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BZA minutes are transcribed in a summarized manner. Video footage is available for viewing in the (CATS) Audio-visual Department of the Monroe County Public Library at 303 E. Kirkwood Avenue. Phone number: 812-349-3111 or via email at the following address: moneill@monroe.lib.in.us

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) met in the Council Chambers at 5:30 p.m., members present: Aquila (Chair), Klapper, Hoffmann, and Throckmorton (arrived after roll call)-Baker absent.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September 22, 2016

**Hoffmann moved approval of the September minutes as distributed. Klapper seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS, RESOLUTIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None at this time.

PETITIONS:

· UV-28-16 Bloomington Car Wash (Jordan Root)

542 S. Walnut Street

Request: Use variance to allow an expansion of an existing, legal non-conforming car wash in a Commercial Downtown (CD) zoning district.

Case Manager: Jackie Scanlan

Jackie Scanlan (Senior Zoning Planner) presented the staff report. The site is located just north of E. 1st Street on the west side of S. Walnut St. The site is zoned Commercial Downtown (CD) and is also located in the Downtown Gateway Overlay (DGO). It currently contains a legal non-conforming 5,260 sq. ft. car wash building, an accessory canopy structure over a vacuum area, and associated parking areas. This is a request for a use variance to expand the existing legal non-conforming use and update the property by removing the existing vacuum area and canopy structure and installing registration machines with new canopies. This is considered an expansion of the existing use and therefore the petitioner requires a use variance approval in order to move forward. Basically, the petitioner would like to change the way that people check in their vehicle(s). Scanlan noted it's become a safety issue with employees having to pop in and out of cars. Many cars nowadays cannot be left in neutral and turned off and run through a car wash like you could do in the past when this car wash was originally designed (approximately 40 years ago). The petitioner plans to install a new vacuum arch to the northeast of the building, reconfigure the existing parking as well as upgrade the landscaping on-site. Again, installing new registration machines will allow the owner to remain in the vehicle the entire time-through the car wash, thereby creating a safer experience for customers and employees. The new location of the vacuum area will allow non-full service customers to access the vacuum area without queueing with the full service customers which will increase efficiency. As part of the proposed plan, parking will be altered and moved from the northern property line and relocated closer to the building. The Plan Commission reviewed this request at its October 10, 2016 meeting and voted unanimously (8:0) to forward a positive recommendation to the BZA. Staff finds no injury from this request. Approval would allow for modernization and safety upgrades that would not require expansion of the main building. Again, landscaping will be added to improve the site and the separation from the neighboring property to the south. The GPP designates this property as Community Activity Center (CAC). The CAC is designed to provide community-serving commercial opportunities and encourages enhancement of existing businesses. The Downtown Gateway Overlay highlights compatible development when adjacent to historic structures. Staff finds peculiar condition in the fact that the property is designed for such a particular type of development-the car wash. It's been in its current operation for over forty years but technology has changed so much in that time, that in order for the business to remain safe some updates might be necessary that this use variance could allow. Staff recommends approval of this petition based on the written findings in the staff report, including the following conditions:

1. The use variance only applies to the proposal as submitted. Any future expansion of use will require additional use variance review.

Jordan Root, petitioner, said the reason he's trying to do this is for employee safety. Car technology has changed so much over the years. Some of the new cars cannot be shut off, which means an employee has to drive the car through the tunnel for a car wash. With the proposed change in setup, the customer will stay in their car. Parking is also an issue. There are entrances and exits from both College and Walnut. A lot of people like to use it as a cut-through. There have been plenty of instances where employees have gotten out of a car and started to walk across, then somebody comes flying through from College to Walnut Street. He only wants people to be able to enter the site from Walnut Street.

Joe Hoffmann added that his first job was driving cars in and out of a car wash so he's familiar with the safety issues involved. An example of that is when he watched a man get caught in between the car and the machines.

Jo Throckmorton asked if College would be marked as EXIT ONLY.

Root said they will try and do that even though it won't stop everybody.

Klapper asked for clarification on the landscaping plan.

Scanlan said this is the plan designed for the site and they contracted with Bynum Fanyo just to do a landscaping plan-only. It's difficult to see on the plan but they tried to hatch out the southern landscape portion on the left side of the picture to indicate that landscaping would be there.

