Swansboro Planning Board has voted to recommend approval for a property owner to have a 14-by-20-foot utility building in the front yard of a home.

Now it will be up to the town commissioners to consider the request.

Planning board action followed discussion at the Tuesday, June 1, meeting of the board. Members present included Scott Chadwick, chairman, Jeff Conaway, Mike Favata and Christina Ramsey.

Front-yard accessory buildings are allowed by special-use permit under very specific circumstances, thanks to recent zoning amendments recognizing restrictions of waterfront properties.

In this case, William Sherman, owner, has already built the accessory building at 177 Deer Island Road. His request for the permit followed a stop-work order issued by Swansboro.

The property is zoned residential-8 single-family and is not in the town limits but is within the extraterritorial jurisdiction, which comes under town planning and zoning, according to information provided by Jennifer Ansell, Swansboro planner. The property consists of 2.58 acres.

“A minor subdivision of the property was recorded in October of 2020,” Ansell states in a memo to the board. “However, the property has not been split because a deed is required to be recorded to reference the newly recorded plat.”

Ansell explains that the Swansboro Unified Development Ordinance was amended in August 2020 to allow accessory structures in the front yard on lots of 2 acres or more through the special use permit process.

Planning board members questioned the fact that while the structure would be allowed by special-use on the full property, once the subdivision is accomplished, and the lot is divided into two lots, the structure would be nonconforming.

She pointed out that the front-yard structure would end up in the backyard of the proposed lot.

The shed is about 250 feet from the road.

The vote to approve the permit was unanimous.

“When the property is subdivided, the structure would become nonconforming,” Chadwick explained. “But once a home is built on the lot, it would be conforming because it would be in the backyard.”

Now the request will go to the town commissioners for action. The planning board acts in an advisory capacity to the board of commissioners, which has the final say on zoning matters.

Email Jimmy Williams at jimmy@tidelandnews.com.

(1) comment


Such a courageous stand. March on!! Dog houses are next

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