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CARMEL BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS | HEARING OFFICER MEETING

DEPARTMENT REPORT

MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2022

(V) Lewis Pool Equipment Variance.

The applicant seeks the following development standards variance approval:

1. Docket No. PZ-2021-00214 V UDO Section 5.02.C.7 Pools, decking & equipment shall be at least 3-ft away from any easement; 2-ft encroachment requested. The site is located at 3196 Driftwood Ct. (Lot 75 in Smokey Ridge subdivision). It is zoned R1/Residence. Filed by Matthew Harms of Modish Pools, LLC on behalf of Nathan & Mariel Lewis, owners.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner would like to place a swimming pool in the back yard. The pool and its decking will comply with the ordinance requirements. However, the pool pump/equipment location does not quite meet the ordinance, and the owner would like to place it in the side yard, within an easement. Please see the Petitioner’s info packet for more detail on the variance request.

There is a 10-ft wide drainage and utility easement that runs along the west side of the lot. The zoning ordinance requires that a pool, its decking, and equipment must be located at least 3-ft away from any easement. The pool pump equipment will be located approximately 7.3 feet from the west/side property line, within the drainage and utility easement. That means that the ordinance-required pool equipment setback is 13 feet (10-ft + 3-ft). This is a variance of 5.7 feet, or 44%.

The product brochure for the pool pump/equipment shows that it will be a quiet model that will reduce/muffle noise/vibrations.

The pool project has been approved by the neighborhood Homeowners Association.

The Petitioner will also seek Consent to Encroach (CTE) approval from the BPW (Board of Public Works and Safety) if it has not yet been done. The Carmel Engineering Dept. is in support of the encroachment; they are the department that takes CTE petitions through the BPW process.

The Petitioner addressed all planning/zoning review comments. The Planning Dept. supports the variance request.

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the petitioner’s Findings of Facts included in their info packet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends Positive consideration of Docket No. PZ-2021-00214 V, with the Condition that the Petitioner will also seek Consent to Encroach (CTE) approval from the BPW (Board of Public Works and Safety) if it has not yet been done, and with the adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.

(V) Teszler Fence Height Variance.

The applicant seeks the following development standards variance approval:

2. Docket No. PZ-2021-00166 V UDO section 5.09.B.4 Max. 42” front yard fence height allowed, 54”-60” requested. The site is located at 117 Rolling Hill Dr (Rolling Meadows Subdivision Lot 13). It is zoned R1/Residence. Filed by Natali Teszler, owner.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner seeks approval for a 4.5-ft (or 54-inch) tall fence in the front yard. As of 1/19/22, they clarify that they propose a 50-inch-tall fence (4.2 feet tall). Currently, their front yard fence is 3.5 feet tall. For the existing fence, a permit was approved for 3.5 feet tall wooden fence with 25% visibility (permit F-2021-00298). Fences in the front yard cannot exceed 42 inches (or 3.5 feet) in height. The Petitioner proposes a fence that is 54 inches (or 4.5 feet) tall. Again, as of 1/19/22, they clarify that they propose a 50-inch-tall fence (4.2 feet tall). Please see the Petitioner’s info packet for more detail on the variance request.

There are no architecture or design regulations for this neighborhood, and there is not an active Homeowners Association.

The existing fence is made of wooden posts and rabbit wire/fencing.

The new fence will be placed just outside of that, and it will have a design of being wood and having 3 horizontal boards, as shown in the picture example to the left (which shows 4 horizontal boards).

The fence will not be placed right up to the street; it will be located several feet back from the street pavement, a few feet in front of the existing large tree. (Petitioner, how many 3 of 10 feet from the street pavement will the fence be?)

Per the UDO’s Fence and Wall Standards in Section 5.09, fences and walls may be constructed on the Front Lot Line but shall be set back at least one foot from any sidewalk or multiuse path. (The existing street does not have any sidewalks.) However, since this front yard fence will be taller than 3.5 feet and needs variance approval, the Planning Dept. recommends the fence be placed further back, where the big tree sits, and that is closer to 35 -ft back from the street pavement. (The front property line is located approximately 20-ft back from the street pavement. And the existing tree sits approximately 36 feet away from the street pavement.)

The site also already has a tall wooden privacy fence that sits along the side and rear property lines. (See

The Petitioner addressed all but a few planning/zoning review comments, listed below. The Planning Dept. generally supports the variance request, with the conditions listed in the Recommendation section, also below.

1. Please provide the filled out & notarized Petitioner’s Affidavit of Notice of Public Hearing form (found in application). (For the hand delivered letters, the Planning Dept. needs the signatures of the property owners you hand delivered to, on this form. Or, you need to mail the letters again, via Certificate of Mailing.)

