BOA - August 20th 2013

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
MEETING MINUTES
Mayfield
Village
August 20, 2013

The Zoning Board of Appeals met in Regular Session on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center Conference Room.  Chairman Prcela presided.

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ROLL CALL:

Present: Mr. Joseph Prcela (Chairman), Mr. Paul Fikaris (Chairman Pro-Tem), Mrs. Shirley Shatten, Mr. Pat Caticchio, and Mr. William Russ

Also Present: Mr. John Marrelli, Bldg. Commissioner, Ms. Diane Calta, Law Department, and Mrs. Mary Betsa (on behalf of Ms. Garbo, Secretary)

CONSIDERATION OF MEETING MINUTES:  July 16, 2013

Mr. Russ, seconded by Mr. Caticchio, made a motion to approve the minutes of July 16, 2013

ROLL CALL:

Ayes: All
Nays: None

Motion Carried. Minutes Approved as Written.

CONSIDERATION OF CASE NO. #2013-03

Applicant:

Joseph & Kimberly Bican
796 Hanover Rd. 44040

  1. A request for a permit approval hearing from Section 1359 to permit the removal of 10 living trees to allow for installation of in-ground swimming pool and required fencing.

 

ABUTTING PROPERTY OWNERS:

Hanover Rd.

780,784, 788, 792, 777, 781, 785, 789, 793

Hardwood Ct.

804, 808, 812, 800, 843

Chairman Prcela administered the oath of office to Joseph and Kimberly Bican.

Chairman Prcela asked the applicants to explain what they are looking to do with the removal of the trees.

Mrs. Bican explained, we are going to put an in-ground pool in and fence.

Chairman Prcela asked, the trees have already been removed, correct?

Mrs. Bican replied, yes they have.

Chairman Prcela stated, it is my understanding that you were made aware of the Ordinance after the fact.

Mrs. Bican replied, yes. We didn’t think we had to do anything until we had to get a permit for the pool.

Chairman Prcela asked, Mr. Marrelli, how did this come before you?

Mr. Marrelli replied, I received a call from the neighbors that the Bicans had taken down all of their trees in the backyard and they were laying in the yard unsightly.  I went out and looked at it.  You have the pictures of what I saw when I got there.  I notified Mr. Bican that because of the size and conditions of the trees that he was in violation of our Ordinance which he was not aware of.

Chairman Prcela looked at the Ordinance closely. There are two issues here.  More than 10 living trees or more than 25% of living trees 9 inch diameter or greater.  Are we 100% confident we are exceeding those thresholds?

Mr. Marrelli brought an arborist with him to confirm the trees were the size the Ordinance specifies and that they were alive or not.  He confirmed all that. 

Chairman Prcela went to the property yesterday.  It appears there are some trees still on the property line, correct?

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes, there are a few. 

Chairman Prcela asked, how do those figure in to 25%?

Mr. Marrelli replied, a lot of the ones were 9 inches or better, I don’t think there’s any left that are 9 inches or better.  What’s left is twigs.

Chairman Prcela stated, it definitely has to come in front of this Board.  The problem is they are already down. 

Mr. Marrelli stated, the way the Ordinance is written, the Building Commissioner and Engineer are supposed to submit a report.  You should have something from Tom Cappello.  He had no problem with soil erosion or any kind of soil issues from the trees being taken down.

Chairman Prcela stated, had the trees not been taken down, the applicants would have come to this meeting; we would have had a report according to the Code from the Engineer which we have and then a recommendation from you.  I have for the record a report from the Village Engineer dated August 6th stating he reviewed the photos and it is his opinion that no erosion or pollution should occur as long as those disturbed areas are seeded, mulched and in good ground cover as established.  I also have for the record a memo from Mr. Marrelli dated August 6th advising that approximately 8-10 trees were cut down by Joseph and Kimberly Bican to make room. Applicants were unaware of the Ordinance and were advised of the permit requirement and are applying for same at this time.  Plans for the pool and fencing are being prepared to get approval from ARB.  It is Mr. Marrelli’s opinion that the Ordinance’s intent was to control or eliminate the practice of clear cutting large tracts of land for subdivisions but we have used it for existing small projects in the past.  The trees would interfere with required fencing on the lot’s perimeter and no erosion or pollution will be created from their removal.  Chairman Prcela continued, had the trees not been removed, you would have had these two reports.

