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CALL TO ORDER: 6:30 P.M.
LOCATION: ST. CLOUD
NINTH STREET, 3RD FLOOR
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Kimberly
Paulson (Chair) EA
Beigel (Vice) P
Paulsen (Alt) P
Merrill (Alt) UA
STAFF MEMBERS: David Nearing,
Director of Planning and Zoning
Groenendaal, Senior Planner
Morgeson, City Attorney
in for Sherry Taylor, Secretary -
Davies, Planning Technician
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: May 9, 2007 and April 11, 2007
1. Election of Officers
B. Vice Chairperson
Mr. Morgeson asked the Board if they would like to address
the Election of Officers or continue it until the next meeting.
Acting Chairman Beigel made a motion to postpone the
Election of Officers until the meeting on July 11, 2007.
Mr. Norris seconded the motion.
All Ayes 4-0 to postpone the Election of Officers until July 11, 2007.
Organizational meeting will be held on July 11, 2007.
2. Request for Variances
(a) CASE NUMBER: 2007-08
APPLICANT: Michael Vaz
ADDRESS: 1509 Massachusetts
VARIANCE PETITION DETAILS:
Applicant is appealing a staff determination regarding the requirements of the
Land Development Code, Section 3.20.3 (A) to allow a deck structure in the
front yard and Table III-4 to reduce the front setback.
Mr. Groenendaal presented the case. See Staff Report.
This case was discussed at the last meeting and
re-advertised for this meeting.
Mr. Groenendaal noted it is
Staff’s determination that decks are not appropriate in the front yard. If it is the Board’s determination that they are allowed, then it is Staff’s recommendation that the
applicant meet a 25’ setback and a variance will be needed to reduce the
setback from 25’ to 10’.
Acting Chairman Beigel asked what the setback is now from
the street to the porch deck that he has now.
Mr. Groenendaal noted it is 10’ from the front property line
to the deck.
Mr. Morgeson noted that the Staff
Report dated May 24, 2007, the report to the Board is that under the LDC,
3.20.3 (A) 1 (A), the deck is not a permitted structure in the front yard, but if
it were to be allowed by this Board, then the setback issue would need to be
addressed as well.
Mr. Groenendaal asked that the
Board give direction on the setback, and to use the front setback for that
zoning district which is 25’ and then the variance could be granted to 10’ if
that would be the Board’s decision.
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked how
far the setbacks are with other houses along that street.
Mr. Groenendaal noted some of the
other houses sit within 10’-15’ but their roof line comes out also.
Mr. Morgeson noted the LDC
directs that the Board consider just this case and not other properties in the
same or different zoning districts with regard of conforming or
non-conforming. The Board is required to consider the 6-criteria as to whether
the 6-criteria have each been met in the affirmative in order to approve the
variance request. Staff’s report states if in the event the 6-criteria have been met favorably with
regard to the appeal to the application to the accessory structure, after that,
the setback issue would be addressed. He asked the Board if they understood
what he was saying.
Vice Chairperson Beigel noted he
Mr. Norris asked if the Board
approves this variance and allows the deck in the front yard, which basically
sets a precedent for the future.
Mr. Groenendaal noted it would be
saying that Staff’s interpretation has been incorrect all this time and that
the correct interpretation is that a deck is appropriate in the front yard.
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked
about putting a roof over the deck.
Mr. Groenendaal noted if you
extend the roof-line out, the 25’ setback situation would have to be dealt with
but that was not an option to the applicant because of the cost.
Mr. Vaz noted he had 25.5’ from
the front of his deck to the curb. All the rest of the houses on the street do
line up with his deck. From the property line that is there, it is 10’ and the
house is 23.4’ from the property. The house is built 2’ over that property
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked if
there was a sidewalk in front of Mr. Vaz’s property.
Mr. Vaz noted there is no
sidewalk, it is on the opposite side of the road. Mr. Vaz stated from the curb
to the front of his deck is 25.5’, more or less.
