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Triplex variance is up for appeal

September 25, 2012


The Starkville Board of Adjustments and Appeals will hear a request from Kenny Wilson to grant a setback variance for Wilson’s triplex at its meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall’s building department.

City Planner Ben Griffith said Wilson’s triplex is already under construction at 604, 606 and 608 Mallory Lane, on the eastern side of the street. A city ordinance typically requires triplexes to be set back 25 feet from the street, but Wilson’s triplex is only set back 21.7 feet, encroaching 3.3 feet.

“(This ordinance is in place) to have the structure set back far enough off the street to allow for parking of vehicles,” Griffith said. “His surveyor started looking at it, and that’s when he realized there was an encroachment in the front setback. It wasn’t intentional.”

Griffith said Wilson was trying to line up the front of his triplex with the sides of buildings to the triplex’s north and south, which both face away from the building. Under city law, the sides of buildings do not have to be set back as far from the street as the fronts of buildings do, he said, and Wilson was not aware of this distinction until after construction had already begun.

“It’s kind of (a case of) good intentions,” Griffith said. “He tried to line it up to make it look more uniform.”

Wilson said he does not anticipate the variance creating any parking issues, because each two-bedroom unit in the triplex has a one-car garage. Other residential buildings in the vicinity have used similar layouts without causing issues, he said. Wilson hopes the city will accept the variance without controversy, he said, because the construction process is nearly finished.

“The building is ... not complete, but the building’s up,” Wilson said. “We’ve got the roofing on it; we’ve got the plumbing in it. We’re well into this thing.”

The board of adjustments and appeals will also hold elections for its chair and vice chair, and it will review and discuss activity charts for 2010 and 2011 to prepare for an annual report to the Starkville Board of Aldermen and Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman. Griffith said this report serves to let the mayor and aldermen review all the decisions the board of adjustments and appeals makes during each year.

“They didn’t do one last year, so they’re doing two years’ worth,” Griffith said. “The board of adjustments and appeals’ opinions are final unless someone appeals to the board of aldermen, so there’s items (the aldermen) don’t necessarily see, whereas a body like the planning and zoning commission is a recommending body, so (every decision that commission makes) goes to the board of aldermen.”

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