By Tia Lynn Ivey
Madison Mayor and City Council reached a compromise with a complicated rezoning request from George Warren concerning five parcels of land along East Avenue and Harris Street in Madison.
Warren originally requested a text amendment that would change the city’s zoning ordinance citywide, not just his property. City staff deemed the proposed text amendment would be a “detriment” to property owners and recommended a variance request be filed instead to change the front yard set back required to build new houses on each parcel.
Warren agreed to the city’s recommendation.
“It is no problem if you all would grant me that tonight,” said Warren at the council’s regular meeting last Monday. Warren appeared before the city council last month to appeal an earlier application for his project, but the city council hands were tied due to a technicality in the city’s ordinance.
“I think this whole thing is an example of government overreach,” said Warren at Monday’s meeting, who has been frustrated with the time delays for his applications.
According to city officials, Warren’s request for a boundary line change was never a problem, but the setbacks included in the presented plans to the city were inaccurate under the city’s zoning ordinance, which requires setbacks in a developed neighborhood to adhere to the average setback of the surrounding homes. Warren included setbacks of 30 feet in his request to city staff, but the average setback on his street is 107 feet. The city staff came up with a compromise based on surrounding properties and recommended the council approve Warren’s variance request with the condition that the minimum setback be at least 59 feet.