Mr. Morgeson noted he would like
to advise the Board to address the first issue and that would be the structure’s
applicability to the Land Development Code and whether or not a variance should
be granted regarding that structure as to whether it’s appropriate to be in the
front. If, in fact, the Board does not determine that to be in favor of the
applicant, the other issue becomes removed, so just in terms of chronologically
going about this, that is the issue to start off with by way of discussion and
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked if
the property line is straight.
Mr. Groenendaal noted according
to the survey, the dimension is 23’ from property line to the corner of the
house, the deck comes out about 13’ from that point, so it would be 10’.
Mr. Paulsen noted on the survey
says the width is 10’2”, how far out from that point of the edge of the house
is the width of the porch.
Mr. Vaz noted he thought it was
6’ from the corner of the house out toward the front.
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked if
that was a new addition on the house.
Mr. Vaz noted it was already
there when he purchased the home.
Mr. Norris asked Mr. Vaz to talk
about his decision to build the deck without a permit.
Mr. Vaz noted he did not realize
he needed a permit. He noted the house is not really structural, it’s sitting
on pillars. The house is almost 100 years old and he didn’t think it would be
that big of an issue to build a deck or porch in front of the home. The City
informed me by letter and that is why he requested a variance.
Mr. Norris asked the applicant if
he thought a permit would not be needed since it was sitting on pillars or
Mr. Vaz noted he did not realize
and it was a mistake on his part. It was not done maliciously.
Mr. Norris asked Mr. Vaz why he
chose to put the deck in the front of the house.
Mr. Vaz noted it was to enjoy the
Mr. Placencia noted it is a nice deck, but questioned why it
is in front of the property, the Board has to set precedence.
Mr. Morgeson noted the six criteria are what the narrow
focus is in deciding the case and the application must meet the six criteria.
Mr. Paulsen noted the code says it must have a roof and it must be connected to the house.
Mr. Nearing noted it does not have to have same pitch, but
must be physically attached to the house. It couldn’t be an aluminum add-on.
That would not be a roof extension. It would have to be structurally attached
to house and basically built of wood, shingles and have an appearance that it
Mr. Norris asked how many square feet is the deck.
Mr. Nearing noted it was approximately 13 x 23, so it is
approximately 200 sq ft. which is a very large recreational deck. Mr. Nearing
discussed future change of the code by city council.
Mr. Norris asked if the deck had been inspected and built by
Mr. Vaz noted it was inspected by Pam Neal, of Code
Enforcement, who stated it looked structurally sound.
Mr. Groenendaal noted Pam Neal is a Code Enforcement Officer
who wouldn’t have structural knowledge but it looks soundly constructed.
Vice Chairperson Beigel asked Mr. Vaz if he made decks for a
Mr. Vaz noted he works for a builder in Central Florida.
Mr. Paulsen asked if there were vertical supports in the
Mr. Vaz noted there were supports in the ground, the house
is lagged with 3 ½” lag bolts, 16” center, and 2 x 8’ pressure treated lumber.
Mr. Morgeson encouraged the board to focus on the six criteria;
the issue is if the six criteria have been met.
Mr. Paulsen asked if the applicant made plans.
Mr. Vaz noted he drew up something, and he thinks he might
have a copy.
Mr. Groenendaal noted there is a building permit in the
Mr. Vaz noted he didn’t draw up a set of plans for it. He
figured out the way it would look and built it to what the specifications he
Mr. Paulsen asked if he had any plans to add a roof.
Mr. Vaz noted it was not, it is impossible to add a roof
because of the design of the house.
Mr. Norris asked if there were comments from the neighbors.
Mr. Vaz neighbors’ have complimented it.
Mr. Norris asked if there were any comments on the six criteria.
Mr. Norris and Vice Chairperson Beigel reviewed the six
There was discussion about the six criteria.
