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Setback and variance

jharrison

Registered User
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Iowa
Not sure if this is the correct place for this post
Property is 60' X 150' lot (9000 sqft)
Space Limits: Width 70', Front Yard 30', Rear Yard 30', Side Yard 8'
Maximum Ground Coverage 30% (2700 sqft)
Structures Include:
House 1702 sqft, Addition 464 sqft, Garage 696 sqft = Total 2862 sqft (Exceeding the 30%)

Owner wants to expand the front deck to include a ramp, and close off the space between the house and garage with a second Garage.
Owner filed for a variance to allow the changes and was awarded the variance by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

2 weeks later the owner decided they want to add a deck to the back of the house.
Rear yard is currently 25' from the house to the property line.

Owner insists that they have already been granted a variance on the property for renovations.
The rear deck was not part of the variance request....

Adding a rear deck would be against the current space limits of the zoning, and would need a new variance request correct?
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
20,358
Location
Basement
Not sure if this is the correct place for this post
Property is 60' X 150' lot (9000 sqft)
Space Limits: Width 70', Front Yard 30', Rear Yard 30', Side Yard 8'
Maximum Ground Coverage 30% (2700 sqft)
Structures Include:
House 1702 sqft, Addition 464 sqft, Garage 696 sqft = Total 2862 sqft (Exceeding the 30%)

Owner wants to expand the front deck to include a ramp, and close off the space between the house and garage with a second Garage.
Owner filed for a variance to allow the changes and was awarded the variance by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

2 weeks later the owner decided they want to add a deck to the back of the house.
Rear yard is currently 25' from the house to the property line.

Owner insists that they have already been granted a variance on the property for renovations.
The rear deck was not part of the variance request....

Adding a rear deck would be against the current space limits of the zoning, and would need a new variance request correct?


Welcome,,,

Sounds like you have done your homework,

Sounds like yes, the home owner needs to talk to the city again,,,

I am guessing, like in math class, the owner had to show the work, and if the rear deck was not included, than not part of the work approved by the city.

Plus may need a building permit for the rear deck.
 

jharrison

Registered User
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
4
Location
Iowa
Welcome,,,

Sounds like you have done your homework,

Sounds like yes, the home owner needs to talk to the city again,,,

I am guessing, like in math class, the owner had to show the work, and if the rear deck was not included, than not part of the work approved by the city.

Plus may need a building permit for the rear deck.
The Building Official would not make approval based on previous variance?
New items = New variance.
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,384
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
The official paperwork that was submitted for the variance needs to show the additional deck they are now adding. If not, then absolutely not approved without another variance. Most variances require a hardship and this does not sound like a hardship to me. They appear to be taking care of a variance as though they can now do whatever they want. There is a lot of case law for these situations and it always works to the benefit of the municipality.
 

ICE

Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
9,609
Location
California concrete jungle
Where I work a deck that is less than 30” above grade is exempt from permitting. That causes me to wonder if any deck would be counted towards lot coverage elsewhere. I think that we must have tossed out lot coverage restrictions. There’s whole areas where the street is the only space that hasn’t been built upon.
 
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jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,384
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
Where I work a deck that is less than 30” above grade is exempt from permitting. That causes me to wonder if any deck would be counted towards lot coverage elsewhere. I think that we must have tossed out lot coverage restrictions. There’s whole areas where the street is the only space that hasn’t been built upon.
There is a clear and definite difference between building permitting and P&Z requirements. They are 2 separate entities. You cannot use the lack of a building department permit requirement to circumvent lot coverage ordinances.
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,384
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
In this circumstance City Building Official. 1st week on the job.
You can easily make the correct decision with confidence since the variance was specific to the first deck and had nothing to do with changes afterwards. The 1st week on the job is not an issue or shouldn't be. Thanks for posting this.
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
20,358
Location
Basement
Not sure his connection:::

Occupation Real Estate Inspector

Welcome to the wide wild world of codes!!!

Than since you are the power to be, You can make the call.

If not included in first request, they need to ask again..

Main thing is whatever you do here,,, do the same to similar cases in the future.
 

Paul Sweet

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
1,646
Location
Richmond, VA
A variance is only for the specific items requested, not a blank check to add more to the list.

It would be good to look into the reason for the lot coverage limit. Some jurisdictions have impervious area limits to comply with stromwater regulations that were adopted in response to EPA standards, and you don't want to get the feds angry.
 

VillageInspector

Sawhorse
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
211
Location
Dutchess County, New York, United States
The way it works in my world is you submit a permit to build in this case a rear deck. I then write you a letter of denial assuming it violates rear setback. You then may pursue a rear yard setback variance with the ZBA. All this amending an existing variance , citing hardships, I'm not sure where this all comes from.
 

mtlogcabin

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
7,979
Location
Big Sky Country
Depends on the local definition of "lot coverage". This is ours

Lot Coverage. The total area of a lot covered by the principal and accessory buildings, or structures including any area occupied by overhangs or roofs and any attachment to a building or structure, but excluding (a) open decks less than 30 inches in height. (Measured from grade to top of the platform); and (b) an eave extending up to two feet from the exterior wall of the building or structure
 

No Soup for you

Registered User
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
52
Location
New York
The way it works in my world is you submit a permit to build in this case a rear deck. I then write you a letter of denial assuming it violates rear setback. You then may pursue a rear yard setback variance with the ZBA. All this amending an existing variance , citing hardships, I'm not sure where this all comes from.
Same here.

Your original variance was for a specific structure/item on the property (I would think)

Adding another deck would require another variance. In my town at least
 
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