Public Hearing on an application for a variance of the required 25 foot
minimum rear yard setback in the R-3 Multiple-Family Residential District for
the purpose of construction of a building addition for the Andover Senior
Citizen’s Club at 410 Lioba Drive. Clark
Nelson said the notice of this hearing was published in the Andover Journal-Advocate
and notices were mailed to 22 real property owners of record on July 8, 2004.
Chairman Nelson asked if any members have had any ex-parte communications
concerning this issue. There were none reported. Chairman Nelson asked if any
members have a conflict of interest in this case. There were none.
Nelson asked for the Zoning Administrators report on the case. Les Mangus said the Senior Center building is oriented so the front door faces Lioba Street and is on a corner lot. The building is pushed to the rear of the lot to allow
for parking in the front. The front yard to 3rd Street is
currently built at that setback. He said this request for a building addition
would bring it to within 1’ of the property line. Mennonite Housing has
contacted Les to say that as adjacent property owners to the Senior Center, they are opposed to the building addition. Les did invite Mennonite Housing
to attend this meeting to get their comments on record.
said that because the building faces Lioba Street, the rear of the lot to the
east is adjacent to the Summerfield Senior Housing. The zoning regulations
require a minimum of 25’ foot rear yard setback. Lynn Heath asked for the
required side yard setback. Les said the minimum side yard setback for uses
other than residential dwellings is 15’.
Hole of 318 Willowbrook represented the Andover Seniors as the President of
the Senior Citizens Club. He spoke in favor of the variance application and
of the advantages of the Senior Citizens Club to the City of Andover. He introduced Bill Morris as the architect of this project.
Morris, architect from Augusta presented the plan for the Senior Citizens. He
showed a sketch of the proposed 19’ x 35’ building addition, existing
building and parking area. He addressed Article 107 of the Zoning Regulations
with the following statements:
The Senior Club outgrowing their
existing facility is a unique problem.
They do not believe they would
be adversely affecting the neighborhood any more than they are now. There is
an existing fence around the patio area where the expansion is planned. They
have purposefully kept their building back to the north from the window in
the adjacent apartment to avoid impeding the view more than it is now with
the existing fence.
This expansion project is
already a financial hardship on the club.
They are adhering to the general
spirit of the Zoning Regulations with this application, not affecting the
public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare of the citizens. He
said that granting of this variance would add to the general welfare of the
community by allowing the club to grow and offer services.
Nelson asked if the existing west parking area is adequate for projected
growth of the club. Bill said that it is adequate and the plan does not
exceed the 35% maximum lot coverage.
Nelson asked if Mr. Morris had attempted to align the addition to the west as
opposed to the east. Bill said they had tried, but the expense to move the
restrooms on the west side of the existing building makes that option cost
prohibitive, and estimates the difference to be around $10,000 to move them.
Syrios asked how the building addition would impact the parking ratio. Bill
said the existing parking area would be adequate.
Nelson asked Mr. Morris to anticipate comments by the opposition of the adjacent
owner to the east. Bill said the footprint of the addition is no different
than the existing fenced patio area. He said there is a 5’ height difference
between the 2 properties.
Clark asked what the building addition height would be.
Bill said it would be 11’ at the ridge and match the slope of the existing
said there may be a question of safety. This would be addressed in the
building permit process for rating of the exterior fire walls. He said the
exit door on the new addition would also be a safety design. There was
general discussion about the 1-hour fire wall.
Clark asked Bill if he had contacted any of the neighbors
in an effort to work out any differences they might have. Bill said he had
not contacted any.
Martine asked if a previous variance had been granted for this property to
allow the reduced 20’ rear yard setback. There was discussion as to how this
building got oriented this way.
Bridges said that the Mennonites
donated the land to the seniors, and when the deed came through, the deed and
the survey were different. The Mennonites built their facility 10 feet further
onto the lot they were going to donate than anticipated. The conceptual
design of the building included that 10’ that was no longer available, so
when the city did the field survey we had to make the building fit, and in
order to keep the square footage, the building was turned.
