Frank Street lot combination request granted
After postponing a decision on a request for a lot combination for 211 and 227 W. Frank Street at their meeting on Monday, June 8, in order for commissioners to receive clarification on part of an ordinance, Birmingham City Commissioners approved the request at their meeting on Monday, June 22. The proposed lot combination of two small 40-foot lots at the southeast corner of Frank and Henrietta was submitted by mayor Pierre Boutros, who recused himself from the discussions. In his application, he said he and his family have outgrown their home on Hawthorne Street in Birmingham and are looking to build a home that better fits their needs with three children. City planning director Jana Ecker said, “At the June 8 city commission meeting, the commissioners asked for a discussion with the planning board at the joint meeting. We did have some conversation about it. When the planning board goes through the criteria for lot combinations, we lof the proposed building footprint. We look at the street rhythm and we look at the house layout relative to the street. For this one, we're talking about tonight, it's on a corner. As for elements, we look at how it will impact the neighborhood.” Previously, Ecker presented the lot combination request, stating one of the current lots has a house and shed on it, which would be brought down, while the other lot is vacant. She said a new house would be built facing Frank Street, and is consistent with zoning and other lots and parcels in the area, as well as the city's master plan. “In this case, it will line up with what is there on both Henrietta and Frank,” noted commissioner Stuart Sherman. “On the second (vacant) lot, the buildable footprint, it's only about 1,000 square feet if it's not combined. This was clearly something that we would allow when we look at combining lots rather than some of the others which we wouldn't.” While noting the ordinance still needed work, and reading from previous minutes where commissioners Nickita, Sherman, Longe, Baller and Host all stated reservations with the existing ordinance, commissioner Rackeline Hoff said she would support the current lot combination. Commissioners voted 6-0 to approve the lot combination, with Boutros recused.