Working on a variance to the square footage limitation for an accessory dwelling unit in town. This is a large lot (McMansion area) and the code calls for an accessory DU to be sized at 30% of the principal residence or 800 square feet, whichever is smaller.
This house is 4900sf, which would allow for 1470sf of accessory size, which in turn means that the limitation for this case is 800sf.
The applicant is constructing this for his aging folks and after playing with the design a bit, came back to me saying he needs 1000sf because his father requires a special sleeping room for a medical condition. However, throughout our working together, he has let it slip out that 800sf is "only big enough for an efficiency apartment" and part of me thinks that he is looking for the increase because of the aforemention medical reasons, but also because he just wants a bigger place.
Which hardship is more believeable. I cannot recommend approval of the variance based on his contention that 800sf is too small, but do the medical reasons hold up?
Also, having trouble with what this place will be after his folks pass on. One neighbor called contending that this will be rented out, our town manager thinks the same thing, but nothing in our code prohibits renting and I am reluctant to condition the property to prohibit renting the unit. (in the name of burdening property rights, etc.). Rather, I may defer this to the HOA, which in such a high-priced neighborhood would most-likely have something to say about renters.