Ordinance No. 262, Amendment 1 outlining the maximum lot coverage in Zone R1 was approved to raises the maximum coverage from 40% to 60%. Building codes include front, side and back set backs on residential lots restricting structures from being built too close to property lines or flanking streets, however, this will allow developer or resident to build on more of their lot. This amendment was originally raised by Greenstone who cited that the restriction can affect the owner’s ability to build a cover patio or other structure on their lot as they see fit at a later date.
The Planning Commission previously discussed this measure and ultimately voted 5-2 against recommending the Council approve it amid concerns that increased lot coverage would negatively impact curb appeal. Councilmember Moore was also opposed, speaking to protect the building code as written and against passing a law to help increase developer profits. One issue is that the city does not have a process for individuals to request a waiver for their unique circumstance making it an all or nothing situation.
Councilmember Dunne countered Moore’s remarks, supporting the amendment and business. Ultimately many noted that the increase to 60% is of a benefit to the citizen as more and more people look to build rancher style homes which require a larger footprint and may not be possible on standard lot sizes due to current restrictions.
The council took it to a vote which passed 4-1. Brickner, Dunne, Kaminskas and Kennedy voted for, Moore voted against, Langford abstained from voting citing strong personal opinions having built a new home recently, and Severs was not in attendance.
Liberty Lake City Council – November 19, 2019 Meeting / Public Hearing