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Standards for exterior side yard setbacks

mendelman

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#1
I am currently working on a text amendment to possibly revise our exterior sideyard (side adjacent to a street) standards for our single-family zoning districts. Currently, we require the average setback along the shared frontage establishes the minimum required setback. This can get a little restrictive because gathering the info for averaging can be time consuming and, depending on the surroudning properties, the average could be skewed negatively, resulting in a significant reduction to the practical size of the buildable area. This usually occurs when a property's exterior sideyard is adjacent to front yards (which have a larger setback normally, especially in the older portions of the muni.)

I am toying with the idea of a strict percentage of lot width. Our interior sideyard setbacks standard is 10% of the lot width (on a 70' wide lot - 7' on each side of house), so I am thinking that a more appropriate percentage would be something that could account for sight lines across the corners, maintain an approximation of the setbacks along the shared frontage, and not be detrimental to the practical size of the buildable area.

Our minimum buildable lot width is 50 feet and typical is about 66-75 feet , so I am thinking that the percentage should be 20 or 25% of lot width.

What standards do you use, and what is the intent behind them (if you know)?
 

mendelman

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#3
gkmo62u said:
is it not just easier to provide a numeric setback number ie 10 ft? As opposed to percentages?
That could be a solution, but mmany of the larger, newer corner lots in the muni. were built with setbacks of about 25 feet or so. Therefore, establishing a standard setback similar to what is already built would be hard, politically, because if we did less than what is already built, we may be giving much more buildable area to some lots, but if we made a standard setback that was too much (20-25 feet) we would be severely restricting the buildable area on the smaller lots.

This is why i think a percentage of lot width would be most appropriate, because it would treat each lot equally without ignoring the unique characteristics of the lot.
 
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boiker

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#4
You could create new zoning district for the older portion of town that has the same/simlar lot form and diminsions. Then you can specify a smaller corner yard/exterior side yard setback
 

mendelman

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#5
boiker said:
You could create new zoning district for the older portion of town that has the same/simlar lot form and diminsions. Then you can specify a smaller corner yard/exterior side yard setback
That would probably be the best solution, but we are looking for the path of least resistance.:r:
 
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#6
I think that would be a pretty straightfoward and easy to explain method for calculating setbacks. Don't forget to think about non-conforming lots that may be smaller (less wide) than even your current minimums. Might simply put in language like "side setback shall be 15 percent of lot width, with a minimum setback of 3 feet" or something.
 
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#7
dankrzyz said:
Might simply put in language like "side setback shall be 15 percent of lot width, with a minimum setback of 3 feet" or something.
We simply have a set distance depending on the zoning of the property. The problem that I would see with the percentages is that certain exterior side yards may be quite small especially if it's a nonconforming lot. In the last community I worked for we had separate regulations for setbacks on nonconforming lots (in relation to lot size and width) which were based on percentages, but also incorporated a distance with language stating, "20% of the lot width or 5 feet, whichever is LESS."

From a "sight line" or "obstruction" point of view, do you allow accessory structures in exterior side yards? And does your exterior side yard run from front lot line to rear lot line? We do not allow any accessory structure (i.e., sheds) in any portion of the exterior side yard.
 
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#8
We use 8, 10, and 12 based on the intended density of the residential neighborhood. (We have several one-family residential districts) Additionally, we require a 10-foot separation between structures. In both cases it is for fire safety and access to all sides of a structure in the event of a fire.
 

ABS

     
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#9
Within Brisbane City and basically every other LGA I know of the side setbacks are based on numerical distance. For example on small lots (under 450m2) the minimum side setback is 1500 millimetres to the wall and eaves are allowed to protrude 600 millimetres into this area effectively meaning the outer most projection of a house on a small lot (under 450m2) is 900 millimetres.

For allotments over 450m2 the miminum setback is 1500 millimetres to the outer most projection for single storey dwellings. When you add a 600 millimetre eave the distance to the wall from the property boundary is 2100 millimetres.

For two storey dwellings the mimium setback is 2000 millimetres to the outer most projection. This means when you add a 600 millimetres eave then the distance to the wall from the bonudary for two storey dwellings is 2600 millimetres.

These setbacks apply regardless of lot size and shape, with the exception of small lots, which have reduced setbacks and tighter building regulations.
 

Gedunker

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#10
We call it a "Street Side Yard" and require a minimum 5'-0" setback from the property line. The only exception is in the Central Business District where a zero foot street side yard is permitted. However, if not built at zero, then 5'-0" is required.
 
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