Chairman Prcela administered the oath of office to anyone wishing to speak.

Mr. Caticchio made a statement, “Mr. Basconi is an old friend of mine and business associate.  He is also being represented by my son.  I hereby recuse myself from further proceedings.”

Chairman Prcela thanked Mr. Caticchio.  Duly noted that you are recused from this meeting.  We still have a quorum.

Michael Caticchio

I am representing Angelo Basconi, neighbor due north of the subject property.  I already know this is a foregone conclusion; this Board is going to pass it.  I know that.  Here’s the reasons why you shouldn’t even though you’re gonna, okay?  It requires a permit.  They didn’t know about it.  I get that.  But, simply because they didn’t know doesn’t mean they automatically ought to get it.  There ought to be at least some mitigation.  I understand nobody wants to do any criminal penalties.  There’s a lot of e-mails going back and forth. So you give them a permit so that you can’t prosecute them for the $500 per tree that you are allowed to charge them, okay?  You got Codes for a reason.  You have the ability to enforce them.  Once people do the act, you have a choice.  You can prosecute them or after the fact you can give them a permit. 

I sat on the Board at Highland Heights. We all did the same thing, okay?  But that doesn’t make it right.  The work to get a permit is like nothing.  You come in, do a permit, pay your money and you’re done.  But, what does it ensure?  It ensures that the work is done properly, not with a guy who’s on a Bobcat running around the backyard, okay?  You hire professional tree removers to do it right.  You also ensure that the abutting neighbors are protected.  Mr. Basconi is not protected. There are no silt fences. There’s no erosion control. 

I understand what the Engineer’s letter says.  Once the ground cover is in place, once the grass is in place, I agree with him. There won’t be a problem.  But there’s a problem right now.  I was on the property tonight.  I took the pictures.  We get a heavy rainstorm; the exposed earth that’s on their property is going to end up on Mr. Basconi’s property right up against his house.  I forgot to see who went to the property or not, but there’s a good 10-12 elevation difference, very sharp drop, at the point where Mr. Basconi’s house comes into the side yard.  That dirt is going to go into his side yard against his house until this project’s done, okay?  You also ensure that there isn’t any illegal dumping.  I don’t know if John checked it out close enough when he took all those pictures, but I’ve got the pictures. Beyond the property line, and there’s a pin right there, I saw it, there’s now a nice little path for lack of a better word built by the Bobcat I’m going to guess and you can follow it all the way back 30-40 feet into the woods. There’s a large pile of the chips from the stump grinding.  In and of itself not a bad thing.  I think it’s the lot that abuts Hanover on Wilson Mills.  It comes all the way back.

Mr. Bican stated, I had permission to do that, thank you.

Mr. Caticchio continued, thank you very much.  However, when another big rain comes, all those chips are going to end up in the creek. The creek that goes directly into the basin that is on Mr. Basconi’s property and that he is responsible for cleaning out.  So things have consequences and some people don’t follow them all the way through and had he got a permit he might have been advised of that. 

We don’t get due process either. When you don’t get a permit, you don’t get notification, so we come in after the fact. Well after the fact, I’m sorry, there’s nothing to do except rant and rave a little bit.  The trees are down.  Had they got a permit, we could have objected at that point, or maybe gone to Court, I don’t know.  Maybe we could have stopped them.  Maybe we couldn’t. 

They want a pool; they are going to get a pool. When they do that, there’s going to be a board on board fence instead of these nice trees.  That board on board fence when you look out Mr. Basconi’s kitchen window, he’s looking at the base of a board on board fence, okay? Because again, because of the elevation difference, that’s what he is going to be looking at instead of some nice mature growth trees that nobody can ever replace. That’s what it is going to get, okay?  So I respectfully submit that you deny it at least for now until you see the permit and the plans for the pool because if he comes in and asks for exceptions to that, maybe we can object to that. Thank you.