Mr. Norris asked what the applicant would do if the application
Mr. Morgeson noted if the application is denied, the Land
Development Code would preclude the applicant from moving forward and the deck
will have to be removed and obviously, the applicant would have whatever rights
the applicant would want to pursue. There is also a time frame in which they
would be precluded from re-application for the appeal. There is a 12-month
period to re-apply for any such relief, based on new criteria, unless there’s
some procedural basic in which they were denied.
Mr. Beigel have problem with criteria #2. You can’t start
work without a permit.
Mr. Norris problem with criteria #1. He sees no special
circumstances peculiar to the land structure.
Mr.Groenendaal asked Mr. Morgeson since this is the first
time to have an administrative appeal if he thought the six criteria are
applicable to the appeal.
Mr. Morgeson stated that he
is seeking an appeal of decision which is by definition, seeking a variance,
through the process and those are the criteria that the LDC requires so the
Board has to consider the 6-criteria and make a decision even with regards with
Mr. Norris noted the code is not clear as to what an
accessory structure is. He asked when Staff could go before City Council to
revise the LDC.
Mr. Groenendaal noted they were getting ready to take to the
City Council. Within 2 months the LDC could be added to.
Mr. Morgeson noted the L.D.C. 3.20.53, accessory structures
as it says in the code, shall not located in front yards, etc., with the
exception of accessory structures which would customarily be found in those
yards. The question to staff is defining an accessory structure. Is this deck
an accessory structure, in the opinion of Staff. The Board is a fact finding
body and the rules of evidence does not apply, but the Board has to take
substantial competent evidence that is presented and make a determination. The
Board is not in the position of making a determination or over-rule of what the
current code is.
Mr. Beigel noted there is no real determination as to what
an accessory structure is.
Mr. Groenendaal noted he could tell the Board what an
accessory structure is. It is everything that is not a primary structure, it
is not the house.
Mr. Norris asked how high the deck is off the ground. From
the grass to the top of the deck.
Mr. Vaz noted it was maximum 15” to 18”.
Mr. Vaz noted the maximum is15 inches
Mr. Norris asked what the building code says, how high before
a railing is required.
Mr. Vaz noted he thought it was “32”. He plans on putting a
Mr. Norris asked if they should allow a railing. If it is
low like it is, it kind of blends in to the environment, and if you put
railings, it will stick up there like a sore thumb.
Mr. Morgeson noted the Board can implement any reasonable conditions
that they wish, but all six criteria must be met to grant it the variance. If
the conditions were not met, the variance would then become revoked and a
violation and would become a code enforcement issue.
Mr. Placencia noted he thought it was an accessory structure.
He thinks it is not customarily found in the front yard. If the variance is
approved, all criteria need to be met.
Mr. Morgeson noted he wanted to caution the Board that they
need to deal with the here and now and the facts that are presented to the
Board. He noted that speculation is not the route to go if something else has
Mr. Beigel noted if approved it will stay, if denied, the
applicant will have to remove it
Mr. Groenendaal noted that the two options were from the
last report. The applicant discounted the extension of the roof as one
option. Mr. Groenendaal noted that was his option previously but applicant did
Mr. Beigel noted the Board needs to approve it disapprove
it. If it is not approved, the deck has to come out. If it is approved, the
Mr. Paulsen made a motion to deny
the variance based on the 6-criteria not being met.
Mr. Norris seconded the motion.
Acting Chairperson Beigel asked
if there was any other discussion.
Mr. Norris noted he thought Mr.
Paulsen was correct, that if 6 out of 6 criteria are not met, the variance
cannot be granted. This is per the Land Development Code.
Mr. Morgeson noted if the
criteria have been met, then the variance can be worded with conditions or
none, but the conditions that the Board feels appropriate.
Mr. Paulsen made a motion to not
allow the variance based on the 6-criteria have not been met.
Mr. Norris seconded the motion to
deny the variance.
Chairperson Beigel noted the
motion and the second was to deny the application.
