New home found for generator at Summit Chase
The giant box that brought frustration to one Grandview neighborhood may be on the move.
The Summit Chase Homeowners Association has selected a new site for its backup generator.
The condominium has proposed moving the generator farther up the hill that faces Urlin Avenue, said Bruce Larrimer, president of the condo association's board.
The new site would be near the condominium's swimming pool, he said.
Pending a review and thumbs-up from the city of Grandview Heights, the matter will be submitted to Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Harland Hale, who will be asked to grant an order of settlement, Larrimer said.
Hale ruled in February that the generator must be moved.
"Once we got that order of settlement, we believe it would take about 16 weeks to move and install the generator in its new location," Larrimer said.
The condominium association hired an engineering firm to study potential sites; of seven alternatives, only two were found to be suitable, he said.
Most of the sites presented problems, including electrical and gas lines that would be in the way of the generator and soil that was not stable enough to hold the machinery, Larrimer said.
A wall attached to the condominium building would be built around the generator, he said. A landscape plan would provide additional screening.
The location up the hill, along with the wall and landscaping, should keep the generator out of neighbors' sight, Larrimer said.
He said the condominium association believes the proposed new location for the generator will meet the section of city code that states "no accessory building may be erected in front of a main building unless the accessory building is attached to the main building by a common wall."
As a result, no variance would be needed, he said.
The city will review Summit Chase's plans and the code to determine if a variance will be needed, Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman said.
"If we determine it is code-compliant, we would give it a zoning clearance and building permit," he said.
After Hurricane Ike knocked out power at the 22-story Summit Chase building in 2008, the city ordered the installation of a backup generator as a safeguard. When the generator was installed in April 2010, no certificate of zoning compliance was applied for or issued.
Recognizing that the generator's location violated the city's zoning setback requirements, neighbors on Urlin Avenue sought and the city issued a notice of violation. Summit Chase applied for a variance.
In August 2010, the Grandview Heights Board of Zoning Appeals denied the association's variance request and also voted against Summit Chase's appeal of the zoning code violation.
The condominium association filed an appeal in Franklin County Environmental Court, leading to Hale's ruling.
In his ruling, Hale stated "there would be substantial detriment" if a variance sought by the association was granted to allow the generator to remain in its present location, about five feet east of the Urlin Avenue right of way.
"We're hoping we can finally get this matter resolved," Larrimer said. "I think everybody will be happy when this is settled."