Minneapolis Zoning Board of Adjustment Actions
 
Regular Meeting
4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 15, 2014
Room 317, City Hall
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1385
Board Membership: Sean Cahill, Matt Ditzler, John Finlayson, Eric Johannessen, Dan Ogiba, Matt Perry, Dick Sandberg, Jacob Saufley, and Ami Thompson
Committee Clerk: Fatima Porter, 612.673.3153
 
Board members absent: Eric Johannessen
The meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m.
Minutes were approved for the meeting held on May 1, 2014
 
Public Hearings
 
Introduction to the Public Hearing
 
Public Hearing
     1.    3141 Aldrich Avenue South (BZZ #6504, Ward 10) (Shanna Sether)
Wyatt S. Partridge, Esq., on behalf of Michael Raymond, has applied for a variance to reduce the north interior side yard setbacks from 9 feet to approximately 4 feet to allow for an addition and conversion from a two-family dwelling to a triplex located at 3141 Aldrich Avenue South in the R4 Multiple Family Residence District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the application for a variance to reduce the north interior side yard setbacks from 9 feet to approximately 4 feet to allow for an addition and conversion from a two-family dwelling to a triplex located at 3141 Aldrich Avenue South in the R4 Multiple Family Residence District, subject to the following conditions:
  1. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  2. All site improvements shall be completed by May 15, 2016, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
  3. The exterior materials shall be stucco with timber accents to be consistent with the existing structure.
  4. The applicant shall remove the existing curb cut and driveway along the south property line and restore the boulevard and landscaped yard.
  5. The applicant shall provide a walkway connecting the new parking area to the existing dwelling.
Absent: Johannessen
Approved on Consent
     2.    3701 47th Street East (BZZ #6523, Ward 12) (Joe Giant)
Variance A. Daniel Carlson has applied for a variance to reduce the required front yard setback along 47th Street East from 38 feet to approximately 19 feet, measured to the structure for the construction of a new single-family dwelling with attached garage for the property located on a reverse corner lot at 3701 47th Street East in the R1A Single-Family District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the application for variance at 3701 47th Street East to reduce required front yard setback along 47th Street East from 38 feet to approximately 19 feet, measured to the structure.
Absent: Johannessen
Approved on Consent
Variance B. Daniel Carlson has applied for a variance to reduce the required front yard setback along 37th Avenue South from 20 feet to approximately 15 feet, measured to the structure for the construction of a new single-family dwelling with attached garage for the property located on a reverse corner lot at 3701 47th Street East in the R1A Single-Family District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the application for variance at 3701 47th St E to reduce the required front yard setback along 37th Avenue South from 20 feet to 5 feet, measured to the structure with the following conditions:
  1. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  2. New construction shall comply with standards of section 551.510 of the Shoreland Overlay District regulations regarding grading and filling.
  3. All site improvements shall be completed by May 15, 2016, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
Absent: Johannessen
Approved on Consent
     3.    2828 28th Avenue South (BZZ #6528, Ward 2) (Shanna Sether)
Gustaf Kupetz, of Clover Valley Properties, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 6 spaces to 5 spaces, where one space is non-conforming, to allow for an additional (6th) dwelling within an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 2828 28th Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the application for a variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 6 spaces to 5 spaces, where one space is non-conforming, to allow for an additional (6th) dwelling within an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 2828 28th Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District, subject to the following conditions:
  1. Bicycle parking shall be provided to accommodate no fewer than six (6) bicycle on the property and shall meet the minimum requirements for long-term bicycle parking.   
  2. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  3. All site improvements shall be completed by May 15, 2016, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
Absent: Johannessen
Approved on Consent
     4.    701 Hennepin Avenue (BZZ #6529, Ward 7) (Joe Giant)
Josh Cohen, on behalf of Pearl Media has appealed the decision of the Zoning Administrator that the signage in the windows of 701 Hennepin Avenue constitutes unpermitted off-premise advertising.
Action: The Board of Adjustment accepts the withdrawal of the appeal to the decision of the Zoning Administrator that the signage in the windows of 701 Hennepin Ave is unpermitted off-premise advertising.
Aye: Cahill, Ditzler, Finlayson, Ogiba, Sandberg, Saufley, Thompson
Absent: Johannessen
This item was Withdrawn
     5.    19 8th Street South (BZZ #6536, Ward 7) (Shanna Sether)
Variance A. Chuck Hesse of Nordquist Sign on behalf of Zeller Realty Group has applied for a variance to increase the maximum height of a dynamic sign from 14 feet to 25 feet to allow for a new dynamic wall sign at 19 8th Street South in the B4-2 Downtown Business District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment approved the application for a variance to increase the maximum height of a new dynamic sign from 14 feet to 25 feet for the property located at 19 8th Street South in the B4-2 Downtown Business District, based on the following findings:
Finding #1: The circumstances of the a variance to increase the maximum height of a dynamic sign from 14 feet to 25 feet are unique to the parcel due to the property being located in the Downtown Entertainment Area, which permits dynamic signs and larger and taller signs. These circumstances have created a practical difficulty in complying with the ordinance. Signage in the surrounding area, also located in the Downtown Entertainment Area, includes larger signs and theater marquees. The applicant has stated that the proposed sign height is to allow for signage to identify the use on the second floor and to allow for effective identification above the existing canopies for Capital Grille on the first floor of the existing building without conflicting with the skyway between LaSalle Plaza and the Carmichael Lynch Advertising Company building.
