Afton garage talk centers on limitsGarages were once again the topic at Afton City Hall.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Garages were once again the topic at Afton City Hall.
Earlier this month Afton Planning Commission discussed possible restrictions to attached garage sizes, at the request of City Council member Joe Richter.
Currently the city regulates attached garages by impervious surface requirements.
However, the city does regulate accessory buildings, which are defined as detached structures that are more than six feet away from the dwelling unit, to not exceed 2,000 square feet.
Even though several Planning Commission members said they did not see the need for regulation, the panel agreed to recommend a maximum square footage of 2,000 square feet as a starting point.
Planning Commission’s suggestion was presented to Afton City Council during its Jan. 17 meeting.
“Erring on the high side would not be an unreasonable thing considering the general aspects of the community,” said Commissioner Tom Nolz, who was filling in for Planning Commission Chairwoman Barb Ronningen. “Two-thousand square feet is indeed a large garage, but larger garages have been built.”
Richter, who had initiated the discussion, said the 2,000 square foot maximum did not necessarily halt his concerns.
Richter said his primary concern is how large a garage can be proportionate to a dwelling.
“I’m concerned about having the structure adapt to its surroundings,” he said.
Council members Randy Nelson and Peg Nolz both disagreed with Richter, stating that peole should be allowed to do what they want with their own property in terms of a garage.
“If you’ve got 120 acres, why not,” Peg Nolz said. “I don’t know how you limit it.”
Tom Nolz also said during last Tuesday’s meeting that it’s nearly impossible to regulate aesthetics, which he said is essentially what Richter is trying to do.
“I think we’re going down someplace we don’t want to go,” Nelson said.
City Council didn’t make much headway with the garage discussion. However, another discussion did develop on what constitutes a principal structure and what constitutes an accessory structure.
Tom Nolz said Planning Commission has continually run into issues when trying to determine if a dwelling or an accessory building can be deemed the principal structure.
Tom Nolz said his suggestion is that the principal structure is whichever building has the dwelling in it.
City Council directed Planning Commission to continue its discussion on principal structures.