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Casey: Size limit is wrong

Friday, August 29, 2014 - Updated: 8:34 AM



PISECO -- Code Enforcement Officer John Casey has approached the Arietta Planning Board about a project he is planning and to notify it of an apparent error in interpreting the Town of Arietta Land Use Ordinance.

He would like to put up a pre-fabricated 2,016 square-foot steel building on his property. In the past accessory structures have been limited to 1,250 square feet.

Casey says the code has been interpreted incorrectly regarding the size limit on an accessory structure.

The property is in District 74, the use designation is Single Family Residence and the intensity designation is Resource Management. Accessory buildings are allowed.

According to Casey, "We're having a disagreement over how many square feet constitute a principle building. For many, many years we went by one interpretation. Then I looked into it."

Apparently there is some feeling on the Planning Board that an accessory structure greater than 1,250 square feet constitutes a principal building.

The last sentence in the land use ordinance's definition of a Principal Building says, "An accessory structure does not constitute a principal building." The land use ordinance says nothing about the size of accessory buildings.

"I'm waiting for the deputy building inspector to make a decision," Casey said Aug. 27.


Members of the Planning Board feel this would be a matter for the Zoning Board of Appeals, as it would increase the non-conformity of the property. Casey had to get a variance for the 3,056 square-foot home he built at 939 State Route 8.

"In my opinion there is no limit on the size of an accessory building," Casey says. "If the deputy building inspector disagrees I'll be going to the ZBA just like anyone else."


When the ZBA receives an application for a special use permit it must hold a public hearing. If a permit is issued conditions may be attached. The project then goes to the Planning Board for review and approval of the site plan.

The Planning Board is concerned about how it would appear if Casey gets a permit for such a large accessory building, since history shows others were held to the 1,250-square-foot interpretation.

The next regular meeting of the Arietta Planning Board will be Tuesday, Sept. 9, starting at 6 p.m.

Note: This article is partially based on draft minutes of the Arietta Planning Board meeting of Aug. 12, 2014 as provided by Secretary Marie Buanno.


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