Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I received my final exterior renovation plans from The Architects and my certified plot plan so decided to go over to the Building Department and start my application process. I expected that I would have to formally make the application and wait for a review of the plans for them to see that my front porch is "nonconforming" (because it's too close to the street) as per current zoning laws.

But as I was filling out the application and told them I knew I would have to get a variance to complete the work, the head of the department looked at plot plan...

...saw that I would have 5 feet, six inches between the new porch and sidewalk, I was immediately rejected. It's not a bad thing; it's exactly what I expected only it happened much faster than I anticipated....which is good. So I got the application for a variance and I can move forward with making my case.

In a way, I've never been so happy to be rejected!


  1. At least it wasn't a long drawn out process! Hopefully your approval for a variance will go just as quickly. Do you have any idea what the time frame is for that process?

  2. Well, at least it was quick! How long will this process take?

  3. Isn't it fun working with the zoning dept? I hope they have no issue with the variance - are there any other homes that are non conforming with the setbacks? If it originally had a porch, you can justify the variance with an historically accurate renovation.?

  4. My building department didn't turn me down they just sat on my request for 6 weeks. I was putting in a 25' x 16' glass curtain wall which occupied the entire front of the house. Local building codes did not address the issue because glass curtain walls are a commercial installation and their structural integrity rating comes from a different agency than residential construction. I went to the head of the Building Department, 48 hours later the permit was in my hand. Swear to God - bureaucrats, they will do whatever it takes to escape responsibility.

    Your place is a quiet dream come true, you are doing an exquisite job. Ann