2018-02-10 / News

City Revises Zoning for Home Occupation

The city council, following a recommendation from its planning commission in September, approved zoning ordinance amendments that deal with at home occupations and with Cottage District accessory dwellings, such as mother-in-law apartments.

The first of the amendments, which were approved September 13 and took effect November 2, modified the section pertaining to home occupations, clarifying that people who work from home must live at the residence and the home occupation must not generate excessive customer traffic.

The second amendment added the Cottage District, which encompasses the East Bluff, West Bluff, and Hubbard’s Annex, to the zoning categories where accessory dwellings are permitted. It also revised the district’s maximum density restriction (one principal dwelling unit per acre) to clarify that accessory dwellings don’t count toward a property’s density calculation.

The Cottage District zoning changes were prompted by a request from Annex resident Melissa Gembis to renovate the top level of her barn from a storage space to an apartment. While reviewing the application, the planning commission realized the zoning ordinance didn’t permit accessory dwellings in the district.

City attorney Tom Evashevski recommended the planning commission consider amending maximum density regulations in the city’s other zoning districts, as well, to be consistent. The zoning ordinance restricts accessory dwellings to one per lot in the other districts.

The Gembis barn renovation had been approved September 12, effective when the zoning ordinance changes took effect.

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