Edwardsville Plan Commission clarifies recreational vehicle ordinance
The city of Edwardsville Plan Commission met Jan. 18 to clarify the recreational vehicle ordinance.
Here is the meeting's agenda, as provided by the commission:
January 18, 2017 7:00 PM
I. ROLL CALL: Present
V. Armouti W. Catalano G. Coffey M. Pierceall P. Pitts M. Rabe B. Schlueter, Vice Chairman S. Hanson - Staff C, Porter - Staff K. Shelton - Staff L. Schneck - Staff
M. Brandmeyer L. Miller J. Mullane, Chairman P. Pitts B. Powell
I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A. Minutes of the regular meeting for the November 21, 2016 meeting are hereby approved.
MOTION: Coffey. SECONDED: Pierceall. All Ayes.
III. CONCEPTUAL WORKSHOP
TV. OLD BUSINESS
A. Ordinance Amendment-Amendment to R-1 Zoning Code
Scott Hanson introduced Kellie Shelton as a new Planner with the City of Edwardsville.
Hanson gave a recap of the amendments to the R-1 zoning code since it was tabled in November. The changes proposed will impact the smaller lots within the City. There are basically three pieces to the amendment. The first deals with the rear and side yard setbacks of accessory structures. The second is for the percentage of lot coverage. The last one is the ability to add on to the principal structure to its grandfathered footprint. Hanson will go through each change individually.
Hanson explained in instances when the accessory structure is adjacent to an alley, the property owner may elect to reduce the setback to zero (0) feet from the alley right-of-way or easement. It will not impact the principal structure only the accessory.
Staff's assessment of the impact of the proposal.
- Proposed change would create an exception to allow for accessory structures to be placed on the property line (zero foot setback) IF there is an alley adjacent to this property line,
-Current requirements: Accessory structures are required to be placed at least five (5) feet from the side and rear property line regardless of whether there is an adjacent alleyway to the lot.
-Impacts: There are a large number of accessory structures throughout the city that were built on the property line. If the accessory structure is destroyed by natural or man-made casualty OR if the structure needs to be replaced, the ordinance requires that the new structure be placed at least five feet from the property line, In practice, this is not always feasible:
1) Setbacks may mean that building foundations need to be torn outfireplaced even though the old foundation may still be viable.
2) There maybe buildings, easements, utilities, etc serving the home that would also need to be moved if the required 5 foot setback was imposed.
3) Historic neighborhoods in Edwardsville such as Leclaire feature garages on the property line. To require otherwise may detract from the character of the area
4) The proposed change may offer property owners an opportunity to make better use of available space in their rear or side yards. As many of these older lots are less than 10,000 square feet in total area, efficient/effective use of available space is important.
• A potential drawback is that there is potentially less room in the alley for large vehicles (garbage trucks, utility company vehicles, fire department vehicles) to maneuver. There may be a garage that can sit on the property line but the eaves may overhang by as much as 18-inches without counting for the setbacks. An example would be if the alley is ten feet and there is a garage on each side of the alley, this would only allow for seven feet because of the potential overhangs.
Hanson presented a map showing paved or graveled alleys. This map does not include "paper” alleys which were platted but never improved.
The committee agreed to discuss and make a motion regarding each itemasitis presented.
The committee has a better understanding of the need for these changes. There were concerns with the adverse impact to the alleyway. Would garage doors be opening into the alleyway? What is the frequency with which this concern comes up?
Hanson stated that not every alley will have 2 accessory structures directly across from each other but there are opportunities for it. The map tonight shows where the opportunities for that to happen are. The Ordinance Committee was concerned that it would only impact a handful of properties. According to the map showntonight, it could impact a quite larger number of properties.
Mark Rabe stated the ordinance does not distinguish between improved and unimproved alleys. As stated by Mr. Hanson, the map only shows alleys which are improved. The way the current proposal is written, it does not distinguish between the two. There may be other alleys to which this may apply. If they are not being used now, he is not sure it would matter but it should be recognized.
