Less than a month after San Anselmo City Councilman Ford Greene issued an apology for cursing out Town Manager Debbie Stutsman, Greene heads back before the Planning Commission, this time for a design review on a 53-square-foot shed along the southern edge of the property he owns at 711-715 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
Greene's appearance before the commission is the latest move in an ongoing battle with City Hall over his attempts to maintain his residence on the first floors of the historic two-story building, a unit that violates current zoning and thus requires special approval, according to city officials.
The tension and controversy that shrouded the issue appears to have died down since Greene issued an apology for berating Stutsman in a January phone call. The apology came on the heels of Greene being chastised by his fellow councilmembers for "abusive and unprofessional behavior" and told to "cease any further oral communications with town staff regarding your application. Any further communications about your application should be in writing or through your architect or attorney," according to the Marin Independent Journal.
At a Feb. 4 meeting, the Planning Commission began considering a request for design review to construct a 66 square foot shed/wall with a height ranging from 12 to 19 feet, which was denied. There was not enough time to review a revised plan, so it was rescheduled for the upcoming meeting.
The revised plans propose a shed abutting the southern property line with a total area of 53 square feet and a height of 14 feet, according to town staff reports.
The proposed shed would be located between an existing barn and the adjacent building to the southeast. The shed roof on the structure slopes away from the project parcel. A door and window are proposed facing the interior yard of the parcel to provide access and natural light to the shed.
It’s the latest public forum for Greene’s property, which includes two residential units occupied by tenants on the second flood and Greene’s law office also on the second floor.
Last month, town staff determined there is no evidence that Greene’s apartment was legally created to be a residential unit. Greene appealed that decision to the planning commission, who voted on the matter in February and upheld town staff’s decision.
Toward the end of 2011, Councilman Jeff Kroot wrote a letter to town officials asking the town to review “illegal construction” at the site, according to the Marin IJ.
Before Kroot wrote to the town, Greene had criticized Kroot for upgrades to his home he did that barely missed design review requirements.
At the Feb. 4 hearing, San Anselmo Town Manager Debbie Stutsman said the town treats everyone equally, and planning commissioners stood behind the staff’s initial decision on the property – that Greene wasn’t supposed to be living in the unit because it is zoned for commercial uses.
You can find the agenda and staff report attached at right and here.
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