A request to divide a 2-acre lot on a short residential street into two lots was complicated by the city’s subdivision building codes, according to city officials.
Subdivision codes require developers to build new roads that will eventually become city streets where new homes are to be built.
But Ward 1 Alderman Mike Bates said the planning and zoning commission thought the rule should be postponed when the owner of a single lot on a street that is not in a subdivision wants to build one home.
Property owner Douglas Brinker wants to divide the 1.8-acre parcel on Smith Lane into two nine-tenths of an acre lots and construct a single family dwelling on one of the lots. The short street is located off South Highway N between Hawthorne and Westlake Villages subdivisions.
Brinker went before P & Z last week asking that the property be rezoned from nonurban to single-family residential and his lot be divided into two lots.
“The proposed lots are roughly twice the minimum lot size requirement,” said city planner Todd Streiler, who recommended approval of the request. He called the request to divide the lot a minor subdivision.
The Pacific Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning and minor subdivision plat and also recommended waiving the requirements of street improvements, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
The board of aldermen considered the recommendations at its Aug. 6 board meeting.
Bates, who serves as liaison to the planning commission, took exception to the word waiver. Bates said the P & Z recommendation did not vote to waive the road improvement requirement, but wanted to postpone improvements until other properties on the road are divided.
“The feeling was that the road would have to be improved if further development in the area comes into place,” Bates said.
Streiler said he made that point in his recommendation. The word waiver referred to the fact that the property owner won’t have to improve the road when one home is built.
Vogel said the issue was complicated by the fact that Smith Lane is not a subdivision. He said the city does not have the ability to require that the road become public because there is no subdivision that owns the rest of the road.
“My understanding is that it is a waiver for these two lots,” Vogel said. “If it subdivides again you (aldermen) may have to find a way to get the improvements done.”
A similar situation existed in the Indian Hills Subdivision. When a building permit was requested for a house, the property owner had to put in the sidewalk.
“That’s not the case here,” Vogel said. “The petitioner has agreed to add the width of the road if it is ever needed to become a public road.”
The intent of P & Z was to allow the lot to be subdivided and one house to be built, but if other development occurs on Smith Lane road improvements will have to be made.
“If they subdivide again that is when it will be triggered,” Vogel said. “If they build (one home) now they don’t have to do it.”
After a lengthy discussion, aldermen gave the go-ahead for the property owners to divide the double lot located on Victoria Court off Smith Lane into two lots so a home could be built without having to install the street improvements.