When Troutman resident Buddy White requested a town building permit so he could erect a carport on his West Church Street property, his request was immediately denied. Planning Director Erika Martin said the proposed carport would have been too close to his property line for the town to issue a building permit.
“I suggested that Mr. White apply for a variance instead, so he could install the carport,” Martin said. “However, he inquired as to whether the town rules could be changed to allow carports closer to property lines.”
After researching the issue, Martin found that White had a point: “Our current setbacks did not seem logical or follow good planning practice.”
The issue was then forwarded to the town planning board, which ultimately recommended a relaxation in setback requirements for accessory structures in the town’s residential (RT) district. The suggested changes reduce the required side interior and rear setback distance for lots 80 feet wide or less from 10 feet to 5 feet and also reduce side corner setbacks from 20 feet to 10 feet.
In addition to the reduced setback limits, the new law requires that the total area of all accessory structures, such as carports, not exceed 25 percent of the parcel. It also requires a site plan for accessory structures 600 square feet or larger.
A public hearing on the amendment was held at the town board’s Dec. 11 meeting. With no one speaking in opposition, the changes were approved unanimously and went into effect immediately.
“The town board agreed with our position that the changes are reasonable and in the public interest. The reduced setbacks will allow greater utilization of smaller lots typical of the more dense areas of our town.” Martin said.
Also at the December meeting, the town board:
• Accepted a $4,700 payment from the town’s insurance carrier to cover damages sustained by a police car that was in a collision with a deer last fall.
• Conducted a public hearing to solicit comment from residents on changing the name of the town board from Board of Aldermen to Town Board. No one spoke in opposition to the proposed change, which is expected to be approved at its January meeting.
• Approved changes in the town’s laws that will permit drive-through for retail establishments, such as pharmacies, by right in the town’s highway business (HB) district. Previously, such use required a special-use permit. The town’s highway business zone encompasses many segments of Main Street/U.S. 21, except for the central business district in the downtown.