City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Board of Zoning Appeals
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October 12, 2009: Board of Zoning Appeals

To Be Posted
October 12, 2009: Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Lyndhurst met in Regular Session on Monday, October 12, 2009 at 7:30 p.m., in the Council Chamber of the Lyndhurst Municipal Center, 5301 Mayfield Road.
Members Present: David Bader, Chairman; Kimberly Colich, Frank Koss, Frank Novak, Russell Warren.
Others Present: Paul T. Murphy, Director of Law; Joe Mandato, Housing Inspector; Clarice J White, Acting Secretary.
It was moved by Mr. Novak, seconded by Ms. Colich, that the reading of the minutes of the Regular Meeting held Monday, August 10, 2009, copies of which were mailed to all members, be dispensed with and said minutes stand approved as circulated.
The question was put to a voice vote and passed with Mr. Koss abstaining.
Motion carried.
At this time, the Oath of Office was administered by Mr. Murphy to Mr. Novak, to renew his term as member of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The Oath of Office was administered by Mr. Murphy to Ms. Colich to renew her term as member of the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Case No. 2009-04
Request of Jason Eyler, 5004 Corliss Road for a variance from Chapter 1385.05 (b) of the Building and Housing Code, to allow a "kitchenette," in a proposed accessibility suite, within a single family dwelling house. Chapter 1385.05 (b) states in part that "Every dwelling unit shall be provided with one, and only one, complete kitchen or kitchenette with approved cooking, refrigeration and sink facilities.
Grounds for appeal and Chapter 1385.05 (b) were read by Mr. Warren, secretary.
No letters of invitation were mailed to abutting property owners, due to the inside location of the requested variance.
The following witnesses signed the register and were sworn in by Mr. Murphy:
Erin Eyler, 5004 Corliss Road
Annette Eyler, no address listed
Mike Leonetti, 5010 Corliss Road
Mrs. Eyler, homeowner, 5004 Corliss Road, testified that she and her husband are now in the process of building an addition onto the existing house for her elderly and asthmatic mother-in-law to move into. She further testified that as of now, her mother-in-law is independent, and needs the kitchenette to maintain that independence. She testified that there are four steps that lead into the main dwelling area of the existing house from the addition, which are a hindrance for her mother to go up and down the steps to the main kitchen area. She then testified that she understands that this requested variance could be viewed as intent for a two family home or the addition could be used as rental space, and assured the Board that that is not the case; in fact, she testified that the kitchenette would be removed if ever the family were to vacate the house.
Mr. Mandato stated that all required permits for the addition have been obtained.
In answer to Ms. Colich's question, Mrs. Eyler testified their intent all along was to build the kitchenette until they found out that a variance was needed. She further testified that for her mother-in-law to use the main kitchen, she would have to walk up four steps and into the back of the house.
Mr. Koss stated he had driven by the house in question, and commended Mrs. Eyler on the addition.
Mrs. Eyler testified that she and her husband had modified the front entrance of the addition so that it slopes up to one step instead of having many steps, for her mother-in-law's ease.
Mr. Novak stated that he feels the intent of the zoning code in this case, is carried out, being that an immediate family member will be moving in, and not for income purposes.
Mr. Koss recommended that the Eylers bring the architectural drawings to the Council meeting.
In answer to Mr. Bader's question, Mrs. Eyler testified that there are two (2) exterior doors on the addition, the front entry, and an additional door which leads to the rear yard, both are wheelchair accessible.
In answer to Mr. Novak's question, Mrs. Eyler testified that there will be two (2) separate front entrances to the house.
In answer to Mr. Warren's question, Mr. Murphy stated that by law, the Board cannot require the kitchenette to be removed once the variance is granted; the variance goes with the land.
Discussion continued on this house becoming either a two family home or the addition being used as a rental unit in the future, especially with the two (2) exterior doors.
Mrs. Eyler asked the difference between a kitchenette and a wet bar; Mr. Warren read from the code, which states that a kitchenette has . . . approved cooking, refrigeration, and sink.
Mrs. Annette Eyler, mother-in-law, testified that her son and daughter-in-law are true to their word in saying that the kitchenette would be removed when the house is vacated by the family.
Mr. Koss stated that he believes her, but unfortunately that is not the issue. The Board concurred.
Mr. Mike Leonetti, 5010 Corliss, testified that the four (4) interior steps leading to the main dwelling could be reason enough due to the hardship it would cause the inhabitant, being the mother-in-law.
Mr. Koss stated that if Council were to overturn the decision of the Board, he felt it would be in the best interest of the City to eliminate the exterior doors of the addition to prohibit the addition from becoming a rental unit in the future.
The Board finds that:
  • There were no objections from abutting property owners.

  • The purpose for installing a kitchenette was not to create an income producing property or a living area for non-family members.

  • The application meets a very narrow definition of family, and that being the mother of one of the homeowners.

  • There are four (4) interior steps that lead to the main dwelling unit, which for health reasons are difficult to ascend and descend to get to the main kitchen area.

  • The Board is sympathetic to the circumstances, being that a blood relative of the homeowner would be living in the addition.

  • No uniqueness to the property that would give the Board authority to grant an exception to the zoning code, as narrowly defined as written.

  • There are two (2) exterior front entrance doors.

  • A literal interpretation of the code would not deprive the applicant of rights enjoyed by other property owners.

  • The conditions do not result from previous actions of the applicant.

  • The requested variance is not minimal to allow the reasonable use of the land.

    It was moved by Mr. Koss, seconded by Mr. Warren that recommendation be made to Council to confirm the decision of the Board in Case No. 2009-04 to deny requested variance based on the above findings.
    Roll Call:
    Yeas: Bader, Colich, Koss, Novak, Warren
    Nays: None.
    Motion carried.
    It was moved by Mr. Koss, seconded by Ms. Colich that the meeting be adjourned.
    The question was put to a voice vote and passed unanimously.
    Motion carried.
    Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

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