SIDNEY — A replat request to create one new lot out of two lots will be considered by Sidney City Council during its meetiing Monday, Feb. 24. Sidney Planning Commission members were split in a tie vote on whether to approve the request at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18.
The commission considered the request of Britt Havenar, on behalf of Brent and Helen Goins, for the approval of the replat on the south side of the cul-de-sac terminus of Erie Court in the R-1, single family residence district. The property has not been developed.
Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said, when asked about the purpose of the replat, she believes the Goins’ plan to build a new home on the new lot, if approved.
The replat, if approved, will result in a lot with 27,355.7 square feet (0.628 acres). No new utility easements are included with this replat. While the interior property line between the existing lots will be vacated to create the new lot, the utility easements adjacent to the vacated lot line are not being vacated with this action. If the current, or any subsequent, property owners wish to construct a building or structure over the center of the new lot, Dulworth said, the easements must be vacated first.
The new lot meets the lot size, width, and lot width to depth requirements of the zoning code and subdivision regulations. City staff recommended for the commission to approve the replat and recommend for Sidney City Council to approve the request.
Commission member Merrill Asher said it seems unfair to other area residents for their property taxes to go up because a large house may be built in their neighborhood. He asked Dulworth if she sent out notices to neighbors. Dulworth told Asher notices were not sent out because a public hearing is not to be held at the planning commission regarding the replat.
Approximately 10 residents of the neighborhood attended Tuesday and several spoke in opposition to the request. The major concern residents had was the fear their property taxes would go up. Others said a large house being built at the location would disrupt the uniform look of the neighborhood, in which their homes’ lots are mostly the same size.
Havenar reminded commission members the proposed lot follows zoing code requirements.
When asked, residents said they were unaware if the proposed lot and potential house goes against their neighborhood covenant, but did not think it goes against their homeowner’s associations specific language.
Dulworth reiterated her previous statement which Havenar noted, that the proposed lot follows zoning code requirements.
Upon getting clarification from Dulworth on what commission members’ were to consider when deciding whether to approve the request or not, Asher noted it appeared as though they should approve the request.
David Gross, the acting chair person in Chairman Tom Ehler’s absence, responded that they have the option to approve, table or deny the request. When Asher asked what would be the purpose to table the request, Gross said it would give residents time to investigate their neighborhood covenant and possibly sit down and talk with the Goins about their concerns. Gross said hopefully together as a neighborhood they could come up with a solution.
Asher made a motion to table the request to the March meeting, but it died as it did not receive a second motion.
Commission member Heather Dunn said she wanted to continue the discussion about the residents’ fear about their taxes going up. She told the attending neighborhood residents, from her knowledge as a realtor, that one home will not necessarily raise taxes. She explained the new large home would be compared to other large homes in the area. She also said residents could contest tax values. Dunn also recommended changing the wording in their homeowner’s associations’ rules for similar situations in the future.
Commission member Patricia Miller then made a motion to OK the replat as city staff presented it, and Dunn seconded. Miller and Dunn voted yes while Gross and Asher voted no.
The motion failed without a tie-breaking vote, but the replat is being forwarded to City Council for condideration at a future meeting.
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