Plymouth commission limits size of new houses

City’s example of “Big Foot” home under construction – Jenner Street. Plymouth Michigan



Jan. 16, 2017  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News



“During discussion of the ordinance, Pobur noted that this was a 40 percent reduction in allowed floor area for new home construction.”


Plymouth City Commissioner Colleen Pobur

More than 100 residents crowded the Plymouth City Commission meeting last week in response to a new ordinance which limits home sizes in the city.

The commissioners heard from several residents who were opposed to the current spate of “Bigfoot” homes being constructed on lots which formerly held smaller, older homes and from others who felt the new rules were much too restrictive.

A second reading of a new ordinance limiting the size of homes by a ratio of lot sizes was on the agenda for a second reading and approval by members of the commission.

The new limits were approve with only Commissioner Colleen Pobur casting a no vote on the new ordinance, saying that she felt it was too restrictive.

The new ordinance, the Floor Area Ratio Ordinance, was developed by members of the planning commission as an effort to curb the construction of large new homes or extensive remodeling homes on smaller lots.

The new ordinance is one of several recent changes in rules for new home construction in the city, according to officials, including restrictions on the size of garages which face the street and allowing larger porches.

The new ordinance floor area ratio will limit the size of houses that can be built on various size lots. Currently, a property 50 feet by 120 feet, would be allowed to construct a 4,200 square foot home. With the new ordinance, set to become effective next month, the building or remodeling would be limited to a maximum of 2,400 square feet.

The adopted restriction is a .4 floor area ratio, the lowest considered by members of the commission, although some audience members sought to make it even more restrictive. The ratio excludes garages but does include the total square footage of the home, preventing the construction of large second floor additions which previously could double the size of a home.

During discussion of the ordinance, Pobur noted that this was a 40 percent reduction in allowed floor area for new home construction.

Kevin O’Keefe, a developer currently building four homes in the city, said that the new rules would have prevented the construction of three of the houses. He said tearing down substandard homes built just after World War II and building newer homes for families is good for the community and the housing market.


Plymouth Voice


Gallery Photo: City of Plymouth

Content Photo: © Associated Newspapers

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