Tall Sequim garages on city agenda today
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Ken and Kathleen Burrer's garage on Fir Street in Sequim prompted city leaders to look into the need for new regulations.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– City leaders are considering new rules to limit the sizes of garages that can now be built twice as tall and five times as large as Sequim's average house.

The city's Planning Commission will discuss garage sizes at its meeting today at 6 p.m. in the Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

Any action would affect garage sizes only within the city limit.

Community Development Director Chris Hugo said residents approached the city after Ken and Kathleen Burrer built a two-story garage behind their home on Fir Street.

“We had quite a few people come in and ask if they could build a garage that big,” Hugo said.

Some neighbors objected to the Burrers' garage, Hugo said, which blocked the view some homeowners had of the Olympic Mountains.

Hugo said the current code only required that the Burrers' garage pass a plan review and building inspection.

The Burrer garage was pictured on the city's newsletter, announcing meetings on whether the city should develop new limits on the size of garages and other accessory structures — and if so, what those limits should be.

Hugo said there are five or six large garages that have been built inside the city, primarily for storage of tall recreational vehicles.

Sequim zoning ordinances currently allow garages to be built up to five times as large and twice as tall as the average home in Sequim, Hugo said.

Current code allows garages to be built up to 35 feet tall.

Hugo noted that the height of a building is measured at the midpoint of the roof gable, which means a steeply angled roof could exceed 35 feet.

There apparently is a difference of opinion on the Planning Commission — which advises the City Council on such issues as building heights — on regulating the size of garages.

At the commission's Jan. 8 meeting, Commissioner Jon Wendt said secondary structures should be smaller than the accompanying home on the lot, while Vice Chair Barbara Sanford said she would not support height restrictions.

Hugo advised planning commissioners to look around the city to see if any structures feel out of scale.

For more information, contact Hugo at 360-681-3435 or chugo@sequimwa.gov.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 18. 2013 5:54PM
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