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Board of Zoning Appeals Minutes: September 20, 2012

BZA minutes are transcribed in a summarized manner. Audiotapes are available in the Planning Department for reference. Videotapes are also available for viewing in the Audio-visual (CATS) Department (phone #349-3111 or E-mail address: moneill@monroe.lib.in.us) of the Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) met in the Council Chambers at 5:30 p.m., members present: Aquila, Klapper, Murray, Seeber and Scott Burgins for Milan Pece.

REPORTS, RESOLUTIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS:

Aquila announced that Case #V-40-12 (Chris Bomba - 312 N. Washington St.) is continued to the October 18, 2012 meeting.

PETITION:

105 E. Winslow Rd.

Request: Variance from dumpster setback requirements.

Case Manager: Jim Roach

Patrick Shay (Development Review Manager) presented the staff report. This particular case was heard in August and continued to the September 20th hearing. The subject property is located at 105 E. Winslow Road and is bound by three streets (Winslow Rd., Walnut St. and S. Walnut Street Pike). The property is zoned Commercial Arterial (CA). The property has been developed with a one-story bank with a drive-through facility; parking surrounds it. The Growth Policies Plan (GPP) designates this area as a Community Activity Center. The petitioner is proposing to relocate their existing dumpster. The dumpster is currently located near the rear door of the building, along the grocery. The petitioner is concerned about safety of employees and security with the current dumpster location. Therefore the petitioner would like to move the dumpster further away from the building. However, there is virtually no where on the property where a dumpster can be placed and meet the standards of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The ordinance requires that dumpsters not be located between a building and the street. This requirement forces dumpsters out of the front setback and into the side and rear yards. This property, however, is surrounded by streets on all sides. To that end, the petitioner is requesting a variance to allow the dumpster between the building and the street. Staff believes a variance is justified in this situation. The petitioner would like to place a dumpster at the immediate northwest corner of Winslow Rd. and Walnut Street Pike. They believe this is the best location to ensure truck access to the dumpster and to provide adequate distance between the rear entrance and the dumpster for security. Previously, staff recommended denial. At the August 23rd meeting, the Board continued the petition and instructed staff to research the safety claims of the petitioner. Planning staff met with Police Chief Mike Diekhoff on August 30th. In his opinion, the petitioner has a legitimate concern about safety risks posed by their existing dumpster location. He said banking facilities are definitely at a higher risk; banks are a higher target. Diekoff also believed that the proposed dumpster location was the safest our of the different locations he reviewed. The proposed location provides a clear line of sight between the door and the dumpster, it was not too far from the entrance, and the rear of the enclosure was visible to traffic. With that being said, staff took Chief Diekhoff's assessment into consideration and changed the recommendation to an "approval" instead of denial. Shay stated the proposed location will be buffered from the street through the use of landscaping and approximately 40 ft. of setback between the curb and dumpster. The dumpster screen will be constructed of a long-term durable material and not a wooden fence. The dumpster and enclosure will be far enough back from the intersection to not obscure vision clearance triangles. Landscaping has been revised to bolster the height of the proposed species, especially along Winslow Road to buffer the enclosure a little bit more. Staff believes this petition meets the criteria for variance. Staff recommends approval of this petition based on the written findings and recommendation in the staff report.

Cameron Tullis, IU Operational Risk Manager, thanked the Planning staff for meeting with the police chief and discussing their security concerns. He said he was happy the police chief reinforced their initial request, and that he agreed that this was an ideal location for the dumpster. He was also glad they were able to work through some landscaping modifications to better hide the dumpster enclosure.

Barre Klapper asked staff if further locations were discussed or looked at since the last hearing.

Shay said there were some other places looked at but Mike (Diekhoff) felt this was the safest location. He liked the visibility of Winslow Road and that people would be able to look at this area from multiple locations. If an incident were to occur, they would actually be able to be seen by passersby.

Klapper said there was suggestion made at the last meeting about the possibility of an actual room being built. Was that discussed?

Tullis said they haven't reviewed it any further because the credit union is really at capacity in terms of the amount of available space within the building.

Klapper: Just to clarify. The dock that's there now, where the dumpster is located, there are some block walls so there could be a full enclosure made at that location. So that has not been investigated?

Tullis: No. We didn't investigate it further.

No public comments.

**Seeber moved approval of V-33-12 based on the written findings and recommendation in the staff report. Murray seconded.

Klapper believes there could have been other suitable locations for the dumpster even though it might have taken a little more work.

Aquila agreed with Klapper. She is concerned about public safety as well.

Scott Burgins said he would like to hear comments from some of the other Board members since he wasn't present at the last meeting.

Note: No other comments were given from Board members.

Roll Call - Motion carried 3:2 (Klapper and Aquila opposed).

Meeting adjourned @ 5:45 p.m.