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Thread: Front setback ranges

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Front setback ranges

    We are looking at adopting a front setback range (min and max) rather than a minimum. Does your community do this? We're reducing our front setback substantially. I hope to get an additional garage door and maximum facade coverage by garage door requirements in place later this year. Also a lot range would give us much more control over the amount of infrastructure needed to serve each primary structure.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  2. #2
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    My dear county only has minimum required front yards. I agree with additional front yards to the face of the garage as the driveways become parking areas and obstruct the sidewalk.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    In my fair city/county we have a minimum frontyard and backyard set backs.

    also from our code -
    Front yard means the yard extending across the full width of the lot between the front line of the building and the front lot line.
    Oddball
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  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We do them for some, but not all districts.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    In our single-family districts, we have 25 feet minimum for new subdivisions, and the average setback of the shared frontage for existng, developed subdivisions.

    I think a maximum front setback is unecessary is most instances. Why not just have a larger minimum rearyard setback?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I tried to do an average setback for an already established part of town but it was hard to make it work because we don't have surveys of all the lots to know exactly what their setback is...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    I tried to do an average setback for an already established part of town but it was hard to make it work because we don't have surveys of all the lots to know exactly what their setback is...
    Up until now we've used what we term the "law of commonality" whereby front setbacks on blocks where a majority of the homes don't meet the zoning requirement, may use the average of the homes that face on that side of the block.

    Why not have a larger minimum rear. IMO, a rear setback doesn't directly address how a building orients to the street or how it contributes to the street scape. Plus, I'd rather seen existing homes expanded (invested in) and I'd rather not have a rear setback (of say 50') impact the legality of adding on a sunroom, which would not effect the adjacent property owner to the rear. Can you say, variance request hell.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    I tried to do an average setback for an already established part of town but it was hard to make it work because we don't have surveys of all the lots to know exactly what their setback is...
    We were going to try this as well, but instead decided that looking at the development applications we had and using them to develop standards was suitable. For the area we did this we settled on a minimum of 8 ft and a maximum of 20 feet.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    From my current experience, having an average establish the minimum required is very, very annoying and burdensome. We have this requirment and it is a burden, because we don't have the data (surveys) for each project to verify whether the average given us by the applicant is correct or not, and then it is hard to explain to people.

    When there is an existing fully built streetscape, I have been considering making it "existing setback or xx feet, whichever is less". You need to determine what number to use for 'xx' (which could be the predominant setback in the district), and you then don't get one widely different setback skewing the average and then requiring variances.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    Brisbane uses this for suburban small lots.

    It is, I believe: Within 20% of the averaged setback of adjoining buildings, or 3m if no adjoining buildings, or 6m if both adjoining buildings are set back farther then 6m. Garages are then set back 2m back from the face of the building.
    Last edited by chukky; 11 Jul 2006 at 11:01 AM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I think that is a good idea Budgie in certain areas or uses. With some less intensive and more rural type settings I don't like the maximum setback. I've seen it in place in rural type areas and it ends up being contested quite a bit, so my advice would be to limit the maximum to more intensive zoning, and not on acreages...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmm....

    Take a look at the City of Arvada, Colorado for a code that might help.......they made us do this while I was working with the dark side.....even though we did this to some extent anyway.

    others:

    Thornton, Colorado
    Westminster, Colorado (maybe)
    City and County of Broomfield (maybe)
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    We just tackled this....

    Quick and SImple - in residential neighborhoods we take the average of the structures on that block and allow for a building tolerance of +/- 5 feet. Minimums and maximums are set based on existing conditions.

    This can sometimes be an admistrative pain, but it is what is appropriate for "infill" development.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    We have only minimum setbacks for residential districts and maximum only setbacks for most commercial districts.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    We are looking at adopting a front setback range (min and max) rather than a minimum. Does your community do this? We're reducing our front setback substantially. I hope to get an additional garage door and maximum facade coverage by garage door requirements in place later this year. Also a lot range would give us much more control over the amount of infrastructure needed to serve each primary structure.
    Our single family residential code requires a front yard setback of 30 feet, or at the distance of 40% or more of the surrounding home in that block. However, no home is permited closer than 20 feet from the line, or more than 50 feet from the line.

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