Mr. Morgeson noted the Aye vote
would be in favor of denial of the variance and a Nay vote would be against the
Mr. Paulsen; Mr. Placencia and Mr.
Norris voted Aye in favor of denial of the variance.
Vice Chairperson Beigel voted Nay
which was against the motion.
Mr. Morgeson noted the vote was
3-1. The application for the variance has been denied.
(b) CASE NUMBER: 2007-10
VARIANCE PETITION DETAILS:
Applicant is requesting a variance to the requirements of the Land Development
Code, Table III-4 to reduce the lot width and lot area.
Mr. David Nearing presented the case. (See Staff Report).
Mr. Norris made a motion that the 6-critera have been met
and the variance be approved with no conditions.
Mr. Paulsen seconded the motion.
All Ayes 4-0 to approve the variance.
The variance was approved 4-0.
(c) CASE NUMBER: 2007-11
APPLICANT: Julia Soileau
VARIANCE PETITION DETAILS: Applicant is requesting a
variance to the requirements of the Land Development Code, Table III-4 to
reduce the lot width, and lot area, and Table III-9 setback for an accessory structure.
Ms. Davies informed the Board that there was a letter
received from one of the neighbors who opposed the granting of this variance.
A copy of this letter is being distributed to the Board at this time.
Mr. David Nearing presented the case. (See staff report)
The application is not supported by Staff. Staff recommends denial of this
Mr. Soileau, the applicant, noted there are other 50’ lots
in the neighborhood and didn’t think they were asking for anything out of normal.
Mr. Morgeson asked that the applicant state his name and
address for the record.
Mr. Robert Soileau introduced himself to the Board, he noted
he owned the property but does not live there. The property address is 230
Mr. Placentia asked if the 50’ lot that’s across the street,
if there was a house on it.
Mr. Soileau noted there was a house on the property.
Mr. Placentia asked Mr. Soileau if he knew who the neighbors
Mr. Soileau noted he did at one time but he believes they
Mr. Beigel noted that house was built in 1970.
Mr. Placentia asked if anyone else wanted to speak on the
Mr. Norman Hefford of 227 Maryland Avenue introduced himself
to the Board. Mr. Hefford noted he owns joint part of the property in the
back. There has been a circulation in the area for over a year saying this is
a buildable lot. There are buildable lots in that area that have grandfather
clauses. This is not zoned as a grandfather clause to his knowledge. According
to the building code, how far does the garage have to be from the property line
if this variance is granted.
Mr. Nearing noted in this case with the property being zoned
R-1A, the side setback is actually 7 ½ feet. The variance that is being
requested is 2 ½ because it is only 5’ off what would be the new property line.
Mr. Ernie Gearhart noted he lives at 210 Carolina Avenue.
He lives two houses down and lives next to neighbor that wrote the letter. His
wife has an illness and he is somewhat homebound and cannot get to the
meetings. Mr. Gearhart noted he is one of the few people in the city that does
not have an objection to 50’ building lots; however, he does have an objection to
a 50’ building lot when it is not located in the proper area. Generally, 50’
lots are found in PUD’s, newer developments and in the old grid where
everything was developed on a 25’ lot basis if you go way back to the Seminole Land
and Investment Companies platting. He stated he just moved to Carolina Avenue.
He can appreciate the applicant wanting to sell the house and this might ease
the ability to sell the house if they can sell the house with a buildable lot
next to it, however, he would further state that he thinks that is very dangerous
precedent to set because he has a house on Dakota he can’t sell either. It is
his understanding with this board that generally, a hardship needs to be
created by something other than the owner’s doings. He feels this hardship has
not been created. His lot is 150’x150’ and Mr. Turney’s lot is 150’x150’. The
two lots across the street have 100’ frontages and the house on the other side
have 100’ frontages on it. The houses that are directly across the street from
the applicant, there is a 50’ lot that the house was built on some years ago…
Meeting was interrupted by a medical emergency.
