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                       MARION TOWNSHIP

       Zoning Board of Appeals

      September 8, 2003 - DRAFT MINUTES


MEMBERS PRESENT:       John Lowe, Dan Lowe, Linda Manson-Dempsey, Larry Fillinger,

                                              and Dan Rossbach

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

OTHERS PRESENT:             Robert Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator




John Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Larry Fillinger made a motion to approve the agenda.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Larry Fillinger made a motion to approve the minutes from July 7, 2003.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.

Dan Rossbach abstained.  Motion carried 4-0.




Case #04-03 - Carsley

Mr. and Mrs. Carsley presented their request for a 39’ side yard setback variance to build a 16 stall indoor arena.

John Lowe referred to John Ambrose’s letter, dated, July 16, 2003. John Ambrose stated in his letter:  “The proposed stables and arena

building will be approximately 161 feet from the south property line.  However, based on a field inspection of the site on July 15, 2003 

and the review of the plot plan submitted with the special use application, the area directly south of the subject property contains a pond 

and associated wetland, which would preclude any residential development in general vicinity of the proposed stables and arena 

structure. Thus, the applicant will be required to petition for a variance of thirty-nine (39) feet in order to develop their proposed stables

and arena.  From a planning and zoning point-of-view, a variance of 39 feet would seem to be justified in that the adjacent property will 

not be developed for residential use and will remain as an agricultural use.  Also, the subject site has topographical issues that would 

preclude moving the proposed additions further to the north in that it would impact the natural drainage on the site.”

Dan Lowe questioned how the manure is disposed of. The Carsleys explained it would be spread in their hayfield. Linda 

Manson-Dempsey questioned hours of operation. The Carsleys stated the hours would be 9-9. There is a two year administrative

renewal placed on SUP. It was pointed out that one set of minutes stated renewal would be in one year and another set of minutes 

stated two years. It was agreed that two years would be sufficient and Annette McNamara will revise minutes to reflect every two years.

John Ambrose’s recommendation is as follows:

The applicant has submitted supporting documentation for the existing commercial stable operation, however, a written response to the

eleven (11) special land use compliance standards found in Section 16.05 of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance were not included with

this submittal.  However, based on the findings of this review, it is recommended that a Special Use Permit be Granted for the proposed

commercial stable addition and further subject to the following conditions:

1.      The Zoning Board of Appeals grants a variance for 39 feet for the south property line (A stable or arena shall be located no 

      closer than 200 feet from a property line. The proposed structures are 161 feet from the property line.).

2.      The required ten (10) off-street parking spaces meet the requirements for off-street parking site development standards as per 

      Section 14.04 of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance.

3.      The applicant complies with all of the site requirements, buffering requirements and performance standards of Section 17.28 of 

the Township’s Zoning Ordinance and as listed in this letter.



Dan Lowe made a motion to approve ZBA case #04-03 for a 39’ side yard setback variance. Due to the topography of the property

on south side of the property and slope on north side of property; request of variance will not be contrary to spirit of the ordinance and 

will maintain rural area.  Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Case #05-03 Fraternal Order of Eagles

Art Munsell and Keith Richards presented on behalf of Fraternal Order of Eagles and Apostolic Church located on141 Schroeder Park 

Drive. They are requesting a variance to Section 15.03 E Freestanding signs and Section 15.03 C Vehicular Safety.

John Lowe reviewed John Ambrose’s letter of September 4, 2003 and Mike Kehoe’s, Township Attorney, review letter, dated, 

September 5, 2003.  Annette McNamara commented property owners had been notified and there had been no response from them. 

John Lowe cited John Ambrose’s letter, September 4, 2003, second to last paragraph:

“With regard to Section 15.03 of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance, freestanding signs in commercial or industrial districts shall not 

exceed the height of twenty-five (25 feet or have a sign area in excess of forty-eight (48) square feet.  The proposed sign has a height 

of thirty-three (33) feet, which exceeds the maximum height allowed by eight (8) feet and represents a 32 percent increase in what is

allowed.  The proposed sign area exceeds the maximum area allowed by 264 square feet, which is an increase of 550 percent over 

what is allowed.  The requested variances are both very excessive of what is allowed in the Township’s Zoning Ordinance, and the

 reasons given for hardship are weak at best…”

John Lowe clarified that text on sign will not be moving. Linda Manson-Dempsey pointed out it’s 32% larger than what’s allowed; 

old sign was hooked onto steel post.  The new sign will be in same area on small easement deeded to The Eagles. Annette McNamara 

cited Mike Kehoe’s letter, September 5, 2003, Section 17.06 of Zoning Ordinance that governs billboards and provides billboards are

permitted by a Special Use Permit in the Highway Service and Light Industrial Districts.

Linda Manson-Dempsey pointed out billboard should not be posted within 100 feet of road right of way which intersects and also notes 

no billboard should exceed 25 feet in height.

John Lowe suggested researching dimensions of sign versus original sign.  He also asked Eagles to consider downsizing the sign. 

Art Munsell stated he would address this with members and had no problem tabling request pending further research.

Linda Manson-Dempsey made a motion to table ZBA Case #05-03 –Fraternal Order of Eagles – until next regularly scheduled 

meeting until applicant resubmits or it expires in six months. Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


  John Lowe informed board of discussion of adjusting fees for all meetings. If two or more cases, it would be $300.

One case would be $500. Everyone is agreeable to making it more cost effective.


Linda Manson-Dempsey made a motion to adjourn. Dan Rossbach seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.