A Brainerd resident who built his garage on the city's right of way was denied a variance Monday night.
The Brainerd City Council, by a 6-1 vote, denied a variance for Howard Hamilton, whose property is on the 800 block of Quince Street, based on a recommendation from the Brainerd Planning Commission which found that Hamilton's pole barn garage was 20 feet and 11 inches over the city's required setback of 20 feet from his property line.
Hamilton had requested a variance of 11 inches in order to be out of the city's right of way.
Council member Bob Olson voted against denying the variance because Hamilton built the garage after his sight plan was approved by Brainerd City Planner Mike Brethorst. In a memo to the Safety and Public Works Committee, Brethorst said the site plan was approved despite being inaccurate.
"I feel our staff could've done a better job," said Olson.
Brainerd building officials, after the poles for the garage were put in, found the structure not in compliance with city code.
Both city staffers and Hamilton admit there were mistakes made on both sides in approving Hamilton's initial site plan, and Brethorst said clearer site plan requirements on the building permit and footing inspection procedures have been put initiated.
Council member Gary Scheeler felt the burden of knowing property set backs should be on the applicant.
"Even when you put out campaign signs you have to know where the property line is," said Scheeler. "I'm stunned someone came in thinking it (the property line) was the curb."
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