The Oak Creek Town Board granted Brett KenCairn the building height variance that he requested at a meeting Thursday night, and the town likely will end up with an updated element to its land-use code because of his minor permit predicament.
"I have had nothing but positive experiences in dealing with Oak Creek, and I am grateful for their support in resolving all these matters," KenCairn said.
The two-story house KenCairn designed as part of a three-home affordable housing project at the corner of Arthur Avenue and Williams Street in Oak Creek is 29 feet tall. That is four feet taller than the acceptable height for new construction in Oak Creek. Anything taller than 25 feet "must demonstrate to the town that scenic views and vistas from existing structures will not be blocked or impaired by the development as proposed," according to the town's land-use code.
The Town Board was convinced by KenCairn's drawings and letters of support showing that his proposed house would not obstruct his neighbors' views.
The five board members present also unanimously agreed that the town's current 25-foot height restriction should be amended to reflect a taller height in the near future, before more building permits come up for review. The Sierra View subdivision that recently was annexed by Oak Creek will generate more than 50 new building permits at build-out. The subdivision could face this same issue if people decide to build two-story houses.
Steamboat Springs and Routt County have 35-foot height restrictions, KenCairn said. But he estimated that changing Oak Creek's restriction to 30 feet high would be less obtrusive and accommodate most two-story houses.Town Board members recommended that a formal height revision in Oak Creek's land-use code be placed on the Town Board meeting agenda as soon as possible.
In other town board business, Public Works Director Jim Photos announced that Oak Creek's updated water plant should be on line within two to three weeks. Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman also announced the resignations of Police Chief Tim Willert and Town Treasurer Mindy Willert.