BOONE COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
BOONE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
801 E. WALNUT ST., COLUMBIA, MO.
Thursday, August 28, 1997
Chairperson Trabue, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Boone County Chambers having a quorum present.
Present: Tom Trabue, Chairperson
Linda Rootes, Vice Chairperson
Also present: Stan Shawver, Director Thad Yonke, Staff
Bill Florea, Staff Noel Boyt, Secretary
Member Kirkpatrick made and Member Keil seconded a motion to approve the minutes of July 24 , 1997,
meeting with no corrections.
Motion passed by acclimation.
Chairperson Trabue explained the function of the Board of Adjustment. He stated that all decisions are based upon the Boone County Zoning and Subdivision Regulations which are considered to be part of the record of the proceedings.
Request by Eugene and Yoko Smith for a variance from the subdivision regulations
requirement to provide sidewalks (Appendix B, Section 1.11) on land being platted as
Country Squire Estates subdivision, located at Creasy Springs Road and Country Squire Ct.
Director Shawver gave staff report stating that the area is being platted as Country Squire Subdivision, located approximately 1/2 mile north of Columbia on Creasy Springs Rd. There are currently ten (10) duplexes on this tract. Appendix B, Section 1.11 of the Subdivision Regulations require sidewalks for all lots less than 1/2 acre in size. Country Squire Subdivision qualifies for that requirement. The original zoning for this site was R-S, but there was a nonconforming mobile home park on the site in 1973 when Planning and Zoning began. In 1981, the property was rezoned R-M and a Conditional Use Permit was issued to expand the park to 30 units. Over the years the park was gradually phased out with the construction of 10 duplexes in 1990. Preliminary plat has been presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission that will divide the area into 16 lots. The applicants do not want to install sidewalks in front of the existing duplexes or provide them for the five (5) lots that do not have structures built on them. Staff notified 19 property owners of this request.
Director Shawver advised a variance could be granted if the Board finds: (a) the applicant will incur unreasonable and unnecessary hardship if a variance is not granted and if the variance is not sought primarily to avoid financial expense in complying with the requirements of these regulations (b) granting of the variance will not endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public, and (c) granting of a variance will not hinder, thwart or circumvent the general intent or any specific purpose of these regulations.
a) Planning and Zoning staff have reviewed this request and do not believe this request fits into the unreasonable or unnecessary hardship category espoused in the regulations. The applicant indicates a concern that sidewalk construction will disrupt an established neighborhood and disturb landscaped yards. Staff investigation indicates that three (3) duplexes were built in 1990, two (2) in 1992, two in 1993 and three (3) in 1995. The majority of the yards are grass with small (three inch diameter) trees planted at least 15 feet back from the curb.
b) There are already 10 duplexes on this property, with room for five (5) more. Granting the variance will mean that as many as 30 families will be required to cross yards or use the streets to access other dwellings in the development. Failure to provide sidewalks will not threaten the health or welfare of the pubic, but will have impact on the safety of the public.
c) The intent of the regulations is to provide sidewalks for pedestrian use in developed areas where lots are 1/2 acre or less in size. This allows traffic to flow smoother and reduces the risk of pedestrians being struck by cars and trucks. The proposed Country Squire Subdivision already has a high density established. The surrounding area is owned by the applicants and is subject to being platted at a future time.
Staff recommends that this variance be denied.
Director Shawver advised that the Boone County Land Use Regulations, Chapter I "Subdivision Regulations" are to be a part of the record.
Eugene Smith , 4230 N Creasy Springs, owner, approached the Board. Mr. Smith said the reason for the request was because of the established yards, during construction 30 children or more under the age of 12 might get hurt. He said that when he started platting the area it was before requirements of sidewalks.
Open to the public.
Randy Chejk, associate of Mr. Smith’s said that when they started platting the area sidewalks were not required.
No one spoke in opposition to the request.
Closed to public hearing.
Member Rootes asked if the main reason for the platting was to have individual lots, therefore to be sold? Mr. Smith said possibly so, he said they were described by legal description. He did not need to plat them he said.
Chairperson Trabue asked Director Shawver if Mr. Smith wanted to build additional duplexes was the plat required ?
Director Shawver advised yes, no further building permits could be issued without it being platted because this would be a multiple use development. Chairperson Trabue asked if the lots could be sold off individually as Mr. Smith indicated? Director Shawver questioned it since according to the Subdivision Regulations, creating a lot without platting it has been a violation since 1973. However, that was not the issue before the board.
Member Keil asked if he was required to put in a sidewalk for the existing duplexes? Director Shawver said yes, the entire land was being platted. The regulations require sidewalks all the way around. There is vacant pasture land around the development, with his house to the north approximately 350’.
Member Rootes said when she was in the area she noticed houses being built and since it was single family zoning and when it is developed there would be lots of neighborhoods. She thought it would be desirable to have sidewalks and once any of the duplexes are sold to other individuals it would be impossible to get the sidewalks put in.