Finding #2: The applicant is seeking variances to increase the maximum permitted height from 14 feet to 25 feet a proposed dynamic sign. The applicant states that the subject property is located within the Downtown Entertainment Area which would allow for larger scale signage. The Downtown Entertainment Area sign regulations shall govern all uses that have their main public entrance facing Hennepin Avenue within the following locations: (a) The north side of Hennepin Avenue between Tenth Street and Fifth Street, and (b) The south side of Hennepin Avenue between Ninth Street and Sixth Street. LaSalle Plaza has a main entrance from Hennepin Avenue between 8th and 9th Street. The zoning code regulations governing on-premise signs were established to allow effective signage appropriate to the planned character of each zoning district, to promote an attractive environment by minimizing visual clutter and confusion, to minimize adverse effects on nearby property and to protect the public health safety and welfare. The proposed signage allows for a reasonable use of the property, consistent with the spirit and intent of the ordinance. The existing building has multiple uses and the proposed sign is competing with other larger signs in the area. The proposed sign is proportional to the building and streetscape. Further, the proposed sign is tied to the building’s use.
Finding #3: The proposed signage will not alter the essential character or be injurious to the use or enjoyment of property in the vicinity. The applicant is proposing to locate a new dynamic sign 25 feet in height and 64 square feet in area. The sign would face 800 Hennepin Avenue, an office building. The proposed dynamic sign would be illuminated and the sign copy would be allowed to change every 60 seconds. Dynamic signs are permitted when they are 14 feet in height and 32 square feet in area to allow for effective identification of a building or use in the Downtown Entertainment Area, at a pedestrian-friendly scale. The Board of Adjustment finds that the proposed sign is pedestrian friendly in scale and within character of the area. Further, the proposed sign will not lead to sign clutter if the height and area are increased, because they will not conflict with the existing awning signs on the first floor. The ordinance requires that the dynamic sign not display images or be illuminated when the use is closed. The Zoning Administrator has determined that the use operate 24-hours a day as a broadcasting company and is therefore not closed. Staff and the applicant have agreed that the dynamic portion of the sign will be display a fixed illuminated message between 2am to 6am, every day, when the operator of the sign may not be present. Therefore, the proposed sign will not be detrimental to public health, safety, comfort or general welfare.
Finding #4: The subject site is within the Downtown Entertainment Area and supports larger scale signage and the addition of this sign will not lead to sign clutter. The sign would face 800 Hennepin Avenue, an office building. The proposed dynamic sign would be illuminated and the sign copy would be allowed to change every 60 seconds. The proposed sign requires variances to increase the maximum height and area allowed. The zoning code regulations governing on-premise signs were established to allow effective signage appropriate to the planned character of each zoning district, to promote an attractive environment by minimizing visual clutter and confusion, to minimize adverse effects on nearby property and to protect the public health safety and welfare. The Board of Adjustment finds that the proposed sign is pedestrian friendly in scale and within character of the area. Further, the proposed sign will not lead to sign clutter if the height and area are increased, because they will not conflict with the existing awning signs on the first floor. However, staff has concerns that the proposed dynamic sign may easily be converted or would allow for off-premise advertising. The subject site is not eligible for off-premise advertising. The proposed sign is consistent with the purpose and intent of the zoning code and City policies that ensure appropriate transitions between uses and encourage pedestrian oriented development.
Finding #5: The Board of Adjustment finds that the sign will relate in shape, material, color, illumination and character of the building on the property. The sign would be professionally installed with quality materials.
And subject to the following conditions:
  1. The sign shall be restricted to on-premise advertising only.
  2. The dynamic portion of the sign shall have a fixed illuminated image between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Aye: Cahill, Ditzler, Finlayson, Ogiba, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Saufley
Absent: Johannessen
Motion Passed
Variance B. Chuck Hesse of Nordquist Sign on behalf of Zeller Realty Group has applied for a variance to increase the maximum area of a dynamic sign from 32 square feet to 64 square feet to allow for a new dynamic wall sign at 19 8th Street South in the B4-2 Downtown Business District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment approved the application for a variance to increase the maximum area of a new dynamic sign from 32 feet to 64 feet for the property located at 19 8th Street South in the B4-2 Downtown Business District, based on the following findings:
Finding #1: The circumstances of the variance to increase the maximum area of the proposed dynamic sign are unique to the parcel and have been created by the applicant. The applicant states that the proposed sign area is consistent with signage that would be permitted in the Downtown Entertainment Area, which allows for signage at a larger scale. A dynamic sign is limited to 32 square feet in area and a wall sign in the B4-2 District could be up to 300 square feet in area. The applicant has also stated that the higher sign is required based on the location in the building. The applicant demonstrated that the size of the sign is more difficult to see when the height is increased, due to the required pixilation. These circumstances have created a practical difficulty in complying with the ordinance.
Finding #2: The applicant is seeking a variance to increase the maximum permitted area from 32 square feet to 64 square feet for a proposed dynamic sign. The applicant states that the subject property is located within the Downtown Entertainment Area which would allow for larger scale signage. The Downtown Entertainment Area sign regulations shall govern all uses that have their main public entrance facing Hennepin Avenue within the following locations: (a) The north side of Hennepin Avenue between Tenth Street and Fifth Street, and (b) The south side of Hennepin Avenue between Ninth Street and Sixth Street. LaSalle Plaza has a main entrance from Hennepin Avenue between 8th and 9th Street. The zoning code regulations governing on-premise signs were established to allow effective signage appropriate to the planned character of each zoning district, to promote an attractive environment by minimizing visual clutter and confusion, to minimize adverse effects on nearby property and to protect the public health safety and welfare. The proposed signage allows for a reasonable use of the property, consistent with the spirit and intent of the ordinance. The existing building has multiple uses and the proposed sign is competing with other larger signs in the area. The proposed sign is proportional to the building and streetscape. Further, the proposed sign is tied to the building’s use.
 