Hanson suggested adding the definition of improved alley. Rabe stated he was not convinced that needs to be done. If the alley has not been improved since platted, he didn't think it would be improved now, Hanson agreed and explained that alleys can be vacated but must go through a specific procedure. Usually the entire alley is vacated. Alley vacations are considered on a case by case basis. Cheryl Porter added that if any one property owner does not want to purchase their portion of the alley, the vacation does not get approved. There would not be any areas of the alley skipped. It also depends on what development the alley was platted on. Some cases, the alley would not be split 50/50.
Rabe stated the utilities are a large factor on the option to rebuild. An example would be if a windstorm blew a garage over. The property owners find out the utilities will have to be moved in order to rebuild. This would not be cost effective.
Hanson stated they always have the option to apply for a variance. Pierceal asked about the eaves encroaching into the alley. Would that be a good idea?
Hanson stated there was discussion about adding additional language stating the garage can not be directly accessible from the alley or that the eaves cannot encroach into the right-of-way.
Pierceal stated looking at his property and the proposed zero setback, he still could not access a garage because of the turning radius. The encroachment of the eaves would make it even worse.
Discussion between the board and staffregarding damage to an accessory structure beyond 50% and replacing it with something larger. If someone thinks they need a two-car garage instead of the existing one-car garage. Standard for most communities is damage of 50% or more. If any of the work would be performed within a historic district, it would have to get approval by the Historic Preservation Commission.
MOTION: Coffey. Move for the change with the addition to change the eaves requirement. SECONDED: Pierceali.
It was requested that the votes be placed at the end of the discussion of all the changes. Board agreed.
VOICE ROLL CALL: 6 Ayes, O Nays, O Abstains.
2. Change of maximum lot coverage
Proposed change would allow for lots less than 10,000 square feet in area to cover up to 36% of the total lot area. Lots greater than 10,000 square feet in area will remain at the current 30% limit. This section also deletes the “administrative variance' process adopted in 2014, 36% would be allowed outright, without the need for an administrative variance.
Current requirements: Lot coverage with buildings are not to exceed 30% unless the applicant seeks an administrative variance to cover up to 36% of the lot area. This 36% administrative variance option was adopted in early 2014. Prior to this change, the 30% standard had been in place since the 1970’s.
Impacts: o The 30% lot coverage maximum was likely originally adopted for aesthetic reasons, 8. At the time, lots were generally smallerin overall area and it may have been council's intent to limit the number of buildings on a lot. 0. As lots have grown in overall size over the past 3-4 decades and as subdivision covenants and restrictions have begun prohibiting detached accessory uses, it has become increasingly unlikely that newer lots will ever exceed the 30% maximum. o Conversely, owners of older lots (generally those less than 10,000 sq feetin area) have increasingly difficulty in adhering to the 30% cap, especially as they consider 2-car garages and additions to their homes to make them livable for contemporary lifestyles.
One perhaps unintended advantage of the 30% cap on overallot size relates to stormwater and impervious surfaces. Retaining pervious surface areas in older parts of the city is particularly important since the storm water systems in these areas lack detention basins and are often under-sized and inefficient. The more pervious area that rainwater has to sink into the ground rather than run into the street, the better. Bumping overall lot coverage to 36% in areas where the stormwater system is insufficient may have detrimental impacts in the long term.
Hanson displayed a map with the lots between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet. There are many lots in the outlaying areas which are 9,200 to 9,800 square foot. Total lots within, the city are around 9,500 lots which includes R-2 zoned lots. There are approximately 3,000 small lots which would be affected. This would be about 40% of the lots impacted,
There were no concerns at the Ordinance Committee regarding this change.
Rabe expressed his concern of the possibility of abuse by contractors with this change. Hanson stated there are recent developments with small lots. Pierceal added there should be more control on storm water requirements. With the new areas stormwater is addressed. Hanson wanted the committee to keep in mind this only applies to structures with a roof, Swimming pools are not included. Detached structures are not being allowed in some areas because of covenants and restrictions.
Schlueter asked for the history for this change.