Klapper: Is there parking along the north edge of the site that will remain or is it actually going to be a lane, a bypass lane?

Root said it's going to be a lane.

Klapper: Those parking spaces are going to go away?

Root: Yes. We're moving those parking spots to another location and then adding new landscaping.

No public comment.

**Hoffmann moved approval of UV-28-16 based on the written findings, including the one condition outlined in the staff report. Klapper seconded. Motion carried 4:0-Approved.

· UV-29-16 J. Kip May (Kip May Photography)

1301 W. 6th Street

Request: Use variance to allow a photography studio in an existing building in a Residential Core (RC) zoning district.

Case Manager: Jackie Scanlan

Jackie Scanlan (Senior Zoning Planner) presented the staff report. This property is located at the southwest corner of 6th Street and N. Adams Street. The site is approximately 0.26 acres and zoned Residential Core (RC); the GPP (Growth Policies Plan) designation for this site is Urban Residential. The property has been developed with a non-residential building and associated parking lot. This building was formerly a place of worship but it hasn't been used as such for a number of years. The building has single-family residential surrounding on all sides. The petitioner is requesting a use variance to allow a photographic studio on the site. This particular use is not permitted in the (RC) zoning district which is why a use variance is being requested. Scanlan noted the UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) does not allow many commercial uses in the RC zone in order to protect neighborhoods from incompatible uses. Because of the non-residential nature of the building and site, reuse as a residence would be difficult and is unlikely. The desired site plan includes restriping the parking lot, new landscaping, and new sidewalks on both 6th and Adams Street. The GPP discusses incorporating non-residential services into the Urban Residential area. Permitting this low impact use on the site will allow for the reuse of the existing building. The Plan Commission reviewed this request at their October 10, 2016 meeting and forwarded a positive recommendation (8:0) to the BZA. Staff recommends approval of the use variance based on the written findings, including the following conditions:

1. Petitioner will work with Staff to update the landscape plan to include additional required plantings.

2. If no building permit is required, the petitioner must obtain a Change in Use permit.

Scanlan said my comments on both conditions are that Staff has already worked with the petitioner to update the landscape plan to include some additional required plantings. And, the building permit has already been applied for through the Monroe County Building Department. Staff found peculiar condition in that the property is developed with a non-residential building and associated parking lot in what is otherwise a residential zone. The property hasn't been designed or developed for the mainly residential uses. Note: The petitioner received a letter of support from the neighborhood association.

Kip May, petitioner, said for the last 20 years he's been operating a photography studio behind the Chocolate Moose. This area has been sold for a new development. For the past year he's been in search of a new location for his business. His business is mostly a family photography studio with low-volume. He has approximately 1-3 clients per day. The subject property is an ideal site for a photography studio. He's been in communication with the neighborhood association and grateful to them for their encouragement, support and affirmation. He hopes to convert the building and bring it up to code standards. The building has been in disrepair for quite some time and requires quite a bit of work but he's willing to bring everything up to code.

David Walter said he's lived in the neighborhood for 35 years on Ritter Street. This building was originally a grocery store. It's been used as a church off and on over the years. The building has been deteriorating for some time now. Several years ago, storm water improvements were done around 6th Street. Sidewalks and curbs were also put in west of Ritter Street. At that time, the City asked neighbors along 6th street if they should continue these improvements up to Adams St. The people who lived on that street weren't really interested in having curbs and sidewalks installed. He said he knew of a previous owner where he was asked to put in a sidewalk along 6th Street. The problem with that is there is such a grade change that it becomes more like a flight of steps. Likewise along Adams Street; the City put in sidewalks along the east side but didn't do it on the west side. They said there were problems with getting right-of-way and grades. If the City installed sidewalks along there they would be right up against the houses along that side. In this situation, the recommendation is to do that. He said it's been discussed before and it really wasn't recommended at that time so he just wanted to mention it to the Board. Other than that, he is supportive of having the building rehabbed and having a good neighbor move in. He said there are a number of commercial businesses in the neighborhood so they're used to it.

**Joe Hoffmann moved to approve UV-29-16 based on the written findings, including the two conditions outlined in the staff report. Klapper seconded. Motion carried 4:0-Approved.

Meeting adjourned.