The applicant seeks a special exception to increase the maximum height of a retaining wall in the front yard from 3 feet to 9 feet and in the west side yard from 6 feet to 9 feet. Applicant seeks no other variances at this time.
FINDINGS OF FACT:
Property Location: The subject property fronts approximately 50 feet on the south side of South Avenue and begins approximately 500 from the southeast intersection of South Avenue and Martin Street. The property is located in Land Lot 54 of the 14th District, Fulton County, Georgia within the Summerhill neighborhood of NPU-V, Council District l.
Relevant Zoning Requirements:
- The subject property is zoned R-4B-C (Single-Family Residential Conditional).
- Minimum lot dimensions: Frontage: 70 feet; Minimum lot area: 9,000 square feet.
- Minimum yard setbacks: Front yard: 35 feet; Side yards: 7 feet; Rear yard: 15 feet.
- sec. 16-28.008(5) o In required front yards and half-depth front yards a retaining wall with a maximum height of 3 feet may be erected.
- In required side yards and rear yards a retaining wall with a maximum height of 6 feet may be erected
161 South Avenue, S.E.
Characteristics of Adjoining Properties. Neighborhood: Parcels in the area are developed with varying uses and structures. Adjacent properties along South Avenue are zoned R-4B-C (SingleFamily Residential Conditional) and parcels are similar in shape and size from the applicant's properly. Other immediate properties within the area cany a C-l (Neighborhood Commercial) and R-4A (Single-Family Residential) zoning designation to the southeast and south respectively. To the north of the property is Phoenix Il Park.
PROPOSAL: The applicant seeks a special exception to increase the maximum height of a retaining wall in the front yard from 3 feet to 9 feet and in the west side yard from 6 feet to 9 feet for erosion control and replacing the current retaining walls of the same height that are in disrepair. The proposed development will include a new two-story single-family structure and deck.
CONCLUSIONS: The following conclusions pertinent to this request for a special exception from the zoning regulations are in accordance with Section 16-28.008(5)(e) of the City of Atlanta Zoning Code.
The Board of Zoning Adjustment may grant special exceptions in any district for greater heights of walls or fences in required yards only upon finding that such wall or fence is justified by reason of security or privacy and will not unduly prevent passage of light and air to adjoining properties and is not incompatible with the character of the neighborhood; topographic reasons or such greater height, in the yard or yards involved, is not incompatible with the character of the surrounding neighborhood.
The topography of the lot does create a challenge to meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance in terms of maximum height allowed for walls/fences in required yards. The steep topography of the eastern front and side yards, which drop approximately 15 feet in the southeastern most corner of the parcel, necessitates the retaining wall to be at a maximum 9 feet to control erosion and water runoff. Staff is aware that the requested special exception is not out of character for the area and parcels adjacent to the subject property (169 South Avenue) contain retaining walls that exceed maximum height allowed because of the steep topography of the area. The proposed newly constructed retaining walls will replace the current retaining walls, approximately the same height that are in disrepair. Staff would like to note that the portion of the retaining wall most visible from the right-of-way in the eastern most portion of the front yard will only be approximately 2 feet to 3 feet in height. Therefore, staff is of the opinion that request to exceed the allowable height for a retaining wall is justified by the topography of the lot and the character of the neighborhood.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: APPROVAL
NPU RECOMMENDATION: APPROVAL
BZA DECISION: DEFERRAL TO SEPT. 14TH, 2017