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Meeting set Tuesday for illegal carport discussion
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McMinnville Planning Commission members will be meeting Tuesday at noon to decide what should be done about illegally placed carports.
Members have two options: 1) Change the current code making some of them legal; 2) Send notices to approximately 40 property owners notifying them they are in violation of city code and their carports must be moved.
Commission members began considering the carport placement situation two months ago when they were informed by city codes enforcer Josh Baker that more than 40 carports have been illegally placed. The discussion was tabled in August and September.
If the code is changed, an aerial map that was done in 2010 by the Tennessee Property Assessor will be used to determine which of the 40 property owners will be grandfathered in, and which ones won’t.
“I discussed the situation with the city’s legal counsel and he thought it would be OK to use the aerial image,” said Baker. “Basically, if we can tell it was there at the time, it’s fine. If it was put in since then and it’s in violation and you guys want us to enforce what we have on the books currently, we are going to have about 40 people in violation and we will be asking them to move their carport.”
Current policy on where a carport can be placed varies depending on the property’s zoning:
• R1 — Carports in the front yard must be 40 feet from the road, carports in the side yard must be 15 feet from the property line, and carports in the side corner of the yard must be 40 feet from the property line.
• R2 — Carports in front yard must be 35 feet from the road, side yard must be 10 feet from the property line, and side corner must be 35 feet from the property line.
• R3 — Carports in front yard must be 35 feet from the road, side yard must be 10 feet from the property line, and side corner must be 35 feet from the property line.
• R4 — Carports in front yard must be 25 feet from the road, side yard must be 10 feet from the property line, and side corner must be 25 feet from the property line.
• R5 —Carports in front yard must be 30 feet from the road, side yard must be 15 feet from the property line, and side corner must be 30 feet from the property line.
City code currently does not put any distance restriction between carports and the property line if the carport is placed to the rear of the property.
A carport is defined as a free-standing roof structure designed or used to shelter vehicles, which is open on all sides. Carports maybe attached to the house where they will be open on all sides, excluding the wall of the principle structure where the carport is attached.
If the commission’s decision is to change city code, the measure must be presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for its consideration.