BOONE COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
BOONE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
801 E. WALNUT ST., COLUMBIA, MO.
Thursday, May 24, 2001
Chairperson Tom Trabue called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Boone County Commission Chambers having a quorum present.
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.
Roll call was taken:
Present: Tom Trabue, Chairman
Absent: Linda Rootes, Vice-Chairperson
Also present: Thad Yonke, Staff Bill Florea, Staff
Paula Evans, Secretary
Minutes of April 26, 2001 meeting were approved with no corrections.
Planner, Bill Florea stated that section 1.9.2. of the Subdivision Regulations requires that the Director make a recommendation on requests for variance from the provisions of the regulations.
The Board may grant a variance only if it finds after public hearing and upon competent and substantial evidence that the applicant meets the criteria for grant of a variance required by these regulations. No variance from any requirement contained within Appendix A or B of these regulations shall be granted unless the Board finds: (a) the applicant will incur unreasonable and unnecessary hardship if a variance is not granted and the variance is not sought primarily to avoid financial expense in complying with the requirements of these regulations (b) grant of a variance will not endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public, and (c) grant of a variance will not hinder, thwart or circumvent the general intent or any specific purpose of these regulations. All applications for variances shall be filed with the Director and after review thereof the Director shall make a recommendation to the Board to grant or deny the application and state the reasons for his recommendation.
The applicant, Carl and Evelyn Story own a 37-acre parcel of land located at the corner of Elkin Road and State Highway OO. They have owned the property for many years. The house on the property existed before the county adopted zoning regulations. The zoning regulations require that a corner lot provide front setbacks along each road. In the A-R district, a setback of 25 feet is required along each road. The house meets the setback requirement for Highway OO, but is nonconforming in relation to Elkin Road.
The owners would like to sell the house and 10 acres, which will require that an administrative survey be submitted in accordance with the subdivision regulations. An existing nonconforming situation cannot be allowed to be made more nonconforming through the regulations. Hence, two variances are being sought by the applicant. The first variance is relative to the subdivision regulations and asks that the applicant only be required to provide a 25’, half right-of-way for Elkin Road. The second variance is a zoning variance, asking that the applicant only provide a 20’ setback from the Elkin Road right-of-way.
The subdivision regulations require dedication of the half the width of right-of-way when a property owner is located on one side of the road (Section 2.2, Appendix B). Elkin Road does not have a designated right-of-way north on Highway OO. The existing right-of-way whenever land is platted or surveyed under the subdivision regulations. Section 2.2 requires that "any existing public road in which right-of-way is not defined on an existing subdivision plat or Major Thoroughfare Plan shall be deemed a collector." Collector streets require a 66’ right-of-way, or a 33’ half right-of-way. The applicant is requesting that Elkin Road north on Highway OO be classified as a local street, which only requires a 25’half right-of-way. The applicant also requests that he be allowed to provide a 20’ setback from the right-of-way, should it be granted, rather than the required 25’.
a). The applicant will not incur unreasonable or unnecessary hardship of this variance is not granted. However, the title of the property could be considered to be clouded, as the house will be nonconforming.
b). Granting this variance will not endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public.
c). Granting this variance will not thwart or circumvent the general intent of the regulations. Elkin Road is a dead end road that ends approximately 2000’ from Highway OO. This distance slightly exceeds the cul-de-sac length allowed for a road designated as a local street.
This request fails to satisfy part (a) of the regulatory criteria cited in Section 1.9.2 of the Subdivision Regulations. It does meet parts (b) and (c).
Staff recommends that this variance be granted with the following conditions:
~ That no additions can be built on the existing structure that will encroach closer to Elkin Road.
~ That in the event the existing structure is damaged by any cause such that the extend of more than
75% of the actual value before the damage occurred, the structure cannot be re-built except in
conformity to the regulations.
Staff notified 13 property owners of this request.
Present: Carl Story, Route 1, Hallsville, MO
Mr. Story stated that he is requesting a variance for the house being too close to the road. The house is probably somewhere around 80 years. Before Planning and Zoning took effect. Mr. Story states that he understands that Planning and Zoning is necessary. And does understand that he could move the house, but is an old house and applicants have opened the house up, took some walls out and opened up in to a great room. Heavy timbers were put in, in place of the walls. To move the house would not be a good idea. Mr. Story would appreciate receiving a variance.
