CHEBOYGAN — For the last several months, Cheboygan city officials have been looking into the best course of action regarding a request to build an accessory storage structure on Marina Drive.
The city's zoning code currently does not permit the construction of these structures in the city's waterfront marina zoning district, even though there is a specific, subdivided area where there are several of these structures already built. The Cheboygan City Council was requested to approve a zoning land use permit to allow the construction of one, setting a precedent.
"We've talked about this a number of times," said Cheboygan City Manager Dan Sabolsky. "This is the actual, final action on that so the gentleman can build his storage building. Then, all future parties that would do a similar thing would also have to follow that same procedure."
There are two condominium associations in the area where the storage building is desired to be constructed, one where condominiums are constructed, and on the other side of the road, another association with the accessory structures. Anyone wanting to construct any structures, whether it be a home or a storage building, would still have to comply with any regulations the condominium associations may have.
The land use permit from the city is allowing the construction of the building on the land within the city limits, even though it is in a private association.
Sabolsky said there was something that had been changed when the city's zoning code was revised and updated, where the allowance of the accessory structures to be built was left out. Where the storage building currently stands had been divided off and was designated for the accessory structures.
"Somehow, when our zoning was passed, it wasn't put in there that you could put a storage building in that, even though that whole section there was subdivided off and turned into a condo for storage buildings only," said Sabolsky. "So, we tried a number of ways to look at this. This is probably the best way to do it, so that we create a uniform procedure to look at."
The city could have chosen to go the route of revising its zoning code, which could potentially turn into a more involved process, including a public hearing, notification of adjacent property owners and the rewriting of city ordinance to make it right.
Sabolsky said the city could have just signed the permit, said they made a mistake and moved on. However, he wanted to set the precedent, so when dealing with the issue in the future, for any further development, there would be a procedure in place.
"So, the other lots, I think there might be six other lots in there that could do the same thing, they know what to do going forward," he said.
The Cheboygan City Planning Commission members also agreed with Sabolsky that approving this land use permit would be the way to go, to handle the issue and pave the way for others in the future. The planning commission was anticipating seeing requests for these permits in the future, as several of the lots where the storage buildings are constructed are currently for sale.
"They liked that we were setting parameters, we were setting a precedent, and we were setting how it would move forward," said Sabolsky.
The council members voted unanimously to approve the land use permit for 1123 Marina Dr., allowing the new building to be constructed on that parcel.
Contact Features Writer Kortny Hahn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.
This article originally appeared on Cheboygan Daily Tribune: City approves land use permit, sets precedent for accessory structures