By Conrad Dudderar
A desire for Yukon homeowners to install accessory structures on their properties has prompted city officials to consider increasing permitted lot coverage.
The Yukon Planning Commission has voted 5-0 to approve a request to change city ordinance so more of a property’s lot area may be covered with improvements. The recommendation will be considered at an upcoming city council meeting.
Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort, during the July 19th planning commission meeting, explained the proposal to increase allowed coverage from 35% to 40% in R-1 (single-family) and R-2 (combined residential) zoning districts.
The reason is the increasing instances in which homeowners must seek variances from the Board of Adjustments to construct carports, sheds, home additions, and more on their properties.
“We’ve had quite a few requests from (homeowners) having to go to the Board of Adjustments,” Hort told planning commissioners. “We’ve had so many we’re bringing this to you tonight to look at changing the lot coverage from 35% to 40%.”
Lot coverage accounts for all structures covered by a roof. It does not include driveways, sidewalks and other paved surfaces.
Hort referred to an analysis by city staff of maximum lot coverage percentages in the central Oklahoma municipalities of Yukon, Oklahoma City, El Reno, Mustang, Norman, Moore, Shawnee, and Piedmont.
The average lot coverage for single-family zoning districts is 37.14%, ranging from 50% in Oklahoma City to 25% in Piedmont. Average lot coverage for two-family zoning districts is 39.28%, ranging from 50% in Oklahoma City to 30% in Mustang.
‘A LITTLE RESTRICTIVE’
Area and height regulations for the City of Yukon’s R-1 and R-2 zoning districts were last amended by ordinance in 2000.
Increasing minimum lot coverage to 40% in Yukon would reduce how many Yukon homeowners have to seek variances from the Board of Adjustments.
“We feel right now the 35% that we have is a little restrictive,” Hort said. “We’d like to go to 40%.”
Most lot coverage variance requests before the board are for between 35-40%.
“There will still be some that go over that, but we feel like the 40% would get most – but not all of them,” Hort added. “We are comfortable with 40%.”
Seeking a city code variance “gets pretty expensive” – around $600-$800 for the application and all related costs, Yukon’s assistant CM noted.
A comprehensive update to Yukon’s zoning code is underway and should be finished in early 2022.
As part of the process, Yukon city officials may consider limiting how many accessory structures someone may have in their backyard.
“We have some that have three or four,” Hort said.
An accessory structure may not be used as a residential unit under Yukon city ordinance.