Chairman Prcela thanked Mr. Caticchio. We appreciate your comments.  I don’t know that we appreciate the assumption that approval is a foregone conclusion, but I do appreciate your comments.  I think we should probably give the applicants a chance to address a couple of these points.  I think some of them are valid points.  Let’s start first with the erosion.  I also walked the property and I did see the elevation drop and I assumed that neighbor would be here, that’s you Mr. Basconi. Your patio and screened–in porch abuts their property and that’s probably the side of the house that’s looking out.

Mr. Basconi stated since then he did some scraping Sunday and he dumped it in the back of my shrubbery, my trees in the back, there’s a lot, about 30 feet or so. That is not his property and when the Engineer went out and measured it, it was on my property, the back of those trees. They will dump down into my big catch basin that was put there by the City and I have to clean it every month and it will plug up.

Chairman Prcela stated, a lot of these points that are being discussed would have been addressed had there been a permit.  I believe this Board’s authority at this juncture is to have some conversation amongst us. We are not really addressing permit type of issues. We are basically here to either grant a permit post the fact or not, am I correct in that assumption?

Ms. Calta replied, that would be correct.

Chairman Prcela stated, if we grant the permit, I assume we can also condition the permit to include some silt fencing, correct?

Mr. Marrelli replied, you are getting into the architectural design now. I don’t know that you can. Besides that, I want to address his point about the sewer.  You have been having trouble with that sewer since you bought that house because we got 100 requests for cleaning it.

Mr. Basconi replied, not 100, but for cleaning it, yes.

Mr. Marrelli clarified, 20-30.  You call me and I call Doug and they go down and they clean the catch basin. So it’s not what he did that’s causing your sewer problems.

Mr. Basconi stated, it’s going to get worse.

Mr. Marrelli stated, but you are making the assumption that now it’s going to block your sewer.

Mr. Basconi stated, there’s no question about it.  It’s all piled up there.

Mr. Marrelli stated, apparently, there’s been things going on since I took these pictures like the Bobcat and the chipper and ground scraping that we didn’t know about.  Just so you know, this is the last time I was on this property and there was no ground scraped and there was no chipper.

Mrs. Bican stated, I have pictures of the yard now if you would like to see them.

Mr. Bican added, I rented the Bobcat for 2 hours.  I spoke with a guy from Wilson Mills who came over and introduced himself.  He was a very nice man.  He said he owns everything on the other side of that creek that runs in Angelo’s yard and he has been having problems with it for years before I moved in there.  He said I could do whatever I want back there.  I said okay, fine.  I drop my lawn clippings back there.  I don’t pile them up so they go over the hill.  I am not like that.  I pile it up nice and neat.  I spread it around.  I did not put the chippings by the edge.  I pulled it back and spread it nice and neat.  If there’s a problem, I will pull it more this way, but it’s not even his property, it’s not even near his property.

Chairman Prcela stated, you are under oath. You had permission to put backyard waste on that person’s property?

Mr. Bican replied, yes.

Mr. Marrelli stated, dumping is a subjective term.  If you spread woodchips thin enough, I don’t think it’s dumping.

Mrs. Bican stated, before we cut down any trees or did anything, we weren’t sure exactly where our property line was. We could not decipher what was ours and what was not. So we had a land surveyor come out to tell us what was ours. He lined it up on both sides. Everything was fine. As soon as we realized those trees were ours, it never occurred to us that we couldn’t cut down our own trees.  Hindsight is 20-20 apparently.  We should have looked into it a little bit better, but we were thinking that our ultimate goal was to get the pool, the cement and the fencing.  We certainly didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers, but apparently we have.  As far as the elevation drop where Angelo’s side is, with or without the trees there, there still was an elevation drop.  It’s always been like that.  It was like that when I moved in.  Nothing has changed.  I don’t understand how that would affect the elevation drop.

Mr. Basconi stated, the elevation is not the same.

Mrs. Bican replied, it most certainly is.

Mr. Bican stated, as far as the elevation, I will make sure that it’s done right.

