Changes recommended for residential zoning | Local News

The Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending the Town Council adopt zoning changes for single-family residential design standards to prevent potential multi-family duplex structures in single family zoning districts.

Development Services Director John Wesley brought the proposal for the changes to the commission in November after concerns were raised regarding potential duplex structures being proposed for single family zoning.

“On several occasions over the last few months staff has received building permit plans for single-family homes that look a lot like duplexes,” Wesley said in his staff report. “These homes give the appearance of a duplex from the street and could very easily be modified to turn them into a duplex.

“Because they met all the technical requirements of the zoning ordinance and building codes as single-family dwellings, staff had to approve the applications.

“Because the property is zoned for single-family uses, they could not legally be converted to a duplex use, but it could be very tempting to do so without proper permits and give an appearance as a duplex in the neighborhood.”

The proposed ordinance going to the council provides restrictions for garage door design and placement. A three-car garage must provide for one door to be offset from the two-car door width. Any four-car layout is to have no more than one two-car access facing the primary street. A second two-car garage must not be visible from the street.

There may be no more than one recognized front entry access along the street side of the house.

The front façade of the dwelling should not include mirror images of each half of the building.

There may be no more than one primary kitchen in the dwelling. Any other food preparation areas must meet requirements as allowed for guest houses or quarters.

Except as allowed for guest houses, all finished spaces within the house must be accessible from other areas of the dwelling without having to go outside. No fire rated walls can separate one part of the dwelling from another.

A house shall not be considered a single-family residence if it is designed with more than one distinct living area when each area includes at least five of the following elements: bedrooms; ¾ or larger bathrooms; laundry room; kitchen or area for food preparation; separate water heater; separate direct access from the front side of the property or the garage; separate HVAC system and thermostats; electrical service from subpanels aligned with distinct living areas of the house.

The Town Council is scheduled to consider the amendments at its second session in January, on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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