Minneapolis Zoning Board of Adjustment Actions 

Regular Meeting
4:30 p.m., Thursday, February 28, 2013
Room 317, City Hall
350 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1385
Board Membership: Sean Cahill, Matt Ditzler, John Finlayson, Pam Meier, James Nutt, Dan Ogiba, Matt Perry, Dick Sandberg, and Ami Thompson
Committee Clerk: Diana Armstrong, 612.673.2615
 
Board members absent: Matt Ditzler
The meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m.
Minutes were approved for the meeting held on February 14, 2013

Public Hearings

 
Introduction to the Public Hearing
Public Hearing
1.   4912 James Avenue South (BZZ #5879, Ward 13) (Steen)
Variance: Tom Meckey, on behalf of Janet Rensberger, applied for a variance to the FP Floodplain Overlay District, which requires that the structure shall be elevated on fill to the base flood elevation for fifteen (15) feet beyond the outside limits of the structure, to allow for the construction of a single-family dwelling at 4912 James Avenue South in the R1 Single-Family District, FP Floodplain Overlay District and SH Shoreland Overlay District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the variance to the FP Floodplain Overlay District, which requires that the structure shall be elevated on fill to the base flood elevation for fifteen (15) feet beyond the outside limits of the structure, to allow for the construction of a single-family dwelling at 4912 James Avenue South in the R1 Single-Family District, FP Floodplain Overlay District and SH Shoreland Overlay District.
Absent: Ditzler
Approved on Consent
2.   1109 7th Street Southeast (BZZ #5917, Ward 3) (Sether)
This item was Continued from the February 28, 2013, Board of Adjustment meeting.
Variance: Daniel Perkins, on behalf of KLP Real Estate, LLC, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum lot area requirement from 10,000 square feet to approximately 9,480 square feet (5.2%) to allow for the conversion from a single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling located at 1109 7th Street Southeast in the R2B Two-Family District and UA University Area Overlay District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the variance to reduce the minimum lot area requirement from 10,000 square feet to approximately 9,480 square feet (5.2%) to allow for the conversion from a single-family dwelling to a two-family dwelling located at 1109 7th Street Southeast in the R2B Two-Family District and UA University Area Overlay District, subject to the following conditions of approval:
  1. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  2. All site improvements shall be completed by February 28, 2015, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
Aye: Cahill, Finlayson, Meier, Nutt, Ogiba, Sandberg, Thompson
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
3.   1937 Fremont Avenue South (BZZ #5922, Ward 7) (Sether)
Variance A:  Joshua Keller, on behalf of Urban Vintage Apartments, LLC, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum lot area per dwelling from 1,250 square feet to approximately 1,037 square feet (17%) to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 1937 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment adopted the following findings and denied the variance to reduce the minimum lot area per dwelling from 1,250 square feet to approximately 1,037 square feet (17%) to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure located at 1937 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District:
Finding #1: The existing lot area, historic occupancy and existing density are not unique circumstances of the property that create practical difficulties in complying with the ordinance.
Finding #2: This is not a reasonable request consistent with the zoning code. It is reasonable to tie the number of dwelling units to the area of the property and the request to reduce the minimum lot area by 17% is not reasonable.
Aye: Cahill, Meier, Nutt, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Finlayson, Ogiba
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
Variance B: Joshua Keller, on behalf of Urban Vintage Apartments, LLC, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 7 spaces to 6 spaces, where 4 are provided and 2 are non-conforming to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 1937 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment adopted the following findings and denied the variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 7 spaces to 6 spaces, where 4 are provided and 2 are non-conforming to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure located at 1937 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District:
Finding #1: There are not unique circumstances of the property that create practical difficulties in complying with the ordinance.
Finding #2: This is not a reasonable request consistent with the zoning code.
Aye: Cahill, Meier, Nutt, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Finlayson, Ogiba
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
4.   1941 Fremont Avenue South (BZZ #5923, Ward 7) (Sether)
Variance A: Joshua Keller, on behalf of Urban Vintage Apartments, LLC, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum lot area per dwelling from 1,250 square feet to approximately 1,075 square feet (14%) to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 1941 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment adopted the following finding and denied the variance to reduce the minimum lot area per dwelling from 1,250 square feet to approximately 1,075 square feet (14%) to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure located at 1941 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Finding #1: The existing lot area, historic occupancy and existing density are not unique circumstances of the property that create practical difficulties in complying with the ordinance. The circumstances for which the variance is sought were created by the applicant.
Aye: Cahill, Meier, Nutt, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Finlayson, Ogiba
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
Variance B: Joshua Keller, on behalf of Urban Vintage Apartments, LLC, has applied for a variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 7 spaces to 6 spaces, where 5 are provided and 1 is non-conforming to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure for the property located at 1941 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment adopted the following finding and denied the variance to reduce the minimum off-street parking from 7 spaces to 6 spaces, where 5 are provided and 1 is non-conforming to allow for an additional (7th) dwelling in an existing multiple-family structure located at 1941 Fremont Avenue South in the R4 Multiple-Family District:
Finding #1: The circumstances for which the variance is sought were created by the applicant.
Aye: Cahill, Meier, Nutt, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Finlayson, Ogiba
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
5.   5137 Chowen Avenue South (BZZ #5921, Ward 13) (Vrchota)
