Neighbors met this week to discuss how to regulate sidewalks, parking, land use and lot coverage in the Lakewood Conservation District expansion ordinance.
This was the second post-application meeting held by the Department of Planning and Urban Design for neighbors in the expansion area. At the first, the only item discussed was driveways.
About 30 people attended the second meeting, a smaller turnout than the first. Another change was that City staff provided sheets for participants to jot down comments about different development standards — such as driveways, sidewalks and lot coverage — to be regulated.
However, meeting attendees still had the opportunity to share their opinions out loud.
Trevor Brown, a chief planner, began the meeting with a recap of the driveway discussion from last time. For the most part, neighbors agreed with his summary of four takeaways:
- Most people agreed with the language in the existing conservation district ordinance, except the width of the driveway should be less than 24 feet; 12 feet seemed to be a popular measurement suggested.
- Neighbors wanted permeability of materials to be considered.
- Existing circular driveways should be allowed to be rebuilt, and there should be consideration to allow them on larger lots.
- Ribbon driveways should be allowed with gravel or another permeable paving as filling between the strips.
Then the conversation moved on to sidewalks, land use and parking, and lot coverage.
Most people said they agreed with the language in the existing Lakewood Conservation District ordinance, which is that no more than 30% of the front yard can be covered in non-permeable paving material.
Neighbors said stone walkways exist in the neighborhood, and some didn’t like exposed aggregate as an allowed material. There were different opinions about non-contiguous driveways; some people didn’t think they should be allowed, but others said they should be allowed if it matches the style of the home, and exceptions should be in place for non-contributing properties.
Land use and parking
The existing conservation district ordinance requires at least two off-street parking spaces per dwelling unit. Also, it allows only one dwelling unit per lot, though an exception can be acquired from the Board of Adjustment for an additional deed-restricted dwelling unit as long as it is not rented and doesn’t negatively affect neighbors.
A dwelling unit must have a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, and the kitchen must include a stove, refrigerator and sink.
Neighbors said that there are a few duplexes in the area, and many homes have a separate dwelling unit original to the home in the rear of the property. They agreed that one dwelling unit and one accessory dwelling unit should be allowed.
They also said they agreed with the requirement of at least two off-street parking spaces per dwelling unit. One person suggested they adopt something similar to a line in the Kessler Park Conservation District ordinance, which requires boats, trailers and RVs to be parked to the rear of the house, “screened from view from any street.”
The existing Lakewood Conservation District ordinance allows for a maximum lot coverage of 45%. Brown said most properties in the neighborhood tend to cover about 30% of the lot. However, neighbors mentioned that it seems like newer builds reach the 45% maximum.
They agreed that the 45% maximum should apply to existing structures, but new construction should be limited to a smaller percentage for lot coverage.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 26 at Samuell-Grand Recreation Center. It will begin at 6 p.m.
If you live in the expansion area and would like to share additional comments about sidewalks, lot coverage, land use or parking, you can email Trevor Brown at email@example.com. Meeting presentations and recordings can be viewed here.