The Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning postponed decisions on items requested by two residents at its regular meeting July 18.

The Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning postponed decisions on items requested by two residents at its regular meeting July 18.

The board listened to details involving a dispute between Bob and Jessica Gierhart of Fisher Place and their Zollinger Road neighbor, Mike Carroll. The Gierharts wanted the board to reconsider a decision about the dismantling of a playhouse which Carroll says intrudes on his property line.

An earlier determination by the city's code compliance officer stated that the structure should be dismantled or removed.

The Gierharts told the board that the playhouse had been on the property for more than 10 years without previous complaints. They suggested Carroll's action was nothing more than a personal vendetta.

In a report to the board, the city staff noted that the case appeared to be mainly a personal dispute between neighbors and questioned whether it was rational to penalize the Gierharts for a structure built by the house's previous owners.

After BZAP chairman T.J. Riley told attorneys for both couples that board members didn't have enough information to make a decision, the parties reached a tentative settlement that gives them 60 days to resolve their differences and return to the board. If no decision is reached during mediation with the city attorney Jeanine Hummer, Riley said, the board will make a decision.

Riley told the Gierharts that the playhouse should not remain on the property longer than an additional 10 years and added that it should be removed earlier if it is no longer used by the couple's children. He also stated that the playhouse will have to be dismantled if the family sells the property.

In another matter, the board postponed a request by Thomas Reitz to permit the installation of an eight foot high privacy fence at his Berkshire Road home. The maximum height normally permitted for fences is six feet.

Reitz, who says that a current landscaping plan is not adequate, wants to provide screening between his home and the neighboring Whole Foods building, which is undergoing renovation.

Although Riley expressed sympathy for Reitz's predicament, he expressed the opinion that since the renovation of the Lane Avenue market has just begun, approving Reitz's request would be premature.

"I can't tell you when will be an appropriate time (for a decision) but we don't know what Whole Foods is going to put there," Riley said.

When Riley also questioned whether the requested eight feet would be satisfactory, Reitz said he was simply trying to come up with a height that would seem reasonable to the board.

Board members also expressed concern that other neighbors would try to exceed the maximum requirement if they granted Reitz's request.

Both Reitz and the board agreed to revisit the issue again next spring when they have a fuller understanding of Whole Foods' plans.