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Zoning Administrator continues hearing on second dwelling unit


Last updated 6/6/2007 at Noon

The county’s Zoning Administrator has continued a hearing for a Minor Use Permit to build a second dwelling unit on a Gird Road property.

Zoning Administrator Rose Garduno continued the hearing to June 12 from its original May 29 date in order to ensure that the second unit has no more than half the living space of the primary unit.

“The issue that I see is habitable space,” Garduno said. “It doesn’t look like the calculations work.”

The existing single-family residence owned by Jeffrey and Elizabeth Irvine totals 2,322 square feet, not including a 558 square foot attached garage. The proposal as presented May 29 called for a 1,022 square foot two-story second dwelling unit along with a 465 square foot attached garage.

“I have a problem with the massive scale of the second dwelling unit,” Garduno said. “The need for a full second story, I simply don’t see it.”

A second dwelling unit is limited to 1,200 square feet or 50 percent of the living area of the main dwelling unit, whichever is less. The architectural drawings included a recreation room which was not included in the total square footage. “It either has to be livable space, or included in calculations, or we simply can’t have it,” Garduno said. “I did the calculations and I can’t come up with your numbers.”

Section 6156(x)(5) of the county’s Zoning Ordinance stipulates that a garage or carport attached to a second dwelling unit shall not exceed 480 square feet of gross floor space and that no other structures defined by Section 6156(g) shall be attached to a second dwelling unit. Section 6156(g) covers storage buildings, workshops, hobby shops, and other similar non-habitable uses as well as private garages and carports.

The Irvines seek the second dwelling unit for their parents. While a second dwelling unit is allowed by a Minor Use Permit, the purpose of such a unit is accessory use subordinate to the main house. “I don’t see that,” Garduno said. “In terms of the way it looks this is a very massive structure.”

Jeffrey and Elizabeth Irvine were out of town on professional business May 29; their son Beau responded to some of Garduno’s concerns at the hearing. Architectural designer Margaret Romaine also answered some of Garduno’s questions.

“The reason for the extra tall garage is the extra tall materials that they store,” Romaine said. “They just wanted that garage a little taller than normal.”

The property in the 2200 block of Gird Road has A70 agricultural zoning, and the desire to store orchard maintenance equipment vertically led to the initial decision on the height of the garage.

“I cannot approve a two-story garage like this,” Garduno said. “I’m concerned that the structure shouldn’t be two stories at all.”

Other than the second story and the recreation room, Garduno was supportive of the second dwelling unit. “I think it’s reasonable,” she said. “I want Grandma and Grandpa to be happy.”


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