Volusia Planning Commission Approves Variances

The Volusia Planning Commission recently approved several variance requests during their latest meeting, despite some of them facing staff recommendations for denial. The decisions made by the Commission have addressed a variety of community needs, including the construction of homes and additions, as well as the implementation of fencing for safety and privacy.

Among the approved variances was a request for reducing the rear yard setback for a new home on a through lot, which will now be allowed a 3-foot variance from the standard 20-foot requirement. The applicant represented by Dave Glunt, argued that the lot’s configuration and the character of the surrounding area justified the variance. The Commission approved the variance, adding conditions based on staff recommendations.

Another case involved a variance request to increase the maximum fence height from 4 to 6 feet on an R4 zoned property. Robert Shapo, the applicant, cited the safety of pets, children, and property as the primary reasons for the request. Initially, the Commission recommended denial as the criteria for variance were not met; however, after discussion, the variance was approved with a stipulation that it would be limited to the size and location of the proposed fences.

A notable discussion emerged around the variance request for a six-foot fence on 19th Street, where the applicant assured that the fence would not obstruct driveway visibility. The Commission eventually approved this variance unanimously, subject to staff comments, after deliberating over the fence’s material and its potential impact on the neighborhood.

Furthermore, the Commission examined a variance request for a pool and screen enclosure within the Halifax Plantation planned unit development. The applicant, Warren Trimmer, had anticipated the freedom to install a pool on the property, which was later discovered to have a utility easement. This added a layer of complexity to the variance request, which was ultimately approved with revised language to accurately reflect the required setbacks and subject to staff recommendations.

In a case concerning a non-conforming R9 zone property, the Commission had to decide on variances related to a house, deck, and garage. The applicant explained the history of the deck and the need to rebuild the garage due to structural issues. The staff recommended approval for the variances concerning the house but advised against the deck and garage variances. All variances were approved under the condition that they adhered to the recommended stipulations.

The Spruce Creek overall planned unit development also saw approval for variances, including one that would legitimize the existing location of a hangar by reducing the rear yard requirement to 9 1/2 ft and another to add a 470 square ft addition to the hangar. The second variance was initially recommended for denial due to the reduced rear yard requirement to 11.1 ft, but the Commission approved it with conditions from staff.

Another home on an Urban single-family residential R4 zoned property received approval for a second-floor addition variance, which includes a covered porch providing a view of the ocean. The staff had recommended denial; however, the Commission was swayed by support letters and the applicant’s rationale, which stressed the minimal impact and potential benefits of the addition. The condition from staff to limit the size and location was applied to the entire addition after some debate.

The Commission also tackled another variance related to the minimum yard requirements for an urban single-family zoned property. The proposed second-floor addition with an 8-foot extension led to debates about whether it should be enclosed or remain an open deck. The Commission required further clarification, eventually approving a revised motion that stipulated the extension would remain unenclosed.

Additionally, a variance for a carport on an urban single-family residential zoned property was discussed and approved. The applicant emphasized the necessity due to limited garage space and the impact of sun exposure on their home. The Commission approved the variance with specific conditions after reviewing the details of the proposal.

A significant rezoning case was also on the agenda, involving a 15.7-acre parcel’s transition from Prime agricultural A1 to rural agricultural A2. The applicant’s intention was to potentially add a home due to the challenges of maintaining the property with age. Despite concerns about the impact on wetlands, the Commission unanimously approved the motion to forward the rezoning application to the County Council with a recommendation of approval.

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.
County Manager:
George Recktenwald
Planning Board Officials:
Edith Shelley, Pat Patterson, Ronnie Mills, Frank Costa, Stony Sixma, Jeffrey Bender, Donna Craig, Trish Smith (Senior Planning Manager)

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