Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Zephyrhills council grants exceptions for oversized garages

ZEPHYRHILLS — City Council members approved two requests Monday for oversized garages, but council member Jodi Wilkeson wasn't too happy about it.

"If we have ordinances, we need to stick with them unless there is a real hardship," said Wilkeson, who stood alone in voting against both conditional use permit requests. "I'm concerned we're going to be setting a precedent."

The ordinance governing stand-alone accessory buildings, such as garages, sets a size limit of 625 square feet. James Simpson wants to build a 720-square-foot garage next to his home at 39756 Meadowood Loop. Juanita Eiland has plans for a 750-square-foot garage on her property at 5203 Eighth St., which sits within the city's historic district. The materials designated for the garage — aluminum siding, for example — do not match the concrete block house, Wilkeson said, which is preferred in the historic district.

"Why have historic guidelines if we're not going to follow them?" Wilkeson asked.

City Planner Todd Vande Berg noted the city's historic preservation committee approved the permit request.

City Council member Charles Proctor said that while he agrees that ordinances need to be followed, he also believes property owners should have some leeway in using their land as they wish.

Members agreed with council member Lance Smith's suggestion that they take another look at the building ordinances to determine if they need to be adjusted.

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