Belle Alert

November 7, 2006

cow bell

Our bell is ringing loudly because the Planning Director has identified “inconsistencies” in the regulations relating to several building definitions. The Planning Commission is being asked to review the sections and to tell the whole barnyard what their interpretation is. No staff report is available at this time check back with us next week to see it.

We’ve chewed on it, and we’re scratching our horns over what Hope Sullivan the Planning Director is confused over, these definitions look pretty clear and consistent to us.. But then again we have been hearing that she is well known for her inconsistent interpretations and her apparent ability to make policy changes in the guise of “interpretation.” We can’t wait to see the staff report to try to figure out what the moo-ing is about. The Code definitions to be discussed are Accessory Building, Detached Structure, Maximum Height of Accessory Buildings and Size of Main Residence. We have copied the existing definitions as they are listed in the towns zoning ordinance below:

The definition of Accessory Building – A detached structure or building, the use of which is subordinate and incidental to the main structure, building, or use on the same parcel.

The definition of Detached Structure – An accessory structure separated from any other structure by a distance of not less than 15 feet in all zoning districts except the R-1 District where the separation may not be less than eight feet. If a structure is connected by any aboveground structural means to another structure, it shall, except for purposes of qualifying a second unit in the R-1 District, be considered attached. The separation between structures shall be measured eave to eave where one of the eaves is greater than three feet, or shall be measured wall to wall where neither of the eaves is greater than three feet.

Regulations Concerning the Maximum Height of an Accessory Building Subsection (L) – The maximum height of any accessory building shall be limited to one story and shall not exceed 11 feet from the exterior grade to the highest ceiling plate height and shall not exceed 17 feet from the exterior grade to the highest point on the structure, except barns and stables, which shall not exceed a maximum 24-foot height, and covered equestrian areas, which shall not exceed a maximum 30-foot height, measured from the exterior grade to the highest point on the structure, and except for any structures existing on the date of passage of the amendment codified in this division.

Measurement of the Size of the Main Residence (B) – The size of a main residence shall include the total gross floor area of a main residence using the rules for calculating floor area stated in division (A) above with the following exceptions:

(1) Detached structures shall be excluded unless they are attached to the main residence by an aboveground structural element, or they are separated from the main residence by less than eight feet in the R-1 Districts or less than 15 feet in all other zoning districts. Structures are not considered attached if they are only connected via a covered walkway that is 100% open on one of the long sides, 50% open on the other long side, less than 8 feet wide, have a plate height under 11 feet and do not have a wall higher than 4 feet on one long side.

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