A debated variance to allow the construction of a home on a non-conforming lot was approved during the Jan. 3 Jefferson County Planning and Zoning meeting, despite heavy opposition from surrounding landowners.
Menan resident Darin Taylor was seeking a variance to build a home on a non-conforming lot of 3.2 acres in an Ag-10 zone located at 807 N. 3800 E. Many of the surrounding landowners however were concerned with a potential precedence this might set for future developers and the impact Taylor’s truck repair business might have on traffic in the area.
Taylor explained that they will repair three to four semi-trucks at a time, with three remaining in the existing Quonset away from view from surrounding neighbors.
“We have seven trucks, which there are usually three or four on the property at a time, we will be able to have three in the shop at a time,” he said.
To accommodate landowners to the east of the property along 3800 E., Taylor said they he is willing to plant trees along the roadway to buffer any noise nuisance the operation may cause.
“We’re more than happy to do that as long as they don’t block the intersection,” he said.
During the hearing, two residents spoke in neutral of the variance.
Shane Jacobson said he has spoken with the Taylors and indicated that he just wanted the commission to consider the fact that he has ditch that goes around the property in question. Likewise, Rick Hall said he’s not opposed the variance, he is simply concerned about visibility issues at the intersection of 3800 E. and 800 N.
“We drive thousands of trucks around that corner every year,” Hall said. “I have no problem with them building a house; I just want the roads clean and wide. We need vision all around it because it is the most dangerous thing for anybody not to have,”
A majority of residents present during the hearing were opposed to the variance, specifically due to the potential precedence the variance may start and the impact on the traffic with the repair shop.
“If this variance is approved, it will adversely affect agriculture use of this land,” Robin Steel said. “A trucking company would create a detriment to the neighborhood by creating more traffic, increased noise, blocking of the roadways which in turn affect our roadways. There’s no reason a trucking company should be allowed in an Ag-10 area.”
“I’d just as soon keep things the way they are, and the way I was told they have to remain” Mike Patchett said.
“I think it’s important that we maintain our Ag-10 status,” Jeff Olaveson said. “It should be maintained agricultural for the benefit of our county.”
“I feel sorry for the people who have bought 10 to 20 acres and did it the right way, to come out here to build and did their homework,” Candice Sheppard said.
Other residents that had similar concerns included Ty Scott, Ben Yearsley, Kim Thompson, Linda Clark, Lynn Sheppard, Kendra Olaveson, Richard Sheppard, Troy Moore and Charlotte Moore.
Planning and Zoning Attorney Paul Ziel pointed out that the topic at hand was to allow a variance for a home, and that any concerns related to the repair business would be considered during the hearing for Taylor’s impending request for a conditional use permit. Therefore the board needed to base their decision on county ordinances related to variances.
With that in mind, the commission approved the variance because it abided by what is stated in the county’s ordinances.
“As I go through it (ordinances) , I believe that it meets it,” Commissioner Warren Albertson said.
Because it was simply a variance, the commissioners didn’t include any conditions.
Newly appointed commissioner Heath Lewis voted “no” on the motion because he doesn’t believe they should give variances to all those that apply.
“I don’t like the idea of giving variances to everyone that applies,” he said.
The ensuing vote was 3-1.