MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING
TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE
March 20, 2006
The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:04 PM at the Village Hall.
ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, MacKrell and Perry; Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies and Supt. Esch; BHMC President Bultman, architect Lincoln Poley and associate. Absent: Trustees Lindstrom and Wilkes.
PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING President Laporte convened the Public Budget Hearing at 6:04 PM. There being no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.
PUBLIC HEARING The Public Hearing for the Variance Application was convened by President Laporte at 6:05 PM. Zoning and Planning Administrator Perry explained that Application for Variance had been filed by Louis Probst and Katherine Klein in regard to their home being constructed at 280 Barton North Drive. Mrs. Esch verified that proper notice had been sent to neighbors as required by Article X of the BHV Zoning Ordinance and that no written comments had been received.
Architect Lincoln Poley, representing Mr. Probst/Ms. Klein, referred to the information distributed to Trustees concerning the two separate variance requests:
1) Request for variance from BHV Zoning Ordinance Section 5.01(b)(1) (accessory uses) "private garage the capacity of which shall not exceed one automobile for each 20 feet of lot frontage, with a maximum capacity of 3 automobiles." Mr. Poley referred to drawings A1-A4, indicating that the fourth garage door being requested would allow access to lawn and recreation equipment, would provide more air circulation in the garage, would not add to the footprint of the building and would provide a more uniform exterior appearance.
2) Request for variance from BHV Zoning Ordinance Section 5.03(c) "front yard set back--35 feet". Mr. Poley referred to drawings B1-B4 which show the currently planned placement of the stone light pillars near the end of the driveway, and the requested location closer to the road. The owners are asking that the pillars be 6" taller and be placed about 30' nearer the property line (about 15' from Barton North Drive) to more adequately indicate the entrance to the driveway.
It was noted that the other two items included in the application were proposed change-of-approved-plan requests to be determined by the Zoning and Planning Administrator. There being no public comment on the variance application, the public hearing was closed and the Board of Zoning Appeals convened at 6:22 PM.
PUBLIC COMMENT None
ZONING VARIANCE APPLICATION Discussion focused on the application for variance for a fourth garage door. It was noted that several other homes in BHV have more than 3-car garages; also that past actions of the Board should not influence present determination of proper adherence to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Perry stated that the standard of practical difficulty (BHV Zoning Ordinance Section 10.03) applies in this case, and he felt such difficulty was established.
MOTION Mr. Al-Awar moved that the application for variance to allow a fourth garage door at the home being constructed for Louis Probst and Katherine Klein, 280 Barton North Drive, be approved as submitted. Mrs. MacKrell seconded; the motion carried.
Discussion turned to the request for construction of the driveway light pillars in the front yard set back. Mr. Perry stated that Section 4.07 of the BHV Zoning Ordinance lists items allowable in the set back, including a "light pole" but felt that the pillars in question did not fit the description of that section. Traffic sight lines and adequate space for emergency vehicles were also mentioned. It was noted that most driveways in BHV are not marked with lighting close to the road and that the standard of practical difficulty would also apply to this request. The Trustees agreed that staking the site would be helpful in visualizing the proposed location of the pillars.
MOTION Mrs. MacKrell moved that consideration of the variance request to allow lighted pillars in the front yard set back at the property of Louis Probst and Katherine Klein, 280 Barton North Drive, be tabled until the May 16, 2006 Trustee meeting; further that the owners be requested to have the site staked to indicate the location of the property line, set back line and proposed location of the pillars. Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried with Mr. Perry voting no.
Concern was expressed for the Zoning and Planning Administrator's decision allowing the change of roof height requested, based on interpretation of the BHV Zoning Ordinance Section 5.03(d) according to the mid-point average method used by most area communities. This would be a departure from the method used by the Administrator in recent years. It was noted that the Zoning Committee is drafting an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that would address the silence of the ordinance in that section. The Administrator's decision regarding the above-garage play space was briefly discussed, with Mr. Perry stating that the construction plans have no indication of kitchen facilities that would cause it to be considered a second-family living space. Atty. Reading confirmed that these questions were not currently before the Trustees for decision and that the ruling of the Administrator stood until/if appealed. The Board of Zoning Appeals was adjourned, and the Board of Trustees meeting convened at 7:08 PM.
MOTION Mr. Boddie moved that the minutes of the February 20, 2006 Trustees meeting be approved with the following correction: Page 4, Zoning, line 5, "…before the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance and therefore may be a permissible non-conforming use." Mr. Al-Awar seconded; the motion carried.
FINANCE Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of March 20, 2006:
Checking Account $ 8,353
Total General Fund $667,135
Public Improvement Reserve Fund
Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
Bank One Govt. Trust Account $ 446,490
Bank One CD 100,000
Bank of Ann Arbor 120,850
Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD 109,776
United Bank & Trust Washtenaw 100,379
Total Savings $ 877,495
Mrs. Redies noted that the minutes from the January 16, 2006 Trustees meeting indicated that she receives a salary. She clarified that she is retained on a fee basis and is not an actual employee of BHV.
