HI planners mull appropriateness of living quarters built above garages

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- Whether to allow a garage with living quarters built above it on a lot before a house is built was one of the main topics of discussion in Friday's Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC) meeting.

Commissioner Myrna Peterson said a non-resident property owner had contacted her several times. Ted Drdla, who owns a lot at 11 Woodside Lane, told her wants to build a garage with living quarters above it to use as a vacation home until he gets ready to build a house.

Commissioner Kevin Crosson noted HIPC has allowed this before, with a builder who built a workshop and lived in it while building a house.

"What I'm wondering is how many times can you permit R-1 construction on a lot?" said Chairman Joe Schuler. "That's what I'm getting hung up on."

Drdla plans for the garage to stay detached from the future house, Peterson said.

In the past, the commission has not allowed a garage only to be built on itself by a lot, especially in cases where the property owner owns two adjacent lots, as a way of trying to prevent the sale of the garage lot. Restrictions for R-1 call for at least a single-family residence.

"We have no guarantee that he wouldn't rent it out," said Crosson, "and I don't know how you would police that."

He noted that many people have built "mother-in-law" apartments above their garages, and the commission has permitted them because people living in them are related to people in the main house.

The commission instructed Peterson to ask Drdla for a set of plans to show how the house and garage might sit on the lot.

Property owner Devin Parson came in to request another extension to Permit #2009, issued Oct. 15, 2004. He had received a six-month extension on March 11 this year.

Parson has been in a struggle with Carroll Electric to bring power to his lot at 31 Opal Lane. The electric utility does not want to place a power pole on the property until Parson has a foundation built. He said the footings are almost finished.

Parson is building the house himself. He told the commission he works six days a week and has only one day to work on the house. He has rented a generator in the past to do his work on the lot.

"I talked to the (Carroll Electric) construction foreman, and he said he's willing to put power up there if you can show you're going to get the house finished," said Building Inspector Red Perkins. "They're afraid you're going to walk away from it, and it's costly for them to run power up there."

"If I can get a guarantee he's going to run power, I can take time off work and get the foundation done," Parson said.

Schuler commented the previous extension deadline is coming up Sept. 11, and the house will be nowhere done.

"If I can get my foundation poured in three weeks, can we talk about an extension?" Parson asked.

The commission agreed to look favorably on an extension in that case.

In other business, HIPC:

* Approved a six-foot variance to the front setback at 303 Holiday Island on Permit #2068 for builder Chuck Baer.

* Approved a 30-day extension to Permit #2007 for the fellowship hall of the Holiday Island Community Church at 188 Stateline Drive.

* Heard builder Fred Nelson request an extension on Permit #2022 at 15 Quail Run Lane, but he withdrew the request when he learned his current 60-day extension lasts until Sept. 22. He assured the commission he could finish in time.

* Told Charles and Patti Larkin their request to have a PEX manifold water system installed in their home under construction at 20 Buckskin Lane was denied. When Larkin said he thought they were going to research the issue, Crosson told him the research would be ongoing and probably take quite some time.

* Heard Peterson say she would like to draft some guidelines for rental property brokers about what is acceptable use and behavior in nightly rental homes in R-1 residential zones. Commissioners suggested a friendly meeting with brokers to talk about how to prevent complaints.

* Heard Crosson say he is getting complaints about storage units on Woodsdale Drive with regard to unfinished construction. Perkins will speak with the owner.

* Heard Crosson ask for a visit to Country Club Drive, where there is a drainage issue related to a lot there. The commission adjourned to set up a site visit.

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. Permits and related requests are considered first, followed by other business.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: