HIPC grants variance on steep lot

Thursday, June 3, 2004
"The property line is 20 feet in the air," said architect Albert Skiles (left) Friday to the Holiday Island Planning Commission. Skiles approached the commission to ask for an 8-foot variance on a setback on a lot on Mohawk Lane. Skiles is designing the house on a steep lot for his client. The lot is on a cul-de-sac, and the house will have to have a bridge built to it. Commissioners looking over the topo map with him are, from left, Frank Smith, Building Inspector Red Perkins and Chairman Joe Schuler. CCN / Kathryn Lucariello

As more and more "challenging" lots are being sold in Holiday Island -- those with uneven terrain or odd shapes -- builders and homeowners will be coming before the Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC) to ask for variances on setbacks.

Such was the case Friday when several people asked for variances on lot setbacks.

Fayetteville architect Albert Skiles, on behalf of his client, asked the commission for a variance on a lot she purchased on Mohawk Lane.

"She has asked me to design a house on a steep lot," he said. "We got a topo map, and you can see the elevations. The property line is 16 feet off a cul-de-sac and about 20 feet in the air."

He said the property owner wants to build a bridge from the cul-de-sac to the house.

"I'm asking for an 8-foot setback to be able to do this at all," he said. "There's no access to this property other than the cul-de-sac."

The unit in which the lot is located has a minimum 15-foot setback.

He said there are no other homes on the street and wondered whether anyone else would even be able to build on the street.

He said he is looking at designing a home that is roughly from 1,000 to 1,200 square feet. Minimum square footage for that unit is 800 feet.

"We have a lot of situations like that around here," said member Kevin Crosson. "I think we need to be generous in these cases."

Skiles said there is no soil on the lot. Foundations will have to be anchored to solid rock.

HIPC approved the request so Skiles can go ahead with the house design.

Don and Linda Shafer asked the commission for a variance on their lot at 13 Hillcrest, which abuts the golf course.

Lots abutting a golf course require a 25-foot setback in the back.

They said they need a total 11-foot, 4-inch variance, and would like to take some of that in the back and some in the front.

"If we put (the whole) variance in the front, it will make our house stick out in front farther than other houses and stick out like a sore thumb," said Don.

Chairman Joe Schuler said the commission would probably not consider a variance if the lot were on a fairway, but it's on a tee box.

HIPC approved a 5-foot variance on the back setback and a 6.5-foot variance on the front setback. The Shafers will return at a later date for a permit.

The commission declined to grant a variance on a lot on Indian Wells, however, which is at another tee box.

Builder Scott Worley said he will have to take down several trees but would like to leave the largest trees and asked if a variance was possible.

"Normally, no," said Commissioner Frank Smith. "To let you save a tree, we won't let you come closer to the golf course."

Schuler concurred and said the chances of getting a variance in that particular situation were "slim to none."

In other business, HIPC:

  • Approved Permit #1983 for 150 days to builder Jack Roney to build a 1,615-square-foot spec house at 25 Walnut Ave.

  • Approved a 30-day extension on Permit #1948 at 33 LaCosta Drive for J&J Contractors, represented by Kevin Jacobson, on behalf of property owner Rich Momper.

  • Approved Permit #1984 for 180 days to builder Chuck Baer to build a 1,993-square-foot (heated area) house for himself at 29 Bandy Drive.

  • Approved electric deer fencing for Robert Schmidbauer at 1 Rancho Vista Lane. Schmidbauer brought in pictures of a fawn he had found in his garage. Deer have been eating his flowers, he said.

  • Heard Building Inspector Red Perkins state some builders are using PEX or CPVC tubing for potable water, and that is not allowed. Codes and Holiday Island building regulations require copper tubing. He said he will make builders tear out and replace the plastic tubing with copper if he finds it.

    He acknowledged the cost of copper pipe has risen in the last six months, while PEX costs one-fourth of that. But copper pipe is required because it withstands the variable pressures of the community's water system and is more resistant to freezing and bursting, commissioners said.

    The commission meets every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Park next to Wade Williams' office at Holiday Island. Requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Respond to this story

    Posting a comment requires free registration: