Summit Zoning Board Approves Challenging Property Renovation

The Summit City Zoning Board has recently approved a property renovation project following a review of multiple variance requests. The focal point of the discussion was the approval of a well-crafted renovation plan for a residential property that had been in development for over a year. In a careful examination of the project, the board reviewed and debated the merits of the proposed steep slope variance for a driveway and parking area, the conversion of a garage to an active use with an upper story, and the overall design and landscaping of the property.

The property in question presented unique challenges due to its topography and existing structures. The applicant sought relief for a steep slope and setback variance related to the driveway configuration and garage conversion. The landscape architect and planner provided detailed presentations, emphasizing the minimal impact the proposed renovations would have on the surrounding area. Five aerial drone photographs accompanied the testimonies, aimed at illustrating how the project could progress without substantial negative implications.

Key aspects of the proposal included the addition of a three-car garage and a fitness area, the conversion of existing spaces for better functionality, and the preservation of the historic home’s integrity while integrating necessary modernizations. The proposed project also aimed to enhance stormwater management systems on the property. Detailed plans were laid out for approximately 25,000 gallons of stormwater storage capacity, with 6,900-gallon tanks discussed as a means to improve existing conditions and mitigate runoff concerns.

The board scrutinized the potential visual impact of the project, with the engineer and landscape architect outlining measures to reduce visibility and preserve aesthetic qualities. The landscape architect presented comprehensive plans for replanting trees and adding vegetation to the site, discussing the types and locations of plantings, as well as strategies to stabilize slopes and manage water runoff. A project planner testified about the spatial challenges inherent to the R25 Zone District.


As part of the deliberation process, the board addressed a condition to install protective devices to prevent vehicles from driving over the edge of a raised wall. Concerns were also raised about the relocation of electrical equipment and fire apparatus access.

The discussion extended to considerations regarding the preservation of historic elements and the potential impact on the neighborhood’s character. The board worked with the applicant to ensure that proposed modifications would align with the Historic Preservation Commission standards and the master plan’s residential district regulations.

The applicant’s attorney highlighted the comprehensive nature of the plan, which had been in the making for over a year, involving two variances for the garage and steep slope disturbance. The board went through six conditions for approval, which included compliance with the board engineer’s memorandum, recording a deed restriction, relocating an air conditioning condenser, submitting a stormwater management plan, adding vehicular protection to the plans, and submitting a landscaping plan. After considering the pros and cons, the board approved the application, with some members expressing reservations but ultimately agreeing to the merits of the proposal.


Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Elizabeth Fagan
Zoning Board Officials:
Joseph Steiner, Scott Loikits, Thomas Ucko, Donald Nelson, Ayman Maleh, Miriam Zahn, Michael Curran, Claire Toth, Alison Chieffo, Jay Fehskens, Paul Cianciulli, Christa Anderson (Zoning Officer), Stephanie Soulios (Zoning Board Secretary), Bob Pawlowski (Council Liaison)

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