STONE HARBOR – Neighbors of a new home going up at 113th Street and Second Avenue have made numerous calls expressing concern with the house, borough construction official Ray Poudrier told the Borough Council Sept. 5. The home is being elevated to a level that puts its first floor and its pool area at the second-floor level of the other homes in the neighborhood.
Some property owners have said that this elevation is excessive and well above what the borough’s ordinances would require. The situation spotlights the borough’s lot-grading ordinance, which went through several changes as it was developed and adopted.
One concern raised was that the grading and crawl-space elevation could result in the home’s height coming in at over 43 feet. The council was urged to look at the spirit as well as the letter of the ordinance.
One resident used the public comment period of the council meeting to argue that the home’s first floor of living space is “12 feet above the ground,” putting it out of proportion to homes in the neighborhood, even those constructed in the last two years. She warned that in a major storm, runoff from this elevation could potentially head for the bird sanctuary across the street as well as into neighboring yards.
Poudrier said that the borough’s ordinance did not require this elevation in this area of the borough, which is characterized by higher ground. He added that the ordinance does not ban it, either. The home, he added, is within code. The high elevations required in the ordinance were meant for low street areas, mostly areas along the bayside.
The issue presents an example of the difficulties of designing lot-grading and elevation regulations in a community like Stone Harbor. Poudrier said he had been asked by concerned citizens to bring the issue to the council’s attention.
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