By Bryan Boggiano
The city commission approved updating an ordinance at their April 6 meeting addressing accessory structures and how far they must be set back from property lines.
The amended accessory structures ordinance includes new rules on mechanical equipment, basketball hoops, screen enclosures, portable storage units, sheds, and freestanding accessory buildings.
Currently, pools must have at least a seven-and-a-half foot setback from the property line, and patios must be set back five feet.
Screen enclosures must be set back at least 15 feet, the same as the main structure on a residential property. Under the new accessory structures ordinance, the setback would be seven-and-a-half feet.
The current accessory structures code does not mention any restrictions on above or underground mechanical equipment.
Under the new code, mechanical equipment such as air conditioners would be allowed in a side yard, at least four feet from the property line.
Underground mechanical equipment like propane tanks would be allowed in front yards, but they have to be four feet from the property line and 10 feet from any street side lot line.
For basketball hoops, the current code states that permanent basketball hoops are allowed in front yards as long as they are 10 feet from the property line.
The proposed code change states that portable basketball hoops must be located within the property lines and cannot be in the streets permanently.
Under the proposed changes, the maximum area for sheds allowed would increase from 100 to 150 square feet.
Portable storage units would be allowed on residential properties for five consecutive days or ten days within a year.
The current code only allows these structures on properties for three consecutive days or six days within the year.
Freestanding structures such as tiki huts and carports would be allowed inside the rear yards. However, they must be at least five feet from the lot’s line and 10 feet from the interior street property line.
The structures would also have to be decorative, compatible with the house architecture and roof pitch. The structures would also be forbidden from exceeding 80 percent of the main structure’s height and must never exceed 14 feet.
The updated changes also include walkway, sidewalk, and driveway setbacks.
Currently, sidewalks are permitted in rear and side yards with a four-foot minimum setback.
Under the new code, sidewalks would have a setback of at least half of the width of a sidewalk. If a sidewalk is six feet wide, it would have to be set back three feet from the property line.
The minimum distance that a sidewalk could be set back is three feet.
Under the new accessory structures code, driveways must be located at least five feet from any side property line. Circular driveways must have a five-foot setback from the center of the arch to the property line.
The commission approved the ordinance updates unanimously. They will vote on the ordinance amendments again on the second reading at their April 20 meeting at City Hall, located at 9500W. Sample Road.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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