By Katie Fallon
The Board of Zoning Appeals has now paved the way for a local man who wants to put a swimming pool in his front yard.
At its May 10 meeting, the BZA unanimously approved a site plan now in its fourth incarnation. The original site plan was submitted on Dec. 5 of last year, with subsequent revisions submitted on Jan. 8, April 5 and April 25 due to noncompliance with the city’s site corrections.
Resident Tom Golub, represented by Southern Civil Engineers’ Peter Brady, requested four variances, two of which he needs to allow for the construction of both a pool and cabana in his front yard.
The issue dates back to Aug. 30 of last year when Golub was issued a stop work order by a city arborist for beginning pool construction without a permit at his home, which is located at 969 Crest Valley Road. The home is near Crest Valley Road’s intersection with Jett Forrest Trail and Jett Road.
Though the BZA approved Golub’s site plan as it currently stands, it did so while also attaching 14 conditions to the approval. One particular condition that worried both Brady and one resident who spoke in favor of the project was a requirement that overflow from the pool be directed into a local stream.
“Due to the fact the water is chlorinated, we would recommend against that,” Brady said.
Resident Patty Berkovitz, who is also a member of the city’s Citizen Advisory Committee for the Comprehensive Plan, said she too had concerns about requiring pool water to be diverted into a stream instead of a sewer system.
“We do not want chlorinated water going into the streams under any circumstances,” Berkovitz said.
However, Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning Michael Zehner said pool overflows are not generally pumped into a local, sanitary sewer system, but rather through a stream buffer.
“Our environmental engineer decided this was appropriate,” Zehner said.
Because of the layout of Golub’s property, Brady also said the front yard was actually the side yard and it also fronted on Jett Forrest Drive. The 35-feet of frontage on the northeast side of Jett Forrest Drive are part of Golub’s 2.17-acre property.
Brady has said Golub chose his current location for his pool and cabana because it will require less land disturbance and no clearing of trees or vegetation other than grass. He said if the pool was placed in the back yard, the land disturbance would require rock removal as well as create a hardship for Golub.
According to city documents, the location of Golub’s proposed pool was previously cleared for a backyard and retention pond.
Brady said the impact of Golub’s plan on the surrounding land will be negligible.
“We’re actually showing very little impact at all,” Brady said. “Most of it is because of construction and that is temporary.”
Even if Golub, who did not speak at the BZA meeting, complies with all of the BZA’s conditions, he must still get administrative approval from the city’s Public Works Department because his plans encroach into an existing ten-foot access easement servicing a water detention area.
The BZA includes chairman Al Pond, vice chairman Mark King and members Oz Hill, Ken Moller, Paul Reale and Ron Carpinella.