Sidney Council OKs Erie Court replat

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Monday night Sidney City Council approved a replat request that had failed at the February Sidney Planning Commission meeting.

The request of Britt Havenar, on behalf of Brent and Helen Goins, was for approval to create one new lot out of two lots 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.

City staff recommended at its meeting Feb. 18 for the Planning Commission to approve the replat and to recommend for Sidney City Council to approve the request. Commission members were split in a tie vote on whether to approve the request, therefore the item failed without a tie-breaking vote. The replat was then forwarded to City Council for consideration.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said the new lot meets the lot size, width, and lot width to depth requirements of the zoning code and subdivision regulations.

The replat, 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.

At the commission meeting, when asked about the purpose of the replat, she said she believes the Goins plan to build a new home on the new lot, if approved.

Monday, Dulworth provided responses concerns raised at the Planning Commission meeting by nearby property owners. She said these concerns are not related to the subdivision regulations or the zoning code, or compliance with those regulations of the plat in question.

Listed below are neighbors’ concerns and city staff’s responses:

• The resulting lot, if approved, would be far larger than other lots in this neighborhood.

— Dulworth said the proposed lot would be almost identical in size to the two lots adjacent on the cul-de-sac. These two existing lots are respectively 0.645 acres and 0.674 acres. The proposed lot is 0.628 acres. Neither the subdivision regulations nor the zoning code establish a maximum lot size in the R-1 district.

• The house to be built will be far larger than other houses in the area.

— Per the property owner, Dulworth said, the planned dwelling will be approximately 4,000-square-feet and a single story, with roof pitch similar to those surrounding. In reviewing city building permit records, gross square footage of the dwellings on Erie Court are between 4,000- and 5,000-square-feet. Neither the subdivision regulations nor the zoning code establish a maximum dwelling size in the R-1 district.

• The house will cause property taxes to be increased for adjacent properties.

— In general, Dulworth said, appraisals for property tax purposes are based on the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms as well as the exterior conditions of the structure. The Shelby County Auditor establishes appraised value for tax purposes. Both the subdivision regulations and the zoning code are silent on the matter of property taxes as property taxes are not pertinent to either regulation.

Council member Ed Hamaker said from what he recalls from driving through the area, he thinks probably a lot of homes in that area, not necessarily on Erie Court, are larger than 4,000-square-feet. Dulworth said some homes in the area are, but not on Erie Court. Hamaker said he doesn’t see a problem with approving the replat.

When Mayor Mike Barhorst asked if anyone wanted to comment on the request, no member of the public spoke up. When he entertained a motion, the replat passed with a unanimous 5-0 vote by council members present. Council members Steven Klinger and Darryl Thurber were absent Monday, and were excused by council.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.