Finding #3: The proposed signage will not alter the essential character or be injurious to the use or enjoyment of property in the vicinity. The applicant is proposing to locate a new dynamic sign 25 feet in height and 64 square feet in area. The sign would face 800 Hennepin Avenue, an office building. The proposed dynamic sign would be illuminated and the sign copy would be allowed to change every 60 seconds. Dynamic signs are permitted when they are 14 feet in height and 32 square feet in area to allow for effective identification of a building or use in the Downtown Entertainment Area, at a pedestrian-friendly scale. The Board of Adjustment finds that the proposed sign is pedestrian friendly in scale and within character of the area. Further, the proposed sign will not lead to sign clutter if the height and area are increased, because they will not conflict with the existing awning signs on the first floor. The ordinance requires that the dynamic sign not display images or be illuminated when the use is closed. The Zoning Administrator has determined that the use operate 24-hours a day as a broadcasting company and is therefore not closed. Staff and the applicant have agreed that the dynamic portion of the sign will be display a fixed illuminated message between 2am to 6am, every day, when the operator of the sign may not be present. Therefore, the proposed sign will not be detrimental to public health, safety, comfort or general welfare.
Finding #4: The subject site is within the Downtown Entertainment Area and supports larger scale signage and the addition of this sign will not lead to sign clutter. The sign would face 800 Hennepin Avenue, an office building. The proposed dynamic sign would be illuminated and the sign copy would be allowed to change every 60 seconds. The proposed sign requires variances to increase the maximum height and area allowed. The zoning code regulations governing on-premise signs were established to allow effective signage appropriate to the planned character of each zoning district, to promote an attractive environment by minimizing visual clutter and confusion, to minimize adverse effects on nearby property and to protect the public health safety and welfare. The Board of Adjustment finds that the proposed sign is pedestrian friendly in scale and within character of the area. Further, the proposed sign will not lead to sign clutter if the height and area are increased, because they will not conflict with the existing awning signs on the first floor. However, staff has concerns that the proposed dynamic sign may easily be converted or would allow for off-premise advertising. The subject site is not eligible for off-premise advertising. The proposed sign is consistent with the purpose and intent of the zoning code and City policies that ensure appropriate transitions between uses and encourage pedestrian oriented development.
Finding #5: The Board of Adjustment finds that the sign will relate in shape, material, color, illumination and character of the building on the property. The sign would be professionally installed with quality materials.
And subject to the following conditions:
  1. The sign shall be restricted to on-premise advertising only.
  2. The dynamic portion of the sign shall have a fixed illuminated image between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Aye: Cahill, Ditzler, Finlayson, Ogiba, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Saufley
Absent: Johannessen
Motion Passed
For Discussion
Unfinished Business
New Business
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 5:49 p.m.
The next Board of Adjustment meeting: June 5, 2014
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Last updated May 19, 2014