Mrs. Bican stated, our backyard only looked like this for a week.  I have pictures of what it looks like now.

Mr. Basconi stated, if it rains, it will go down in my basement window.

Mr. Marrelli asked, what are you worried about, the silt?

Mr. Basconi replied,  it’s 14 feet from my basement window.

Ms. Calta stated, Tom Cappello, the Village Engineer, clearly says that any disturbed areas are to be seeded, mulched and good ground cover established. So now is the time to do that.  It’s not today, but now’s the time where you can make sure.  If this had lined up in a perfect scenario, you wanted to do your pool and you came in to Architectural Review with the pool and the fence and then you got a permit for your trees and all of that, you would have done your construction and you would have been required to make sure with silt fences and things like that that there’s no sediment off your property.  When you do your pool you will be digging and excavating and moving soil that could run off your property so you are going to need fences and things like that. At this point, whether you excavate it or not excavate it, you have moved the trees and in order to get that ground settled there, it has been disturbed, so if you take a tree, and the stump out, you have to put something in there to stabilize it.  So, he’s requiring that at this point anything that has been disturbed has to be seeded and ground cover established.  That’s part of his report.

Chairman Prcela stated, I would assume that you are going to require a silt fence.

Mr. Marrelli replied, yes.

Dennis Murphy, lives right around the corner, just around the bend.  I drive there every day. They have done nothing but dump money in their house and made it more beautiful.  I stopped there one day and had to compliment them.  It’s beautiful what you’ve done. Everything they’ve done is not cheap.  I am building a house on the lake right now.  Me and my brothers are building three houses for ourselves on the lake.  I know what it costs.  What they are doing is not cheap.  I just can’t believe that anyone would complain about something like this when they are taking such good care of their property.  I guarantee you when the pool’s done it’s not going to look like junk.  It’s going to be a first class thing.  I was there last night.  I saw the little area of trees. I had a plane crash in my place out there in Madison on the lake.  It took me three weeks to plant the grass.  It’s back to normal.  I have no erosion, no rain coming down.  It amazes me with what they’ve done to that house that anybody would really make a mountain out of a molehill.  It’s really something.

Chairman Prcela stated, we appreciate your comments Mr. Murphy, thank you.

Eric Hoffman, comment, I am an adjacent property owner.  Mr. Murphy lives a few doors down.

Ms. Calta asked, you are Sublot 47?

Eric Hoffman replied, I am Sublot 47.  I have a 105 foot boundary.  The arrow is my house. The applicant’s house is there.  There’s 105 foot border.  I share the same interest as Mr. Basconi.  We had a number of trees taken down on our property too.  I would like you to focus on the local Ordinance that we were talking about about removing trees. Section 04 doesn’t just talk about pollution.  It doesn’t talk about soil erosion. Those aren’t problems for me, unless you talk about site pollution or something like that.  It also talks about that the area wouldn’t be unsightly or in a blighted condition. We have these beautiful trees right on our boundaries. We have a monument right on the corner.  There was probably a 50 foot tree.  It wouldn’t have had that much affect at all on their pool if they are putting a pool in.  When I checked on Friday, there still hadn’t been an application for it.  It creates an unsightly condition.  It creates a problem. They always have 3 trucks parked in their driveway. The lights come on at night.  I don’t know what the situation is. They shine right on our house, but more important, maybe Mr. Murphy didn’t notice this when he was there last night. The back of their house is lit up. They are halogen lights. They shine right in our windows, right in our house.  So, I would ask you to focus on the parts that deal with the unsightly conditions. Also, if you allow the permit, it says you can allow it with conditions.

Chairman Prcela replied, that’s correct.

Mr. Hoffman continued, I don’t know what the situation is with a fence.  Like I said, I haven’t seen any application for the pool.  But I would like, and I know Mr. Basconi and us differ a little bit on that, but a 6 foot fence.  We lost these trees that were far in excess of 9 inches in diameter, both of us, and I would request the Board to order some landscaping on our side of that fence assuming it’s right on their side of the border.  I don’t have an objection to the pool.  I do have an objection to those trees that came down.  If they would say, well we don’t want leaves in our pool, they are still going to get leaves in their pool from the back line, that 55 foot line, as well as from my yard and I think Mr. Basconi still has two or three trees that will throw off enough leaves to go in that pool.

