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Variance request reviewed

The White Hall Planning Commission met last week with one item on the agenda. A public hearing was held to discuss a variance request by Robert Pennington.

Pennington currently owns property at 712 Gandy Road on which a single family home is located. Earlier this year, Pennington requested a permit to add another mobile home to the property. The permit was granted based on a surveyor’s report that showed that the section of land that he owned contained more than one lot.

According to Pennington, he began dirt work as soon as he received verbal approval.

“I spent around $5,200 before I got shut down on the eighth of June. I have spent almost $5,600 on this property to get it ready for this home,” Pennington said.

He continued, “I need to know where I stand.”

While the land was being excavated, an existing sewer line was found on Pennington’s property that ran to a residence on a different lot. Pennington brought it to the attention of the city which prompted a second look at his original request. It was discovered that the parcel was not legally subdivided. This caused the project to come to an abrupt halt.

According to Section 153.63 (I) of the city of White Hall Subdivision Code, all lots must front or abut a public street.

Pennington is now formally requesting a variance to waive the requirements of this code.

After Pennington’s statement and a discussion, Mayor Noel Foster addressed the commission. He talked about the concerns from the stand point of city.

“I would like to find a way to accommodate Mr. Pennington without exposing the city to unnecessary liabilities or setting a precedent for this in the future,” Foster said.

Foster asked the commission to consider tabling the request so that more time could be spent looking for a solution that would accommodate everyone.

“I would like for us to look for some type of amicable solution. No matter how you cut it, regional planning gave him permission and we followed through with it until we realized there was a problem,” Foster said.

With several scenarios presented as solutions, the commission made the decision to table the matter so that more research could be done.