Planning Commission OKs 3 requests, denies 1

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Three of the four requests presented to the city of Sidney’s Planning Commission were approved during its Monday night meeting.

The commission OK’d two requests of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of Sidney Classic Ltd, for the approval of a lot split and replat to transfer of ownership of 0.350 acres at the rear of the property to the adjacent property owner. The property is on the west side of VanDemark Road, south of Russell Road.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth told the commission the transfer is accomplished with a two-part action, the first being the lot split to create lot 7190 which will split the 0.350 acre area from the remainder of the lot. She said the lot split includes a note that lot 7190 can only be transferred to an adjoining property.

The second part is the replat, to combine lot 7190 with the adjacent property to create a new lot, #7191. Once completed, two new lots will be created, lot 7189, with 2.364 acres and lot 7191, 1.3 acres.

Dulworth said lot 7189 meets zoning code and subdivision regulations requirements for lot size, lot width, and maximum lot depth to width requirements. Lot 7191 will not meet the minimum lot width to depth requirement. With a width of 120 feet and a depth of 472.22, the ratio is 3.9.

She noted that section 1161.07 allows the Planning Commission to waive any requirement of the subdivision regulations when a lot is “adjacent or abutting a natural or man-made feature that strict application of the requirements contained in these regulations would result in undue hardship upon the owner of the tract.” In order to meet the lot depth to width ratio, lot 7191 would need to be at least 135 feet wide. In this case, Dulworth said, man-made features including parking and loading areas as well as the placement of the building on lot 7189 would create an undue hardship and require setback variances.

The commission agreed with Dulworth’s recommendation to waive the requirement for a lot depth to width ratio and voted to recommend Sidney City Council to approve the lot split and replat as submitted.

The commission denied the replat request of Britt Havenar, on behalf of Anthony and Tammy Gerstner, two create two new lots. The property is located on the west side of Chestnut Avenue, 789 Chestnut and 821-823 Chestnut Ave. in the R-1, single family residence district.

The new lot would be created by a replat to move the side lot line between 789 Chestnut and 821-823 Chestnut Avenue. The proposed replat moves the shared lot line 4.68 to 2.8 feet to the north.

Havenar told the commission the Gerstners reside at 789 and also owns the 821-823 Chestnut Ave. properties. He explained that a fence, which was mutually agreed upon by the Gerstners and the previous property owner of 821 Chestnut Ave., is not located on the property line. The fence encroaches on the land at 821 Chestnut. It is now Gerstners’ desire to sell 821 Chestnut Ave. and want to prevent an issue when selling the property.

Dulworth informed the commission the Zoning Board of Appeals Board (ZBA) denied the Gerstners’ variance request for a new lot proposed at 821-823 Chestnut Ave. earlier in the day. She said it was denied because of the four standards that must be met to grant a variance, no extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property or to the intended use that do not apply generally to other property or classes of use in the same vicinity and district were found by city staff.

She said because the proposed replat is not in conformance with zoning code regulations, a variance is necessary.

Taking an existing non-conforming lot, she said, and making it more non-conforming without compelling reason is not appropriate. She noted that city staff was unable to find any hardship that would justify this action.

Therefore, given ZBA’s variance denial, Dulworth recommended the commission to deny the replat. The commission agreed and voted to recommend for City Council to deny the request.

The request of John Shurts, on behalf of Sharon Renner, for a lot split to create two new lots on the east side of 542 and 544 S. Franklin Ave. was also granted by the commission. The property is located in the R-2, single and two-family residence district.

Dulworth said the zoning code requires lots for single family dwellings to be a minimum of 6,000-square-feet (0.14 acres). The lot split, if approved, will result in lot #7192, with 5,880.6-square-feet and lot #7193, with 3,354.1-square-feet.

She said the property is currently developed with two single-family dwellings. The lot split would create two properties that could be owned separately.

ZBA granted a request for the lot-size variances earlier in the day due to the extraordinary shape of the property and the existing development on the property. Dulworth noted that because of ZBA’s approval, she recommended for the commission to recommend for City Council to approve the lot split. The commission voted to in accord with Dulworth’s position.

All of the recommendations will be sent to Sidney City Council for its review.

Commission members Merrill Asher and Patricia Miller were absent Monday and were excused by the commission.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.