BOARDMAN Zoning board denies request for after-the-fact variance

The owners have 30 days to appeal the ruling.
BOARDMAN -- A township businessman may have to tear down a recently built addition because the zoning board of appeals denied his variance request to allow the addition to remain as is.
Officials say the building owner did not seek the required approval before constructing the addition.
The Simon Road building that houses Swaneck Graphic Equipment Co. was redesigned in the late 1980s with all the necessary permits and variances. The owners, Edward and Donna Swaneck, decided in 2000 to expand, but neglected to seek a variance to do so.
Zoning inspector Lou Rescineto said the building, which is zoned for industrial use, needs a minimum of 40 feet of space at the rear. After the addition was completed, there was only 28 feet of open space.
Rescineto said the zoning department became aware of the addition when people began to complain that water from a retention pond on the property was rerouted onto neighboring properties.
When inspectors went to check, they noticed the addition and cited the Swanecks.
Reasons for concern: Att. John Shultz, a member of the zoning appeals board, said problems with the neighbors are the main concern and businesses on both sides of the Swaneck building have experienced problems such as flooding.
Shultz also said there are hazards such as pipes hanging over ladders and there is not enough room for a firetruck to get around some areas of the property in an emergency.
"My position is that we [zoning appeals board] should not act as a rubber stamp to approve illegal action after the fact," said Shultz.
"Had they requested the variance before building the addition, we would have had the opportunity to put our thumb on certain critical parts of the construction."
The appeals board denied the variance 4-1. Shultz voted no, saying that simply denying the variance is not enough. Shultz wanted the variance denied with a stipulation that the addition be removed within 30 days.
Swaneck now has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Neither Swaneck nor his attorney, Edward F. Smith, could be reached.

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