2. How far back from the street pavement is the fence proposed to be located?

3. The Planning Dept. was just made aware that the homeowner has BPW (Board of Public Works & Safety) approval for a larger driveway entrance width, larger than 20-ft. However, the installed driveway width of 43.7 feet is not what was approved by the BPW. They were approved to exceed the standard size up to 30-ft for the driveway width and 3-ft wings on both sides, for a total of 36-ft at the street. The current driveway width measured at the street is a total of 43.7-ft, and the driveway width is 36.7-ft. (The Carmel Engineering Dept. and the Carmel Code Enforcement Dept. are looking into this.).

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the petitioner’s Findings of Facts sheet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends Positive consideration of Docket No. PZ-2021-00166 V, with the Conditions of the front yard fences being located at least 30 to 35-ft back from the street pavement and resolving the issue of the driveway installation with the Code Enforcement Dept. and Engineering Dept., as well as with the adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.

(V) Guidepost Montessori Variances.

The applicant seeks the following development standards variance approval:

3. Docket No. PZ-2021-00208 V UDO Section 5.19.F Reduced number of plantings requested in north & west bufferyards requested.

4. Docket No. PZ-2021-00230 V UDO Section 3.88.C Minimum building height: 20’ (mean height) required, 16’ 4.25” requested.

5. Docket No. PZ-2021-00231 V UDO Section 3.88.D Building Offsets: 8’ required, 0’ requested along rear façade.

The site is located at 10216 N. Michigan Rd. (West Carmel Commons Subdivision, Lot 3). It is zoned B2/Business and US 421 Overlay Zone. Filed by Chris Horney of Murphy Real Estate Services.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner proposes to construct a new daycare/childcare facility. The two parcels to the east and part of this commercial subdivision (Outback Steakhouse and First Merchants’ Bank) are zoned B-2/Business and are within the US-421 Overlay Zone. To the west is a detention facility and vacant land, platted as part of Park Northwestern commercial subdivision. To the south are I-1/Industrial zoned properties, with wooded land, parking lot, RCI office building, and an Olive Garden restaurant. The parcel to the north is zoned I-1/Industrial and is within the US 421 Overlay Zone (Terry Pool Co., Inc.). BZA variances are being sought for bufferyard plantings, building height, and building offsets. Please see the

Petitioner’s info packet for more detail on the variance requests.

Site Plan, Parking, and Engineering:

This is the remaining parcel within the West Carmel Commons commercial subdivision, which was originally approved in 2012. At that time, Retail Parkway was extended west to the edge of the RCI property (parcel immediately south of the subject petition). The Thoroughfare Plan calls for Retail Parkway to continue to the west and then turn south to connect to Mayflower Park Drive. However, RCI currently owns the land where these improvements would be constructed. Until they make changes to their building or site, these improvements are not likely to be constructed. Therefore, the vehicular entrance for this rear parcel is on the bank’s property, with a dedicated easement to allow access. This was part of the original development plan. The Petitioner proposes to extend the south driveway to enter their parcel and create a loop of parking and site circulation. At the north end of the parking lot, there is another location to connect to the adjacent parking area.

The Petitioner has now reestablished this vehicular connection.

Architectural Design:

The design of the building is complementary to the Georgian architectural style. Some of these features are formal stone quoins of the columns, enhancement of the window headers and window muntin (pane) patterning, cornice line and frieze board detail (adjacent to the roofline), and dormers in line with windows below. The building will be constructed of brick (red/brown color) with a decorative stone as the base in the “country blend” color. A limestone sill is proposed between the decorative base stone and the brick. Siding will be an accessory material used on the dormers and fronts of the gables in a silver color. The roof will have asphalt shingles on the main roof in a gray color.

Building Height: The proposed height of the building is 16’ 4.25”. Because of the pitched roof, the height is measured at the mean of the eave and the ridges. The overall building height is 23’ to the top of the mechanical screen. 20’ is the minimum height requirement per the US 421 Overlay zone, so a variance will be required.

However, the Planning Dept. is supportive of this variance request.

Building Offsets: 8’ building offsets (projections or recessions) are required at intervals of 60’ if wall is 90’ long or greater. This is provided for the front of the building facing east, so it meets the requirement. However, the back of the building facing west does not meet the offsets requirement, mostly because it would eat into the playground area, and it is the back of the building that faces a detention pond. The Planning Dept. is supportive of this variance request.

Landscaping:

The Petitioner has been working with the Urban Forester on the landscape plan. One request the Petitioner has made is to have fewer plantings along the rear (west) and side (north) of the parcel, for the north and west bufferyards, which is adjacent to a retention pond and wooded/vacant areas. The reason for the request is to allow the maximum area for playground area and equipment for the children to play. Variances requested for these shortages are for 13 shade trees and 18 shrubs, total, and the Planning Dept. is supportive of this variance request. The Urban Forester is ready to stamp the Landscape Plan approved, subject to variance approval for reductions requested.

