An Arcane Examination of Fences and Cabanas

Next Wednesday, the Board of Adjustment will consider a fence next to one Preston Hollow home and a cabana behind another.

The folks at 6006 Azalea Lane want an exception to the rules about fence height and visual obstructions. Their house, which sits on the southeast corner of Azalea and Preston Road, already has an 8-foot-6-inch fence along Preston. That’s 4 feet, 6 inches taller than zoning allows. But the bigger sticking point, in the eyes of City Hall, is that the fence could potentially violate the “visibility triangle” for drivers turning onto Preston from the alley behind Azalea.

You’ve got to love this hand-written defense from David Fandrich’s appeal to the board:

As my property is on Preston, there are no immediate neighbors. The visibility triangle won’t affect traffic as Preston flows one-way divided by a median; furthermore, the alley is not used.

Can’t argue with that.

The other case concerns a cabana that Mark Hughston wants to build behind his house at 11575 E. Ricks Circle. This is a Board of Adjustment matter because zoning forbids more than one “dwelling unit” on a single-family property. Because the plans for this cabana include a bathroom and kitchen, it’s considered a dwelling unit. To wit:

Building Inspection staff has reviewed the submitted floor plan of the proposed “cabana” structure and deemed it a “dwelling unit” – that is per Code definition: “one or more rooms to be a single housekeeping unit to accommodate one family and containing one or more kitchens, one or more bathrooms, and one or more bedrooms.” The submitted floor plan denotes the following rooms/spaces: “family,” “bar,’ “closet,” “bedroom,” “bath,” “pool stor.,” “ and “mechanical.”

It appears that Hughston will be allowed to build a cabana complete with a bar and a bath as long as he agrees to deed restrictions that will prevent it from ever being used as a rental property.

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