Attendance: Arthur Leonard, Chair; Myron Birch; Robert Cherrix; John Gilliss; Michael McGee; Jesse Speidel and Donald Thornton.
Staff: Kenny Lewis, Building and Zoning Administrator
Three citizens attended the meeting.
Chairman Leonard called the Board into session at 7:30 p.m.
The sole agenda item for this meeting was the appeal of Betty Mullins for a variance that would allow her to enclose an existing, unattached, deck adjacent to her house. When finished the project would result in a 12ft x 10ft sun room and 5ft x 10ft exposed deck. Chairman Leonard advised Ms. Mullins that if she was dissatisfied with the decision of the Board, she had the right to appeal the decision to the circuit court within thirty days.
When originally constructed, the existing deck was in compliance with existing setback requirements. These requirements considered the deck to be an “accessory structure” because it was not attached to the house. Under this condition, a 6ft setback was allowed. Recently adopted zoning ordinances require a 10ft setback for the deck whether attached or not. The existing deck is 6ft from the sidewalk and was “grandfathered” under the new setback requirements so long as no modifications were made to it. The building permit application was rejected because the new construction would force the completed structure under current setback requirement of 10ft.
Ms. Mullins provided extensive photographic, diagrammatic and text details for the Board to consider. Board members asked her a number of questions about the project. At least two members of the Board had visited the property to examine the existing deck.
No adjacent property owner objected to the variance. No one from the public spoke about the variance.
The Board engaged in an extensive discussion that focused on the questions of compliance and hardship. Several Board members made the point that the project did not meet the standard of a “property hardship” and could not be approved under that authority of the Board. Several Board members made the point that although the existing deck was in compliance with the zoning ordinances, as soon as it was enclosed it would have to be attached to the house and that would put the deck and new structure out of compliance with current setback requirements.
Myron Birch made a motion to approve the request of Ms. Mullins for a variance. Arthur Leonard seconded the motion. Following considerable discussion, the motion carried on a 4 to 3 vote with the ayes and nays cast in this manner:
Board Member Aye Nay
Myron Birch aye
Robert Cherrix nay
John Gilliss aye
Arthur Leonard aye
Michael McGee aye
Jesse Speidel nay
Donald Thornton. nay
Total 4 3
The meeting adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Notes by Barbara Thackray and Bill Troxler
N.B. These notes do not constitute the public record of this meeting. The information contained herein is offered in good faith, is presented as accurately as possible, is thought to be a complete account of the proceedings. These notes are intended to be a public service devoid of political commentary for those who are interested in following the civic affairs of Chincoteague Island. Notes of the meeting are recorded, transcribed and distributed by volunteers who receive no financial compensation for their efforts