The Santa Fe-style home we designed for Paul & Judy Albers in Roxborough State Park provided us with a challenging site. Due to the deep drainage ditch in the rear portion our building envelope was very shallow and we submitted to Douglas County Zoning for an administrative variance to decrease the front setback.
An administrative variance is allowed when the request is 35% or less. A larger request has to go through the Board of Adjustment.
In this case, a 35% decrease in the front setback gave us 7′ of encroachment from Douglas County’s 20’ front setback requirement. Roxborough’s front setback is 25’, and we were able to get a 12’ encroachment from the Roxborough Design Review Committee, putting us at exactly 13’ from the property line. This bought us a lot more room to fit the house on the site and still stay 5’ from the rear ditch.
Douglas County liked our detailed Site Plan so much they requested to use it as an example for their public outreach documents to help guide people through the variance process. We spoke to the client and are very happy that our work is now being used as an example for other owners, architects and engineers.