Variance changes OK’d by planner

Thu, 01/31/2008 - 4:09pm
By: John Munford

A proposal to allow residents whose homes back up to city-owned greenbelt apply for a variance to expand their homes met with some negative citizen feedback Monday night at the Peachtree City Planning Commission meeting.

But the procedure was recommended for approval unanimously by the commission. The matter must be voted on by the City Council before it could take affect.

The proposal would allow residents to seek a variance to encroach into no more than 25 percent of the home’s setback which abuts city-owned greenbelt. The application would be approved or denied by the City Council, which is the current vehicle for all variance requests, though they would be reviewed by the planning commission.

City Planner David Rast said the ordinance mainly would benefit homes in cluster-type subdivisions which have no room on either side to expand their structure. It is intended mainly as a way to encourage residents to maintain and enhance their property values, Rast said.

Also, such variances would only be allowed if there was no other place on the lot for such expansion to occur, he added.

Resident Lynda Wojcik said allowing such construction would intrude upon views along the city’s golf cart path system. She said residents should do their homework before they buy a home and determine if it can be expanded in the future or not.

“They’re not really setbacks if you do this,” said resident Phyllis Aguayo.

Rast clarified that residents still would not be allowed to build in the greenbelt, but they would be allowed to build closer to it. For example, he said, a cluster lot with a 30-foot setback would be allowed to build within 22.5 feet of the greenbelt if such a variance is approved.

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