Hanson stated there are some parts of the older neighborhoods where staff has looked at proposed development but the existing structures under roof have exceeded the maximum allowed. It does not take long for smaller lots to maximize their overall allowable coverage. Porter added that this change allows for any lots less than 7,500 square feet the ability to use the 36% lot coverage where before it was not even considered.
Schlueter voiced her concerns with increasing the allowable percentage. She would be more comfortable with it if it only affected Smaller lot sizes.
Catalano stated that on a 7,500 square foot lot, changing the ordinance from 30% to 36% would give someone an addition 460 square foot which could accommodate a 20 foot by 22 foot structure. This could be a 2-car garage which would definitely make a difference.
Porter stated it doesn't have to apply to an accessory structure. Someone could do an addition to their house in a historic area as long as they can still meet the building setbacks.
Pierceal stated some historic areas have small lots. The owners may have a growing family and would like to have the ability to add on a bedroom. They like the location and want to stay in their home.
Catalano asked how many Administrator variances have been done since it was adopted. Hanson stated they did all of the lots in West End Heights. He thinks less than 15.
Catalano suggested adding a provision for lots of 10,000 square feet and greater to be allowed either 30% lot coverage or a maximum of 3,600 square feet (whichever one is greater) to keep from gaming the system. There would still be a benefit to have a 10,000 square foot lot.
Hanson explained that this change is to allow older neighborhood lots to still remain viable for homeowners.
Discussion among the board as to the responsibility of the Homeowners Association to enforce the covenants and restrictions regarding accessory structures. The City will not enforce covenants and restrictions. Sometimes the association does not wish to pursue legal action because of the cost they would incur.
MOTION: Pierceal. Motion to consider approving the proposed change #2 as presented.. SECONDED: Armouti.
Coffey wanted to make sure Staff will consider forwarding to Council for the graduation as discussed, Hanson said it was worth considering but not a lot of gain. There are not many lots of that size.
Coffey suggested having a policy consideration for Council to consider, Schlueter added this will be put in the staff's notes for Council but not part of the motion,
VOICE ROLL CALL: 5 Ayes, 1 Nays, 0 Abstains.
3. Accessory Buildings.
1248,02.4 - Accessory buildings.
(a) When a side yard is required, no part of an "accessory building" (see definition) shall be located closer than five feet to the side lot line of such side yard. When arearyard is required, no part of an accessory building shall be located closer than five feet to the rear lot line; or to those portions of the side lot line abutting such rear yard provided, however,
when the accessory structure is adjacent to an alley, the property owner may elect to reduce the setback to Zero (0) feet from the alley right-of-way or easement.
This was pointed out while discussing changes to the R-1 zoning code. If the vote is to approve change #1, then this should follow.
MOTION: Coffey, Move for approval to change as presented SECONDED: Rabe. VOICEROLL CAE L: 6 Ayes, 0Nays, 0 Abstains.
Recreational Vehicles. *
4. Recreational vehicles and travel trailers. Proposed changes cleans up language in this section and clarifies that travel trailer, utility trailer, recreational vehicle, etc. must be located at least 5ft from side and rear property lines and 10 ft from the principal structure. The current code ties this setback to the required setback in the zoning district in which the RV/travel trailer is located. Since this is being reduced to zero feet in R-1 areas with alleys, staff wants to be sure that RVs/travel trailers maintain their 5 foot setbacks from the property lines and 10 foot distance from the home.
Porter clarified that this ties them to the setbacks for an accessory structures, These have wheels and are mobile so why would setbacks be reduced. Staff does not want RVs zero feet from the property lines.
The Ordinance Committee tried to encompass a wide variety of recreation vehicles.
MOTION: Rabe. Move to approve change #4 as shown. SECONDED: Pierceal. VOICE ROLL CALL: 6 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstains.
