Lake County Gazette

Lake County Gazette

Monday, February 17, 2020

City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals met August 1

By Philip Gonzales | Sep 10, 2019

Meeting909

City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals met Aug. 1.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

I. CALL TO ORDER

At 7:30 PM Vice Chair Cullather called the meeting to order and asked Planner Burhop to call the roll.

Members Present: Bay, Bina, Cullather, Fettner, Henry, Putzel

Members Absent: Chaplik

Planner Burhop took the roll and declared a quorum present.

Staff Present: Burhop

Student Rep.: None

Council Liaison: None

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1. July 18, 2019

Planner Burhop stated the July 18, 2019 minutes were not ready and would be considered at the August 15, 2019 meeting.

III. PUBLICATION DATE FOR NEW BUSINESS: 7-17-19

IV. BUSINESS FROM THE PUBLIC: None

V. OLD BUSINESS: None

VI. NEW BUSINESS:

1. #19-06-VAR-016

Property: 574 Braeside Rd., Highland Park, IL 60035

Zoning District R5

Appellant: Dane & Antonia Skillrud

Address: 574 Braeside Rd., Highland Park, IL 60035

Planner Burhop made a presentation for the above item including site location, aerial image, project background, site photos, existing survey, proposed site plan, elevations, floor plans, additional notes and request.

Member Bina asked if the blue box was 8’ x 3.25’. Planner Burhop stated yes.

Ms. Antonia Skillrud, Applicant, thanked the Board for their consideration. She stated they have three girls and getting them out of the house and into the garage is difficult especially when it rains and it is cold. They want to connect the garage to the house. They considered going through the walls but they are load bearing and there is electrical and plumbing involved. They have to fix the sidewalk that runs along the side of the house and it is starting to fall apart and they have to redo the whole walk. There are no closets near the entrance and there is a mass of jackets, clothes and shoes by the front door. A mud room would be life changing by them not having to go outside and having a clean space by the front door.

Member Bay stated they could made the mud room 15’ long if they chose. But they are asking for a 3.25’ encroachment. He asked if they were doing it for extra space or for aesthetic reasons.

Ms. Skillrud stated it is in keeping with the character of the house and area especially because they have to add the roof to cover the area. It would look strange to have the roof just over the extension and have the original roof over the garage.

Member Bay asked if they would have to have the sidewalk totally replaced if they did not do the mud room.

Ms. Skillrud confirmed this.

Mr. Ryan Davies, Contractor representing the Applicant, stated they have done other work in the house and they have tried to bring in tools while Ms. Skillrud is trying to get the girls out the door. There is a crack in the slab and about 4” of pitch in the concrete. The brick is starting to degrade and there are structural issues.

Member Bay asked if they were going to step down into the mud room or from the mudroom into the garage.

Mr. Davies stated from the mudroom into the garage.

Member Putzel asked if they would need the sidewalk on the outside anymore. Mr. Davies stated they are eliminating it completely.

Member Henry asked Mr. Davies if he was the architect. Mr. Davies stated he was the carpenter.

Member Henry stated the applicant can build as of right all the way back and up the building line. He asked why the extra 3’ other than aesthetics.

Mr. Davies stated structurally if you have a roof pitch that is a steeper pitch it creates a penetration point where he would try to joint the two roof lines together. His experience has been when you try to tie them together you have to have the water come around the corner and not hit the building. It is extremely difficult to make it watertight. It is what they call a saddle roof and they try to avoid that at all costs because they leak. Where two different roof lines come together it is a penetration point and it is almost impossible to flash two different roof lines really well.

Member Henry stated, other than aesthetics, part of the rationale for bringing it to that line is from a roof building standpoint it is not logical to do it any other way.

Mr. Davies concurred.

Member Bay stated when they address the standards in the letter they stated there is no existing hardship and there has to be a hardship. He suggested the hardship is not having direct access to garage.

Ms. Skillrud asked if they would have to resubmit the letter. Member Bay stated no.

Ms. Skillrud stated it is a hardship with the three children.

Vice Chair Cullather asked if they had talked to with neighbors.

Ms. Skillrud stated she had spoken to the neighbor next door and with neighbors across the street. The only person she had not spoken with directly was the neighbor behind, but they were notified and they have not heard anything.

Vice Chair Cullather asked if all the comments were favorable. Ms. Skillrud stated yes.

Member Bay stated he was in favor granting of the variance and it met the criteria regarding the hardship. He understood why for aesthetic reasons and construction they would not want the roof line to create a saddle.

Member Bina agreed and after hearing the circumstances, hardship and construction difficulties he would support the variance.

Member Fetter stated looking at it at first he wondered why the 3.25’ expansion was necessary. Member Fetter now concurs they would almost be creating another hardship in creating a saddle roof. He thought it made more sense aesthetically and would support the variance.

Member Henry agreed and stated he was a little confused when he read the material about the hardship. It has been explained and makes sense from a construction standpoint. It is important to note that if they were required to conform to the code it would create more problems than they are alleviating by granting the relief. He would be favorable to the application.

Member Putzel agreed and stated they are all parents on the Board with kids and they would all say having a detached garage can be a hardship. She thought going in and out the doors is a hardship and it would be difficult to get a reasonable return in selling the house. She would support the variance.

