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County denies dwelling permit PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 11:48

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times


The Seward County Commission upheld a recent decision made by zoning administrator Marcie Weatherly to deny a building permit application for a second primary residential structure to be placed on a non-conforming parcel.

The item concerning a request by county resident Celso Franco was tabled from the commission’s Sept. 5  meeting pending the board’s determination.

“At that time, you’d requested the planning commission come up with a possible amendment to the zoning regulations to allow what I call an accessory dwelling,” Weatherly said. “We  did not have a September meeting. We did not have a quorum, so we reviewed it last week at our October planning commission meeting. I had collected some information from other Kansas municipalities that do allow accessory dwellings and put together a page of things that we probably need to talk about that we might want to include.”

Weatherly said those items were not discussed by the planning commission. Instead, she simply gave the board a background on how the situation developed.

“We talked about it a little bit, and they determined that they didn’t think it was a good idea to amend the regulations,” she said.

County Commission Chairman Nathan McCaffrey questioned planning commissioner Andy Stewart Monday about the reasoning behind that decision to recommend denying Franco’s appeal.

“We just thought looking at what they were wanting to do, it was going to create more problems down the road than what we have now,” Stewart said. “We just decided we didn’t want  to go into that.”

Weatherly said she was unsure of whether housing already on the property on Bluebell  Road had remained unoccupied for six months,  at which point she said the lot can no longer be used in a non-conforming way.

“What the regulations say is if it’s a non-conforming use and it’s been discontinued for six months, it’s done being a grandfathered in  use, and it can’t be used again for that,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s empty. I don’t know if it’s been unoccupied for six months. Once they stop utilizing it for a period of six months or more, it’s no longer permitted to be used because it’s already non-conforming. That’s how the non-conformings are supposed to go away. Once they’ve been discontinued for six months, they’re not allowed to continue anymore, and they just gradually go away.”

Franco had planned to move one of the portable school buildings from Washington Elementary sold by USD No. 480 because of the recent school bond project onto the property and make it a permanent structure home. Weatherly said with having already one  permanent structure home on the property, county regulations do not allow for what Franco wants to  do.

“If they wanted to upgrade it to a newer and better conditioned manufactured home, we can give them an administrative permit to do that,” she said. “What they’re asking to do is place a permanent house site built structure on permanent foundation, which would put two primary site built structures on the parcel.”

Weatherly said in addition to the site built home on the parcel, two single wide manufactured homes are also on the land.

“They want to remove one single wide manufactured home and put another site built structure, built on a different site, but moved and attached permanently to a permanent foundation,” she said.

Weatherly said the whole point of the situation is to have one residential structure per  parcel. Franco, she said, has three.

“Eventually, the people living in those manufactured homes will take them and move if they own them or they will get old and they will get rid of them and just have the one permanent structure house on the parcel,” Weatherly said. “The other two make it non-conforming because you’re only supposed to have one. If you put another one that’s permanent, they’ll never leave, and it will always be non-conforming because it doesn’t meet the requirement to be split into two separate pieces. They would always have to keep it as one piece with two houses. They can’t ever sell those houses separately. They have to remain under one ownership on one piece of land.”

Weatherly was asked if there was a way to split the lots to allow more housing on the property.

“They can plat it and put in a road, but they don’t have enough road frontage to split it the way it is,” she said. 

After a little more discussion, commissioner Randy Malin moved to deny the appeal, and commissioner Ada Linenbroker seconded it. The board then voted unanimously to deny the appeal.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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