She was in favor of requiring sidewalks.
Member Kirkpatrick stated that the last few Board of Adjustment meetings, other sidewalk requests had been reviewed. Their requests were clear cut with specific reasons for granting their variance. Member Kirkpatrick went by this site and did not see the hardship. He looked at the landscaping and noticed a few small tree that might have to be moved. He did not see how any disturbance of landscaping would be involved. He agreed with Member Rootes and thought sidewalks should be there.
Mr. Smith asked if the Board was concerned about small children being hurt. Member Kirkpatrick said he was always concerned about children getting hurt, but you run that risk on any construction and there will be more construction going on. There is a reason for having sidewalks required in a subdivision. Unless there is some substantial reasons not to have sidewalks, he did not think the Board should do it.
Member Keil asked Director Shawver if Mr. Smith had platted it before 1995, he would not have been required to have sidewalks? Director Shawver stated that was correct, the sidewalk provision was added to the regulations in 1995.
Chairperson Trabue said he agreed with the board, he did not see an undue hardship, for the record he had a copy of the letter sent to the board. He agreed it would be an inconvenience to the tenants and owners during the placement of the sidewalks.
Member Keil said she had problems with some of the regulations. It will cost Mr. Smith, and will cost the one he sells it to so it keeps increasing the costs.
Mr. Smith asked Director Shawver if he could sell off a lot unless it was platted and not with a legal description? Director Shawver said the old regulations required anything less than five (5) acres had to be platted. If deeds were done there may be a clouded title.
Member Kirkpatrick and Member Rootes seconded a motion to DENY the request by Eugene and Yoko Smith for a variance from the subdivision regulations requirement to provide sidewalks (Appendix B, Section 1.11) on land being platted as Country Squire Estates Subdivision, located at Creasy Springs Road and Country Squire Court.
Keith Kirkpatrick yes Linda Rootes yes
Tom Trabue yes Jerry Kaufman yes
Norma Keil no
Motion to deny was approved 4 yes 1 no
Request by Larry and Cecilia Benton for a variance from the subdivision regulations
requirement to provide sidewalks (Appendix B, Section 1.11) in Shalimar Gardens Block IV
and to provide streets that are 32 feet wide.
Director Shawver stated that the applicants own property that is zoned R-S that is located approximately 1 mile north of the Columbia city limits, just west of Highway 763. This property is part of a plat that will contain 171 residential lots. It is being developed as Shalimar Gardens Subdivision, Block I, II, and III have previously been developed. The variance request is for Shalimar Gardens Subdivision Block IV, containing 24 lots.
The applicants are requesting two (2) variances; l) variance from having to install sidewalks; and, 2) variance to install a 32’ wide street. There are presently three (3) plats that have been developed comprising of 85 lots. Block VI was just review by the Planning & Zoning Commission last week which would include 24 lots. The preliminary plat had indicated that at build out there would be 171 lots.
A. Staff questions whether this request fits into the unreasonable or unnecessary hardship category espoused in the regulations. The applicants indicate that they want Block IV to be constant with the infrastructure for Blocks I, II and III. That reasoning is not consistent with the requirements to show an unreasonable hardship.
B. Granting the variance will mean that 24 families will be required to cross yards or use the streets to access other dwellings in the development. Failure to provide sidewalks will not threaten the health or welfare of the public, but will have impact on the safety of the public.
C. Granting this variance will hinder or thwart the general intent of the regulations. While it is true that the existing 85 lots do not have sidewalks, there are 86 additional lots to be considered that will ultimately be part of the subdivision. This is a fairly high density subdivision that should be served by sidewalks as much as possible.
Staff recommends that this variance be denied.
A) Staff concurs with the applicants that the additional 4 feet of street width will be an unreasonable or unnecessary hardship. The applicants indicate that they want Block IV to be constant with the infrastructure for Blocks I, II and III. The existing 28’ street widths provide a satisfactory circulation within the development.
B) Staff is concerned that a sudden change in the width of the streets within the subdivision will cause confusion and result in an increased traffic hazard. Additionally, wider streets may encourage residents to park on the street, thus resulting in a narrower driving surface than would result from permitting 28’ streets. The possibility that a driver may not see children between cars may result in injuries to the pubic.
C) Granting this variance will not hinder or thwart the general intent of the regulations. The intent is to provide wide streets for vehicular access and safety.
Staff recommends that this variance be granted.
Director Shawver stated that the Subdivision Regulations should be considered to be a part of the proceedings.
Larry Benton, 2900 Chinaberry Dr., Columbia addressed the board. He said they went to great deal of expense to develop the area. Good engineers, good protective convenants. If they have to change the width of the street and sidewalks right in the middle of the subdivision, years from now it will not looked planned out. Half this way and half that way. He felt is would reflect badly on him. It would be a hardship on residents in the old section in that they are not as up to date as the rest of the subdivision and it might hurt the value of their property.
