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1 June 2005 | Approved: 6 July 2005

Chairman John McClelland called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. In attendance were Commissioners Peggy Ebner, Bob Evans and Bud O’Connor. Also in attendance was town resident Kathi Higdon.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes for May were approved unanimously.

Building Permits

The following building permits were discussed and voted on by the Planning Commission:

  • 110 Grove Avenue » A playhouse was approved unanimously.
  • 301 Washington Grove Lane » A seven (7) foot fence was denied unanimously according to Article VII Section 3.328. The 7 foot fence would meet ordinance requirements if moved a minimum of 7 feet from the rear lot line.

103 Brown Street

Board of Zoning Appeals – Chairman McClelland did not agree with the Board of Zoning Appeal’s interpretation of the Planning Commission’s position on the garage addition at 103 Brown Street. He was concerned by the BZA’s stating that the PC does not have the power to define "common roof" (only the Town Council can do that) yet the BZA then went on to define it themselves. He also expressed concern for the way the BZA stated that a common roof can be a porch which is like a breezeway and therefore that connection makes the garage part of the main structure. Chairman McClelland expressed concern that the single family intent of the ordinances – including the "arranged and designed for occupancy by not more than one household and including cooking facilities" portion of the dwelling unit definition as well as the "one family detached dwelling unit" part of the use regulations – was not considered. Commissioners O’Connor and Evans agreed that the PC did not state that the structure had to have a common wall AND a common roof as the BZA’s comments indicated. The Commissioners then discussed the single family structure issue and wondered if Town residents would rather have the ordinances changed so that "mother-in-law suites" and more than single family structures would be permitted. Although the idea of in-laws or children living in these structures seemed acceptable, the Commissioners wondered if the inevitable rentals would be as welcome. Chairman McClelland stated that the Board of Zoning Appeals had scheduled another hearing because of an error in the ordinances. Chairman McClelland and Commissioner O’Connor will write a response to the BZA’s findings.

Definition of "Cooking Facilities"

A discussion regarding the ordinance definition of "cooking facilities" was initiated by Chairman McClelland. Commissioner O’Connor suggested using alternative language in the ordinance to further define cooking appliances. He volunteered to do some research and bring his findings to the next meeting.

Cator Property

Kathi Higdon appeared representing the Cators who continue to ask the Town for four additional lots and annexation into the Town. Ms. Higdon stated that they would like four additional lots because they would then be able to build "nicer" houses on the property. The County has denied their request for four lots and has given them authorization for only two. The Planning Commission once again feels there is no new information being presented and reiterates the Town’s October 2004 offer of three additional lots (plus the current structure). They also discussed whether the Town Council would want to have input on the style and size of houses if the property were annexed into Washington Grove. Chairman McClelland said that he thought the Council would want input and that selling the lots to individual builders would make that difficult. He thought the Council would prefer a single builder for all the houses but that Ms. Higdon should contact the Council for clarification. Chairman McClelland will forward a copy of the October 2004 letter that was sent to the Cators to Ms. Higdon.

Master Plan

Chairman McClelland sent an email copy of the Master Plan to the Planning Commission for their review and discussion at the next meeting.

POD Permits

Commissioner O’Connor introduced an idea for an ordinance revision regarding PODS (portable storage containers.) The commission agreed that POD units are worthy of further discussion in the future.

Missy Yachup – Secretary

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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