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PC approves variance requests, tables plat proposals

by Bennett Horne | January 12, 2022 at 5:27 a.m.

The Bella Vista Planning Commission ended up tabling a handful of agenda items while passing three zoning variance requests, a large scale development request for a pedestrian tunnel under Riordan Road and a lot split near Commonwealth Road during its Monday night meeting.

The commission's first meeting of the new year was held at the District Court Building.

The opening item on the agenda, a zoning variance request at 6 Wandsworth Drive to accommodate a proposed attached shed, was immediately negated when the applicant, Kurt Ekstrand, agreed to submit a new request after having to change his building plans.

He agreed to resubmit the request in time for the commission's February meeting.

That decision was followed by a string of three zoning variance requests, all of which were approved by the commission.

The first request was made by Farzad Siahmakoun, who was asking to reduce the minimum rear setback at his house at 59 Eddleston Drive from 15 feet to 8 feet to allow him to construct a 647.5-square-foot pool house next to his recently completed swimming pool.

The new pool house will be located 25 feet from the street and adjacent to common property.

The second zoning variance request was made by Frank Burr, who was seeking to reduce the minimum front building setback on his lot at 2 Hilpsford Lane from 20 feet to 15 feet, which would allow him space to construct a 2,177-square-foot, three bedroom single family home on that lot. The lot is on a residential street that connects to Westmorland Drive, another residential street, and dead-ends into a cul-de-sac. That space is R-1 zoned with low-density residential land use.

The final zoning variance request was made by Steven Carlson, who was seeking to construct an attached carport to his house located at 2 Dunbarton Place. The section of code pertaining to this situation requires a 20-foot front setback. The Dunbarton Subdivision plat likewise places a 20-foot front setback on this lot, and Carlson was requesting a 13-foot front setback due to conflict with slope and other existing improvements at the location.

Dunbarton Place, where the requested lesser setback would front, is a very short dead-end cul-de-sac residential street that experiences low to minimal traffic.

Emily Guffin, the new trails manager for Bella Vista, then presented a waiver request and large-scale development proposal for a pedestrian tunnel under Riordan Road and a parking lot adjacent to the tunnel area which would allow pedestrians safe access to trails in the area without having to cross the busy road.

The applicants, CEI Engineering and Trailblazers, were seeking approval to install a tunnel under Riordan Road (approximately 1,700 linear feet from the intersection), a gravel parking area (approximately 1,300 linear feet from the intersection) and remove/replace the cart path in the area northeast of the proposed gravel parking area.

The tunnel will connect the west and east sides of Riordan Road, providing a safe connection for trail users by replacing the at-grade crossing further east on Riordan Road. It will be 9 feet in diameter with an 8-foot ride-able height clearance. The tunnel will have a concrete collar on the west side that will closely match existing grade and a head wall with retaining walls on the east side. An area inlet is proposed on the east side, upstream of the head wall, to capture and route water coming down the ditch around the structure.

The applicants were also seeking a waiver to provide a drive radius of 15 feet in lieu of the required 30 feet in the parking area.

The parcels in question are zoned P-1, which allows for park uses.

Both items were approved by the commission.

The commission's lone lot split request came from applicant Satterfield Land Surveyors, which requested the split of the lot located at 9227 Commonwealth Road.

The applicant was proposing to split one new lot from the parcel tract. This action would split the parent parcel into two lots: one being 1.64 acres and the other being 8.20 acres. Both would meet the .32-acre minimum requirement. Both lots have street frontage to Commonwealth Road, a minor arterial road, thus meeting the street frontage requirement.

The final four items on the agenda -- all preliminary plats for proposed subdivisions -- were all tabled for various reasons.

Those items included proposals for Gordon Hollow Subdivision near Scottsdale Drive; a five-lot subdivision at W. Lancashire Blvd. and Buckstone Drive; a location near Highlands Blvd. and Evanton Road; and a preliminary plat for Barrett Subdivision near Blakelee Way.

All were expected to be brought back before the commission during its next scheduled meeting time, a work session set for Thursday, Feb. 3, at 4:30 p.m. at the District Court Building.

Print Headline: PC approves variance requests, tables plat proposals


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