Chairman Prcela asked, so you are asking for landscaping on your property?

Mr. Hoffman replied, those trees shaded my property too. They cut off the light.

Mr. Bican stated, they are our trees.  Why should our trees be your problem?  You have a ton of trees, don’t you?

Mr. Hoffman asked, is this part of the procedure?  Am I to respond to him or am I to respond to you?

Chairman Prcela replied, you are to respond to us.  Let Mr. Hoffman finish.

Mr. Hoffman stated, obviously we have this local Ordinance that says that sometimes we have to consider our neighbors in the things we are doing. That’s the purpose of that Ordinance.  Seeing as he brings that up, this isn’t the first time that this Ordinance was ignored.  Some years ago, my yard had a lot of trees and it extended back into their predecessors, the same yard. They cut down all of the trees in the center of the yard.  That was I am sure covered by the Ordinance also.  I don’t know about Mr. Basconi, I have no objection to this, I know they have a few kids playing in the back yard.  I was not going to make a big deal about it.  But they come in and take every single tree off their yard with the attitude that, hey, those are my trees, I don’t care what you think. They are my trees. I want to build a pool.  I will cut down every tree. Well, I don’t think that’s in the spirit of the Ordinance at all.  I don’t really have much objection to doing that, to building the pool if that’s what’s going to happen which I don’t know if that is or not.  But I would like to see some landscaping to replace what was taken down.

Chairman Prcela stated, thank you Mr. Hoffman. We appreciate that.

Mrs. Bican asked, can I cut in?

Chairman Prcela stated, we can address that.  I think we want to keep these conversations civil.

Mrs. Bican stated, absolutely.  The two big trees that we removed were only 10 feet from our back deck. There was one right here and then there was one on his side.

Chairman Prcela asked, on your property?

Mrs. Bican replied, on my property, yes.  There was one right here and one right here.

Chairman Prcela stated, they are actually depicted here.

Mrs. Bican continued, those two trees were pretty massive. We were concerned about the shading of the pool. We have 4 children. We are trying to make it nice. The whole area was shaded, so we were concerned about the shade as much as we were the leaves, but I was more concerned really with shading. 

Chairman Prcela replied, understood. Again, had the applicant come here, we would have relied on the Engineer’s opinion as well as the Building Commissioner’s opinion in our ruling. Whether we would have granted favorably or not remains to be seen.  We are beyond that now. We have to make a determination whether or not we are going to grant a permit post-haste.

Mr. Basconi asked, don’t you need a permit to cut down trees?  Do you require a permit to cut down trees?

Chairman Prcela replied, we require a permit to cut down more than 10 trees or more than 25% of trees in Mayfield Village.  I have been a resident of the Village for 18 years and I have seen a lot of trees come down that probably shouldn’t have.  I have been on the Board for 5 years. This is the first time I have had a tree case.

Mr. Marrelli stated, we had one just before you where a guy had a tree farm on the Upper 40. He cut down probably 100 trees.

Chairman Prcela stated, I have never seen anybody come through this. That doesn’t mean that the Ordinance is there and we are here.

Mr. Marrelli stated, I have used it.  Just to let you know, I have had a couple of occasions where a landscaper would come in and ask about an owner wanting to clear cut their lot.  I would show them the Ordinance and it went away. They didn’t do it.  I know that either from people questioning us and me explaining how it works or by somebody going on the internet and reading it, I am sure we have prevented many properties from being clear cut.

Chairman Prcela stated, based on what I saw, I would not call this a clear cut operation. I would say it definitely meets the threshold for coming to us for approval.  I definitely don’t consider this a clear cut.  I think I would be on the same page with Mr. Hoffman.  Had I granted the permit post-haste, I probably would have suggested that we put some vegetation on the property, maybe in the form of a screening or something like that.

Mrs. Shatten asked, can they still do that?

Chairman Prcela replied, yes they can.

Mrs. Shatten stated, I think they should.

