Archive for Thursday, December 4, 2003

Zoning appeals board OK’s firefighters’ plan

December 4, 2003

Basehor

The Basehor Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance request submitted by the Fairmount Township Fire Department during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 2.

The fire department, hoping to expand its current facility in downtown Basehor, asked for a variance for the rear-yard setback.

Under expansion plans, the fire station would sit three feet off the west property line, a departure from Basehor zoning regulations, which call for a minimum setback of 25 feet.

However, Board of Zoning Appeals members, weighing the public benefit an expanded fire station might provide and considering a staff report indicating no harm would come to neighboring residents, granted the variance.

Technically, the existing fire station is in violation of the setback rule because it only sits 11 feet off the west property line, Basehor city codes administrator Mike Hooper said. The violation does not negatively affect nearby residents or deter access to homes to the west, Hooper said.

Fred Stitt, Fairmount Township Fire Department trustee, said the fire department needs the expansion to house more equipment and vehicles.

The Board of Zoning Appeals based its decision on five criteria -- uniqueness, adjacent property, hardship, public interest and intent of the zoning regulations -- as required by city ordinance.

Board members approved each item individually by a unanimous, 4-0, vote.

The Board of Zoning Appeals met for the final time under its current structure. Currently, the board is composed of in-city residents serving on the Basehor Planning Commission.

Next year, however, the board is scheduled for reorganization.

Last month, the Basehor City Council approved the appointments of four new members to the board, members who are not part of the Planning Commission.

The new members are Ty Garver, Leslie Bishop, Bill Robison and Jeff Scherer. City officials are still searching for an appointment to fill the fifth position.

The new Board of Zoning Appeals members will assume their new posts in early 2004.

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