Variance Not Required Board of Zoning Appeals Says

The Sylvania Townshp board of zoning appeals recently declined to approve a request for a variance, finding that the issue before them was not a violation of township regulations, so no variance was needed.

The issue involved a home under construction at 4624 Whistling Oaks Ct., where basement window wells had been added which extended into the required 7 ft. side setback from the property line which is required by a township  zoning regulation.

Mark Greenblatt who owns the neighboring home where his mother lives, complained, and after conferring with the Lucas County Plan Commission staff, the township told the builder that portion of the construction was not in compliance.

The township and county office relied on a section of the code which stated that architectural projections from structure, such as decks and porches can’t extend into the 7ft, setback. The three window wells each extend 3.5 ft. into that  space.

Chuck Schmalzried, the contractor for the project, told members of the board, that earlier plans had included one window well which he thought had been approved. He said he didn’t think adding two would create an issue.

He also told the board that the window wells had been dug after the foundation of the under-construction house had been completed.

After considering the issue in a closed meeting the board announced its decision.

Tim Schlachter, vice chairman of the board, explained that the decision was based on deciding that architectural projections are things which are above grade.  He said the other distinction they considered is that the window wells were not constructed as part of the main building. Had they been, he said,  the decision likely would have been different.


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