Steve Backman is the kind of guy who notices things.
Four weeks ago Backman was watching a new home being built a few doors east of his home on the 7400 block of west Warren when he noticed a second story overhang that looked as if it encroached into the set back requirements.
Backman called the village and sure enough the second floor cantilevered roof encroached on the required set back of the property by one foot at the new home under construction.
That one foot will probably turn out to be an expensive one foot for builder Barney O’Reilly, because Monday night the zoning board of appeals unanimously voted to deny O’Reilly request for a variance for the two-story home he is building at 7436 Warren.
Even though O’Reilly had a building permit issued by the village’s building department on July 22, 2005 and was building the home according to the plans he had submitted to the village the vote by the zoning board of appeals will, if the Village Council follows the zoning board’s recommendation, cost what O’Reilly estimated as close to $50,000 to bring the house back in conformity with the village code.
The village requires a 10 percent setback and on this lot that means the home can have a footprint of no more than 30 feet. The first floor has a 30 foot footprint, but the second floor is 31 feet wide.
Once Backman notified the village, building department staff reviewed the plans and noticed that the blueprints called for a 31 foot wide second floor. The village ordered construction to cease.
Mike Boyle, the Director of Public Health and Safety for Forest Park, told the ZBA that he has instituted steps so that the village does not again approve plans that do not conform to village code.
Two different village building inspectors will now review all building plans, Boyle told the ZBA. One will look at the relevent zoning and lot area requirements while the other will look from a building code standpoint.
The home that O’Reilly is building is listed for $639,000 according to Gloria Backman.
O’Reilly said that he would have to take the roof off, take walls off and cut the deck to bring the home into conformity with village regulations.
“There is a big financial cost and implication for us,” said O’Reilly. O’Reilly argued that since he is building the house in accordance with the plans that the village approved he should be granted a variance.
“We didn’t realize we were impacting on side yard setback,” said O’Reilly.
But the ZBA did not buy that argument.
“If the cantilever was more noticeable on your plans I think Michael (Boyle) or some one from his department would have caught it,” Michael Curry, the chairman of the zoning board of appeals, told O’Reilly.
• In other action the ZBA also unanimously rejected a request for a variance that would allow the owners of a historic Victorian home and coach house to build a garage and extend the roof line of the Victorian home, built for Forest Park’s first mayor, Harold J. Mohr, at 447 Marengo.
The home is owned by Sharon Daly, a local realtor who lives with her 21 year old daughter on the second floor of the Victorian home, and her brother in law John Lukehart who lives in Oak Park. Tenants occupy the first floor of the Victorian and the coach house.
The property is currently nonconforming because the area is zoned for single family housing and the property lacks parking. Daly told the ZBA that she and Lukehart plan to eventually convert the Victorian home to a single family residence some years down the road.
The ZBA felt allowing another nonconforming use to an already nonconforming use would be granting the owners a special privilege. Members suggested that the owners wait until they are ready to reconvert the home back into a single family residence before seeking variances.
• The ZBA unanimously voted to recommend granting a variance to allow T-Mobile to build at 105 foot cell tower at the northwest corner of Roosevelt Road and Desplaines Avenue.