By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer


At its meeting on May 31, the Carbondale Board of Adjustment (BOA) voted 5-0 to deny a building permit previously issued to Pat Kiernan for a single-family structure at 728 Euclid Ave.

Kiernan has 28 days to appeal the BOA in district court, according to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.). Kiernan was unavailable for comment for this article. (Provigil)

More than a dozen residents on Euclid, Sopris Avenue and Eighth Street appealed town staffer John Plano’s decision to issue Kiernan a building permit earlier in the year. The BOA held a public hearing on the issue on May 11. After comments from opponents and proponents for the building permit, the BOA instructed town staff to prepare a “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,” which the board used as the basis for overturning Plano’s decision to issue the building permit.

Kiernan’s building permit application called for a five bedroom, 4,455-square-foot house (with basement and second floor on a 1,485-square-foot foot print) on the 7,040-square-foot lot, according to documents filed at town hall. Each of the three upstairs bedrooms included a bathroom and small “studio.”

One of the appellants’ initial objections to Kiernan’s structure was that it could be turned into a boarding house, which is not allowed in the OTR (old town residential) zone district.

In the “Reasons for the Decision” section of the “Findings of Fact,” staff presented two reasons for denying the building permit:

The structure’s design was “not consistent with the historic character of Old Town”;

The applicant did not submit a landscape plan or a “shading analysis.”

The “Finds of Facts” stated in one section, “Compliance with UDC (the Uniform Development Code) is not just about quantitative dimensional standards – qualitative standards apply too.”

It continued to say, “existing homes in the OTR zone district are generally designed as not just one box, but rather a series of connected boxes,” and that “ … the Applicant’s design consists of just one large box with two above-ground floors and one below ground.”

The “Findings of Facts” in this section concludes, “ … the proposed building presents too much mass and scale for the neighborhood, resulting in non-compliance with the purpose section of the OTR zone district … as this section states that special emphasis shall be placed on the unique home sizes characteristic of the OTR zone district.”

For the complete document, please click here.

Kiernan asked to appeal the board of adjustment’s decision at the board of trustees meeting on June 13. After Kiernan’s presentation and a few comments from the trustees, town attorney Mark Hamilton said he thought the BOA was “thoughtful” at its May 31 meeting and it was a “fair process.” He concluded, “In my view, the board of adjustment has the final say on this.” The trustees didn’t vote on Kiernan’s request, but Richardson closed his remarks by telling Kiernan “it doesn’t look like” the board wants to consider his appeal.