Willow Homes builder Jason Hale returns from a case carried over last month and redeems himself with a tighter design that manages to use fewer variances to achieve the same effect. The board and builder do what they can to remedy a house whose 1990s addition was built across the neighbor’s property line.
Members present: Brian Jarmon, Hope Cannon (arriving after the third case), Jeffrey Foster, vice chair, presiding for chair Lauren Gwaltney, who was absent, Ty Cole, and Beverly LeBoeuf.
Members absent: Lauren Gwaltney, chair, Stuart Roberts (S), and Batallion Chief Nickolas Hill. Note: Hope Cannon’s term has expired but she continues to serve until the council appoints another member from Ward 5.
Staff present: Greg Cobb, Vanessa McGrath, and Fred Goodwin of the Building, Engineering and Zoning Department; Planning and zoning clerk Donna Bridges.
Audience attendance: 11
*Note on procedure: By state law, zoning variances granted by the 5-member board require a super majority of 4 members voting in the affirmative. To keep business moving in case of absences, the law also allows two supernumerary members (S) to sit in and vote if needed. Tonight there were only four present for the first three cases, meaning each vote had to be unanimous to pass, which they were. Variances expire in 180 days if a building permit isn’t obtained.
Approved March and April 2016 meeting minutes. Carried over approval of May minutes.
Approved an amended variance for a Willow Homes spec house on Broadway that was continued from last month: Builder Jason Hale returned with an amended plan for a new house at 402 Broadway that eliminated any protrusion to the front or encroachment into the setback on the left side, which concerned the next door neighbor at last month’s hearing. Mr. Hale managed to fit his 1 1/2 story design on the triangular lot, only building into the right side setback by 3 feet, most of it to accommodate a rear porch. By agreeing to use fire-resistant materials for the second level, he was able to build straight up from the ground floor without an additional variance. Mr. Cole congratulated him on working within the limitations of the lot and character of the neighborhood.
Granted a variance for an addition on Edgeland: The homeowner at 410 Edgeland Place plans to replace a rear deck with a screened in porch that will be extended 9 inches to meet the edge of the house and covered by a roof from the main house. The variance was granted with the proffer that the porch will not be enclosed.
Granted a rear setback variance for an addition on North Shadesview Terrace: William Siegel of Twin Properties was granted a 1.8-foot rear building variance at 1116 North Shadesview Terrace to build a roof over a deck that is already non-compliant by that amount. The variance was granted with the understanding that the deck would not ever be enclosed.
Hope Cannon arrives.
Carried over a request on Westover pending a survey: The homeowners at 906 Westover were advised to carry over their case after they gave updated measurements that seemed not to require any variance for the planned addition. The drawing submitted earlier seemed to show the house already sitting four feet into a 9-foot right side setback. In discussion, the couple said the house sits 10 feet off the property line, i.e., not requiring a variance for an addition. Ms. McGrath said a survey was needed before making a decision.
Granted a variance for an addition on Dixon: The builder plans a 1/2 story addition going straight up from the one-story house at 129 Dixon Avenue, which already sits .9-feet into the left building setback. The variance allows the setback exemption to continue with the new renovation.
Granted a variance for an awning on an addition on Le Jeune Way: What do you do when a 1995 addition to your house at 301 Le Jeune Way is not only built way into the required setback area but is in fact built over your neighbor’s property line? That is the hardship the builder encountered in planning to replace an awning over the side door. The board granted an 8.5-foot right building setback variance to replace the awning and turn the side steps to the side so they don’t lead onto the neighbor’s property. A low retaining wall built on the neighbor’s property will be removed. The neighbor had written a letter in support of the plan.
Granted a variance for an addition on Oglesby: The plans for 227 Oglesby Avenue include an extensive rear addition going straight back from the sides of the existing house, which already occupies 4 feet into both side setbacks. The board’s vote granted a variance to allow continued noncompliance for the addition. As currently planned, the addition will connect the detached garage to the house in the rear, but not the front. The builder said he will use stucco and terra cotta tile on the addition to match the current style. The garage will continue to be used for one car with the driveway holding two additional cars.
Carried over a case due to absence of applicants: Applicants asking for a 2-foot left building variance for an addition at 1607 Grove Place weren’t present when the case was announced. The request will be carried over to October’s meeting.