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Setback Variance request of Dylan Huff re 2610 Franklin Street

Hearing Examiner #: HE-13-PL-020
Planning #:VAR2013-00013
Incident #:
Filing Date:05/23/2013
City Contact:Ryan Nelson
Hearing Date: 08/07/2013
Description: Setback Variance request of Dylan Huff re 2610 Franklin Street
Decision Date: 08/21/2013
Decision Summary:Approved with conditions.

This matter came before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner for hearing on the 7th day of August 2013 on the application of Dylan Huff for a variance from side yard setback requirements of the Bellingham Municipal Code for property located at 2610 Franklin Street in Bellingham.
Testimony was received from Ryan Nelson, Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department; and Dylan Huff, Applicant.
In addition to the Bellingham Municipal Code and Comprehensive Plan, the following documents were considered as part of the record: See Exhibit List.

1. Dylan Huff applied for a variance from side yard setback requirements of the Bellingham Municipal Code to enclose a carport attached to an existing residence at 2610 Franklin Street.
2. The subject property is located in Area 1 of the Sunnyland Neighborhood. It is designated Residential Single, Detached, 5,000 square feet minimum detached lot size.
3. The legal description for the property is Lot 8, Block 339, First Addition to New Whatcom.
4. The property is located near the northeast corner of Franklin Street and E. North Street. It contains an existing residence that was constructed in 1908, prior to adoption of land use regulations.
5. Surrounding properties are developed with single-family residences.
6. Franklin Street abutting the front of the property is developed as a residential street with an 80-foot wide right-of-way and sidewalks on both sides. An alley within a 20-foot wide right-of-way abuts the rear of the property.
7. The existing residence contains approximately 1,550 square feet of floor area. The proposed carport enclosure would add approximately 238 square feet of floor area.
8. The existing residence and carport are nonconforming to setback regulations. The carport is located approximately one foot, one inch from the southern property line. The residence is located approximately one foot, 11 inches from the northern property line.
9. BMC 20.30.040F requires a five-foot setback from interior property lines.
10. BMC 20.18.020 sets forth the criteria for variances from setback and other land use regulations contained in BMC Title 20.
11. The existing carport extends along the southerly property line for about 17 feet. The proposal would enclose the carport within its existing footprint, adding windowed walls to the three open sides. The enclosed carport would become additional living space. The Applicant proposes to replace the parking space in the carport with a parking space at the rear of the property accessed from the alley. A portion of a shed located in the rear yard would also be removed to accommodate the parking space.
12. Other properties in the area have structures which encroach within the side setback areas. The proposed structure would be in character with other structures in the area. Parking in the rear of the property is also in character with other properties in the vicinity.
13. The existing layout of the residence makes it difficult to add living space to the rear of the structure.
14. The properties abutting the southerly property line, adjacent to the proposed enclosure, are oriented to E. North Street so that the proposed addition would be adjacent to the rear property line of the neighboring properties.
15. The owner of the property immediately abutting the proposed encroachment supports the proposal.
16. City staff recommends approval of the proposal subject to the conditions set forth in the Staff Report.
17. One neighbor commented that the proposal would be out of character with the neighborhood as it would extend the structure virtually from lot line to lot line.
18. The existing location and configuration of the house and attached carport, which were constructed long before the adoption of setback regulations cause the strict application of the regulations to deprive the property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other property in the area.
19. Granting the variance will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare nor injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity. The proposed enclosure utilizes the existing footprint of the structure, is an efficient use of the property, and will result in modifications to the structure that are more in character with the neighborhood than the existing structure.
20. Allowing enclosure of the existing carport within the boundaries of the existing footprint is a reasonable use of the property that would not be possible without a variance.
1. The proposal satisfies the variance criteria.
2. The variance should be granted subject to the conditions set forth below.
3. Any Finding of Fact that should be denominated a Conclusion of Law shall be deemed to be a Conclusion of Law. Any Conclusion of Law that should be denominated a Finding of Fact shall be deemed to be a Finding of Fact.
A variance is granted to allow enclosure of the existing carport at 2610 Franklin Street, as proposed, subject to the following conditions:
1. Prior to construction the southern property line shall be surveyed by a licensed surveyor.
2. The proposed enclosure/addition, including the roof top deck, shall not extend further into the southerly side yard setback than the existing carport (approximately one foot from the southerly property line) and no portion of the structure, including eaves, shall be permitted to extend beyond the southerly property line.
3. New construction shall comply with all other applicable code requirements, including, but not limited to, building permit requirements, building codes and fire codes, and shall substantially conform to the plans, specifications, drawings, and representations submitted in support of the proposal except as may be required to comply with building and fire code requirements.
4. The Applicant shall obtain a building/demolition permit to remove part of the existing shed adjacent to the alley and shall provide at least one, nine-foot wide by 18 foot deep gravel (or other approved surface) parking space at the rear of the property.
5. Windows and siding materials shall be generally consistent with the character of the existing single-family residence.
6. The southerly wall of the converted carport shall comply with applicable fire separation/fire rating requirements.

ENTERED this 21st day of August 2013.
Bellingham Hearing Examiner
Dawn Sturwold