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Village Vision News

Ordinance approval allows house to be moved from Barnett to Washington

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Trustees evaluated both staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommendations before voting 4-2 to approve an ordinance that will allow a variance to the lot size and setback requirements for an empty lot located at 203 Washington Street. Their vote will allow the owner, Gloria Parton, to relocate a house from Barnett Avenue to the empty lot.

“Our ordinances created the nonconformity of the lot upon annexation and further restricted its use by the accessory structure restrictions,” said Village Administrator Mike Miller. “These created a case of unintended consequences for the property owner,”

Miller agreed with the commission’s decision to approve the variance and clear the way for the 900-square-foot home to be moved. Miller said his evaluation was based on the way he interprets the statues since the home in question “…fits the general characteristics of that area.” Miller said the commission’s opinion was that the petitioner’s request for the property met all three criteria allowable for variances:

  • The inability of the owner to yield a reasonable return for the property under the conditions allowed.
  • The variation would not alter the essential character of the locality.
  • The plight of the owner is due to unique circumstances.

Twenty-five residents living in the area signed a petition and crowded into Village Hall March 4 to voice their opposition to the landowner’s petition; many returned again March 18 to learn if the Board would deny the petition or adopt the ordinance approving the variance.

Trustee Bob Rasho made the motion to accept the ordinance and was joined in voting for it by trustees Eric Morr, Larry Reed and Kerstin Trachtenberg. Rasho earlier said that “…government can be too intrusive” noting that a landowner should not be prohibited from deriving an income from property.

The ordinance was drafted following a March 4 Board meeting in which a 3-2 vote, in the absence of Morr, set the course for action. Trustees Marilyn Johnson and Steve Hubbard opposed the ordinance at both March Board meetings. Johnson repeatedly stated that “…as a trustee, I said I would listen to the people.”

Property owners living on or near Washington and Fitch streets said their property values would be jeopardized by what they described as “a shack” and alleged rental property moving into their neighborhood.

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