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House too big, obtrusive, neighbors say

April 23, 2009|By Ruth Longoria

The City Council Monday night sent a planning commission-approved project back to the commission for additional review after a swarm of neighbors showed up at the meeting to appeal the commission’s decision.

The project at 5180 Princess Anne Rd. was approved by the planning commission Feb. 10 in a four-to-one vote of a second-floor review on the new 8,032- square-foot house. The replacement house is to be built on the existing home’s concrete pad and meets all of the requirements of the zoning code, with regard to floor area, setbacks and height, according to city staff.

Neighbors appealed that decision based on the size of the home and its potential impact to the neighborhood.

“I understand the need for progress, but it does not need to happen at the expense of longtime residents,” said Bonnie Evans.

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Council members asked the commission to make changes to the project to “make it less obtrusive to the neighbors.”

“As good of job as staff did, and as good of job as the planning job did, they didn’t go far enough,” Mayor Laura Olhasso said, after a unanimous council vote to return the project to the commission.

Future appeal fees also were waived if neighbors decide to appeal the commission’s next decision on the project.


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