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Board of Appeals passes two variance cases
by Savannah Weeks
sweeks@neighbornewspapers.com
October 11, 2012 08:08 PM | 1504 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Sandy Springs Board of Appeals passed two vari-ance cases from residents at their meeting Oct. 11.

The first case regarded two primary variances in which Eric Zimmerman, owner of a home at 5345 N. Powers Ferry Road, requested to reduce the required 15-foot side yard setback, part of the zoning ordinance, to 10 feet, to allow for the construction of an additional garage.

He also requested to reduce the 10-foot driveway setback of the development regulations ordinance to five feet for a portion of the new driveway.

Zimmerman said the requests were based upon aesthetics and usability of his side yard and back yard. He presented the board with a letter of support from the affected neighbor.

Zimmerman’s attorney, David Ogram, was present to speak to the board as well.

“The reason we’re encroaching is to avoid taking down large trees if we stay within the setback,” said Ogram. “We also want to avoid a stone wall and barbecue grill in the backyard. We have a letter of support from the right-side neighbor, and no trees will be impacted more than 20 percent.”

Board member Ken Moller questioned the positioning of the unit.

“Why not bring it forward,” he asked.

Zimmerman said the reasoning was for the benefit of the neighbor.

“The idea was to keep it hidden,” said Zimmerman.

The board passed the two variances unanimously, 4-0, upon staff recommendation.

Jochu Liang requested approval of a variance in the stream buffer protection ordinance at 506 Granite Ridge Place. Liang requested the 75-foot impervious set-back be reduced to 60 feet to allow an existing sunroom to remain.

Ron Gudger, a friend of Liang’s, was present to speak on her behalf.

“This was a structure built in 1998,” said Gudger. “She owns three businesses in this building and saw fit to enclose this area, being the industrious person she is. She had no idea she needed a permit or anything. It is well-established. There is a huge tree canopy, and the elevation is probably 15 feet above the low area of the creek. We see nothing wrong with this. With no subsequent work to be done, there is nothing to protect.”

The board passed Liang’s request 4-0 as well.

Chair Ruth Coan and member Alvin Johnson were absent from the meeting, but staff members did not know the reason for their absence.

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