FINANCE Two corrections (page 1, amended budget transfer; page 3(H) water total) were noted on the distributed budget proposal. Mr. Boddie led the discussion of the proposed 2006-2007 budget, pointing out that expenses in 2005-2006 totaled about $56,000 more than revenues, and that the proposed budget continues this trend of overspending. He advised that it would be unwise to depend on additional income, such as BHV currently receives from the telecommunications leases, to cover expenses, and that either expenses should be decreased or taxes increased to balance the budget. It was noted that the 2005-2006 budget was balanced except for the unexpected increase in water funding for the replacement well, which was a necessary expense; however the 2006-2007 budget as presented proposes intentional overspending. Discussion then focused on various areas of the budget and possible ways to decrease expenditures for the coming year. Ms. Laporte referred to the property ownership map and the minutes from the 3/25/03 BHMC Special Meeting, suggesting that consideration be given to the tax basis of the various properties and the appropriate use of the properties, particularly in terms of public/private use. After further discussion, Mr. Boddie suggested that the proposed 2006-2007 expenditures be reduced by: $20,000 (error in amount listed for Clerk), $15,000 (subtracted from Roads) and $20,000 (new police car) to bring the total to about $644,000, which would allow about $10,000 for unexpected expenses. Mrs. MacKrell left
MOTION Mr. Perry moved that the Amended 2005-2006 Budget/Proposed 2006-2007 Budget be approved as amended. Ms. Bogat seconded; the motion carried.
BUILDINGS Mr. Al-Awar commented in Mr. Lindstrom's absence that the committee discussed the results of their site review, and the next committee meeting is scheduled for April 4, 2006.
LONG RANGEPLANNING Mrs. MacKrell was absent.
PERSONNEL Ms. Laporte had no report.
RECREATION Ms. Bogat had no report.
ROADS Mr. Al-Awar reported that some road paving will be done this spring, and commended the maintenance crew for the timely clean-up of branches scattered in the roads by recent windstorms.
SECURITY Mr. Butterwick is waiting for a reply from DTE Energy representative Paul Ganz regarding the trimming of hazardous trees. Letters to residents concerning hazardous trees will be written by Mr. Butterwick, as agreed at the last Trustee meeting.
VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT Mr. Al-Awar stated that the new garbage box will be mounted on the truck as soon as the weather is conducive to the outdoor project. The new pick-up truck has arrived.
WATER Mr. Wilkes was absent.
ZONING Mr. Perry reported that the proposed second-story addition to the Martens home at 747 Country Club Road was approved for zoning compliance. He is waiting for a reply from Ann Arbor Township Building Inspector Gary Dresselhouse regarding the apartment over the garage and applicable township ordinances at the time of original construction. There was brief discussion concerning the various methods of measuring roof height.
BHMC LIAISON Ms. Laporte had no report.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Mr. Butterwick stated that lightning rods will be affixed to four landmark trees in the maintenance area by the end of the month. Mr. Esch will take care of moving five concrete culverts to a location less visible to the Fox/Bockenstedt home on Barton North Drive. Information concerning garlic mustard will be distributed to residents soon.
DTE FRANCHISE Atty. Reading is still waiting for a written reply from DTE Energy concerning liability issues in the time until a new franchise is negotiated.
WIRELESS WASHTENAW Atty. Reading stated that Atty. Lillich had no specific opinion regarding the revised master agreement adopted by Washtenaw County for the Wireless Washtenaw proposal; however Mr. Lillich was disappointed that concerns raised by municipalities following the original proposal were not adequately addressed in the revision nor was there meaningful discussion between the county and representatives of the municipalities about those concerns. Ms. Laporte raised a question about provider contracting and Mr. Perry added that he felt the program would not have anything of substance to offer to BHV residents. Mr. Reading was asked to relay Trustee comments to Mr. Lillich.
POOL Ms. Laporte reported that it appears certain there is no longer a Barton Swim Club in existence to fulfill the requirements of the lease for the small pool near the Village Green. The facility is in need of major attention, so the question of whether to renovate or dismantle the pool needs to be addressed. Ms. Laporte suggested presenting the residents with specific options to see if there would be adequate support for a community pool. Mr. Esch contacted the company previously servicing the pool and is waiting for their response regarding renovation costs. Concern was expressed for the public/private issue and if it would be lawful for a municipality to finance a limited membership pool. It was suggested if the pool were to be abandoned, the site might be considered for the VAC project. Mr. Bultman added that formerly Barton Swim Club had provided liability insurance at a cost of under $1000/year, raising the question of liability now that the group is no longer in existence.
MOTION Mr. Boddie moved that Mrs. Redies be authorized to investigate the status of liability insurance for the pool, and spend up to $1000 if necessary to ensure that adequate coverage is in place. Ms. Laporte seconded; the motion carried.
NEW BUSINESS None.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM.
Jan Esch, Assistant Clerk