Tens of thousands expected to descend on GOTL as Thunder on the Strip kicks off

The group of motorcyclists arrived at Geneva-on-the-Lake just after noon on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, during Thunder on the Strip.

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — A board of zoning appeals hearing will be held on Thursday to determine the fate of a recently constructed deck.

Robert Moore, a seasonal resident of Geneva-on-the-Lake, was surprised to see new construction within a foot of his property line when he arrived at his home for the summer, he said.

A property adjacent to Moore's is being converted into a motel, Moore said. As part of the renovations, a deck was constructed that is within a foot of the property line, he said.

There is also a pergola, a second-story deck, and a staircase that Moore claims are violating the zoning code.

The Geneva-on-the-Lake zoning code requires a 10-foot setback between a structure and the property line.

Work was done before a permit was issued, Moore said.

A stop work order was issued for the property on April 4, Dennis Bowman, chief building official in Ashtabula County, said.

Moore also claims that there were irregularities with the permit process, and that the Zoning Inspector, Village Administrator Jeremy Schaffer, did not do his due diligence on the zoning permit.

Schaffer denies any wrongdoing. The permit was issued to cover an existing patio, Schaffer said. "That's what the [Board of Zoning Appeals) is looking at]," Schaffer said. 

Moore appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals twice, and both appeals were dismissed immediately, he said.

Schaffer, who started at Geneva-on-the-Lake earlier this year, said the rejections were based on the amount of time since the permit was issued.

"I didn't know what the current practice was, because it was outside of the code. Everything goes to the BZA board and they can decide whether they believe it's outside of the 20 days or not," Schaffer said.

A hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals was held on Sept. 12, Moore said.

"I would like the offending portions, namely the portion of the deck that is within 10 feet of my property, and the pergola, which is also ... within inches of the property line, both of those things removed," Moore said. He also wants a second-story deck and a staircase removed, because they were beyond the terms of the permit, Moore said.

The hearing is scheduled at noon Thursday.

 "At the end of the day, the BZA is looking at it now, and they're going to make the decision on what to do, whether the permit for the existing coverage was correct, and then how to proceed from here," Schaffer said.

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