BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:
WHEREAS, Duane Caywood and the Northern Communities Land Trust own property located at 2606, 2610 and 2614 West Second Street, legally described as westerly 40 feet of Lot 420, all of Lot 422 and the east 30 feet of Lot 424, Block 79, Duluth Proper Second Division; and
WHEREAS, Northern Communities Land Trust, by Jeff Corey, executive director, has appealed the board of zoning appeals denial of a variance request to reduce the required frontage from 50 feet to 40 feet and reduce the minimum outside width of a dwelling from 20 feet to 18 feet for the construction of three single-family dwellings on property located at 2606, 2610 and 2614 West Second Street; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 50-20.2 requires 50 feet minimum frontage for a single family dwelling in an R-3 zoning district and Section 50-1.20 defines a one-family dwelling as having a minimum outside width of 20 feet measured at its narrowest point; and
WHEREAS, the board of zoning appeals denied the variance request because it found that no hardship to the property existed which constituted special circumstances or conditions applying to the land in question which was peculiar to such property and did not apply generally to other land or buildings in the vicinity, and because it was not necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right and not merely a convenience of the applicant; and
WHEREAS, the board of zoning appeals determined that an 11-unit apartment building could legally be constructed on the property without the need for a variance and that there was no basis in the zoning code for reducing the minimum lot frontage requirement except under an approved Traditional Neighborhood District; and
WHEREAS, the granting of this variance was not justified under the existing verbiage of the Zoning Code; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 50-47 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, in order to grant this appeal and issue the requested variance, the city council would be required to find that by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of the property, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of the property, the strict application of the terms of Chapter 50 would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties to or exceptional or undue hardship upon the owner of such property and that such relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent of the zoning plan and the Zoning Code; in addition the council must find that special circumstances or conditions applying to the building or land in question which are peculiar to such property or immediately adjoining property, and do not apply generally to other land or buildings in the vicinity, that the granting of the application is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right and not merely to serve as a convenience to the applicant and that authorizing of the variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property or unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets or increase the danger of fire or imperil the public safety or unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding areas or in any other respect impair the health, safety, comfort, morals or general welfare of the inhabitants of the city; and
WHEREAS, the city council has considered this appeal and agrees with the decision of the board of zoning appeals that the granting of a variance to allow the construction of three dwellings on property reducing the required minimum frontage from 50 feet to 40 feet and the minimum outside width of a dwelling from 20 feet to 18 feet cannot be made in this case.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city council hereby finds denying the requested variance would not create a hardship to the property in that no special circumstances apply to the property which are peculiar to that property or do not apply generally to other land in the vicinity and it is not necessary to grant the variance for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right.
FURTHER RESOLVED, by the city of Duluth that the board of zoning appeals’ decision of April 26, 2005, is hereby affirmed by the city council and the appeal is denied.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution affirms the decision of the board of zoning appeals to deny a request to reduce the required frontage from 50 feet to 40 feet and to reduce the minimum outside width of a dwelling from 20 feet to 18 feet for the construction of three single-family dwellings on property located at 2606, 2610, and 2614 West Second Street. The council agreed with the board’s findings and found that no physical characteristic peculiar to the property prevented the owner from exercising a substantial property right, and that granting a variance would result in negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. The council determined that granting a variance would violate the requirements of the Zoning Code.