Worthington BZA Must Reject Variance Request for 410 Tucker Drive
We, the undersigned residents of Worthington, petition and demand that the City of Worthington Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) reject the variance request for an accessory structure area under BZA Case 45-14 as submitted by the new owners of 410 Tucker Drive (the “New Owners”). We have reviewed or are generally aware of the BZA Application submitted by the New Owners, including the drawings of the 2-story, 2600 square foot structure and the New Owners alleged justifications for the substantial variance needed to construct this structure. The Worthington Zoning Code provides that a variance should be issued only when a practical difficulty is shown by the person requesting the variance. There is nothing in the application for this variance that meets the minimum requirements needed for the granting of the variance. Simply put, this variance request should be rejected for numerous reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Medick Estates Neighborhood: The essential character of the Medick Estates neighborhood will be substantially altered and will suffer substantial detriment. The Medick Estates neighborhood is incredibly and uniquely scenic, particularly given its proximity to downtown Columbus. There are almost no accessory structures currently in Medick Estates. Approving this variance will not only damage the Medick Estates properties bordering 410 Tucker but it will also set the precedent that any home in Medick Estates may have multiple large dwellings and accessory structures on a single lot; therefore greatly damaging its incredible and unique scenery for the future.
- Highgate Avenue Properties: The essential character of the bordering Highgate Avenue properties will be substantially altered and will suffer substantial detriment. For example, having an accessory structure near the rear of the 399 and 411 Highgate Avenue properties will reduce their existing property values for a variety of reasons (e.g. loss of aesthetic view, loss of privacy, increase in noise, water drainage issues).
- New Owners’ Ignorance: The New Owners purchased the property and were aware of (or should have been aware of) the zoning restrictions, given that the New Owners purchased the property with the intent to build a new home in such a mature and established neighborhood. The New Owners’ failure to investigate and/or their decision to ignore the zoning restrictions supports rejecting their request. Denying the requested variance will not negatively impact the ability of the New Owners to recognize a reasonable value to the property.
- Spirit and Intent of Zoning Laws: The spirit and intent behind the zoning code will be observed and substantial justice will be done by rejecting the variance. The spirit and intent of the zoning code is designed to protect the community against substantial and unilateral changes to the standards the community has agreed to when it adopted the Zoning Code The variance procedures provided in the Zoning Code are designed to give the BZA and the City the flexibility to address unavoidable impacts from the application of the Zoning Code that disproportionately burden the use of a particular property. The variance provisions of the Zoning Code are not designed to provide a legal vehicle for approving ad hoc or indiscriminate departures from the zoning code without any articulable and reasonable practical difficulty caused by the application of the code to a property. Approving the requested variance in this case will undermine the ability of the City and the BZA to ever deny a variance for any size accessory use structure to the substantial future detriment of the entire Worthington Community.