by Pam Zubeck
The property is zoned R2 and is 7500 square feet in area. R2 zoning allows a single-family dwelling and an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) as a “use by right”, provided that the lot area is at least 6000 square feet. Therefore, in this case, the property meets the zoning requirements to have a single-family home and an ADU. Because ADUs are permitted as uses by right, no public or surrounding property owner notification is required by City Code. (The process is essentially the same as for building a single-family home.) Furthermore, this project did not seek any variances or administrative relieves [sic] that would trigger notification.
Per City Code, ADUs must me smaller in square footage than the primary house and are limited to 750 square feet. The height limit for ADUs is 25 feet. The minimum side and rear setbacks for freestanding ADUs is 5 feet.
Due to the citizen inquiry, Neighborhood Services staff went out to the site and measured the height and setbacks. They measured the building height to be approximately 22' from top to bottom. Both the side-yard setback (west) and the rear-yard setback (south) were measured at approximately 5', based on the apparent property lines.
I apologize for not responding sooner I but wanted to take the time to conduct a complete investigation into your concerns. I can address your concerns from a building code perspective but not a land use perspective; the City of Colorado Springs is responsible for land use and zoning; Regional Building is responsible for building code compliance.The Knaufs tell the Indy a compromise might be in the works that would involve adding a barrier to the new building so that line of sight would be restricted.
While I completely understand your concerns I can find no violations of the building code that would warrant a stop work order or a halt of construction. The building code regulates construction from a life safety perspective. Locally, we have adopted the International Residential Code; this code is used almost exclusively across the United States. I understand one of your concerns is fire. The building code requires any wall built closer than 5’ to a property line to be constructed as a 1hr wall without openings. In this case the walls are located 5’ from the property line and a fire rating is not required. Further, I understand your concern regarding the size and height of the structure. While the IRC does regulate height, this structure is well below the maximum threshold. There is also no restriction from a building code perspective in relation to square footage.
I should point out that land use and zoning regulations also address building setbacks, height, and possibly square footage requirements. These are addressed by the City of the Colorado Springs and I understand they are also investigating your concerns.
I am sorry I cannot help you further but I am happy to address any questions that you might have. Please keep in mind that as the Building Official for Regional Building I can only address building code related issued (as opposed to land use).