Afton gives refund to residentA patient homeowner will receive a $600 refund from Afton City Council after he was charged for unnecessary work.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
A patient homeowner will receive a $600 refund from Afton City Council after he was charged for unnecessary work.
At the city council meeting on Feb. 19, members voted to return $600 in the form of a deposit to Gary Anderson and his wife, who had applied for permission in October to build a garage at their Neal Avenue South home in Afton.
Anderson, an Afton resident of nearly 30 years, had been informed by city staff that he would need to apply for a variance to construct the garage in front of his property, since the city code does not permit accessory structures to be built in front of a primary structures.
However, Afton’s planning commission found that as access to Anderson’s property was on an easement, it was impossible to determine what constituted the front of his property and so did not require a variance, and voted to return his money.
Anderson received a letter from city staff informing him that the costs of investigating and processing his case totaled $618, and would be paid by withholding his $600 deposit.
So, at the Feb. 19 meeting, he set forth his case and pleaded with city council members that his money should be returned.
“I had to go through the variance process and I felt that it was very ambiguous and really unnecessary in this case,” Anderson explained.
“It was kind of like a solution that was looking for a problem and it found one and made a big deal out of it.”
The city council members agreed, voting 4-1 in favor of returning Anderson’s money.