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HE 2018-001 Decision Stromstad Fence Variance PASCO VARIANCE HEARING REQUEST FOR VARIANCE } CASE#HE 2018-001 Jordan&Tana Stromstad ) This matter was heard on May 30`h, 2018, at Pasco City Hall in Pasco, Washington, at the request of Jordan & Tana Stromstad for an appeal of an administrative determination to deny a building permit for a six-foot fence requirement along the western side of their corner lot. Present were: 1. Darcy Bourcier on behalf of the City of Pasco; 2. Rick White on behalf of the City of Pasco; and 3. Jordan&Tana Stromstad(applicants). The following evidence was considered: 1. City of Pasco Staff report together with all exhibits; 2. Site Plan dated January 26,2017 provided by the City of Pasco. Based on the testimony, the records and exhibits submitted at the hearing, the hearing examiner now enters his: FINDINGS OF FACT A. The lot in question is located at 8309 Bayberry Drive. B. The lot was platted in 2016 as part of the Willow Vista plat. C. The lot is zoned RS-20 (Suburban). D. The property was annexed to the City in 2015. E. The applicant proposed to construct a 6-foot block fence along the west property line adjacent to Road 84. F. The city would not approve a permit for a 6-foot fence located within the first 25 feet of the western property line because the side yard is also considered "front yard area" based on PMC 25.12.490. G. The minimum front set back in the RS-20 zoning district is 25 feet. H. Front yard areas are to be unobstructed from fences taller than 3.5 feet. I. The lot cannot be considered a"contiguous corner lot"based on PMC 25.75.050(c). J. The purpose of this provision is to prevent obstructions to front yard views when a corner lot is the joining point of the two perpendicular streets. Pagel of 3 Stromstad.Variance Hearing K. The applicant's argue that the lot's position next to Livingston elementary school creates a unique situation that could enable them to construct a 6-foot fence in their desired location. L. Staff contended that a 6-foot tall block fence along the west property line may impede the sight of drivers puling in and out of the visitor entrance of the school. M. The school has a 6-foot chain link fence that extends across the school's south property line as well as along the sidewalk that lies adjacent to the bus loading zone. N. The schools existing fence was not permitted or approved by the City of Pasco, since the property was developed while in the County. O. The schools chain link fence does not follow a specific setback. It is much closer than 25 feet to the front property lien at the southwest corner. P. The applicants propose that their block fence would line up with the school's existing chain link fence. Q. School buses arrive from the south on Road 84 and pull into the bus loading zone, which is located approximately 40 feet north of the applicants' property. R. The portion of Road 84 is under a school speed limit of 20 mph, but only during specific morning and afternoon hours. S. The applicants have been in contact with the Pasco School District Transportation Department and have been notified that a 6-foot block fence in the proposed location would not impact buses or visitors. CONCLUSIONS A. Approval of a variance to the Municipal Code requires that the following concerns be addressed in granting a variance. All must have an affirmative finding. 1. Because of special circumstances applicable to the property, the strict application of the zoning ordinance would deprive the property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other similar properties in the vicinity; 2. That the granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated. 3. The special circumstances applicable to the subject property were not created through the actions(s) of the applicant or any predecessor in interest. B. The proposed 6 foot block fence does not meet minimum code requirements because corner lots can only have a 3.5 foot fence line. C. The proposed fence design does not allow for the minimum 25 foot setback for front yards. The proposed design is to have no set back. D. This is a violation of the RS-20 Zoning Regulations which require 25 foot front yard setback and a 3.5 foot fence on corner lots. E. Strict application of the zoning ordinance would deprive the property of rights and privileges enjoyed by other similar properties in the vicinity. Strict application of the Page 2 of 3 Stromstad.Variance Hearing zoning regulations would require the fence to be built 25 feet back from the property line and only 3.5 feet high. This would result in a non-uniform appearance since the neighboring fence of Ruth Livingston Elementary School is not set back 25 feet from the property line and is 6-foot high. Continuing the fence line at 6 feet in height will provide for an aesthetically pleasing visual environment that will benefit the community. Further, no front yard view of any residential neighbors will be materially obstructed since the property is adjacent to a school which does not have a"front yard area". The applicant's lot is unique in that it neighbors a school, but not because it is a comer lot. F. Granting of the variance will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity and zone in which the subject property is situated. Granting the variance will allow for uniform appearance (equal setbacks and fence height between the subject house and the neighboring school) which will help to maintain uniform appeal and property values in the neighborhood. Both the Pasco School District Transportation Department and the Pasco Planning Department agree that the proposed fence would not have a negative impact on student safety at the adjacent school. The fence would neither be materially detrimental to the public welfare nor be injurious to the property. G. The special circumstances applicable to the subject property were not created through the actions(s) of the applicant or any predecessor in interest. The fence on the neighboring lot (Ruth Livingston Elementary School) was constructed before the property was annexed to the City of Pasco and therefore not approved by the City of Pasco. The property was annexed into the City of Pasco in 2015. The lot is subject to special circumstances due to its immediate proximity to Ruth Livingston Elementary School, which school property has a 6 foot fence abutting the applicant's property. The lot's position adjacent to the school was not created by the applicants. ORDER The request for a variance is granted. Dated this day of May, 2018. Benjamin J. Volmer—Hearing Examiner F:fWord/Docs(Pasco.S[romsmd.vuimn hearing.docx Page 3 of 3 Stromstad.Variance Hearing