HI planners struggle with covenants on storage buildings

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- When is a large storage building a "commercial" business and when is it private storage?

The Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC) was faced with that distinction Friday when property owner Dave Bischoff asked about erecting a 4,000-square-foot building on his two lots on Woodsdale Drive and requesting the district to replat them into one lot.

Bischoff's lots are zoned commercial, but under the covenants for Unit 10, he can build a residence on them, with an attached garage. Under Holiday Island regulations, he cannot have a only storage building on his lot unless it is a commercial business.

And the Holiday Island Board of Commissioners is unlikely to agree to replat his lots into one lot without that factor.

Resolution #184, passed by the suburban improvement district in 2005, states the board will consider favorably a request to replat into one lot two or more contiguous lots in Units 3 and 10, with less than 50 feet of frontage, and owned by the same owner. The replat request must be accompanied by a "detailed development plan with a two-year implementation limit." The resolution was passed to encourage new commercial development.

In January 2009, the board agreed to a consolidation replat of existing commercial lots on Woodsdale Drive for Arvest Bank and Island Rentals, even though there was no new business plan, and both properties were for sale.

Bischoff said he was in a similar situation as another property owner with storage buildings in another unit who restores old cars. At one time he had it as a commercial business but no longer.

"I have a tax I.D. number, and I'm a corporation," Bischoff said. "It's not a huge multimillion dollar business, but I do sell my restorations."

Commissioner Corky Comstock said if the storage building were going to be a commercial business, he would have to have a commercially licensed contractor and subcontractors do the work.

After Bischoff left, Commissioner Kevin Crosson noted the covenants for Unit 10 specifically state what types of businesses are allowed in Unit 10, and automotive restoration is not one of them. He also noted the covenants state the Planning Commission has sole authority to determine what is and is not a compatible business.

The Planning Commission indicated it would continue discussion of the matter in future meetings. Chairman Myrna Peterson suggested drafting a resolution.

In other business, HIPC:

* Approved a 6-foot privacy fence at 4 Hillcrest Drive to John Rauber on behalf of property owners Chuck and Joyce Greer.

* Approved replatting a lot line between two lots at the corner of Stateline and Woodsdale drives, on which sits the empty Bank of Eureka Springs building.

* Told a contractor he needs no approval to put up siding for a property owner.

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