The Zoning Board of Adjustment didn’t meet for months because they had trouble reaching a quorum of four people. But they made up for their lack of meeting time Thursday by holding a marathon 9-hour meeting that included a lunch break and came close to having a dinner break.
The meeting dragged on from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. over a requested variance for a single family home lot at 321 North Shore Road.
Approximately 15 North Shore Road neighbors showed up to protest the variance, asking the zoning board to consider denying a variance because they believe the lot, which has never had a structure built on it, is unbuildable.
Diane and Glenn Goll, the owners of the lot, agreed to a request by planning staff for a variance that would increase the allowed building coverage from 25% to 27%, which would allow the Golls to build a 1,600 square foot house on the narrow lot.
Without the variance, a home can’t be built on the lot.
Senior Planner Steve Schield said staff recommended the variance, noting the land is a legally non-conforming lot that’s zoned for residential use.
“Other properties in the area have been granted variances,” Schield said. “Denying a similar variance would deny them of rights granted to other property owners. Staff feels the minimum variance for this property is reasonable.”
But residents pleaded with the board not to give the Golls any variance.
“Shoehorning any house on that yard with that narrow side yard would look terrible,” said North Shore Road resident Tom Munsell.
All four members of the board present during the agenda item, though, approved the variance just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
“We have to grant some kind of variance for this lot,” said zoning board chairwoman Gaele Barthold.
For more information, pick up a copy of next week’s Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].