Open to public hearing.
In favor of the request.
Present: Vern Pierce, 1902 Mayberry Drive, Columbia
Mr. Pierce stated that he is a teacher at University Farm Management. His job is to help family farms stay in business. Mr. Pierce and his wife currently live in the City of Columbia and would like to move to the country and have acreage and space to enjoy. The property that Mr. Story is seeking a variance on is property that he and his wife are interested in purchasing. Mr. Pierce stated that he supports the variance for obvious reasons. The variance will allow Mr. Pierce to purchase the property. The lending regulations will not allow a loan on the house without a variance because it will not get a clean title. It would haze the title and impair Mr. Pierce’s ability to re-sell the property, even though he has no intention of selling the property. However, it would impair his ability to sell it somewhere down the road. The lender therefore would not lend him the money. The property is on a dead end road and likes the solitude and that is why he wants to move to the country.
Planner, Bill Florea presented to the Board Members and to applicant, a letter from David Mink, Director of Public Works.
In general, this letter stated that The Boone County Public Works Department has been advised of the request by the landowners, Carl E. and Evelyn R. Story, for a variance from granting of road right-of-way along Elkin Road based upon the standard width of 66 feet. Although Elkin Road is at the present time a dead end road that only extends a short distance beyond the subject area, there is always the possibility of this road being extended at some time in the future. The Public Words Department believes that in order to properly construct new roadway, particularly in the out-county, a minimum width of 66 feet is necessary. Therefore, the Boone County Public Works Department respectfully request that the variance request for granting of right-of-way based upon a width of 50 feet, reduced from 66 feet, be denied.
Mr. Story stated that he is not familiar with public works.
Planner, Bill Florea stated that Public Works is the Road Department. Public Works is opposed to the road width. Essentially there is two standards for the roads and Public Works is opting to ask for the more restrictive of the two standards.
Mr. Story stated that as far as that goes, this is what Mr. Story is asking a variance for. On Mr. Story’s property, the road is very well maintained and doesn’t have a problem with traffic. There are five houses from Route OO to the dead end including property owner, Don Toalson. All the properties there are five or ten acres.
Mr. Story stated that there are different options that could be taken instead of moving the house five or six feet. From Route OO to the first turn, his land goes straight on from the turn, then the road turns. The road could be widened by maybe the County buying land from Mr. Story’s neighbor, Tim Underwood. That is one option.
Closed to public hearing.
Member Clementz stated that she drove to the property in question and asked Mr. Story, if this variance is not granted, will this keep applicant from selling his property.
Mr. Story stated yes. If he does not receive the variance, the lender will not give a loan. Unless someone with a lot of money decides to buy the property and doesn’t need a loan.
Member Clementz stated that when she drove on the road, 50’ isn’t very wide for a road for traffic, for passing and such. There is no problem with the road only being 50-foot.
Mr. Story stated no, there hasn’t been any accidents on that road since the thirty-five years he has been there.
Chairman Trabue stated that the road width right now is probably 14-feet. That is the actual travel width of the road. The right-of-way width would be that area all the way out that they could use for road and ditches.
Planner Bill Florea clarified to the Members, if the Board grants the variance, the right-of-way will still be widened, but it won’t be widened by as much. It will go from what is now a 30-foot right-of-way to a 50-foot right-of-way. There will be an extra ten feet width on the side of the Story property.
Member Clementz asked Staff if they thought making it the 66-foot would be safer.
Chairman Trabue stated that a 50-foot right-of-way would be what is typically found in a subdivision. The street width in a subdivision is typically 28-feet. If there were to be developed as a subdivision, then they would be building a 28-foot wide street with 50-foot right-of-ways. Which leaves a grass strip on each side. The difference here is that the Board is addressing whether it should be a 66-foot wide or 50-foot wide right-of-way. The Board is not addressing the road width.
