Board of Zoning Adjustments, July 11, 2013

BZAMore than three dozen people attended tonight’s meeting, nearly half of them to hear the details of a new house planned on Poinciana Drive, and to make sure it met neighborhood standards. The case was recessed at one point to allow the property owner and neighbors time to look over the plans and discuss the project, which they did to their satisfaction.

Members Present:  Valerie Askew, Sandy Eichelberger, Jeffrey Foster, Lauren Gwaltney, Ross McCain and Trey Schaefer.

Members Absent:  Hope Cannon.

Staff Present:  Donna Bridges, board secretary, Greg Cobb and Vanessa McGrath – Building, Engineering and Zoning Department.

Audience attendance:  34

All votes were unanimous. (Property owners obtaining variances have 180 days to apply for a building permit.)

Approved:  Minutes of the May 2, 2013, meeting were approved.

Carried over:  Minutes of the June 6, 2013, meeting were carried over because not all members had read them.  

Approved:  Following a public hearing in which no one commented, the board granted a variance of 7 feet beyond the right building setback for an enclosed porch at 306 Kenilworth Drive.

Approved:  The board granted a variance of 8.35 feet beyond the left building setback at 113 Acton Place, due to an irregular lot. One neighbor spoke in favor of the variance at the public hearing.

Approved, following a recess to allow neighbors to discuss plans with the property owner:  The board opened a public hearing on a request to allow a new house to be build 9 feet beyond the setback boundary on a corner lot at 422. Poinciana Drive. (Although the new house would be built on the same footprint as the original, the origian house was also non-conforming.)

Neighbors of the vacant 422 Poinciana were not amused by earlier proposals to overbuild in their neighborhood. The latest plan seems more to their liking.

Neighbors of the vacant 422 Poinciana were not amused by this earlier proposal to overbuild in their neighborhood. The latest plan seems more to their liking. Click to open link.

The owner had gotten the approval of a neighbor on one side of the house, but approximately 15 long-time neighborhood residents attended with questions about the design, its fit with the neighborhood character, and plans for occupancy.  A number of  neighbors spoke, asking if it would be a “spec” house (built on speculation of a buyer, as a previous owner had tried to do); if the builder would live there; the number of stories; etc.  BZA members cautioned the neighbors that the city has no design code and the board can only rule on requested variances to setbacks and building heights.  The board suggested that the parties adjourn to another meeting room, where they discussed their differences and returned with no objections. The variance was granted.

Approved:  Following a public hearing in which no one commented, the board granted a variance of 3 feet at 213 Woodland Drive to add a second story over an existing first floor, which has the same variance.

Approved: Neighbors of 3002 Roxbury Road spoke in favor of a 4-foot variance to allow the owner to expand his back yard area with space from an adjacent vacant lot, which he also owns  owned by a neighbor. Two neighbors spoke in support and several others were in the audience and concurred.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10 PM.

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