Wednesday, August 08, 2007
May Have Started Building Without Permit and Authority to Do So, Updated: Zoning Says Construction is Legal
[See clarification at the bottom of this post].
The hyperduplexification of Salemtown continues, and the latest controversy involves Murfreesboro developer L & S Construction, LLC, who as one neighbor puts it, is in the process of "wedging two duplexes (4 units) on two narrow lots" at 1728 and 1730 6th Avenue North. In May the owners received demolition permits to take down two single family homes on those properties.
When construction crews started slapping up foundation yesterday, a neighbor sent out an alert to the association because he was concerned that one of the duplex walls seemed to be about 2' off of an adjoining alley (see left side of photo). The neighbor had called Metro Codes and confirmed that living structures have to be at least 20' off of an adjoining alley unless the owner gets a variance from Planning, which would include a Public Hearing to allow feedback from the neighborhood.
I called Metro Planning about the building plans yesterday. They told me that the plans for building close to the alley would require a variance and that the variance should have been obtained before construction started. A planning official said that it appeared that the owner had not yet obtained approval for a "Building Use and Occupancy Permit," which should have been obtained before construction started. Planning referred me to Mr. Joey Hargess in Metro Codes to confirm whether that permit was still pending. I left voice mail with Mr. Hargess yesterday afternoon. He has yet to return my call.
Earlier this year a neighbor spoke with the owner about his plans for the properties and invited him to attend neighborhood association meetings. That invitation was never accepted. We will be watching this development and making efforts to be at any Public Hearing concerning it.
UPDATE: A second owner, J & K Ventures, LLC, is listed on the Metro Planning property maps.
UPDATE & CLARIFICATION: Metro Zoning finally got back to me today. They located the approved Building use and Occupancy Permit. They also located the surveyor's map, which shows that the alley actually cuts across the property on one corner. That would make the proximity legal (the zoning examiner said that they only need 5' from the side alley, which is not considered a public thoroughfare like the alley behind the property is). Zoning will send out an inspector today to find the surveyor's pins and verify that the build is at least 5' from where the alley should be. Finally, Public Works is responsible for paving the alley partially across the property line, and so they are probably going to have to come back out and repave along the correct line.