The Petitioner addressed planning/zoning review comments. The Planning Dept. supports the variance request.

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the petitioner’s Findings of Facts included in their info packet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends positive consideration of Docket Nos. PZ-2021- 00208 V, PZ-2021-00230 V, and PZ-2021-00231 V, and with adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.

(V) Thompson Pergola Setback Variance.

The applicant seeks the following development standards variance approval:

6. Docket No. PZ-2021-00232 V Silvara PUD Ordinance Z-652-20 5-ft side yard setback required, 0-ft requested. The site is located at 12072 Sigillary Way (Lot 44 in Hamlet at Jackson’s Grant subdivision). It is zoned PUD/Planned Unit Development. Filed by Ross Atteberry with The Smart Pergola, on behalf of Terry and Linda Thompson, owners.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner seeks approval to construct an adjustable louvred Smart Pergola over their existing side patio area. Please see the Petitioner’s info packet for more detail on the variance request.

The pergola will be located 0-ft front the north property line, which adjacent to platted neighborhood Common Area. And, Sea Bird Way street is just beyond that. The Silvara PUD ordinance requires at least a 5-ft side yard setback. This is a variance of 5-ft, or 100%.

The Petitioner might also need Consent to Encroach (CTE) approval from the BPW (Board of Public Works and Safety) if any part of the pergola or its footers encroach into the platted neighborhood Common Area. The Carmel Engineering Dept. is the department that takes CTE petitions through the BPW process. (Petitioner, what is the status of this?)

The Petitioner addressed all planning/zoning review comments. The Planning Dept. supports the variance request.

The Homeowners Association (HOA) has approved the proposal, as well.

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the petitioner’s Findings of Facts included in their info packet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends positive consideration of Docket No. PZ-2021-00232 V, and also with adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.

(V) Troy Estates Lot Cover Variances.

The applicant seeks the following development standards variance approvals:

7. Docket No. PZ-2021-00239 V UDO Section 2.06 Maximum 35% lot cover allowed, 45% requested. The sites are located near 4100 W. 141st Street (Lots 1-40 in Troy Estates subdivision). They are zoned S2/Residence with variances. Filed by Tony Bagato with Lennar Homes of Indiana.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner seeks approval to exceed the allowed lot coverage for 40 lots. The allowed maximum lot coverage is 35%, and the proposed lot cover is up to 45%. This is a variance of 10%. Please see the

Petitioner’s info packet for more detail on the variance request.

Certain home types (the Waverley) to be built in the neighborhood will require a greater lot coverage. A typical plot plan for the Waverley shows a 41% lot cover. Not all of the lots in the neighborhood will exceed the 35% lot cover; however, it is hard to pinpoint at this time which specific lots will need flexibility of a greater lot cover.

The Petitioner continues to work with the Carmel Engineering Dept. to seek approval for revised drainage plans and construction plans. The Petitioner needs to show that the overall drainage system will be able to handle the additional stormwater runoff and not cause any drainage issues. The Engineering Dept. will most likely approve the revised drainage report, but they want known that they will not support anything greater than the 45% requested lot cover with any potential future variance requests.

The Petitioner is also willing to propose a commitment that no home plans exceeding allowed lot coverage will be submitted for review/approval by the City Building Permits Dept. until the Carmel Engineering Dept. has approved the plans and drainage report.

The Petitioner addressed all planning/zoning review comments. The Planning Dept. supports the variance request, with the condition listed below in the Recommendation.

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the Petitioner’s Findings of Facts included in their info packet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends Positive consideration of Docket No. PZ-2021-00239 V, with the Condition of Engineering Dept. approval of the revised drainage report, and with adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.

(SUA, V) Carmel High School Natatorium.

The applicant seeks the following special use amendment and development standards variance approvals:

1. Docket No. PZ-2021-00235 V UDO Section 5.39.H Total number of signs, 2 additional requested.

2. Docket No. PZ-2021-00236 V UDO Section 2.10 Maximum 35’ building height allowed, 66’ requested.

3. Docket No. PZ-2021-00237 V UDO Section 5.30 2,933 parking spaces required, 2,445 requested.

4. Docket No. PZ-2021-00238 SUA UDO Sections 2.09 & 9.09 Greater than 10% special use amendment expansion requested.

The site is located at 520 E. Main St. It is zoned R2/Residence. Filed by Amy Allison of TLF Engineers, on behalf of Carmel Clay Schools.

