City of Moline - Zoning Hearing Officer mer July 6.
City of Moline - Zoning Hearing Officer met July 6.
Here is the agenda provided by the Officers:
1. Hearing ZH 17-01 (variance)
SNH AL Properties, LLC (Amber Ridge Memory Care, 221 11th Ave)
Variance to allow an 8-foot fence in portions of the rear and side setback, 2-feet taller than allowed in an R-4 zoning district.
Owner/Applicant: SNH AL Properties, LLC (owner)
Location: 221 11th Ave
Request: Variance to the bulk/setback standards at Table 35-3201.3 of the Moline Zoning and Land Development Code to allow an 8-foot fence in portions of the rear and side setbacks, 2-feet taller than allowed in an R-4 zoning district.
Size of Tract: 1.1 acre
Existing Land Use: Large institutional residential (Amber Ridge Memory Care)
Existing Zoning: R-4 One to Six-Family Dwelling District
Surrounding Land Uses: Residential
The owners of Amber Ridge Memory Care at 221 11th Ave have applied for a variance to construct an 8-foot privacy fence in portions of their side and rear yard setbacks. Their application includes statements as to why a 6-foot fence does not meet their needs.
Analysis & Approval Criteria
Section 35-2207(c) of the Moline Code of Ordinances establishes the approval criteria for zoning variances. Applicants must demonstrate that all of the approval criteria are satisfied in order for a variance to be granted. Each criterion is identified below with staff’s findings. Please refer to the application form for detailed descriptions of these criteria.
Criteria #1: Hardship Unique to Property, Not Self-Inflicted (MET)
The site was originally designed as a senior assisted living facility, part of the Autumn Trails planned unit development (PUD), but is now used by memory care residents of all ages. The owner states a 6-foot fence does not adequately block site views for some residents, which can lead to wandering and attempts to climb or escape. This seems to be an exceptional condition not generally found elsewhere in this zoning district.
Criteria #2: Special Privilege (MET)
The ordinance limits fence height to 6 feet only within the side setback (3 feet from property line) and rear setback (5 feet from property line). Taller fences are anticipated and allowed as accessory structures where setbacks are met. Because taller fences are allowed under these circumstances, a special privilege would not be granted to the applicant if the variance is granted.
Criteria #3: Literal Interpretation (MET)
The literal interpretation of the code may deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district because it does not contemplate health care or institutional needs for residents.
Criteria #4: Reasonable Use (MET)
The ability to place a taller fence up to 8 feet tall seems necessary for this facility and the small yard and confines on the site seems to limit their ability to meet the setbacks in some areas.
Criteria #5: Minimum Necessary (MET)
The request for an 8-foot fence seems reasonable and the minimum necessary to meet their residents’ needs.
Criteria #6: Compatible with Adjacent Properties (NOT MET)
There are two segments of the proposed 8-foot fence that do not meet the required setback, requiring a variance. The first is a 100-foot section along the rear property line, adjacent to the service driveway. This segment abuts a heavily wooded area which leads to a ravine. There are no neighbors and no development adjoining this segment, which seems compatible. The second segment is 40-feet long and adjoins residential property to the west. These are small lots and the taller fence structure may unreasonably block views and enjoyment by surmounting the residential yards. If this western fence segment were placed 2 or 3-feet from the property line it would meet this criterion by allowing some space for neighbors and meet (or nearly meet) the minimum setback. There is a patio area and retaining wall at this location, and the applicant can explain if this location could accommodate a small setback.
Criteria #7: Conformance with the Purposes of the Code (MET)
Staff finds no significant conflict with stated purposes in the Zoning Code if a 10-foot setback were to be granted.
Criteria #8: Conformance with the Comprehensive Plan (MET)
Staff finds no specific conflicts with the goals and objectives in the Comprehensive Plan.
Based on the above, staff finds 7 of 8 variance approval criteria to be met and recommends denial of the application. However, if the applicant were to modify the request to place the western fence segment 2 or 3-feet from the property line, staff would find criterion #6 to be met and support the variance request.