Planner, Bill Florea stated that a wider right-of-way would allow a wider road to be built. The question is, would a wider road really be necessary. In this case, probably not, because Elkin Road is unlikely to be extended. Even if it is, it will serve the slower traffic. There is already Owen School Road and Doris Boulevard. They are both good, established, through streets. They are both about a half-mile from Elkin Road. It is unlikely that Elkin Road would be developed in to a road that would carry a lot of traffic, other than just local access to homes.
Chairman Trabue stated that the Public Works Department has to look at the bigger picture and protect the right-of-ways that they have by regulation. The position in the letter submitted is reflected. Rather than going out and looking for a specific situation and saying that 50-foot would be fine.
Member Bowne asked what the house is being used as currently. Is it being rented out or is it vacant.
Mr. Story stated no, they are building a home further down the road. The older house is being fixed up and it was listed.
Member Bowne stated that right now it is vacant.
Mr. Story stated yes.
Member Bowne asked the approximate value of the house.
Mr. Story stated that he listed the house and ten acres at $129,900.
Member Clementz asked the value of just the ten acres.
Mr. Story stated he didn’t know what the going rate was per acre in Boone County.
Member Clementz stated it would be much less of a value.
Member Bowne asked applicant if the five homes he mentioned included this home in question.
Mr. Story stated no, it was not included.
Chairman Trabue stated he believed the primary driveway for this house comes off of Route OO.
Mr. Story stated it did.
Chairman Trabue stated that as a general rule, he tends to agree with Public Works in protecting these right-of-ways, but always makes an effort to go and look at each particular situation. Chairman Trabue stated that he agrees that the road width is probably a little narrow, but does feel that this is very much a local road and believes that the regulation that the Board is dealing with here, is a catch-all regulation to take care of the roads that have not been classified throughout the County. At the time the Subdivision Regulations were put together, they did not classify all of the roads, but only the major thoroughfares.
Chairman Trabue stated that he believed that this particular road is getting trapped in this regulation and personally, he would call it a local road. And thus a 50-foot right-of-way would be appropriate. The other thing Chairman Trabue states he noted, if Elkin Road were to be extended at some point in the future, there would have to be a lot of other development in the area and it would probably effect Elkin Road to the south. Elkin Road to the south is off set some to the east. Therefore, there would be some alignments that would have to occur to make that a proper intersection which would actually move the road farther away from the house in question. Even if a larger right-of-way would be required in the future, it probably would be required more to the east as opposed to the west.
Chairman Trabue continued that there were two other issues in the request. First is the easement request and that is the 10-foot easement that is being provided by administrative survey, if this were approved is what does meet the regulations.
Planner Bill Florea stated no. The regulations say that 10-feet is the minimum unless otherwise requested by the utility provider. Water District Number 4 has requested a 20-foot utility easement, so the Board is bound by that.
Chairman Trabue stated that the Board was bound by that request and can not grant a variance on that. It is outside of the Board’s control.
Chairman Trabue stated that the other variance is for the setback to be 20-foot, rather than the required 25-foot. Chairman Trabue stated that he doesn’t believe that moving the house is appropriate and thinks that the conditions outlined by Staff would deal with any future issues that would apply and believes that the variance would be appropriate.
Member Bossaller made and Member Bowne seconded a motion to approve a 25’ half right-of-way for Elkin road; and allow with staff conditions a 20’ setback on property located at 9001 E Hwy OO, Hallsville.
Chairman Trabue Y Member Bowne Y Member Bossaller Y Member Clementz Y
Motion to approve request carries 4 Yes 0 No
Planner, Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that the site is located 6 miles south of Ashland, the current zoning is A-2 as is all the adjacent property. The current use of this lot is vacant.
The requested variance is to allow an accessory structure to be built on a platted lot that does not have a house on it, which is the zoning regulation section 7.A.(5). The original zoning for this tract is A-R. The land was platted as part of Windy Knob Estates in 1987.
The variance is being applied for under the consideration of Section 15C subsection 4 (c) of the Zoning Ordinance that states:
"Where by reason of shape or topography or other extra-ordinary or exceptional situation or condition to a specific ordinance would result in a peculiar and exceptional difficulties to or exceptional and demonstrable undue hardship upon the owner of the property as an unreasonable deprivation of use as relating to the property, a variance from the strict application of this ordinance provided the relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent, purpose, and integrity of the Zone Plan as embodied in these regulations and Zoning map."
