Board of Adjustments approves new rules, variance request

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Board of Adjustment unanimously passed revisions to its procedural rules and a variance request for 512 Confederate Ave. on Tuesday.

The board reviewed several changes to its rules, including that the secretary’s position should be filled by Development Services staff and procedures for filing for special-use permits.

Thomas Parr asked the board to allow a variance to allow the 70-foot front build requirement to be reduced to 55 feet. Parr explained that a barn at the back of the lot would affect the construction of a house, and he was asking the board to approve moving up the line requirement to be closer to Confederate Avenue.

Board members asked Parr if he could change the plans for his house or demolish the barn, saying they would not be able to approve the variance request.

“Would it be funny to have a different shaped house than what you’ve got planned?” board member Randy Reamer asked. “You would have to shape it long and skinny. People would be, like, ‘What the hell is that?’ Is that what we’re talking about? You have to build something like the footprint.”

Parr said with water drainage problems in the area, the location would help with flood prevention since a creek is nearby and multiple sources of stormwater funnel to it.

The previous owner of the property, Chris Bradshaw, said Parr was not explaining the extent of the flood problems the neighborhood has.

“The water issues are a lot greater than what Tommy is saying. That’s why I want to make it clear,” Bradshaw said. “I’m going to give you some history here. We’ve had the city out here three weeks ago one more time because the neighbor is losing her backyard. It is eating out her backyard.”

John Schaffer said the drainage issues would be a cause to approve Parr’s variance request.

“I don’t think, ‘Because I don’t want to move the barn’ or ‘Because I don’t like the way my house is — I don’t think those are relevant to finding of variance,” Schaffer said. “The water absolutely is.”

The board then approved the request.

A Planning Board meeting was canceled Tuesday because of a lack of agenda items. Last year, the Board of Adjustment merged with the Planning Board but remained two separate entities.