BZA agrees to move line

The Weekly Vista - - News - KEITH BRYANT kbryant@nwadg.com

The Board of Zon­ing Ad­just­ments is­sued con­di­tional ap­proval for a vari­ance to re­duce a rear build­ing set­back at 23 Pa­mona Drive dur­ing its July 18 meet­ing.

The ad­just­ment was needed to ac­com­mo­date a sep­tic sys­tem on the same lot as a three bed­room home the ap­pli­cant, Gary Per­son, would like to build.

“We picked this par­tic­u­lar lot be­cause it’s a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion and what we want to be able to do is build a house that fits the char­ac­ter of the neigh­bor­hood,” he said. “We are ask­ing for what we per­ceive to be the min­i­mum amount that we need.”

Per­son said that the lot’s to­pog­ra­phy in­cludes a dip in the front, which means the front of the lot can­not be used for sep­tic.

The set­back re­quested was 13.67 feet, com­pared to a typ­i­cally-re­quired 15 feet, mak­ing an ad­just­ment of 1.33 feet, or roughly 16 inches.

Se­nior plan­ner Jennifer Bon­ner said that there is also a drainage cul­vert in the front yard that needs to be worked around, which pre­vents the house from sim­ply be­ing moved for­ward.

“Be­lieve me, I’ve looked at this for sev­eral days try­ing to come up with some­thing sim­pler than this,” Bon­ner said.

As­so­ciate plan­ner Sarah Bing­ham said that this prop­erty is sur­rounded by com­mon prop­erty, mean­ing there is no neigh­bor­ing lot some­one may try to build on.

The ap­pli­cant, she said, is in talks with the Arkansas Health De­part­ment about ad­just­ing the sep­tic lines to pre­vent this from be­ing nec­es­sary. But if that falls through, she said, the ap­pli­cant will need this vari­ance to build his house.

Board mem­ber Charles Whit­ten­berg said he had trou­ble un­der­stand­ing why the house couldn’t sim­ply be moved. How­ever, he said, be­cause this con­fig­u­ra­tion has al­ready been sub­mit­ted for ap­proval else­where and the ap­pli­cant would need to pay an ar­chi­tect for ad­di­tional ad­just­ments, it doesn’t seem rea­son­able to ask that he spend more money.

“My in­cli­na­tion is that I’m will­ing to grant the waiver given that noth­ing else changes,” he said. “I be­lieve that our goal should be that we don’t have to is­sue vari­ances when vari­ances are not ac­tu­ally re­quired.”

The board unan­i­mously ap­proved the vari­ance on the con­di­tions that it be ap­proved by the health de­part­ment, the city re­ceives doc­u­men­ta­tion from the POA al­low­ing the ap­pli­cant to en­croach closer to the side of, but not over, the prop­erty line and, if the health de­part­ment re­quires changes, the ap­pli­cant needs to work with his ar­chi­tect to fit ev­ery­thing in with­out us­ing this vari­ance. Ad­di­tion­ally, the ap­proval for this vari­ance is to be rec­og­nized if a way to in­clude both within the re­quired set­backs can­not be found.

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