Did You Know The City of Grandview Heights Cannot Issue A Valid Building Permit for 980 Elmwood?

City Code § 1153.02(e) requires garages to be located in the rear yard, not in front or in side yards.  During the August 8, 2018 BZA hearing, the owners of 980 Elmwood insisted that the “front” of the property faces Elmwood Avenue. See Minutes (p. 6, rewritten by the City Attorney). The “front” is the West Elevation pictured above, which shows a three car garage under the house. Because City Code § 1153.02(e) requires garages to be in the rear yard and does not permit garages in the front or the side yard,  the proposed house at 980 Elmwood does not conform to Code.

And, when the owners of 980 Elmwood applied to the City’s BZA for aesthetic review, they did not request any variances in their Application or give notice to other residents and property owners that any variances were being requested. Because required variances have not been granted by the City and the structure does not conform to Code, the City cannot issue a valid building permit to construct the house.

In addition to Code provisions that prevent development on the site, the City’s Design Guidelines (pp. 24, 51, 65, 68, 72) also require that the design of any new house locate garages in the rear or perhaps the side yard, but not in front.

Will the City of Grandview Heights continue to ignore its own Code provisions and Design Guidelines and issue an invalid building permit without a required variance?

Are the owners of 980 Elmwood even entitled to a variance given that any such variance would be the result of a self-imposed problem, that is, one created by the owners? The law prohibits the granting of a variance when the problem is self-imposed.

The City of Grandview Heights has failed its residents in so many ways. Will it continue to ignore its own Code and Design Guidelines to the detriment of the Community as a whole?

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