If someone was driving along the 28’ ft street and all of a sudden there are cars parked on both sides, being a 32’ ft street, he thought there needs to be steps to a gradual conforming to the regulations. As far as the sidewalks, most people do not want sidewalks there. He thought it encourages people to trespass on property. As far as the cost, approximately $400. per lot for the streets and $1,000 per lot for the sidewalks that would be passed on to the buyer. Mr. Benton was concerned about the cost as much as he was concerned about a gradual conforming of the regulations.
Open to public hearing. No one spoke in favor or opposition to the request.
Member Kirkpatrick asked Mr. Benton how many more plats would be presented in the future. He stated he wanted to develop 15-25 lots with each plat. He said Shalimar Gardens would have room for 200, having 85 completed so there would be a couple more plats.
Member Kirkpatrick said he had been by the area and it was very nice development. His personal feeling was that it would be an enhancement for the sidewalks to start and continue throughout the remainder of the development. As far as making the existing lots look worse, he did not agree with it. He continued that the subdivision regulations should be enforced in this case since it is undeveloped land and a good place to start them.
Chairman Trabue agreed, he lives in a neighborhood that does not have sidewalks, and the neighborhood adjacent to them that does. He uses the sidewalks to take their evening walks. Chairman Trabue stated there seemed to be one section not needing the sidewalks, that of Ramie Court. That would be an appropriate place for a variance.
Member Kaufman said he lived in an area that did not have sidewalks and he likes it because it does keep people out of his yard.
Member Kirkpatrick stated the first request cited safety during construction as a reason not to install sidewalks. Kirkpatrick was more concerned about safety after construction.
Member Rootes stated she feels sidewalks and public are important things for the neighborhood.
Member Keil noticed that each of the roads has a court. Wouldn’t that would cut down on the traffic? Mr. Benton agreed.
Chairman Trabue stated that to grant a variance it has to show an undue hardship, or public health and safety concern for installing sidewalks in this case.
Member Rootes made and Member Kirkpatrick seconded a motion to DENY the Request by Larry and Cecilia Benton for a variance from the subdivision regulations requirement to provide sidewalks (Appendix B, Section 1.11) in Shalimar Gardens Block IV.
Linda Rootes yes Keith Kirkpatrick yes
Norma Keil no Jerry Kaufman no
Tom Trabue yes
Motion was approved to DENY 3 yes 2 no
Member Rootes made and Member Kirkpatrick to approve a variance of the sidewalk variance of lots 73, 74, 75 and 76 on Ramie Court.
Linda Rootes yes Keith Kirkpatrick yes
Jerry Kaufman yes Norma Keil yes
Tom Trabue yes
Motion to approve variance for lots 73, 74, 75 and 76 was unanimous. 5 yes
SECOND ISSUE - STREETS
Member Kirkpatrick said staff made a couple of points. The one he agreed with was going from a 28’ width to a 32’ width could cause some serious traffic problems. Coming in through a large developed narrow tract with a narrower width then back in to a wider width he did not care for and so could support the request.
Member Keil said that when he develops the west he has to start somewhere and she assumed it would be a gradual increase. Member Trabue said it could be done a number of ways. If variance was not granted, he could see that the transition could be made at the next intersection instead of half way down Burning Bush Road.
Chairman Trabue said on his site visit, the 28 ft. streets did provide width for circulation. He said he was of the opinion to approve the variance but looking at the request and what the Board’s charge was to the regulations, he feels a portion needs to be transition at the existing widths but perhaps the remaining of the subdivision should be built to the standards. He would recommend a denial and then allow a partial variance. Mr. Benton stepped forward to suggest such changes.
Discussion followed for where sidewalks should start and where streets are to widen.
Member Keil made Member Kaufman second a motion for Burning Bush and Ramie Court to be 28’ and clarify that Jasmine Way and Camellia Court would be constructed to current regulations.
Norma Keil yes Jerry Kaufman yes
Linda Rootes yes Tom Trabue no
Keith Kirkpatrick no
Motion was approved 3 yes 2 no
Member Rootes made and Member Kaufman seconded motion to reconsider the sidewalk variance.
Linda Rootes yes Jerry Kaufman yes
Tom Trabue yes Norma Keil yes
Keith Kirkpatrick yes
Motion to reconsider sidewalk variance was unanimous. 5 yes
Discussion followed regarding which sides of streets to place and not place sidewalks.
Member Kirkpatrick made and Member Kaufman seconded a motion to grant the request by Larry and Cecilia Benton for a variance from the requirements to install a sidewalk on lots 73, 74, 75 and 76; the north side of lots 87, 88 and 91; and the south side of lots 86, 89, 90 and 133; of Shalimar Gardens Subdivision Block IV.
Keith Kirkpatrick yes Jerry Kaufman yes
Norma Keil yes Linda Rootes yes
Tom Trabue yes
Motion to approve variance on noted lots was unanimous. 5 yes
Being no further business, meeting was adjourned at 8:16 p.m.
M. Noel Boyt, Secretary
Minutes approved at the November meeting (Dec. 4th, 1997)