Commission Accomodates Special Uses

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By Katy Korkos

The planning and zoning commission approved two special use permits Wednesday, neither of which looked especially promising when they were first brought before the commission. The first permit granted allows a homeowner on “Little Urban” to add a kitchen to a room above his garage, creating an apartment. The second permit allows the owner of the Ashley Suites Hotel to convert his property to storage units.

Special use permits convey with the property when it is sold, so a planning and zoning commissioner’s duty is to take the long view and add conditions that make it impossible for a subsequent owner to change the intent of the special use permit.

Adding a kitchen to a room over a garage in a quiet residential neighborhood might not seem like a big step, but if the property owner then chooses to rent out his property to two families, or operate a bed and breakfast out of his home, that could adversely affect the neighborhood and traffic patterns, and house values in the neighborhood.