Variance: Andrea Corbin has applied for a variance to reduce the required front yard setback along Chowen Avenue South from the setback established by connecting a line between the two adjacent dwellings to 29 feet to allow for the construction of a new two-story, single-family dwelling for the property located at 5137 Chowen Avenue South in the R1A Single-Family Residence District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved a variance to reduce the established front yard setback along Chowen Avenue South to 31.91 feet to allow for the construction of a new two-story single-family dwelling for the property located at 5137 Chowen Avenue South in the R1A Single-Family Residence District, subject to the following conditions:
  1. The cantilevered sections proposed at the front of the house are not approved.
  2. The porch shall be positioned and designed to be in compliance with Table 535-1 Permitted Encroachments into Required Yards.
  3. The applicant shall apply to obtain necessary approvals for administrative site plan review.
  4. CPED staff review and approve the final site plan, building plans, and elevations. 
Aye: Cahill, Finlayson, Meier, Nutt, Sandberg, Thompson
Nay: Ogiba
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed
6.   2512 22nd Avenue Northeast (BZZ #5924, Ward 1) (Sether)
Variance: James Kalina has requested a variance to reduce the minimum west interior side yard setback from 6 feet to approximately 1 foot 6 inches to allow for the construction of a new detached garage accessory to an existing single-family dwelling located at 2512 22nd Avenue Northeast in the R1 Single-Family District.
Action: The Board of Adjustment adopted staff findings and approved the variance to reduce the minimum west interior side yard setback from 6 feet to approximately 1 foot 6 inches to allow for the construction of a new detached garage accessory to an existing single-family dwelling located at 2512 22nd Avenue Northeast in the R1 Single-Family District, subject to the following conditions of approval:
  1. The exterior materials used for the accessory structure shall complement and be similar to the exterior materials of the principal structure on the property.
  2. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  3. All site improvements shall be completed by February 28, 2015, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
Absent: Ditzler
Approved on Consent
7.   2331 McKinley Street Northeast (BZZ #5928, Ward 1) (Sether)
Variance: Tim Eian of t e Studios, on behalf of Julie and Tarek Alkatout, has requested a variance to reduce the minimum north interior side yard setback from 5 feet to approximately 1 foot 4 inches measured to the exterior wall to allow for the remodel of the first floor and the construction of a new second-story addition to an existing single-family dwelling located at 2331 McKinley Street Northeast in the R1A Single-Family District.
Action: Notwithstanding staff recommendation, the Board of Adjustment amended the following staff findings and approved the variance to reduce the north interior side yard setback from 5 feet to approximately 1 foot 4 inches measured to the exterior wall to allow for the construction of a new second-story addition to an existing single-family dwelling located at 2331 McKinley Street Northeast in the R1A Single-Family District, subject to the following conditions of approval:
  1. The exterior materials of the addition shall match the existing dwelling.
  2. The north elevation shall comply with the minimum window requirements per 535.90(c) of the zoning code.
  3. Approval of the final site, elevation and floor plans by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  4. All site improvements shall be completed by February 28, 2015, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
Finding #1: Staff finds that there are unique circumstances of the property, including the existing location of the dwelling and the location of the adjacent dwelling to the north. Staff finds that these circumstances create practical difficulties that exist in allowing a second floor addition to the existing dwelling, directly above the existing first floor, 2.4 feet to the north property line at the closest point. The dwelling was constructed in its present location, approximately 2 feet 4 inches from the north property line in 1914. The applicant is proposing to remodel the existing first floor by adding insulation and making the structure wider and one foot closer to the north property line and then constructing a second story addition. The proposed remodel and addition would be located approximately 1 foot 4 inches from the north property line.
Finding #2: The applicant is seeking a variance to reduce the required north interior side yard setback from 5 feet to approximately 1.4 feet measured to the exterior wall to allow the remodel of the first floor and construction of a new second-story addition to an existing single-family dwelling. The dwelling was built in 1914 in its present location, 2.4 feet from the north property line. The purpose of yard requirements is to provide for orderly development and use of land and to minimize conflicts among land uses by governing the location of accessory uses and structures. The proposed remodel will increase the width of the structure 1 foot; the first floor is proposed to be located 1.4 feet, at the closest point, from the property line. The applicant is also proposing to construct a full second story addition above the proposed first floor remodel, 1.4 feet from the north property line, at the closest point. The minimum interior side yard setback in the R1A Single-Family District is 5 feet. The adjacent structure to the north is presently located 14.2 feet from the shared property line, the minimum interior side yard requirement for an addition or new construction would be 5 feet and the zoning code authorizes permitted obstructions closer than 5 feet, including privacy fences which can be located on the property line. Staff finds that the applicant is proposing to use the property in a reasonable manner consistent with the zoning code.
Finding #3: Staff finds that the granting of this variance to locate the existing structure and second-story addition 1.4 feet to the north property line will not alter the essential character of the locality and would not be injurious to the use or enjoyment of other property in the vicinity. Staff finds that allowing a second-story addition above the existing first floor, no closer than 1.4 feet to the north property line, would not alter the essential character of the area. The proposed addition would be located over 16.5 feet to the adjacent structure to the north and the proposed roof line would divert much of the stormwater to the south side of the property.
The applicant submitted an alternative analysis to the Building Official to allow for windows (openings) along the north façade, closer than 3 feet to the property line. The proposed remodel and addition have been found to meet the alternative analysis for compliance with the applicable building codes, with conditions. Therefore, granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public or of those utilizing the property or nearby properties, as long as it is constructed to current building codes.
Aye: Cahill, Meier, Nutt, Ogiba, Sandberg
Nay: Finlayson, Thompson
Absent: Ditzler
Motion Passed

For Discussion

Unfinished Business
New Business
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
The next Board of Adjustment meeting: March 21, 2013
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Last updated Mar. 1, 2013