City of Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals met March 9.
City of Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals met March 9.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
A regularly scheduled Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting was held on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m., City Hall, 419 Fulton Street, Room 400, with Chairperson Richard Russo presiding.
The following Zoning Board of Appeals Commissioners were present: Ed Barry, Scott Kelsey, Zachary Oyler, Richard Russo, and Nathan Wagner – 5. Absent: Laith Al-Khafaji, Jerry Jackson – 2.
Staff Present: Shannon Techie, Madeline Wolf
Commissioner Barry moved to approve the minutes for the meeting held on December 8, 2016; seconded, by Commissioner Oyler.
The motion was approved viva voce vote 5 to 0.
Case No. Zba 3029 Public Hearing on the request of Robert DeAtley of Barber & DeAtley Inc. for variances from the City of Peoria Unified Development Code Section 4.3.4, Building Envelope Standards, including but not limited to, windows and doors, parking setback, garden wall and transitional buffer yard, and street façade requirements, Section 8.3, Signs, and Section 8.2.14.A, Drive-Thru Facilities, in a Class C-G (General Commercial) District, for the property located at 1705 and 1715 N. Knoxville Avenue (Parcel Identification Nos. 18-04-128-033, 18-04-128-034, and 18-04-128-035), Peoria, Illinois. (Council District 2).
Senior Urban Planner, Shannon Techie, Community Development Department, read the case into the record and presented the request. Ms. Techie provided the requested variances, petitioner justification, staff recommendation, conditions requested by staff, a background of similar variances on neighboring properties, and the Development Review Board Recommendation as outlined in the memo.
Staff’s recommendation was to Approve the variances, if the petitioner demonstrated that all three variance standards are met, and subject to the following conditions:
1.A 6-foot tall cedar wood privacy fence approximately 2.5 feet east of the west property line, with landscaping plated and maintained on both sides on the fence, must be provided in lieu of a garden wall or the transitional buffer yard and meet the intent of a wall and transitional buffer yard, to provide adequate screening from the adjacent residential property.
2.A pedestrian connection to the public sidewalk on both Knoxville Avenue and Richmond Avenue must be installed to provide increased pedestrian accessibility to the site.
Commissioner Barry noted the site plan indicated a 1’setback for the privacy fence on the west property line and condition #1 required the fence be 2.5’ east of the west property line.
Ms. Techie confirmed staff’s support for a 2.5’ setback for the privacy fence and noted the petitioner may confirm the proposed setback.
Chairperson Russo inquired if the property may yield a reasonable return if the variances are not granted.
Ms. Techie said the application did not demonstrate the inability to yield a reasonable return without the requested variances. Ms. Techie requested the petitioner demonstrate the hardship to the commission.
Robert DeAtley, petitioner, provided a background of the 20 Burger King Franchise investments in central Illinois that his client, Maruti Seth, owned and operated. Mr. DeAtley referred to the pictures in the agenda packet and noted the establishment’s construction material was of higher quality. In regard to the site selection, 30 site plans had been designed and reviewed; the final site plan that was submitted to the commission addressed the concerns from IDOT, Public Works, and the Planning Division within the Community Development Department. The requested variance from Appendix A, Section 184.108.40.206 would allow the desired site circulation. Mr. DeAtley reinforced the variance from Appendix A, Section 8.2.15 would be an improvement as the orientation would transfer the sound to project away from residential. Mr. DeAtley was agreeable to meeting condition #2 and noted the sidewalk installation would remove one parking space. Mr. DeAtley noted the twelve year vacancy of the subject property indicated that the property was unable to be developed and provide a reasonable return without a variance.
Commissioner Barry requested more detail from the petitioner in regard to not being able to produce a reasonable economic return aside from the 12 year vacancy.
Maruti Seth, owner of the proposed Franchise, noted the 30 different site plans constructed to coordinate with the site size and Burger King Franchise guidelines.
Robert DeAtley added the setback for the street façade requirements would reduce the access for vehicles visiting the drive-thru which in turn would make it easier for the customer to select a competitor, who does not comply with zoning requirements as adjacent fast food restaurants were previously approved for similar variances.
Maruti Seth added that 70% of the business was generated from drive-thru customers. Mr. Seth expressed concern in regard to the traffic flow and site circulation without the requested variance.
Chairperson Russo questioned the impact for the Burger King franchise if the petitioner was not granted the variances.
Maruti Seth responded the development would not occur at this location if the variances were not granted.
In response to Chairperson Russo’s inquiry, Ms. Techie said staff would support a 5’ setback east of the west property line with the requirement that the landscaping be on the residential property side of the fence.
Ms. Techie clarified if the pedestrian connection was installed, the reduction of one parking space would not impact zoning approval as there are no minimum parking requirements in the CG District.
Mike Firmand, an interested citizen, suggested a monument sign be installed on Interstate 74, Exit 95A to indicate the number of fast food restaurants available along Knoxville Avenue.
Robert DeAtley, in closing, said he appreciated the efforts of the commission in making a decision.
Chairperson Russo closed the Public Hearing at 1:39 p.m.
It was decided to complete the Findings of Fact for the case as a collective whole versus each variance request.
Chairperson Russo read the Findings of Fact.
In regard to Findings of Fact Item No. 1, Commissioner Barry commented he had hoped the petitioner would have provided more detail in regard to not being able to provide a reasonable return without the requested variance and demonstrate how the property could not yield a reasonable return as something else.
Commissioner Oyler made a motion to approve the requested variances with the conditions set forth by staff and to include Condition No. 1 state, “A 6-foot tall cedar wood privacy fence a minimum of 2.5 feet east of the west property line, with landscaping planted and maintained on both sides of the fence, must be provided in lieu of a garden wall or the transitional buffer yard, to provide adequate screening form the adjacent residential property”; seconded, by Commissioner Wagner.
The motion was approved by roll call vote 5 to 0.
Yeas: Barry, Kelsey, Oyler, Russo, and Wagner – 5.
Citizens’ Opportunity to Address the Commission:
Mike Firmand, an interested citizen, expressed concern for the lack of signage indicating the fast food restaurants along the Knoxville Avenue corridor. Mr. Firmand encouraged partnership with IDOT to create a directional sign to the 13 fast food restaurants on Knoxville Avenue to generate more traffic to businesses in that area.
There was no further interest from the public to provide public testimony at 1:45 p.m.
Commissioner Oyler moved to adjourn the Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting; seconded by Commissioner Wagner.
The motion was approved unanimously viva voice vote 5 to 0.
The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting adjourned at approximately 1:45 p.m.