ZBA OKs variance request

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — A variance was approved by the Sidney Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to construct a building in Mercy Mission House’s front yard at its Monday meeting.

The request of Ferguson Construction, on behalf of Mercy Mission House, was approved for a variance to construct a 30-foot by 60-foot, 1,800-square-feet, accessory garage in the front yard at 950 Children’s Home Road. Barbara Dulworth, community service director, said the zoning code allows accessory buildings in the rear yard only. Also, the proposed garage is over the maximum size allowed by the code, of 1,500-square-feet. The property is located in the R-1, single family residence district, north of Gearhart Road.

The subject property is a religious institution with accessory uses, such as a soup kitchen and homeless shelter. The property is 2.4 acres and is located along a 90-degree curve of Children’s Home Road. Dulworth said there are currently two principal structures on the property with combined square footage of approximately 13,000-square-feet. The proposed accessory garage to be located in the front yard, would have a setback approximately 25 feet from Children’s Home Road right-of-way, near the east side lot line.

While this property is not a corner lot, Dulworth said, the effect of the 90 -degree curve results in essentially the same setback requirements. A front yard is defined in the code as the area between the street right-of-way and the buildings along the full width of the frontage, she noted. The only remaining area not occupied by building, is the area to the north of the lot between the two buildings. This area is the lowest area of the property, to which stormwater drains, so filling and/or construction in this location would disrupt the drainage on the property, which is located in the special flood hazard area (floodplain).

Dulworth told board members, the proposed accessory garage is appropriate for the property and use. While accessory buildings are, in most cases, appropriate in the rear yard only, she said the proposed garage on the property at 950 Children’s Home Road is difficult to impossible to locate in the rear yard, due to the arrangement of buildings and the street curve. The proposed size of the garage, while larger than would generally be appropriate, is proportional to both the existing buildings and the size of the lot.

The garage will be used for vehicle storage, Dulworth shared, when asked by the board.

She said it is city staff’s opinion, the requested variance is necessary to allow the accessory use that is generally allowed, and recommended approving the variance. The variance was unanimously approved by board members, with the exception of Jim Fortkamp, who was absent Monday.

The approved variance request will be forwarded to the Sidney City Council for recommendation for final approval.

In other business, Dulworth informed board members the newly revised Sidney Zoning Code was close to being adopted into law by the Sidney City Council. She expected the new code to be approved at City Council’s Jan. 24 meeting, which would then become effective two weeks later on Feb. 7. Dulworth said she will provide copies to the new code at the next meeting for review, but a link to it can also be found on the city’s website on the community development department page.

In final business, Fortkamp’s absence was excused by the board.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.