Friday, October 24, 2008

Whitehall Board of Zoning Appeals on car storage at Langley and Hamilton, and old 7-11 store on E Main.

The Whitehall Board of Zoning and Building Appeals met October 22 to hear two cases. Since 1968 property located on Langley Avenue at Hamilton Road, behind a Smokes for Less store has been a storage area for cars. A special permit was granted to Davidson-Green Service Corporation for that use in the General Commercial District (GCD) at that time. The ordinance also had a condition that stated, "...that should such use be abandoned or upon any attempt by the owner, his heirs, assigns, successors, administrators, or executors or assigns to change such use, such special permit shall immediately terminate and the property shall revert back to General Commercial, and such uses authorized in a GCD".

Sean Mchalski purchased the property in July, 2007. He continued to rent space out for old cars, miscellaneous personal property and trash. Code enforcement cited Michalski for the misuse of the property and its unkempt condition.

The only permitted use that would be allowable specified in the code would be to store cars by a dealer or car sales company for overflow parking of a sales fleet.

It was also noted that Michalski never applied for an occupancy permit. According to BZBA Chairman Walter Arms, that if he had done so, perhaps he would have had a better understanding of what would, or would not be permitted as a use.

Board member Bruce Day continuously said that he could not understand why it couldn't be grandfathered in since it's been used for storage since 1968. Service Director Ray Ogden noted that there is no grandfather clause in that particular ordinance. Economic Development Director Dan Lorek added, "This administration is trying to clean these types of problems up in this city."

The property has been a blight for neighbors for many years. Shannon noted that even with a privacy screen and Michalski trying to meet the city half way with the clean up, the code will still not allow that use.

Day and fellow member, Bob Weatherby, voted to allow the use even though it goes against code, and would be as Ogden described, "illegal". Armes and member, Jack Garrett, voted against allowing the use. Larry Morrison was absent from the meeting, so with a tied vote, the appeal was automatically denied.

In the matter of a property located at 3940 East Main Street, a former 7-11 Store, a continuance was granted. Due to multiple code violations specified by Building Inspector Mike McGowan, including mold, the owner, Benderson Development Corp, LLC was issued an order to demolish.

Shannon met with the appellate, who asked the city for a punch list of items to fix as opposed to demolition. Both parties agreed on most points. Shannon said that the owners are making a good faith effort, and he saw no problem if they want to clean up before the next inspection.

Ogden said the city has marked what must be repaired in the parking lot. The owner has begun getting estimates this week, and agreed to have it resolved by the end of the year.

Reported by Dianne Garrett for Bexley Public Radio.

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Design is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Dianne Garrett.

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