Mr. Gearhart resumed saying anything else he would say, the
Board has already heard from Staff or other applicants.
Mr. Placencia reviewed the six criteria.
Mr. Norris asked if this was the only R-1A in the grid.
Mr. Nearing noted it was.
Mr. Norris asked when that designation was given to the
property, it was just surveying the area and seeing which area has the big
Mr. Nearing noted it was not used here but that was very
useable methodology. Typically, what it is called is a windshield survey.
Mr. Placentia reviewed the
Mr. Norris noted there are other
50’ lots in that grid.
Mr. Placentia noted the Board is
still discussing the grid system.
Mr. Nearing noted he would like
to remind the Board that none of those 50’ lots were created since this
property was zoned R-1A. The current zoning was put in place in 1988.
Mr. Placencia continued to review the 6 criteria.
Mr. Norris asked what the boundaries were of the zoning
Mr. Nearing noted the R-1A portion of the grid section
extends approximately from Lakeshore South to 5th Street and from
Eastern to Dakota.
Mr. Norris asked if there were a lot of 50’ lots in that
Mr. Nearing noted there were not as many as in other
sections. Most of the 50’ lots are going to be south of 5th Street
and West of Dakota Avenue.
Mr. Paulsen asked if this was the first request since the
new zoning was put into place in 1988 to make a 50’ lot.
Mr. Nearing noted there may have been one other, but in
general, this is a very uncommon request. Typically, Staff tells people that
this is the minimum criteria for this section of town for this zone. Mr.
Nearing informed the Board to keep in mind there is a differentiation between
the section of town and the zone it’s in. In this case, the zoning is R-1A
regardless of its location.
Mr. Morgeson noted there is a Staff Report submitted
addressing Staff’s position on each of the criteria that should be in your
packets. Each Board member should have a copy.
Mr. Norris noted the general intent and purpose of the
regulations were to keep the larger lots and that’s why they designated this as
an R-1A, versus an R-2. Staff notes, granting this variance would not be
consistent with that intent.
Mr. Norris made a motion that
2007-11 has not met the 6-criteria and the variance be denied.
Mr. Paulsen seconded the motion
to deny the variance.
Three Aye votes to deny the
variance. One Nay vote to approve the variance (Mr. Placencia).
The motion was denied 3-1.
Mr. Morgeson noted the approval
of the minutes were by-passed from May 9th and April 11, 2007.
Chairperson Beigel asked if anyone
wanted to make a motion to approve the minutes from May 9th and
Mr. Paulsen noted on the May 9th
minutes, Page 10, the mis-spelling of Chairperson Paulson’s last name. It
should read Paulson not Paulsen.
Mr. Norris made a motion to
approve the minutes for May 9, 2007 and April 11, 2007, as noted.
Chairperson Beigel seconded the
All Ayes 4-0 to approve the
Mr. Nearing asked the Board if there were no cases to be
heard next month if they would like to meet to have an election of officers.
The board stated they didn’t want to hold a meeting unless
there were cases to be heard.
Mr. Beigel stated he would like for the Board to have a
workshop to go over the codes.
Mr. Nearing stated a workshop could be scheduled to review
the codes, etc.
Mr. Norris made a motion to
adjourn the meeting.
Mr. Paulsen seconded the motion
All ayes 4-0 to adjourn the
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
a person decides to appeal any decision made by the Committee/Board, with
respect to any matter considered at such hearing/meeting, such person will need
a record of the proceedings and that, for this purpose, such person may need to
ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes
the testimony evidence upon which the appeal is to be based, and which record
is not provided by the City of St. Cloud. (FS 286.0105)
accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, persons needing assistance
to participate in any of these proceedings should contact the Secretary/Clerk
of the Committee/Board (listed below), prior to the meeting. (FS 296.26)
Taylor, Secretary City of St. Cloud
of Adjustment 1300 Ninth Street
957-7203 St. Cloud, FL 34769