Marble Cliff Village Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved an ordinance April 19 granting a lot split with variance to David Bell for the parcel at 1123 Cambridge Blvd.

Marble Cliff Village Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved an ordinance April 19 granting a lot split with variance to David Bell for the parcel at 1123 Cambridge Blvd.

Council voted 3-3 on the issue and Mayor Kent Studebaker cast the deciding vote.

The lot split requires a variance from village code that states a residential property be at least 15,000 square feet.

The lot split will create a south lot containing the existing house and totaling about 18,295 square feet. The lot with the new house will total about 11,246 square feet.

Bell and his wife purchased the Tarpy House on Cambridge in 2003 and also own the adjacent house at 1123. They will be making several small additions to the existing house and plan to sell both the existing and the new house while continuing to live in the Tarpy House.

Council members Matt Cincione, David Roark and Robert Sterneker voted in favor of the lot split. John Kukura, Linda Siefkas and Kendy Troiano voted against the ordinance.

Kukura noted that all three residents whose homes adjoin the Bell property opposed the lot split. Their views should be given more weight than those of other residents who live near the property and support the lot split, he said.

"We need to think about 'maximum development potential," a term that Mr. Bell (has) used," Kukura said.

A comparison has been made to lots on Village Court that are smaller than the proposed split lots would be, he said.

"But laws change over time," Kukura said. "You used to be able to drive 75 mph down the freeway talking on your cell phone. You can't do that legally anymore."

Village code regarding the size of lots has been changed since the time when the Village Court lots were built, he said.

"Council decided at some point they didn't want that (scale of lot size) anymore," Kukura said.

Cincione said his vote in favor of the lot split was based in part on the expectation he and his wife had when they purchased their nearby home that an additional home would be built on the Bell property.

Approving the lot split will also help ensure the existing home at 1123 Cambridge will be preserved, he said, adding that the preservation of homes in the village has been a goal of council's.

Bell's lot is just under 30,000 feet, nearly large enough to allow two homes to be built there if the existing house was torn down, Cincione said.

In casting his deciding vote, Studebaker noted that the consideration of Bell's request has been "a laborious process to get us to where we are. Council did consider all opinions and all issues."

The ordinance adopted in 2001 to set new lot size standards in the village was part of "an omnibus zoning revision," he said.

The 15,000-square-foot lot standard reflected a size that is not uncommon in the village, Studebaker said.

"What I deemed in this particular instance is that we had a lot that was almost to the extent of being two 15,000 square foot lots," he said.

The lot split would result in properties that were not out of character of the surrounding area, Studebaker said.

"It is keeping in the style of what we had intended the village to maintain as its character," he said. "I would agree with (Cincione) that what we have here is an opportunity to maintain a house of significance."

The ordinance approved April 19 includes a number of conditions added to address concerns raised by council during previous discussions of the lot split.

The new language states the council will have separate review and approval of the architectural and aesthetic design of any house, improvement, remodeling, landscaping, etc. and/or accessory structure proposed for construction on the newly created north lot.

The legislation also states that the new house cannot exceed the height of the existing residence at 1123 and cannot be larger than 3,300 square feet. The highest point of the garage can be no more than 20 feet and the garage cannot exceed 576 square feet.

A perpetual drainage easement or easements acceptable to the village must be granted to address water runoff and drainage on the split lots before a building permit can be issued, the ordinance states.

The measure also states that it is council's intent that the legislation and its provisions will remain applicable to all future owners of the newly created north lot.