Board of Zoning Appeals
Town Hall, February 8, 2005, 7:00 p.m.
Members present were Chair Bob Haines, Pat Aldred, Larry Gardner and Charles Lawson. Member absent was Larry Felts. Staff present was Counsel Dave Ausbrooks, and Recorder Cindy Lancaster. Applicant Stacy Rawls, Trevon Townsend, Roy Dale and 8 citizens.
Chair Haines opened the meeting at 7:07 p.m.
Chair Haines led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Gardner made a motion to approve the minutes of August 10, 2004, Commission Lawson seconded and this was passed unanimously.
Chair Haines outlined the procedure of the Board of Zoning Appeals and asked the applicant to address the board.
Mr. Stacy Rawls stated that the timing was critical and in order to move forward with his project he needed to verify how the ordinance applied to his request. He noted that Trevon Townsend had previously submitted a plan for a car wash and they knew that a variance request would be forthcoming. He stated that prior to submitting further money into this project he wanted to obtain approval from this board.
He further noted that he had submitted in writing three areas of concern. The board had this written documentation before them.
Commissioner Gardner stated that he could not understand why this request was before this entity prior to being heard by the Planning Commission. Mr. Rawls stated that he knew that a variance would have to be requested and the codes department stated that this order of process would be satisfactory.
Chair Haines stated that this board must base their decision on the ordinance that is written and a variance cannot be granted if it does not meet this ordinance.
Mr. Rawls stated that it was his understanding that a variance could be granted based upon four criteria.
Mr. Ausbrooks clarified noting that it must meet all four criteria, not one or two.
Mr. Rawls asked if this request should proceed.
Mr. Ausbrooks stated that we are not permitted by law to review. There needs to be a site plan approved by the Planning Commission. In regards to Roman numeral I on your request, you do not have the material.
Mr. Rawls then asked for clarification on Roman Numeral II. He noted that based on Mr. Townsend’s earlier request, he needed a better understanding of “enclosure”. Chair Haines then read section 2.3.22 of the zoning ordinance. Commissioner Aldred asked if he had pictures. He distributed pictures and showed where a vacuum was accessible and open. Additionally, he had a concept drawing to show an alternative to an enclosure. He noted that if an 8’ wall were required this project would not move forward.
Counsel Ausbrooks stated that he felt the concept meets the criteria in regards to the bay, although this should be presented to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Rawls stated that he is willing to go about and beyond to make it ascetically pleasing.
Counsel noted that it appeared that it would comply, although he could not speak for the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Aldred suggested showing the drawing to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Rawls stated that he would prefer an attendant on duty versus an attendant on site. Mr. Rawls noted the safety concern he had for an attendant working. He stated it would be easier for a crime to be committed upon the attendant. He further stated that it places the business into a payroll situation that is not required for a self-service business. He noted that you can purchase gas, pick up your mail and obtain money from an ATM without an attendant and these are self-service establishments.
Commissioner Aldred stated that she does not feel there needs to be an attendant, and this variance should be granted.
Counsel cautioned the board on rewriting the ordinance. Chair Haines stated that this board cannot rewrite the ordinance. It was noted that the Planning Commission could make a recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to change the Ordinance.
Mr. Rawls had various questions and was somewhat confused on the various government bodies and their roles.
Mr. Roy Dale, Engineer for Mr. Rawls, asked which part of the TCA outlines variances. Counsel stated that he did not have that particular information before him. Mr. Dale stated that he had never heard that all criteria must be met in order to obtain a variance. Counsel noted that in 9.2.4 of the town zoning ordinance sets out the guidelines of granting a variance. This states that all four criteria must be met.
Mrs. Rawls stated that she felt they had wasted this boards time with this request. Counsel assured her to not feel that way. The zoning ordinance is a “living document” and can be changed.
Mr. Townsend stated that it appears they have gone out of order and stated someone should have told them the correct process. He noted that now the project is three months behind. He asked if there was anyway this could be expedited. The process of changing an ordinance was noted as being four months. The Planning Commission makes recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and there are two readings with a public hearing.
Commissioner Gardner made a motion to adjourn at 7:58, Commissioner Aldred seconded and this passed unanimously.