Pella Chronicle

Local News

September 25, 2013

Council addresses zoning regulations

The Pella City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance, following a public hearing on the matter, regarding zoning regulations.

The Board of Adjustment at their June 25, 2013 and July 9, 2013 meetings discussed the Zoning Ordinance regulations pertaining to half story definition and R1 District minimum side setback requirements. The origins of this discussion came out of concern from one of the Board members about cul-de-sac lots, in particular, located in R1 zoning districts and the difficulty in siting large homes on such lots. Out of this discussion, the Board recommended three regulatory changes to the Zoning Ordinance which are outlined below:

Allowable Cantilevering

Cantilevering is defined where structural areas project out from the main structure and are suspended over the ground without foundation or support directly beneath. The issue is the current zoning ordinance does not address allowable cantilevering for roofs and decks. Under the proposed ordinance, roofs and decks may cantilever up to a maximum of 2 feet out from the main structure on the same parcel without being subject to minimum district setback requirements. Any additional cantilever beyond 2 feet out shall be subject to applicable district setback requirements. In the case of an enclosed room addition or main structure, cantilever is permitted but must adhere to minimum district setback requirements. It should be noted, the proposed ordinance is consistent with past practice in approving building permits for new homes.

Removal of setback requirements for half story units for all zoning districts

This proposed ordinance change removes 1/2 story units from the setback tables such that there would be 1, 2-3 story structure setbacks instead of the current 1-1 1/2, 2-3. The reason for the change is there has been confusion as to what constitutes a 1 1/2 story unit and hence it is difficult under the current zoning code to consistently and uniformly apply the appropriate setback requirements for a 1 1/2 unit.

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