Mr. Marrelli stated, Mr. Hoffman’s correct in that this Board can specify conditions of the permit.  He has concerns with their driveway.  It points right at his house, so when they pull in, it lights up his house. I don’t know what your lights look like at night. I don’t know if you can turn them down or if you can put shields on them so they’re not blasting through the neighborhood. I  don’t know what the deal is there.

Mr. Bican replied, they are like a sensor.

Mr. Marrelli asked, can you point them down?

Mrs. Bican replied, yes.

Mr. Bican stated, as a matter of fact, there’s an umbrella right over them so that it does not protrude.

Mr. Murphy asked, what do you do in the wintertime when there’s no leaves on the trees to block it?

Mr. Hoffman replied, it lights up my whole house.

Mr. Marrelli stated, this is what I’m leading up to.  Mr. Basconi has an issue that could be resolved.  Mr. Hoffman’s got an issue that could be resolved.   The Bicans can get what they need if you put it all together.  I think it’s a workable plan.

Chairman Prcela stated, we will go on that path now.

Ms. Calta asked, what is the timetable on the pool?

Mrs. Bican replied, we were waiting to see what was going to transpire here.  We are meeting with one person tomorrow.  We were hoping to have it in by Fall. 

Mr. Bican added, the one we wanted to use will not be able to start until next year.

Mrs. Bican stated, he would not be able to start until next year. Right now we are just trying to decide if we are going ahead and not use the one guy that we really like.

Ms. Calta stated, coming up with a resolution, if the application is going to be submitted for the pool or fence tomorrow or hypothetically within the next year versus something that’s down the road 10 years, that could play in to how you resolve the issues now. Maybe the fence which has to be put up for the pool would assist with some of the issues.

Mr. Marrelli stated, I would think that as far as the vehicles go, the fence would be across the driveway so that would keep the headlights out of Mr. Hoffman’s area.

Mrs. Shatten stated, that fence would probably prevent that light from shining.

Mr. Marrelli stated, the low lights on the vehicles, it won’t do anything for the lights on the house.

Mrs. Shatten clarified, I am talking about the vehicles.

Mr. Marrelli agreed. I think it would take care of that.  Not knowing what it looks like at night, I can’t design a light shield for anybody.

Mr. Fikaris stated, I have a question.  As we go down this road, I have a question with starting to dictate conditions to applicants that I don’t think; I would like to have somebody intervene with some issues I have with neighbors.  If there are trees and such involved, that’s his right.  He should have had the permit. That would have been taken under consideration, but ultimately it’s his trees.  As it states, it’s one calendar year.  So a clever person in a week in December and January could clear half their lot. The rest is the honor system.   Reputable tree companies should be informed.

Mr. Marrelli stated, they check.

Mr. Fikaris continued, and they say, okay, this is what it’s going to take.  Up until then, it’s an honor system, so say you cut down a tree, just one, and somebody didn’t like it, and came to the city, the city would say, you are allowed to do that.  I respect orderly neighborly kind of things and I understand about the lights and things like that.  Those lots existed. Everybody kind of knew, it seems, I don’t know if any of you guys are original owners, but you kind of understand the layout of the lot, so you understand what’s happened.  So, if something should befall you, say something happened and a tree fell, same thing, you would have to deal with figuring out a different way to figure out how to block his lights.  I believe these folks want to help and cooperate with their lighting. If they agree to adjust that, that’s great.  In my opinion, I don’t think it’s the Board’s duty to say hey, you need to put this fence, this shield, this light, to help this out.  I think we need to focus more on whether this permit’s granted, and if it’s not, what are the reasonings?  The Engineer cleared the erosion.  If we monitor the situation, it’s going to be a proper cover and things like that.  I think the tough decision is now in retrospect, do we grant this or not?  In my opinion, it is not conditional.  I don’t think that’s what we should do. It’s the neighborly thing to do.  I just wonder if that’s a slippery slope sometimes.

Mr. Murphy stated the question is, if he would have gotten the permit, would it have been passed?  Would he have gotten a permit to tear down those trees?

Chairman Prcela stated, I am not going to guess what would happen.