General Info & Analysis:

The Petitioner seeks approval to build a 93,229 sq. ft. building addition, which contains a new natatorium. The site is located west of Keystone Pkwy, amidst a mostly residential area. Surrounding land uses are single family homes to the east, institutional uses to the south (including a church and the public library), and mostly single family residential uses to the north and west. Variances requested relate to signage, building height, and parking. The special use amendment is related to expanding the prior-approved school use by greater than 10% of the approved floor area. Please see the Petitioner’s informational packet for more detail on the variance and special use amendment requests.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is also reviewing the proposal, with Docket No. PZ-2021-00219

TAC. Technical aspects of the project are being reviewed, such as grading/drainage, landscaping, signage, architecture, utilities, etc.

Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity is proposed as part of the project. Where there are currently gaps in the sidewalk/path network, they will be filled in to create a complete pedestrian and bicycle connectivity network within the site and connecting to the surrounding adjacent areas.

Number of Signs: The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO Section 5.39) allows for one sign per street frontage. Over the years, signage variances have been sought and approved for the Carmel High School Campus, ranging from ground signs to traffic directional signs to wall signs and ranging from size and height variances, sign locations, to signs not facing a street, etc. Now, with the new natatorium building addition, a total of three wall signs are requested. One, which is an existing relocated sign, will face north towards Smoky Row Rd. (E. 136th Street), and two new wall signs will face west towards Audubon Drive (Sylvan Ln.). The relocated wall sign that reads ‘Eric Clark Activity Center’ is 18’8” wide by 2’6” tall, at 46.7 sq. ft. in area. The two proposed changeable sports graphic panels are each 12’ tall by 12’ wide, at 144 sq. ft. each. Examples of what these could look like are now provided in the BZA variance file. The existing ‘Eric Clark Activity Center’ will be moved to the north elevation of the new natatorium building addition, and the two changeable sports graphic panels will be on the west elevation of the new natatorium building addition. The Planning Dept. is supportive of this sign variance request.

Building Height: The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO Section 2.10) states that a maximum 35’ building height is allowed in the R2/Residence zoning district, and 66’ is requested. (This is a 31-ft variance, or an 89% increase.)

The height is needed because of the way natatoriums are designed and used, with the internal functions and programming needing clear ceiling heights. The building addition’s setback from the site’s east & west property lines will help with shadows not intruding on the homes to the east or west.

Parking Spaces: The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO Section 5.30) requires the following parking ratio for a School, elementary or secondary education (accredited by the state): One space per employee plus two spaces per classroom(elementary) or ten spaces per classroom (secondary). Carmel Swim Club members will have a new home at the Carmel Total Fitness site at 820 City Center Dr. They are doing a building addition there, so some parking needs will be relieved that way.

Per the Petitioner’s Overall Parking Summary chart on sheet G0.1 (page 7 of their Info Packet), 2,933 parking spaces are required, and 2,445 are requested. This is based off of 235 classrooms and 583 employees. This is a variance of 488 spaces, or a 17% decrease.

Today, the number of enrolled students is around 5,400. Per page 3 of the Info Packet, 174 classrooms exist, and this excludes laboratories and other extended learning areas which might be considered supplemental to academic classrooms, and are not occupied at the same time as the classrooms. And, there are 583 employees. (And per the BZA info packet, 32 parking permits are issued to 2nd or 3rd shift staff.)

So, using these figures, the required number of parking spaces is (174 x 10) plus 583, which equals 2,323 required parking spaces. Again, 2,445 are proposed. Using this rationale, it could be interpreted that the school will comply with parking. (Again, this calculation excludes laboratories and other extended learning areas which might be considered supplemental to academic classrooms, and are not occupied at the same time as the classrooms.) The Planning Dept. is supportive of this parking variance request.

Floor Area Expansion: The Unified Development Ordinance (UDO Section 9.09) states: “An approved special use may be expanded up to 10% of the approved gross floor area without obtaining further special use approval if the approved use or exception is continued in the expansion, if the particular building height, bulk, set back, yard, parking, etc. requirements are adhered to and if the proper permits for the expansion, such as improvement location permit, are obtained.” The proposed building addition will cause the prior approved floor area to exceed that 10% number.

The Performing Arts addition recently built added 2.59% floor area, and now this natatorium addition will expand the prior-approved floor area by 9.25%, thus cumulatively exceeding the 10% allowed threshold, with 12%. In general, special uses shall be viewed favorably by the Board of Zoning Appeals, as directed by UDO section 9.09.A. And so, the Planning Dept. is supportive of the requested expansion of the special use.

The Petitioner addressed all planning/zoning review comments. The Planning Dept. supports the variance and special use amendment requests.

Findings of Fact:

Please refer to the petitioner’s Findings of Facts included in their info packet.

Recommendation:

The Dept. of Community Services (DOCS) recommends Positive consideration of Docket Nos. PZ-2021-00235 V, PZ-2021-00236 V, PZ-2021-00237 V, and PZ-2021-00238 SUA, with the Condition of the Petitioner addressing all TAC review comments, and with the adoption of the findings of fact submitted by the Petitioner.