HIPC reverses decision on Stout garage request

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Although no one showed up to the last meeting of the year of the Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC), commissioners took action to reverse a decision they had made Dec. 17 and held discussions on other issues.

During the meeting of the 17th, Kenneth Robertson, representing Stout Construction, requested a permit to build a 2,400-square-foot garage at 1 Deer Run Drive for property owners Marvin and Suzanne Williams. The garage is to be a metal building.

The Williamses own two adjacent lots, and Robertson requested permission to put the garage on the adjoining lot.

HIPC does not normally grant such a request of allowing a garage or storage building by itself on a lot in units zoned R-1 residential. In such cases, HIPC requires the garage or house-and-garage to straddle both lots. This is to prevent property owners from selling the adjacent lot in the future with only a garage on it.

Both HIPC and the suburban improvement district have consistently turned down requests to replat adjacent lots into one lot because the district does not want to lose two assessments.

Stout's request was to build the garage so that one corner of it was within 18 inches of the property line. A driveway would connect the two structures.

HIPC told Robertson the garage must be moved so that some small portion of it straddles the house lot.

Robertson agreed to a new drawing of the plan that turned the garage counterclockwise so that a corner of it rested on the other lot. HIPC issued the permit.

Chairman Joe Schuler reported Friday he had been out to look at the site and had seen the difficulty of following through with this plan because of the terrain.

He said Robertson had proposed setting plumbing lines between the two structures as a way of connecting them into one.

He said he told Robertson, "We can get that approved, speaking for the committee," at the next HIPC meeting for Stout to go with the original plan.

Commissioner Myrna Peterson had concerns.

"It does look like we allowed them to build a separate garage on an R-1 lot," she said. "What will I say when people call me? And they will call me."

In response to a question about the possibility of current or future owners trying to sell the garage lot separately and request a certificate-of-occupancy, Schuler said that would be up to a future commission or district Board of Commissioners to refuse.

"It doesn't meet the setbacks," he said. "It's 18 inches instead of the (required) 5 feet."

When asked if Schuler had made the decision to reverse the commission's earlier ruling on his own, initially he said he had, as chairman, made the decision.

Later in the discussion, he called for a vote.

Peterson wanted to know what the side of the garage facing the street would look like.

"Will it be windows or a blank wall?"

Building Inspector Red Perkins said he thought it would be a blank wall.

"So it will look like a metal building sitting on a lot," Peterson noted, shaking her head.

Commissioner and District Manager Kevin Crosson, who had expressed concerns at the Jan. 17 meeting about the appearance of the metal building, was absent from Friday's meeting.

When Schuler called for the vote to reverse the commission's Jan. 17 ruling, he, Perkins and Commissioner Frank Smith voted to approve, and Peterson abstained.

Chickasaw Place property owner Susan Cockrell attended the meeting "to observe," she said. She had attended the Jan. 17 meeting to complain that Stout Construction was leaving trash and debris on her lot adjacent to one of their construction sites, and a construction trailer was parked in the right-of-way in front of her lot.

She reported Friday that the trailer had been moved that same afternoon and trash pickup had since "greatly improved."

Perkins reported back on illegal construction of a carport on Stateline Drive. He said the property owner was leaving town but would return Jan. 10, and Perkins told him to come to the Jan. 14 meeting to discuss the issue.

Peterson said letters had been prepared on covenant violations on Leatherwood Drive and White Oak Drive. They will be sent to the property owners.

The commission meets every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. at its office in the Park Shopping Center at 1 Parkcliff Drive, Suite D. Requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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