Mr. Murphy stated, I know a ton of people who have done it. They tore some big big trees down.  It has been granted.  I guess the whole thing is about because he didn’t get the permit. But if he did get the permit, I bet my life on it, it would have been granted. He would have been able to take those trees down.  The whole thing is this, it’s boiling over here because they didn’t get that permit. But if they did get it, and went through the legal steps, they would have been able to tear those trees down. It’s their trees.  They are building a pool. They don’t want shade on their pool. They want sunlight.

Chairman Prcela stated, I appreciate your comments.  I agree with Mr. Fikaris.  I think sometimes we try to act as a mediation board between neighbors and it is a slippery slope.  I would say that if I were to grant this permit after the fact, I would condition it with the immediate placement of a silt fence bordering Mr. Basconi’s property until they are done with their construction.  I don’t know that we want to get into the design of whether the fence is going to be wood, or anything, but I don’t think that’s this Board’s decision.

Mr. Marrelli stated, no, that’s the Architectural Board.

Ms. Calta stated, I think that in looking at this Ordinance, the intent was to address possible secondary effects of a property owner doing something to their property, but making sure it doesn’t have any secondary effects to protect the public welfare.  You are having a very healthy discussion about what the public welfare is.  What this is affecting and is it affecting anything, and how?  We have this fence going up, the buffer issues being addressed. 

Mr. Marrelli stated, it’s kind of half done. Things are disturbed.

Ms. Calta agreed. As long as you can maintain the integrity of that property so that it doesn’t affect the neighboring properties and really everyone.  It’s not just one neighbor.  It’s not just somebody to the north or south.  It means the whole community.

Mrs. Shatten asked, so it’s inappropriate for us to suggest that evergreens or trees be put along the property line?  Is that inappropriate for this Committee?

Ms. Calta replied, the conditions that are highlighted in here are things that would cause erosion or result in pollution, a reasonably large loss of oxygen.  This is from 1974.  It goes into depressing property values, unsightly and blighted conditions.  If you are in the middle of a construction site, obviously a construction site is unsightly and someone could say it is blighted.  I think if this was a situation where they came in and took all the trees down and had no plan to do anything else, they just wanted to take all the trees down, that would be a different set of circumstances.  But this pool is coming.  Some of these issues have to be addressed between the property owners.

Chairman Prcela stated, Ms. Calta is our attorney for the Village. These Codes are written, it’s often the question of what the intent is.  I don’t think this Code was directed to prevent a citizen from taking down trees to put in a pool.  That was not the intent.

Mr. Marrelli agreed.

Chairman Prcela continued, based on what I have seen right now, had this come before us, I would have gone towards approving it since the pool is going to be going in.  I don’t see how the pool could have gone in without some of these coming out.  That’s what I would have done. Since it’s already done and I have the opinion of the Engineer as well as the Commissioner. I frankly expected more neighbors here.  I am not saying that’s a bad thing.  I definitely sympathize with your position, but I think the sooner I get a permit in his hand, he can direct what they need to do and the better off they will be.  That’s my personal opinion. As soon as they have the permit, he is going to ensure there is no silt or runoff on your property.

Mr. Bican stated, I will do whatever they want.

Chairman Prcela stated, with regard to Mr. Hoffman’s concern about the lights, I wasn’t there before, but I would imagine the angle of your driveway was there prior to your moving in?

Mr. Bican replied, that’s how it was built.

Mr. Hoffman stated, it wasn’t a problem when the trees were there and there weren’t halogen lights on the house either.  Is that such a big deal with that as a condition?

Mrs. Bican stated, we can certainly dim that down .

Mr. Hoffman stated, it lights up the whole back of my house.  When the snows on the ground, it reflects off the snow.

Mrs. Bican stated, I do have to see far back.  I have four children. 

Mr. Hoffman stated, I’m talking about at midnight.  I am talking about 2 in the morning.

Mrs. Bican stated, I will bend it down so that it is not glaring.  I would not want that either.

Mr. Bican asked, are we here for a light?

Chairman Prcela replied, we are not here for a light.

Mr. Bican stated, okay. Thank you.

