Zoning issues in two Longview neighborhoods met very different results Tuesday.
The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a variance that allows a homeowner on Stonegate Court to keep his newly constructed storage building despite opposition from neighbors — even though the contractor never obtained a permit from the city.
Later Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission took no action on a zoning request on Bill Owens Parkway near Ben Hogan Drive where neighbors have raised traffic and deed restriction concerns. Because the request failed to get the commission’s OK, it will require a supermajority vote of the Longview City Council for approval.
Earlier this year, Dave Welch paid Tuff Shed $35,000 to install a storage building at his home on Stonegate Court, but the Hutchins company didn’t approach the city for a permit and didn’t know that the building’s location violated municipal setback regulations, according to Welch, the company and city staff.
City Planner Angela Choy offered no recommendation on the variance application. Two neighbors spoke in opposition to the variance, and the city received three letters of opposition from the neighborhood, but the Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 4-1 to grant the variance to Tuff Shed and Welch.
Dutch DeBlouw voted against the request, but Jim Mobley, Jason Jones, Chad Harkey and Kirt Villyard voted for it.
Without the variance, Welch and Tuff Shed would have been forced to remove the building.
Jones said he could see both sides of the issue, noting that he has never been able to do any building project in the city without first obtaining a permit.
“That’s just 101, and I’ve done it several times,” Jones said. “That being said, what’s the greater good? I don’t know that tearing down a $35,000 building would be the answer and practical and realistic. ... It’s already done. It’s a done deal. It’s a tough one.”
Welch’s neighbors, including Kay Heinsohn, left the meeting unhappy after the vote.
“It’s a joke,” Heinsohn said. “Tuff Shed knew that he had to have that permit and he didn’t get one, and yes, it’s a hardship on the owner of the home. He should sue the pants off of them. You hire a professional to do a job. You expect that they are doing it correctly.
“The (ZBA) didn’t want to cause any trouble. It’s trouble,” she said. “I live there. I drive past that monstrosity every day. It’s awful. It’s not their problem that we don’t like it. It’s their problem that it wasn’t built with a permit.”
Planning and Zoning
Casey Cockrell of White Oak wants the city to rezone a 1.635-acre lot on the east side of Bill Owens Parkway — south of Ben Hogan Drive — from planned development to single family to allow for a home to be built at the location.
Cockrell’s request first approached the Planning and Zoning Commission last month, and commissioners tabled the request because of concerns about safety and deed restrictions surrounding the property.
The property is designated as area for parks or open space and floodplain in the city’s Future Land Use Map, according to Choy.
A city engineer concluded that drivers have about 230 feet of visibility because of the vertical and horizontal curvature of Bill Owens, adding, “The reverse curve of the street makes the visibility extremely limited at this location,” according to municipal documents.
Tuesday night, no motion was submitted either to approve or deny the request, according to the Planning Department. If the request goes before the City Council, at least 75 percent of the council — a supermajority — would have to vote for approval for the measure to pass.
In another matter, the Planning and Zoning Commission OK’d passage of a specific use permit that would allow Chugg’s Tea and Water on McCann Road to have a drive-through window. The request also requires final approval from the City Council.