In the assessment of the Staff, the requested variance should not be granted due to the following reasons.
There is no unreasonable deprivation of use; the existing lot can be developed for uses in compliance
with the regulations.
Staff notified 23 property owners of this request.
Present: Bill Barton, RR 3, Trenton, MO
Applicant Mr. Barton submitted to the Board photographs of his lots 3 and 4 which showed the topography of the properties.
Mr. Barton stated that he is respectfully requesting a variance in order to build a garage on a lot that he owns. Mr. Barton states that he takes some exception to the work-up by Staff on lot 4 where the house is.
Mr. Barton continues that the topography on lot 4 behind the house is straight down and if you were able to build a garage back there, it could not be accessed. On the east there is a sewer field then a 50-foot setback on the east and south. Mr. Barton stated that there is no way he could build an accessory building on the east side of the house, it would be within the sewer field and would not be able to meet the setback requirement.
Mr. Barton stated that when he realized the problem with the east side of the property, he then purchased lot 3 with the understanding that he could build an accessory building there. Mr. Barton stated that he has spent $7000.00 getting that lot leveled to build the accessory building. One of the contractors went to get a building permit and was unable to do so because of the current zoning that is in place. It would be convenient for him to build this building on lot 3, but is also concerned about the time limit. Mr. Barton stated that he could not move until the accessory building is built in order to store his vehicles, lawn mowers tools, and etcetera. Mr. Barton stated that he requests the variance be granted.
Open to public hearing.
In favor of the request
Mrs. Joy Barton stated that she was in support of the request.
No one spoke in opposition of the request.
Chairman Trabue asked Staff if they had received any calls or letters on this request.
Planner Thad Yonke stated he believed there was a couple of calls, but they only wanted information on the request.
Mr. Yonke clarified that when he was speaking of the topography of the property, this was referring only to lot 3. It was not related to lot 4, where the house is. Since the requested variance is on lot 3, when the staff report states that the lot can be built upon, what Staff was pointing out is that if an accessory structure could be built on lot 3, a primary structure could be built on it as well. Topography wise, it could be developed in compliance to the regulations, which is what is being requested.
Mr. Barton stated that he always wanted to be in the Columbia area, when he saw the property, he and his wife decided this is what they wanted. He would like to move as quickly as possible for two reasons. 1). His father is 95 years old and he needs care, Mr. Barton is 150 miles from him. 2). Mrs. Barton’s doctors are all in Columbia.
Mr. Barton stated that his neighbor, Mike Craig, had no problem with this request. Mr. Barton stated he understood Staff’s comments, however, he does not want to put a mobile home or A-frame house on lot 3, just so he could have an accessory structure.
Mr. Barton stated that he does realize that there is another option, but expediency is what he was trying to do.
Closed to Public Hearing.
Member Bowne asked applicant if he owned two lots.
Mr. Barton stated yes.
Member Bowne asked Staff what was involved in combining the two lots in to one lot.
Planner, Thad Yonke stated that there would be a public hearing in front of the County Commission to vacate the lots, which means to remove them from the original plat, and submission of a new plat combining the two lots in to one by a surveyor.
Member Bowne asked Staff of the time frame for this.
Mr. Yonke stated that the County Commission can hear the hearings once a month. You have to submit by the deadline. The next deadline is Tuesday, May 29, 2001. That meeting will be at the end of June. Then a surveyor will have to submit the plat. If they submit the plat concurrently with that, there is some risk if the County Commission were to not grant it. However, as indicated on the Staff report, there have been probably five to seven over the last two years, the County Commission has granted all of them.
Member Bowne asked Staff at what point was Mr. Barton notified that he had this option and if it was before the last deadline.
Mr. Yonke stated that Ryland Rodes in the Planning and Building Department, spoke with Mr. Barton and indicated that shortly after Mr. Barton first contacted the Planning Department. In order to apply for this hearing the last deadline could have been made.
