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Cambridge Denies Variance For An Accessory Structure

The Cambridge City Council held discussion on a variance for an accessory structure at their April 5th city council meeting.

A resident is seeking to build a 16 x 32 shed on a neighboring owned lot, without seeking to join the two lots together.

The topic had been tabled from last month's meeting to allow for more information to be gather for better discussion. Records had shown that no such variance similar to the presented one has been sought before. Residents in the past who have sought to build a structure on a neighboring parcel were instructed to have the lots merged.

The resident didn't wish to combine the lots, stating that if they wish to sell the lots later on, they would like to do it separately and that laws may change that might hinder the ability to separate them. The owner also made clear that the structure would be removed if or when the lot was ever sold.

Council also discussed the issue of lot coverage, with the parcels in questioned being a part of the Heritage Greens Planned Unit Development. The intent of the PUD is to have smaller lot sizes for a more connected neighborhood, thus implementing lot coverage maximums of 30%, which the shed would exceed that.

The city's Planning commission did recommend the approval of the variance on conditions that the structure meet all regulations, that it is only issued to the resident and it must be removed if the resident sells the lots.

Cambridge Mayor Godfrey motioned to deny the variance on grounds of setting a precedent and the lots coverage conditions already exceeding the maximum. The motion passed 3-2 with Councilmembers Iverson & Conley the only nay votes.

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