5. Repairs and alterations of buildings or structures and usage.
Hanson gave an example of an old home which had a roofed porch removed. Years past by and a new owner wants to restore the home to its original look. They have pictures of the historical look. That original porch may not have met the building setbacks but the house without the porch does meet setbacks. By adding the porch back onto the house it will make the home non-conforming. The porch could not be approved even though the owner is able to show the previous structure in detail. They would have to get a variance. One of the stipulations for a variance is the hardship which would be hard to prove. This provision would allow staff the ability to grant the restoration as long as the homeowner can prove it previously existed either by photos or footprint of the original structure. There is a cap though that it cannot be any closer than five feet for an interior lot and ten feet for a corner iot. There is no time limit for the restoration.
It was discussed about single family homes being located within a multi-family zoning district. These homes would be allowed in the multi family district with a special use permit. This zoning change would not apply to the R-2 Zoning district. The R-2 district is combined with anything from duplexes to twenty-plexes because they are all multiple family units.
The process would consist of coming to staff with pictures or some type of proof of the - previous structure. If it is located within a historic district it would still need approval from the Historic Preservation Committee. Not every case will involve the committee though. It was asked if the proposal is not aesthetically appealing. Just because they can show there was a footprint there previously, should there be ajudgment piece added? That was a good point. At what level does a previous porch turn into a sunroom or a bedroom? There is no architectural review process. How would it be determined whether the concrete footprint is old or not? This relates to non-conforming structures so newer subdivisions should not have non-conforming homes. They should all meet the current setbacks. The properties which need to have more controls over them should be the nonconforming homes. Adding thousands of dollars to the structures value when it is already a non-conforming use could be a moral hazard. There is a relief process setup now which is going through the variance process.
What are the compelling reasons for this change?
Hanson explained there was a case previously where the homeowner removed the back porch on an older home several years prior. The proposal was for a new larger deck with a roof over it. It would not meet the rear yard setbacks and violate the lot coverage issue. The homeowner then asked if the original sized deck could be replaced. The home is now conforming so a covered deck would not be allowed.
Coffey suggested putting language in the text saying as long as the expansion is the same as the original use.
Catalano stated the piers cannot determine the prior use of the structure. Hanson replied that Edwardsville Township keeps pretty good records but unfortunately, they don't go back to the-1800s. The burden of proof would be on the applicant. There is a lot of grey area as pointed out though.
It was suggested to put this change on hold. MOTION: Rabe. Move totable #5. SECONDED: Pierceal.
Hanson asked for the committee to either make a recommendation for eitherfor the change for against the change.
Rabe withdrew his motion. Pierceal withdrew his second.
MOTION: Rabe. Motion that the Plan Commission's recommendation for further staffs review before ordinance implication review and adoption by City Council. SECONDED: Rabe,
VOICE ROLL CALL; 6 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstains.
6. Visibility for additions and enlargements,
Hanson explained the proposed Change #6: 1248,03.4 relating to Additions and enlargements of non-conforming structures. Adds a fourth criteria in relation to Change #5 above stating that visibility for automobile traffic at corner lots must be accounted for.
It was suggested to make the same motion as #5.
MOTION: Coffey, Motion to be the same as change #5. SECONDED: Pierceall, VOICE ROLL CALL; 6 Ayes, O Nays, O Abstains.
7. Definition of Building Footprint.
Hanson stated as staff was going through the changes, it was asked what a building footprint was. This was the reason for the addition of the definition.
MOTION: Rabe. Motion to adopt this definition of the building footprint. SECONDED:
VOICE ROLL CALL: 6 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstains, No one present to speak in favor of the proposed changes. No one present to speak against the changes.
V. NEW BUSNESS
A. Resignation letter from Lara J. Buford.
Jill Buford has moved out of the community and had to resign. She was a great member and will be missed.
B. Mayor's meeting attendance expectations.
The Mayor is requesting that all City commissions and committees adhere to a 70% attendance guideline in order for continued service. Hanson stated he is still looking into the question as to if it still applies to the sub-committees. He should have some answers for next month's meeting. This should run with the fiscal year not calendar year since the appointments are in May.
W. PUBLIC BEARNG
None. VII. NEXT MEETING
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 118 Hillsboro Ave.
Organizations in this Story
118 Hillsboro Ave
Edwardsville, IL 62025-1622