Jun 10 2016

Easing of Variances, Setbacks, Parking Requirements, Increased Staff Reviews: Zoning Code Changes: Monday, June 13

The Piedmont Planning Commission will hear and consider a presentation by staff on proposed revisions to the City’s Zoning Code (Chapter 17) on Monday, June 13, 120 Vista Avenue, City Hall.  The report by Kevin Jackson, Interim Planning Director is available here.<

Variances are Likely to be Granted

In response to requests from the Commission, staff researched several areas. (Read the City staff report here.)  The Commission wanted to know the rate at which variances are granted. Between 1996 and 2015, variances were generously granted at a rate of 81% for the whole decade. The leniency increased to an annual rate of 88% in the years 2013 -2015.

Staff advises that modifying the Code could reduce the necessity to request a variance. 

For example:

  • Parking requirements could be reduced to allow fewer parking spaces and smaller off-street parking spaces.
  • Setback requirements could be reduced and/or accessory structures might be allowed in side and rear yard setbacks.
  • Lot coverage limitation of 40% might be changed or differently expressed.

Threshold for Commission Review

In 2000, the exterior construction threshold for Planning Commission review was increased from $10,000 to $75,000, greatly increasing the numbers of building permit applications authorized for review by the City staff. Staff proposes increasing the threshold to $100,000 or $125,000.

At the public hearing the Commission will take testimony from members of the public on the revisions under consideration. The Commission may then provide comments or direction to the staff on updates and revisions to the City’s Zoning Code  and Residential Design Review Guidelines.

Read the June 13, 2016 Planning Commission agenda here.<

The meeting is open to the public and will be live broadcast on Channel 27 and webcast on the City’s website.   Consideration of the zoning changes are Item 16 on the agenda for the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, June 13, 2016.  The hearing is item 16 on the agenda, scheduled at the end of the meeting at an undetermined time.

City Code: Current Chapter 17, the Zoning Code.

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