Canal Winchester Village Council agreed last week to go along with a staff recommendation and deny Wendell Collier permission for a metal carport and gravel pathway for his home at 180 W. Waterloo St.

Canal Winchester Village Council agreed last week to go along with a staff recommendation and deny Wendell Collier permission for a metal carport and gravel pathway for his home at 180 W. Waterloo St.

Council held a public hearing Jan. 3 to hear comments on an appeal filed by Collier. His home is located in the village's designated Preservation Area.

The Canal Winchester Planning and Zoning Commission denied Collier's request for variances to allow an accessory structure without a principal structure, a gravel driveway, accessory structures within sideyard setbacks and multiple accessory structures on a single property. He also requested permission to erect two metal carports.

The planning commission heard the original application in October, at which time members denied the variances and the carports. Collier appealed the decision to council and prior to the public hearing, he removed the larger of the two carports from his property so the application was referred back to the planning commission.

Collier said earlier this month he started keeping a trailer behind a fence on his property a year ago. He wanted the carport to protect the trailer because young people were dropping rocks on it from nearby railroad tracks and because the trailer was sustaining damage from a large tree on the property.

Council members said at their Jan. 3 meeting they would be willing to give Collier a year to remove the gravel driveway and the metal carport. He said his plan was to eventually add on to his garage to accommodate the trailer but he couldn't afford to do so right now.

The findings of fact report prepared by the village staff and approved by council said council denied the variance request and stipulated that Collier will remove all metal carport structures and the gravel driveway within one year.

The report said council must consider several criteria when approving a variance, including special circumstances that might exist which are not applicable to other lands in the same zoning district; whether the interpretation of the zoning code would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties; and that special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant.

The planning commission determined that Collier "did not meet his burden in demonstrating a variance should be granted.

"Special circumstances or conditions do not exist that are applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning district," the report said.

The planning commission also determined that the smaller carport would create an accessory structure with no principal structure. In addition, the planning commission said gravel is not a permitted material for access drives, according to village code.

Collier told ThisWeek he was not pleased with council's decision.

"They denied my variance, so I have to remove it," he said of the carport. "The gravel driveway is not a driveway; it just borders my paved driveway as turnaround space and there are numerous driveways in Canal that are actually gravel and look like crap."

Collier said he is considering selling his home in the spring and moving out of Canal Winchester. He said his property is kept much cleaner than most in the area and the changes he made improved the property value which helps the neighbors, as well.

"I did not think I was asking for anything unreasonable," he said. "I put the gravel there because that area was nothing but mud and weeds. The gravel has kept the area clean and much nicer looking."

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com