Chairman Prcela stated, I will say on the record that a lot of these issues between neighbors can sometimes be resolved outside of these situations. We don’t have enough codes to cover any potential issue we come across.

Mr. Bican stated, all they had to do was come talk to me. Angelo, we have been taking care of him for I don’t know how many years, taking down his garbage for him, fixing his hot water tank. All he had to do was come talk to me.  I will do whatever you want. Really.

Mr. Basconi asked, what did I do for you, get a lawnmower?

Mr. Bican stated, you can ask. 

Mr. Basconi, asked, did you say you didn’t have a lawnmower and I bought one so we could both cut our lawns?

Mr. Bican stated, Angelo I would help you out in a second, you know that.  I would do whatever you want.

Chairman Prcela stated, it sound like we are willing to talk with neighbors.

Mr. Russ stated, we are off the subject.  Let’s take the vote.

Chairman Prcela asked, any discussion from you Mr. Fikaris on what we have heard here?

Mr. Fikaris replied, no.  It’s interesting that Mayfield Village is looking into but they have not yet adopted a dead tree law, so ironically, you look at some of these trees, not taking this as an example, some could say, hey, that’s diseased, you have to take that down.

Mr. Marrelli stated, we are working on that right now.

Mr. Fikaris, so this, as it is written as well could be, what if you do have a bunch of dead wood and you come to the Board, but I think, I am hopeful this can be worked out, but I am in agreement with Mr. Prcela  that I believe if this would have been done prior to the trees being cut down we would have approved it with maybe a little bit of gentleman’s agreement with some conditions but there are rights here of a homeowner. That is not an excuse for not understanding.  If you pursue something like a pool, there would have been a little more.

Mrs. Shatten agreed that it is after the fact. The trees are gone. Now what are we going to do? That’s why I asked if it is in our realm to say that they need to put some evergreens in so he doesn’t get the lights from their cars coming in and that you get some evergreens.

Mr. Basconi asked, get some what?

Mrs. Shatten replied, evergreens.

Mr. Basconi stated, sure shrubbery or hedges.

Mrs. Shatten stated, but I don’t know if that’s ours or the Architectural Review Board’s decision.

Chairman Prcela stated, they can do anything they want. But I do agree that we have to be careful about setting a precedent about putting too many conditions in the hopes of getting everybody to get along.

Mr. Russ stated, neighbors have to get along and work it out. This is not our responsibility.  We are here to vote on what the situation is.  If you can’t get along with the neighbors and work it out then you’ve got a problem.  A serious problem. But that is not our responsibility.  Our responsibility is what this is right now.  I think we should go ahead and vote and make up our minds what we want to do on this situation.

Chairman Prcela stated, all right. With that being said, I need a motion.

Mr. Russ made a motion that we grant the permit for the removal of the trees with no condition.  How can we?  Until they get the pool in there, that’s not our responsibility. The Architectural Review Board and everybody else is going to get involved in that.  If they’ve got some other problems that we have to be involved with, then they can come back, but we are getting way off base here.

DECISION:

Motion to approve request for permit for the removal of 10 living trees to allow for installation of in-ground swimming pool and required fencing, with no conditions.

Mr. Russ, seconded by Mr. Fikaris, made a motion to approve request for permit for the removal of 10 living trees to allow for installation of in-ground swimming pool and required fencing, with no conditions.

ROLL CALL

AYES:  Mr. Prcela, Mr. Fikaris, Mrs. Shatten, Mr. Russ
NAYS:  None

Motion Carried. Permit Granted.

Right to Appeal

Chairman Prcela stated, the Board has spoken. We have issued a permit for the removal of the trees.  I would hope that the applicants would get together with Mr. Marrelli to start working closely with the Village so that the Village can protect the interests of all parties involved.  I would also like to remind everybody here present that the decision of the Board can be appealed in writing to the Clerk of Council within thirty (30) days.

Chairman Prcela stated, if there is no other discussion, I am going to make a motion to close the meeting.

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ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business, Chairman Prcela, made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

ROLL CALL

Ayes: All             
Nays: None       

Motion Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.