New shop is too big? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 20, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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New shop is too big?

Anyone run up against this before? Iím planning on a 30 x 40 three bay shop with a lift. Went to go get a building permit and the city planner said I had to apply for a zoning variance because max size in my neighborhood 750sf. I already have a shop on the property, but itís a smallish 650 sf, just under the limit, but I canít put a car in it by way of design.

The variance involves sending notice to everyone within 300 ft of my property, putting an ad in the paper, posting notice in my yard, and presenting my case at a monthly zoning meeting. An abstract company will take care of everything but the meeting.

Already bought the building, have a concrete guy lined up, and notified the electric company about service.

Anyone ever get a zoning variance rejected?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 20, 10:59 PM
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Re: New shop is too big?

No but I sat on the council when they were rejected. Owners were not happy but they knew the rules beforehand. The problem with letting one person do this is everyone would say ďwell whatís his face built his shedĒ

Can you have multiple buildings on the property bun none bigger than 750sf?

Tighten it till it strips and back it off a quarter turn.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 6:10 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

They told me that I had to have a need and since I had a 3 car already I really didn't have a need for more space. My planned space would have been violating the setback as well.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 6:36 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

I have had variations proposed by council
Over a certain floor size [footprint]
over a certain height
When the garage is within 2 ft of a fence there is a max limit on length

Its funny pay the money penalty to council and all is good

Yes I wish I had my hoist inside
Hoist bay minimum 13ft but if you want a wide set up hoist with room on either side min = 15 ft
11.5 ft minimum width for a bay without hoist
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 7:02 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

This is a relief. I thought the OP was saying his shop is too big.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 7:49 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

I sat on the zoning board for a coupe of years. The codes are in place to protect your neighbors. If you go by the letter of the law, you have to show good reason why they shouldn't apply to you. The reason cannot be something that is your own doing. In other words, that you didn't create your own hardship that now requires a variance. Having said that, the boards rarely follow the law. In most cases if you are respectful and can show that the building will not be an eyesore, the board will grant it unless one of those 300 ft neighbors voices concerns against you. If you can get the closest neighbor to come and support you, all the better.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 7:52 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

In my county (Hernando County, Florida), as long as you observe setbacks (15' on the sides, and 10' in the back), we can build up to 750 sq ft building with no permits/inspections.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 8:24 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

In '15 I wanted to put a metal 26' X 32' prefab bldg. up and they also said get a letter from 3-4 neighbors saying they don't mind, pay $400 non refundable to go in front of the variance committee BUT we haven't allowed it since 2007 so I didn't bother since me and Catman next door don't talk. If I was in Unincorporated county I could do whatever I want as long as a permit is issued = $$$, Do you need to knock your existing bldg. down to get an approval ? or is this another added bldg.?

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 10:18 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

Out here, the county had a rule that outbuildings couldn't be more square feet than the dwelling. I had a 720 (24x30) shop, and a 200 (10x20) shed. Our house is 2176. I was able to get a permit for a 1200 (24 x 50) garage, even though I live on 5 acres. I've heard that they've lifted that regulation, but I'm all done. I've thinned the herd down to 4 vehicles, so I've got the room for all of, if the right El Camino came along............
When I saw the headline, I thought...........there's no such thing as too much garage..........
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 20, 8:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New shop is too big?

Thanks for the replies, guys. Glad everyone liked the title, LOL. I feel better about this now. Have talked in length with the city planner, he seems to think I won't have trouble as far as the city goes. Hopefully the neighbors will play nice.

I sure am glad I just idle through the 'hood with the Chevelle to keep the noise down. Been planning this thing for a while now, just as I get going, bam, corona virus. LOL, just my luck.

AlWhite00-My neighborhood has shops abound, some larger than the one I'm planning. Yes, I can have multiple bldgs., but no one bldg. can exceed 750sf without a variance.

Dansk-I asked the city planner about the hardship issue, but he told me don't worry about that, you don't have to prove hardship to the board. I have few neighbors within 300ft, I know the closest ones and they are alright with it. So far anyway.

Shovelrick-I don't need to knock down my existing shop, this will be a new construction.

Again, thanks.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 20, 9:12 PM
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Re: New shop is too big?

In my hometown, a residential property under 10,000 sq. ft can have 1000 sq ft of "outbuilding". A property greater than 10,000 sq. ft can have 1200 sq ft of "outbuilding". All "outbuildings" combined, so garage, gazebo, and crappy sheet-steel or plastic Home Depot "garden shed" all count toward the outbuilding limit. In addition to the "outbuilding" limit, there's also an "impermeable surface" limit: You have to have a certain amount of drainage available as a percentage of total square feet. So a gravel driveway is OK, a paver-block driveway might be, but a blacktop or concrete driveway may not be, depending on how much area it covers.

I paid the $80 variance fee asking for 1200 sq. ft., published in the paper, and appeared at the zoning committee meeting. One of my neighbors wrote in--this is an exact quote--"If he builds a bigger garage, he'll just store more stuff outside".

[Colonel Klink Voice] Request denied! [/Colonel Klink Voice]

Nobody told me I could appeal their decision to the City Council. I thought the Zoning Board decision was final.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 20, 10:34 PM
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Re: New shop is too big?

Do NOT proceed any further until you actually get a variance.

If you start a project and then lose the variance, you'll have to tear everything down. Period. At your expense.

One of my good friends and fellow forum members ran into a zoning nightmare several years ago. One of five township zoning board members lives on his street.......and no Quarter was given. Victory was not achieved.

Hopefully, you get the variance you need.

p.s. - did anyone mention whether or not you'd have to remove your current outbuilding as well? Many places have a limit that applies to the total property....not each building.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 20, 11:13 PM
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Re: New shop is too big?

Bought my 2.2 acres late 2018.
"New rules" limiting shop/barn to a percentage of property footage became active Dec. 2018.
Those limits would force me to go with a building that would be just too small.
Nearly all my neighbors have been here longer and have shop/barns FAR in excess of the "New" rule.
One day I was visiting the planning department and the guy behind the counter mentioned that the limitation DOES NOT APPLY so long as the shop/barn connects to the house via a covered walk-way.
Not that I need or want the additional expense, but a covered walk-way is now the plan.
I would suggest the OP look for similar "Loop-holes".

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 20, 1:28 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

I live on 2 acres which is now in the city. I had a metal building 30x60x12 high installed before we were annexed. After we were annexed (we kept the same zoning codes) I wanted to build a metal building 25x50x10. Because they were separate buildings the only way I could get a permit from the city was to receive an ok from the fire department, which they denied because I did not have a proper road for them to drive a fire truck to get to second building and be able to turn around. I could use the square foot measurement of my house to determine( including basement ) how big I could go. I was trying to make sure my set backs were all ok and stuff, but was denied. The way I got around this was combining the two buildings into one, kinda of a "T". The corner of new building is only about 6 feet from property line, but that was ok? Fire department was ok, just one building still. And I kept under my allowable square footage. So I now have one building 3050 square feet, full electricity (welders compressor, ect) car lift, cars, tools boxes, tractor, boat and full.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 20, 8:45 AM
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Re: New shop is too big?

Well john here,s my two. Dont do anything . Its the same everywhere to one degree or another . One i hope you get along with all your neighbors. Two go before the board and pay what ever fees are required . Be nice if they wont aprove what you want ask them what will they ap[rove as you need more space still be nice . I know all about your plight and the effort involved to move the rock of gibraltar. You think its bad there look where i live . They wrote the book here for it all. Z-27
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