Jul 042012

By Naomi Hatch —

A request by Ernest Baird for a variance to construct a detached garage on his property at 184 S. First St. East in Snowflake was unanimously approved by the town council June 26.

Baird bought his grandmother’s home and has restored it. He said he would like to build a garage that is large enough for two cars with extended space to work on a car or for something such as a pool table.

He advised the council that the closest adjacent neighbor had no issues with construction, neither did the neighbors on the west.

“He is within the town code from the west property,” said Zoning Administrator Dale Call, noting that the south side is a concern. “Everything else fits within the town code.” He noted that the Snowflake Planning and Zoning Commission heard the request June 19 and approved recommending it to the town council in a 3-2 vote.

Dean Porter spoke on Baird’s behalf, noting that his Grandmother Baird was a widow and raised her family in that home. “He’s done a beautiful job,” said Porter referring to the renovation.

The council unanimously approved a motion for a variance request to encroach the yard setbacks for an accessory structure.

David Huish requested a special use permit to convert an existing shop at 2909 W. Player Drive into residential living quarters to allow his parents to live with them, but still give them their independence.

The one-acre property is zoned R-1A and was constructed in 1998, with the shop addition constructed in 2004. Town records show the shop was constructed to standards that meet or exceed those required for a residential structure.

The commission heard this request on June 19, and in a 5-0 vote recommended that the town council approve the variance request.

Council members asked Huish about his use of the living quarters when his parents no longer needed it, and he said that it would be convenient when his children visited, but he would also like his shop back.

Call assured the council that the code states that a special use permit issued for this purpose can only be used by family.

A motion to approve a special use permit request to convert a shop into residential living quarters for immediate family members only and not as a rental unit passed unanimously.

In other action June 26, the council:

* Approved Resolution 12-010, Support for PARA (Planning Assistance for Rural Areas) Grant.

Town Engineer Rob Emmett explained that this is an annual grant, and the towns of Snowflake and Taylor are joining with Navajo County to submit an application entitled Second Knolls Development Multimodal Regional Transportation Study. Emmett said that if the study were approved, it would integrate planned land use areas with future transportation investments to stimulate economic development in a portion of land that is owned by the three entities.

In response to a questioned posed by Mayor Kelly Willis, Emmett noted that no matching funds are required, but it will require some staff time.

“This council has decided one of our major priorities is the creation of jobs. In order for us to advance that, we feel like we need some designated industrial areas that can bring industry in,” said Town Manager Paul Watson.

The council unanimously approved the resolution.

It was reported that the Navajo County Board of Supervisors approved a similar resolution that day and it will be on the Taylor Council’s July 11 agenda.

* Approved Resolution 12-011, abandon unnecessary highway easement, which is Despain Avenue.

Emmett explained that in the spring of 2000, Justin and Denise Bingham approached the town for a rezoning of property they owned off of Highway 77 north of town. One requirement, which was initiated by the Binghams, was the relocation of an existing road. He said they had agreed that following approval of the new road, the town would abandon the existing Despain Avenue easement, which has been done.

The resolution, which abandons the Despain right-of-way easement and unencumbers that land back to the Binghams, was unanimously adopted by the council.