Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Zoning Board of Appeals - February 25, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M.
Zoning Board Members Present: Jerry Kolar, John Spadaro, Denise Smith, Edwin Paff       
Zoning Board Members Absent:              Mike Deimier, Tom Hood, Don Wilson
Other Officials Present:                          Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Bacon, Associate Planner
A motion was made for a voice vote for Mr. Paff to act as Chairman Pro-temp in the absence of Chairman Tom Hood.
1. a.                 Approval of Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes for January 28, 2009.
Mr. Spadaro made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kolar, to approve the January 28, 2009 meeting minutes.
Roll Call
Ayes:                Kolar, Spadaro, Smith, Paff        
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 4-0-0
1. b.                 Approval of Joint Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes for January 28, 2009.
Mr. Paff stated the motion was made to include restrictions for hazardous waste, flammable and toxic materials, and asked staff for clarification.
Ms. Velkover stated clarification needed to be made regarding the motion made by Mr. Wilson. She stated Mr. Wilson’s motion include a restriction on hazardous waste and materials. She stated that after the motion was made, discussion occurred that motion would be as the ordinance was presented which did not have this hazardous waste and materials prohibition included due to the fact that the Fire Department stated it was impossible for them to regulate and inspect every container. Ms. Velkover stated that staff wanted to ensure that everyone agreed on the motion and the clarification to accept the ordinance as presented without the prohibition of a specific hazardous waste and if the vote is correct and the minutes read as stated, it is fine to approve the minutes as stated tonight.
Mr. Spadaro made a motion, seconded by Ms. Smith, to approve the January 28, 2009 joint meeting minutes.
Roll Call
Ayes:                Kolar, Spadaro Smith, Paff         
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 4-0-0
2.         Public Hearing: Variation Petitions for 3541 Grandmore Avenue
Ms. Bacon stated Mr. Patrick Arnold is requesting two separate variations. The first is a variation for the existing 2,100 square-foot single family resident to encroach 9.64 feet into the required 30-foot rear yard setback; and the second variation is for the existing carport attached to the single family residence to encroach 10.10 feet into the required 30-foot front yard setback at 3541 Grandmore Avenue and is zoned R-3 Single-Family Residence District. Ms. Bacon noted for the record that a petition was received with several signatures from surrounding neighbors of the petitioner that are not objecting to having the existing carport structure remain.
Mr. Paff asked for anyone planning on giving testimony to stand for swearing in.
Ms. Barbara Swanson, Attorney for Mr. Patrick Arnold introduced herself. She stated her office is at 4473 Old Grand Avenue in Gurnee. She stated her role this evening is to provide an explanation with regard to the way in which this problem came about and that Mr. Arnold is available to answer any questions regarding the history of this situation.
Ms. Swanson stated the Board received the application and deed showing Mr. Arnold is the owner of record. Also provided is a survey to show the existing lay of the land as well as four photos of the property showing the carport, which is the issue this evening.
Ms. Swanson stated the other end of the house is the 1st sub-item on the Agenda. She stated when the house was built a building permit was issued and there might have been some confusion on what was the side yard and rear yard, but at the time staff allowed the house to be built with a 20-foot rear yard setback. She said it is now perceived this should have been a 30 foot setback. She stated this is a violation that Mr. Arnold never knew about and it just came to his attention because of the carport issue.
Ms. Swanson stated the 2nd sub item on the agenda is the variation for the existing carport. Ms. Swanson stated in general, when Mr. Arnold was initially thinking of adding onto his garage, he wanted additional car storage space. She stated Mr. Arnold had different options. One option was to bring his garage closer to the road, which would have meant a deeper garage.  Ms. Swanson stated Mr. Arnold really didn’t care for the look of this and Mr. Arnold was thinking of expanding the garage to the right, as you face the house. She stated Mr. Arnold spoke with a staff member in 2002 who said this would be in violation of the setback and that he couldn’t add on additional garage space. She stated the staff member suggested Mr. Arnold construct a carport. 
Ms. Swanson explained Mr. Arnold had the concrete poured in September of 2002 and had gotten a permit for this concrete due to the right of way. She said the driveway was now wider and the carport was added on, following the suggestion the staff member, who is no longer employed by the Village. Ms. Swanson explained this is the history of how this all came about in 2002.
Ms. Swanson stated Mr. Arnold has since added a pond in his backyard, which is shown on the survey. She said additional concrete was poured and after checking with the Village, no permit was required.
