I have introduced legislation that would modify the zoning overlay that governs what can be built on riverfront lots and where. This legislation will be considered by City Council in January and I have held a number of small group discussions with impacted lot owners to gather comments and suggestions.
The bill number is 2015-834 and you can access a copy online through the coj website or at the following address: http://cityclts.coj.net/coj/COJBillList.asp?Bill=2015-0834
It amends the San Marco zoning overlay that is codified in section 656.399 of the Ordinance Code and can be accessed at the following link:
The clarification is necessary because of confusion regarding “front” and “back” yards. The overlay does not define these so we rely on the City zoning definitions which make the riverfront a second front yard. As such, the front yard setbacks would apply unless otherwise specified (they are specified along River Road between River Oaks and Sorrento but not between Sorrento and Landon) and accessory uses such as summer kitchens, swimming pools, etc. are prohibited in the riverfront yard. This is certainly contrary to the long established pattern of development. So, I have drafted language to clarify that the riverfront of these lots is the back yard, accessory uses less than 4 feet in height are permissible by right, and in certain locations accessory uses of limited size up to 15 feet in height can be permitted by administrative deviation so long as they are sited so as not to obstruct the river view of neighboring lots. Applicable distances and sizes vary depending on lot location and size. The permissible locations for the primary residential structure is not changing.