• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Ideas for Keeping Plastic Greenhouse?

lmgriff

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Hello,

I am trying to help out a dear friend who erected a greenhouse. When he bought it he was told that it did not need a permit because it was a temporary plastic/pipe style greenhouse. He since has learned that it is illegal because it does not meet setback requirements. He went in front of the zoning board and asked for a special permit and then a zoning permit and both were refused. I guess I really felt like it should've been approved for hardship reasons. The reason why they have a greenhouse is for health reasons. Both he and his wife were orphaned at young ages from parents getting very early cancer and they learned from Dana Farber Institute, Cancer this and that society that eating fresh vegetables is good for people prone to cancer. It appeared that the zoning board has made this type of greenhouse requiring to meet setback requirements the same as a principal structure even though it is not attached. Any ideas for this silly but painful to watch experience?

Lili Griffin, ***-***-**** [mod edit] I don't think you really want to be posting your phone number on the internet - Tranplanner [/mod edit]
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Even a temporary structure needs to meet the setback requirements for a permanent structure, such as a garage or shed. If your friends are growing food in it, then they have it up over half of the year, so it does have an impact on the neighbors. There are pretty strict legal requirments for granting variances, and I cannot see how these can be met for this greenhouse. The argument that they need to eat fresh vegetables doesn't hold any water, as a smaller greenhouse or different location might meet the requirements, or they can buy fresh at the store. Sorry, but the city is correct.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,416
Points
32
If it's temporary, can't they just move the thing to a legal spot? I suppose the folks that sold the building were the ones that told them it didn't need a permit. Always, always, always, call the city when you are planning to put something up. Do not listen to realtors, building salespeople, or contractors.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
Cardinal said:
The argument that they need to eat fresh vegetables doesn't hold any water, as a smaller greenhouse or different location might meet the requirements, or they can buy fresh at the store. Sorry, but the city is correct.
Or they can return the greenhouse and buy some High Pressure Sodium lamp and a hydroponics system and grow their veggies in their basement.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
The definition of "hardship" has nothing to do with health or personal lifestyle. A hardship can only be the result of unususal physical characteristics of the lot that make it impossible to comply with setback regulations.

We get people who come in with personal hardships ranging from "i had a leg injury and I can't walk from a detached garage to my house" to "it is a hardship on my personal preference." I tell people who apply that they will be denied unless there is a physical hardship but they usually don't believe me. They almost always get denied and are out 300 bucks in the process.

This greenhouse is also not temporary as it seems that they are leaving it up on a permanant basis. It is a permanent accessory building and should be regulated as such.
 
Last edited:

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Not to pile on, (ok yes, this is a pile on).... They had to learn from some institute thatr eating fresh vegies was good for them?? High colonics can be good for you too and dont require any rediculous acccessory structures.
 

cololi

Cyburbian
Messages
1,186
Points
22
Arethey able to move it to a location on their property where it would meet the minimum setback requirements? If so, does the city allow temporary buildings such as this? If the answer is yes to both questions, just help your friend move the structure. It sounds like it would be fairly easy to do.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
giff57 said:
Do not listen to realtors, building salespeople, or contractors.
And for (insert deity of choice here)'s sake, don't ever listen to the seller.

But always listen to and obey your friendly municipal planning staff. ;)

Your friends must move the greenhouse, I'm afraid.
 

lmgriff

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
What Qualifies as Unusual Characteristics?

Thanks,

I guess I was wondering what would qualify. It is steeply sloped land and where he has it is the only flat part. It is also on a pond and must comply with wetlands setbacks, etc. I think at this point he can move it but because there is no level area, he will need to put it on stilts now.



Repo Man said:
The definition of "hardship" has nothing to do with health or personal lifestyle. A hardship can only be the result of unususal physical characteristics of the lot that make it impossible to comply with setback regulations.

We get people who come in with personal hardships ranging from "i had a leg injury and I can't walk from a detached garage to my house" to "it is a hardship on my personal preference." I tell people who apply that they will be denied unless there is a physical hardship but they usually don't believe me. They almost always get denied and are out 300 bucks in the process.

This greenhouse is also not temporary as it seems that they are leaving it up on a permanant basis. It is a permanent accessory building and should be regulated as such.
 
Top