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Zoning requirement for garage

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
This was brought to my attention by one of my co-workers, since I am the only "zoner" on the team. She wanted to convert her carport to a family room, but was told by zoning in her city that her zoning district requires a "private garage" and her carport is non-conforming. I am familiar with deed restrictions/covenents requiring same, but have never before encountered zoning standards mandating garages. Her home is not in a historic district but was built before zoning was implemented in the city.

Educate me: have I been missing something common, all these years?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Zoning Goddess said:
This was brought to my attention by one of my co-workers, since I am the only "zoner" on the team. She wanted to convert her carport to a family room, but was told by zoning in her city that her zoning district requires a "private garage" and her carport is non-conforming.
-So let me get this question straight. You have to have a private garage in the zoning district? That sounds weird if I'm thinking what I think I am.

-I guess she could go before the ZBA and try to request a "special use permit" for a use variance, although she will have to have the plan and some pictures of the carport ready, as well, to bring along. She might have to try and show the board some hardship that will be brought on if she can not convert the carport into a family room.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,902
Points
57
Goddess,

I run into this problem almost everyday.

Our zoning code requires, at a minimum, an enclosed garage space to accomodate at least 2 parking spaces and be a minimum of 440 square feet and a maximum of 750 sqft.

The above regs. were only added to the zoning code in the past 10-ish years, but alot of the housing stock was built without a garage or only a small, 350 sqft, one-car garage. So, needless to say, there are many non-conforming garages and properties here.

At least once a month, I get a resident that proposes to do exactly what your friend is doing, but doesn't have the money to convert the garage or carport and build a 440 sqft, 2 car garage. The resident is usually very unhappy about it. They feel it is a huge burden.

[private person hat on] I tend to agree with them [/private person hat off].

The decision makers' reasons for the code has to do with property/resale value and preventing outdoor storage.^o)
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I can see where it would be nice. Neigborhood I used to live in had single carport and there were alot of cars parked on the street. Now I live in a mostly 2-3 car garage neighborhood and there aren't near as many cars on the street. I know that some new subdivisions are requiring garages by not allowing any parking on the street or in the driveway.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I have also seen codes that require garages as opposed to carports or open parking. Personally, I think open parking or carports are fine. I even like the idea of people parking on the street... cheapest traffic calming I can think of.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
nerudite said:
I have also seen codes that require garages as opposed to carports or open parking. Personally, I think open parking or carports are fine. I even like the idea of people parking on the street... cheapest traffic calming I can think of.
Won't somebody think of the children!?

Don't you remember those driver's-ed simulator/films where balls and children would suddenly fly out from behind the rows of parked cars?

I do object in the garage requirement, however, I do think that at least one off-street space, not necessarly covered, per property should be encouraged..
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
boiker said:
Won't somebody think of the children!?

Don't you remember those driver's-ed simulator/films where balls and children would suddenly fly out from behind the rows of parked cars?
LOL ... yeah I remember those films. When I lived in Portland almost all of the parking was on the streets... never had speeding problems in my neighbourhood and no accidents in the two years I was there (except for one at an intersection with an arterial). Same thing when I lived in Midtown Sacramento.
 
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