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Commission rejects plan for ‘cookie cutter house’ in Mt. Bonnell area

Monday, July 11, 2011 by Kimberly Reeves

Last week, the Residential Design and Compatibility Commission found little reason to support the expansion of a residence on a major artery to Mt. Bonnell.


Commissioner Chuck Mains, who was in the minority on just about every vote at the commission meeting, was the lone supporter of the expansion, which was described as a cookie cutter house on a custom home drive. And, yes, commissioners did end up rejecting the plan for the cookie cutter house.


The crux of this case was that a homeowner bought a high-profile lot on a high-profile corridor to Mt. Bonnell, only to propose an expanded David Weekley 4,400-square-foot home for the property.


The neighbors of the property were not amused.


Architect Jim Einhaus and owner Bill Clark were the major proponents for the expansion. They argued that additional square footage would make the home more like surrounding Mt. Bonnell properties.


To argue for an expansion of square footage, or floor-to-area ratio, is the goal at the RDCC. The argument presented was that the plan was inconsistent with existing homes, which proponents refuted. The average home on Mt. Bonnell, as presented in the hearing, was well over 4,000 square feet.


Neighbor Linda Hall, among others, was on hand to protest the expansion. Hall, who shares a lot line with the property, noted that nothing had been built on the property in question but much had been proposed.


“It’s too large for the size of the lot, as well as the comparison to nearby homes,” Hall told commissioners. “The FAR is way too large.”


Proponents presented aerials in support of wider rezoning, reviewing aerials and such. Opponents presented documentation opposing large-scale homes in the area. That appeared to resonate with the commissioners, bar Mains. Commissioner Jean Stevens was the strongest opponent.


Commissioners voted 5-1 against the square footage expansion, with Mains being the lone dissenter.

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