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Avondale Estates City Commission to discuss an accessory dwelling unit variance request

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Avondale Estates City Commission to discuss an accessory dwelling unit variance request

Avondale Estates City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet on Wednesday, June 14, at 5:30 p.m. for a regular meeting, followed by a work session. The city commission meeting will be held at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

During the work session, the city commission will discuss a variance request for an accessory dwelling unit. The homeowners of 14 Dartmouth Ave. are seeking to demolish an existing detached garage and rebuild a one-story studio. 

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-301-715-8592. The webinar ID is 830 5573 6705.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

Public comments can be made either by attending the meeting in-person or through Zoom.

The studio would have an upper loft and be in the rear yard of the home. The ADU would be used as an office, storage space, and additional entertainment space. It would be built on the existing foundation of the garage, but the current garage is nonconforming to the city’s zoning code.

“The current garage is non-conforming because it has a side setback of 1.7 feet with a required setback of 12 feet,” the city staff application review states. “The applicant proposes to increase the height of the nonconforming structure by 4′ 3″ (from 12′ 3″ to 16′ 5 3/4″) within a nonconforming side yard setback. The increase in height is an expansion of a nonconforming structure which is not permitted by the zoning ordinance.”

The proposed project requires a variance because of the increase in height.

During the regular meeting, the city commission will consider adopting an administrative fee ordinance and amending the alcohol ordinance to allow farm winery tasting rooms.

For a business to operate as a farm winery and a tasting room, it has to obtain federal, state, and local licenses. Currently, the city of Avondale Estates does not have a provision in its alcohol ordinance that would allow for a farm winery or tasting room.

Businesses can currently manufacture and sell beer and spirits according to the city’s alcohol ordinance.

The city commission is also considering an administrative fee ordinance to allow the city manager to establish and update the fees regularly. The city charges fees for various permits, licenses, and other administrative tasks. The city has not updated its fees in several years.

Currently, those fees are set by multiple ordinances, and the city didn’t have a mechanism to update the fees regularly.

“The impetus behind an administrative fee is that you are charging the applicant for the time spent by city staff to perform that work, so you’re recovering the cost incurred by the city through that fee,” City Manager Patrick Bryant said.

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