Ms. Swanson stated she had no explanation why this is now an issue, but she is here this evening to answer any questions. She said Mr. Arnold never had any intentions of being dishonest or pulling a fast one on anyone. She said he was following the recommendation of a staff member. She explained having the carport on Mr. Arnold’s property is not an enclosed structure and there is very little wall space with no real obstruction of the view. She stated by having a carport as opposed to a solid wall structure there isn’t much of an obstruction. She said you can see the four posts and that is all that is in the way, therefore not obstructing the view. Ms. Swanson mentioned she passed out a petition that quite a few of Mr. Arnold’s neighbors have signed, stating they have no objection to the carport as it has existed since 2002.
Ms. Smith asked if a permit for the carport was taken in 2002.
Ms. Swanson stated there was a permit taken for the concrete.
Ms. Smith stated that there was “no” permit taken for the over hanging structure.
Ms. Swanson stated that was correct.
Ms. Swanson replied it was her understanding that Mr. Arnold believed he didn’t need one. She mentioned again, that the suggestion had come from a staff member to put up a carport and Mr. Arnold subsequently got the permit from the Village for the concrete and he thought that was all he needed to do. She stated it was not a deliberate; that he is on a very visible corner and that he was not trying to hide anything. She stated Mr. Arnold was not aware he needed a permit for an open area. 
Mr. Paff asked if the person from the Village told Mr. Arnold that he didn’t need a permit for a carport.
Mr. Arnold stated when he went in for the permit his desire was to put on a 3rd car garage on. He stated the staff member he said he couldn’t add a closed in structure because it be encroaching on the setback. Mr. Arnold stated he was thinking about going 2 stalls deep, leaving 17 feet with some inches left. Mr. Arnold said the staff member asked if he ever thought about a carport. Mr. Arnold stated he thought the idea was awesome and he wanted to do that now because he wanted to pour the footings for the concrete.
Mr. Arnold stated the concrete was poured in one solid pour and he told the Village that he wanted to do this all at once. Mr. Arnold stated he continued with this and when he came home after the old driveway was busted out and gone, the Village came out and put “right away, ok” with spray paint. Mr. Arnold stated the four footing holes had the word “ok” in green spray paint. Mr. Arnold stated he believed things were ok to go ahead with the project, so he continued. 
Mr. Arnold confirmed the 4 holes were for the 4 posts for the carport and were 48 inches deep.
Mr. Paff asked Mr. Arnold if he knew he needed a permit for the driveway, why didn’t he think he needed a permit for the carport.
Mr. Arnold replied he wanted to do everything all at once and when he submitted the permit he believed everything was on that permit. Mr. Arnold stated he did not fill out a separate application.
Mr. Spadaro stated the carport structure looks very good and he liked the way the roof matches up. He asked even though a permit was not pulled, was the carport constructed according to code.
Mr. Spadaro said that was his only question as he wanted verification that the structure was safe.
Mr. Kolar stated esthetically the structure is very nice looking. He stated the roofline is straight and whoever did the construction did a great job. He stated he didn’t see anything hidden and the point of view is around the corner with complete point of curvature / radius of the road.
Mr. Paff made a motion, seconded by Ms. Smith, to forward a favorable recommendation to allow the existing single family residence to encroach 9.64 feet into the required 30-foot rear yard setback because the Village issued the building permit for the house and Mr. Arnold was not the property owner at the time the house was constructed.
Roll Call
Ayes:                Kolar, Spadaro Smith, Paff         
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 4-0-0
Mr. Spadaro made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kolar, to forward a favorable recommendation to allow the existing carport attached to the single family residence to encroach 10.10 feet into the required 30-foot front yard setback subject to the following conditions:
1. That that the petitioner apply and receive a building permit to allow an inspection of the carport structure by the Village Building and Engineering Departments to ensure the structure meets safety standards; and
2. That in the event the carport structure does not meet safety standards, any changes or modifications be made to the structure to comply with Village codes.
Roll Call
Ayes:                Kolar, Spadaro Paff       
Nays:                Smith
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 3-1-0
Mr. Paff motioned, seconded by Mr. Kolar, to adjourn.
Meeting adjourned at 7:54 P.M.
Respectfully Submitted:
Joanne Havenhill
Zoning Board of Appeals Secretary