Seminole Board Approves Multiple Fence Variance Requests Amid HOA Concerns

In a recent meeting, the Seminole Board of Adjustment addressed a series of variance requests, focusing primarily on the construction and modification of fences in various residential districts. Among notable topics was the consideration of a fence variance in the Greenwood Lake subdivision, which involved the encroachment into a utility easement and sparked a debate due to concerns raised by the homeowner’s association (HOA). The board ultimately approved the variance request, alongside several others.

The Greenwood Lake subdivision item was particularly noteworthy as it delved into the legal implications of granting a variance that would encroach on a utility easement. The discussion was further complicated by the fact that the homeowner’s association had expressed concerns. The applicant clarified that the HOA in question had expired in 2019 and presented plans to extend their backyard to accommodate a pool. Neighbors had raised issues about the fence blocking their view and potentially encroaching onto a common area. The applicant provided photos and a survey to support their position.

The board’s deliberations on this matter were careful, with detailed exchanges regarding the exact location of the fence panels and the variance needed. The county attorney was consulted to provide legal guidance on the matter. In the end, the board approved the motion, allowing the applicant to proceed with their plans, subject to certain conditions and clarifications.

Another discussion surrounded a request for a fence replacement in an area where the local HOA had to approve the addition regardless of the board’s decision. The debate centered on whether the new straight-line fence would obstruct neighbors’ views less than the current one. The traffic engineering department reported no objections to the fence placement related to site visibility. However, concerns were voiced about the safety impact due to the fence’s proximity to the sidewalk. Despite the applicant’s assurance, a motion to deny the application was put forward and subsequently passed.

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In a separate case, the board considered a variance request for a privacy fence in the R1A zoning district. The applicant had constructed the fence without a permit due to privacy concerns, as their property faced a dead-end street frequented by various individuals and contractors. The discussion touched upon whether utility poles were enclosed by the fence and the necessity of obtaining a utility easement letter. The board granted approval, allowing the applicant to maintain their desired level of privacy.

This was evident as they reviewed requests from properties in the Harmony Home subdivision, where a front yard setback variance, a side street setback variance for a carport addition, and a West Side Street setback reduction for a privacy fence were all approved following the applicant’s explanation of their history and purpose.

The board also approved a series of other fence-related variances, with conditions that often included the removal and proper re-installation of existing fences.

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Aside from the discussion of variances, the meeting included a moment of acknowledgment for the retirement of a county attorney’s office member, extending well wishes to the retiring individual. The board postponed the election of chair and vice-chair to the next meeting.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

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