Public Hearing: Approval of Ordinance #1395, City Initiated Corner Lot Setbacks Text Amendment.
Draper City is requesting a text amendment change in the Draper City Municipal Code Section 9-3-040. The code currently says:
LOT, CORNER: A lot or parcel abutting two (2) intersecting or intercepting streets where the interior angle of intersection or interception does not exceed one hundred thirty five degrees. Corner lots shall have two (2) front yards and two (2) side yards.
The city is proposing to change the text in the code from “two side yards” to “two rear yards.” There is no proposed change to the current length of the setback, which depending on the zone, can vary from 8 feet to 12 feet. The proposed text amendment will clarify setback standards within agricultural and residential zones to account for the new definition of corner lots, eliminate confusing language, and eliminate ambiguity within Draper City Municipal Code Tables 9-9-2 and 9-10-3.
Will this text amendment change the setback requirements on my corner lot? No, everything will stay exactly the same.
Two Front Yards - 25’ - 30’ setback depending on zone.
Two Rear Yards – 8’- 12’ set back depending on zone.
Why does the city need to amend the text? An Appeals and Hearing Officer recently ruled on a case between two homeowners regarding a property dispute. The Hearing Officer determined that corner lots should have a front yard (25’ to 30’ setback) and a rear yard (20’ setback). As a result of this decision, it has created numerous nonconforming corner lots and impacted subdivision plats that were approved under the code’s longstanding definition for corner lots. The Hearing Officer’s decision changed the terminology and the rear setback requirements for corner lots, and essentially changed the set-back for a rear yard to 20 feet.
Why didn’t the city appeal this decision? The state legislature has vested the city council with sole authority to adopt land use regulations for Draper City.
Why is it important for the city to make this change to the city code now? The decision of the Hearing Officer changes the way Draper City has been interpreting the code for the past 30 years. This has a far-reaching effect, and many corner lots do not meet the setback requirements as interpreted by the Hearing Officer and are now nonconforming lots. Having a nonconforming lot makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a homeowner to add a deck or addition to their home.
The City needs to make a simple change to the city code to state every corner lot has two front yards and two rear yards (with an 8’ to 12’ setback, depending on zone). This change is consistent with how the city has been interpreting the code since at least 1990. The main focus of the amendment is to address the implications of the Hearing Officer’s decision.