Chairman Trabue asked if the re-plat would go to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mr. Yonke stated yes, all plats go to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Chairman Trabue stated that is why the deadline is so close already.
Mr. Yonke stated that the County Commission vacates and then the plat goes to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the plat then goes to the County Commission. This is the standard procedure.
Member Bowne asked Staff if there was an expense.
Mr. Yonke stated that there was no expense on vacation. There will obviously be a cost for the re-platting because a surveyor has to be involved.
Chairman Trabue stated that occasionally when you come in to these types of requests, it is an accessory building that is being built, usually someone wants to build a home on a piece of property, but would like to build their accessory building first, whether it be a garage or shop. The regulations do provide for that without coming to the Board with a variance. Ultimately, what should be done, is to make this one lot. Legally that is the most appropriate way to do it, not necessarily the fastest way, but it is the appropriate way in the long term. By doing that, it would not circumvent any of the regulations or require any type of variance.
Member Bowne asked Staff if this was granted with conditions, it could not have an additional home built with it. Would this circumvent the regulations.
Mr. Yonke stated that was part of the intent of the regulation, part of the intent also is to make sure the development stays in order. As a separate lot, it is legally entitled to primary structure; it could be sold off individually, that is where you run in to problems. If it gets sold off, it has an accessory structure on it. If there is no primary structure, it could be a depravation of use, which could become problematic.
Chairman Trabue stated, in looking at the siting of the structure, it would not allow for a primary structure to be built on the lot along with the accessory building. However, it needs to be done within the guidelines and without a variance. Re-platting is the most appropriate way.
Member Bossaller stated he agreed with Chairman Trabue and Staff.
Chairman Trabue asked applicant who was living on the property now.
Mr. Barton stated that there is a bed there and a microwave and that is it. No one lives there. Mr. Barton continued that the Staff has been very courteous. Mr. Rodes did indicate to him that there was another method in which to go, but doesn’t remember the time, he only recalls it was way down the road if he went the other way. This is why he requested the variance.
Chairman Trabue stated he would like to find a way in order to get this approved, but can not think of a way. Applicants may have to find a way to move in to the house without the accessory building for a while. But stated that is the applicant’s business.
Member Bowne stated to applicant that the deadline is Tuesday, May 29th. That only leaves Friday, May 25th as a working day, with Monday being a Holiday. If applicant wants to get on the next schedule and get it done, the paper work will have to be turned in by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 29th.
Chairman Trabue asked Staff if it would be a legal lot if it were just vacated.
Mr. Yonke stated it needed to be re-platted. The plat doesn’t necessarily need to be submitted Tuesday, however, it may be more of a time delay. It would be virtually impossible to get a plat in by Tuesday. But the vacation request is what has the longest time frame. In that the submittal is Tuesday for an end of June meeting. Then the Planning and Zoning Commission meets prior to that, theoretically if the plat were to come in Tuesday, normally by procedure, Staff does not accept plats until the vacation has been finalized. But the Director of Planning can make an exception to look at it pending an assumption. Normally they don’t accept these plats because you are looking at something that may not get approved, however, the Director of Planning can make an exception in situations like this. In this case, applicant is really looking at a July agenda.
Planner Bill Florea added that there have been cases also, where the vacation is approved by the County Commission and the plat is submitted for the next agenda. The Planning and Building Department may be able to issue a building permit and let them start construction even thought the plat hasn’t been finalized. But is submitted to Staff and is in a form that is approvable and have the mylar and recording checks, in some cases Staff has allowed building of the structure to commence prior to the Planning and Zoning meeting.
Member Bossaller stated that he believes that staff understands applicant’s sense of urgency and have done everything they can to expedite this request.
Mr. Yonke stated that Staff is bound by the regulations. They stretch them as much as they can, but have to do what is required.
Member Bowne made and Member Clementz seconded a motion to deny an accessory structure to be built on a lot that does not have a main structure, located at 22606 Westbrook Dr., Hartsburg.
Chairman Trabue Y Member Bowne Y Member Bossaller Y Member Clementz Y
Motion to deny request carries 4 Yes 0 No
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Paula L Evans
Minutes approved ______ of __________, 2001.