Martine asked about the rear door of the building. Bill said it would be
located on the south. David asked if the owner to the east decides to fence
the property, how would there be access to the back of the property. Bill
said that in the event of an emergency, the fence would be destroyed.
Roberts asked how the rear wall would be constructed 1 foot off the line with
no agreement from the neighbors. Bill said that it won’t be a problem and it
would be constructed from the one side.
Roberts asked if the green area to the east on the plan belongs to Mennonite
Housing. Bill said that most of it does.
Coon asked if the roof would have an overhang. Bill said it would not,
because they want the fire wall it would come up as a parapet past the
Ball of 921 S. Andover Road and President of Andover Development Co., stated
they own the property on the southeast corner of 3rd Street and
Lioba known as Beaumont Place. She spoke in support of the Senior Center expansion project and stated many residents of Beaumont Place are members of the
Senior Citizens Club. She stated the distance between the proposed expansion
and her property would not be a problem.
Watts of 329 McCandless, and Director of the Senior Center for 3 years,
explained the services provided by the center and the need for additional
Clark Nelson asked the audience for a show of hands if they were in favor of
the variance. The majority of the people raised their hands.
Nelson asked if there was anyone wishing to speak in opposition of the
Cox of 9187 SW Stevens Road explained that the Senior Center has given a key
to their front door to Mennonite Housing to allow them to use the basement in
the event of a tornado. Mr. Cox stated this basement area is designed to only
be a mechanical room and is not constructed to be handicap accessible.
Zinn asked for Xury Hole to return to the podium to answer some questions.
Mr. Zinn asked how long this 600 square foot addition will be adequate for
the growth of the club. Xury said this expansion would help with the
overcrowding of the events going on at the center. Keith was concerned about
having another non-conforming building in the future when the club outgrows
this facility. Xury had no comment about this.
Morris said the plan could be adjusted if that would be more agreeable to the
Board. Mr. Morris explained the financial hardship of the Senior Citizens
Club and that the club does not anticipate construction of a new facility in
the foreseeable future.
Nelson asked Mr. Morris if he has studied all the possible configurations
that would be less burdensome on the adjacent property. Mr. Morris said there
is no other option due to the expense of moving the bathrooms and the
property being land locked.
Syrios asked what the budget is for this project. Bill said the approximate
cost will be $60,000, and the additional burden of $10,000 to move the
restrooms if the building was expanded to the west. There was general
discussion about options for expanding in other directions.
Nelson explained this is a drastic variance request, that would normally be
denied, and should be given due consideration.
Cox said she feels this request is a temporary solution. She is also very
concerned about the space between the buildings for maintenance, fire safety,
and reduced light and air of the adjoining property.
Syrios asked Les for his bases for conclusion of possible adverse affect on
the rights of the adjacent property owners. Les said the case is unique
because the property was gifted to the seniors. He said the minimum distance
between this addition and the adjoining property should be 33 feet and Les
feels this would be injurious to the other owner. Les said that the fire wall
would require a 2 hour rating if the distance between the 2 buildings is less
than 5 feet.
Syrios asked if the Fire Department would have a concern if this variance
were granted as presented. Les said fire protection is the reason for the
language in many of the building codes.
was further discussion about options to grant this variance. Lynn Heath said
he would prefer the variance be reduced from 1 foot to 5 feet.
Clark said he is going to vote in support of this
variance even though it is in opposition to Staff’s comments. He said he is
more persuaded because no one attended this meeting in opposition of the
variance. Clark also felt the estimate of $10,000 to move the restrooms from
the east to the west was low.
Coon was concerned about the uses of this building in the future should the
Senior Citizen’s Club move to a larger facility.
no further comments, Chairman Nelson closed the Public Hearing at 8:12 p.m.