Vice Chair Cullather agreed and in reading the material he had questions, but understood the rationale behind the need for a variance. He would support the variance.

Vice Chair Cullather entertained a motion. Member Bina motioned to direct staff to prepare findings of fact and order granting the variance as requested. Member Henry seconded.

Planner Burhop called the roll:

Ayes: Bay, Putzel, Bina, Henry, Fettner, Cullather

Nays: None

Vice Chair Cullather declared the Motion passed 6-0.

Vice Chair Cullather entertained a motion for the order. Member Bina motioned to adopt the draft order as prepared. Member Henry seconded.

Planner Burhop called the roll:

Ayes: Bay, Putzel, Bina, Henry, Fettner, Cullather 

Nays: None

Vice Chair Cullather declared the motion passed 6-0.

2. #19-06-VAR-017

Property: 970 Marvell Ln., Highland Park, IL 60035 Zoning District R5

Appellant: Stephen Carlin (Bertog Landscape) Address: 625 Wheeling Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090

Planner Burhop made a presentation for the above item including site location, aerial image, project background, site photos, proposed site plan, rendering, established building setback, additional notes and request. There are three elements of relief, but they layer on top of each other.

Member Henry asked if there was a stoop there.

Planner Burhop stated yes.

Member Henry asked if the piers are going to be on either site of stoop.

Planner Burhop stated the front yard requirements are fairly restrictive as to what can encroach and certain things like fences, certain structures not higher than 12” can encroach within an Established Building Setback and required front yard. However, there is also the subdivision building line in this case which is the most restrictive and does not allow structures higher than 12”, including fences.

Member Henry asked if they applicants wanted, could they build a fence without relief.

Planner Burhop stated yes to the required front yard and the established building setback. But no to the subdivision building line.

Mr. Stephen Carlin, Landscaper and Applicant representing the property owner, stated the existing walkway is on a pitch and is not a stoop and there is not an existing step. There was a second pour over the initial pour at the door ledge which is cracking. They want to eliminate the slope and it collects ice in the winter. The intention of the stoop was to level out the grade and the piers were the solution to height difference making the physical steps. The applicants are not present due to a death in the family. They have 93- year old mother who stays with them. The idea of having something physical with the step is one of the solutions. It will better than a railing on the side.

Member Bay asked about the size.

Mr. Carlin stated it would be the height of a rail or 36” high and would be three courses of brick.

Member Bay asked if there would be some type of cap on top.

Mr. Carlin stated it would be face brick. They are going to take some of the brick from the house for the piers. There would be limestone coping for the sills. The intention is to is make it seem like it was always part of the house.

Member Henry stated it is a tough one in a certain way when you consider the hardship as being the safety of the inhabitants in terms of walking in and out of the house. That was why he asked about the fence which would be non-conforming as well. He was tending to supporting the request and wanted to hear what the other members thought.

Member Fettner stated it was a deminimus request and if you look at the standards there are a couple that give him pause. There is a safety issue and if you look at what they have in the front he was concerned about future setbacks. This will not affect future established building setbacks for the block and will not have a bearing on construction in the future. He was leaning towards approving mainly because there is a safety issue. People will continue to live in the house whether they are the owners or not.

Member Bina agreed. He had one hang up about the reasonable return and the most compelling testimony was the ice buildup and this is intended to rectify this. He thought it was a great design and wondered if it can be accomplished through another design that does not require a variation. He could understand the hardship with the ice and this will be in perpetuity. It does not affect the building setback and he would support it.

Member Putzel agreed and thought it was a benign ask and it is unusual because it is not a structure. Due to the safety issue with the ice, if they were not here, the next owner would be asking. It would probably an issue in selling the home and someone is going to need to fix it. It makes sense and she was pleased they shared that aspect because they would need some kind of a hardship.

Member Bay agreed and was thinking, like Member Henry, if this could be done with a fence but they would still need relief. He thought it would be presumptuous to say a fence would be better than piers. In either case they would need relief. It needs to be addressed for safety and he would support the variance.

Vice Chair Cullather agreed and saw the need to do something regarding the water, slope and drainage. Almost anything would need a variance. It is easier with the two piers than a covered entry. It is a small ask and does not affect the setback for other projects on the block. He would support the variance.

Vice Chair Cullather entertained a motion. Member Fettner motioned to direct staff to prepare findings of fact and approval order approving the variance as presented. Member Bina seconded.

Planner Burhop called the roll:

Ayes: Bay, Putzel, Bina, Henry, Fettner, Cullather

Nays: None

Vice Chair Cullather declared the motion passed 6-0.

Vice Chair Cullather entertained a motion for the draft order. Member Putzel motioned to adopt the draft order as written. Member Fettner seconded.

Planner Burhop called the roll:

Ayes: Bay, Putzel, Bina, Henry, Fettner, Cullather

Nays: None

Vice Chair Cullather declared the motion passed 6-0.

VII. STAFF REPORT:

Planner Burhop stated there was no update on any text amendments.

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS: None

IX. ADJOURNMENT:

Vice Chair Cullather entertained a motioned to adjourn. Member Bay so motioned, seconded by Member Fettner. On a voice vote, the Chair declared the motion passed unanimously.

The Zoning Board of Appeals adjourned at 8:11 PM.

http://highlandparkil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=12&ID=2247&Inline=True

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City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals