelling.
What I want to make sure the Board is aware of is a very simple provision of the Code. I don’t think it’s inconsistent, I don’t think that it’s subject to interpretation from five different views. This is an accessory structure. We’re not going to debate whether it can be where it is or be what it is. That cow’s out of the barn. We know that we have a structure. Any construction that continues on inside it, after the day of the Settlement, which was April of 2012, is required to be permitted. These new things that Mr. Scasny is doing inside, you can ask, why does he need this? I don’t think we need to go there. He’s asked for these things. All of these things taken together would be considered a dwelling unit.
We allow storage, we allow pieces and parts of things, but when do you cross over that line. The accessory living accommodations definition says it can be a building that is used for accommodations for occupants. That means you can have a living accommodation, but you just cannot have cooking equipment in it. This can’t be another dwelling. Mr. Carr asked three or four times where our code says you can’t have another dwelling unit. Mr. Carr was given the answer three or four times but it wasn’t the answer that he wanted. This is a single family zone. The only thing that’s permitted in a single family zone is a single family dwelling. That means one. Single means one. The last time I looked, Webster’s hasn’t changed that definition. They haven’t taken it out of the dictionary or changed it. Single means one.
Now, we have another structure, we’ll call it accessory. We can’t live in it. That’s what the provision of John’s letter says; you can’t live in it. You can do everything you want. You can’t cook in it. There’s a reason for that, there’s safety reasons behind it.
Ms. Calta concludes. The Code I think in a sense is very clear. We struggled with questions in the past that were very different than what’s before this Board. I don’t think there’s any inconsistencies, any confusion. Yes, the Village did look very carefully at the accessory provisions, requirements on sizes and things it can be used for. We’ll agree Mr. Carr, nothing has been revised in the Code since that time with regard to those provisions. There’s been other changes.
Chairman Prcela thanked Ms. Calta. Mr. Carr mentioned 1157.06 Accessory Uses in his case, but I believe that Section deals more with square footage. That ship has sailed. The question before this Board is very simple. It’s whether Mr. Marrelli’s assessment that if we were to allow cooking, would it be more than an accessory use, would it be a dwelling. When I look at the Code, it’s very clear that a single family zoning is just that. There’s one single family dwelling allowed and there are allowable accessories. You’ve seen sheds, cabanas, garages. I think everyone will agree this is more of an accessory building, in my personal opinion.
Section 1113.08 (f) defines accessory living accommodations; “means a building, or part thereof, used solely as accommodations for occupants, personal guests, or persons employed on the premises or other nonpaying transients and in which no cooking or similar housekeeping equipment is provided”.
I think that Code is very clear as to what is and what is not allowed in an accessory use. My perspective is this is an accessory use. If it were a dwelling, this would be a very simple meeting, you can’t have two dwellings on one parcel in this zone. My personal take is John’s on the right path, allowing a cooking permit here would give every element needed to define this not so much an accessory use as a dwelling unit.
Chairman opens up to Board Members comments.
Board Members Comments:
Mr. Russ states, looking at the drawing and everything here, this is a dwelling. It’s not an accessory building. An accessory building is for storage and that’s about it. Putting air conditioning on the second floor, he can make a bedroom. This is not a storage building. This is a dwelling. I wouldn’t want it near my house and I live on that street.
Chairman Prcela asked John, are you denying an electrical line for a cooktop?
Mr. Marrelli replied, I haven’t denied anything as far as the plumbing, gas piping, or electrical. I denied the use of the building as a dwelling unit and denied the cooking appliance. Let me just clarify, these things have all been done already. I don’t know exactly when. It’s an ongoing project for 13 years now. We finally caught up to try to research and decide what we had looked at and what we haven’t looked at. We pared it down to getting an electrical permit, a gas piping permit and a plumbing permit to try to make sure that leaves the building safe.
Mrs. Shatten asked, is there a way to check with the Illuminating Co. about how much electricity is being used? That would be an indication of whether it is being used as a dwelling or an accessory building. Or, check the gas meter.
Mr. Marrelli doesn’t know if either would be something that would prove anything.
Mr. Marrelli elaborates on Mr. Carr’s Exhibits. His characterization of what these permits were for is not exactly 100% accurate. I’ll just leave it at that.
Mr. Syracuse said Mr. Chairman, I agree with you. When you read that Code Section that if you look at it as an accessory use, cooking is not permitted in an accessory building. Whether or not this is a dwelling, isn’t the question before us. Whether or not a permit for the cooking should be permitted or Mr. Marrelli’s letter be overturned with his decision is really what it comes down to. Looking at what our Ordinance says, which is not ambiguous in any way whatsoever, it seems we should not be overturning his decision.
Mr. Fikaris said, to echo Mr. Syracuse, if that’s the decision, we understand the appeal and should proceed otherwise. A question to Mr. Scasny, do you plan on occupying this building as a dwelling?
Tim Scasny replied, I’d like to use it as my Man Cave. Everything I did prior to 2012, with the 2006 permits, the TV, telephone, electrical, 100 amp box, I put in a 2” gas line. All of that was fine then. I use my backyard as my entertainment. When it rains, I’d like to go inside, cook & prepare.
Mr. Fikaris asked Mr. Scasny, do you intend to occupy this unit as a home or dwelling?
Tim Scasny replied no, not at this time.
Mr. Fikaris thanked Mr. Scasny for his reply.
Chairman Prcela said if it’s not the intention to occupy this, then I assume we revert back to the fact that it’s an accessory use and Section 1113.08 is pretty clear that an accessory use cannot have a cooking device.
Ms. Calta explained what the appeal is. The appeal is of Mr. Marrelli’s letter. I would take it in totality. However, Mr. Carr has pointed out that he takes issue with the specific note on Page 2 which it’s essentially a reminder that this may not be used as a habitable dwelling. Maybe he can elaborate further on that because I believe Mr. Scasny has indicated he’s not going to use it as a habitable dwelling “at this time”.
Chairman Prcela asked if anybody has any further questions or comments.
Mrs. Shatten said he said not at this time. At another time he might decide to use it for a dwelling.
Chairman Prcela reminded Mrs. Shatten that he would be in violation of our Zoning Code.
Mr. Fikaris, seconded by Mrs. Shatten made a motion to accept & approve Mr. Marrelli’s letter of September 8, 2014 in its totality. That would therefore deny the appeal of Case #2014-04 before us tonight.
AYES: Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Russ, Mr. Syracuse
Motion Approved. Appeal Denied.
Right to Appeal
Chairman Prcela stated written notice will be mailed by the Building Department confirming the decision and any interested party has the right to appeal within 10 days.
Mrs. Shatten, seconded by Mr. Russ made a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.