LV Garage Ordinance
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11-01-2007: Lewisville Garage Ordinance

The Lewisville Council is talking about restricting people from converting garages to a living area.  Basically they will deny a permit unless a home owner can build another garage before converting the existing garage.  This will only be done with properties that have room on the property.  It will not affect those who already received a permit to convert their garage in the past.  I have heard pros and cons to restricting what a home owner can do to their property.  You still need a permit to add on to the home.

 

I SUPPORT an ordinance of this type for the following reasons:

 - In order to build a house in Lewisville it must have at least a one car garage.  The person who built it is the home owner until they sell it.  For a home owner to move in and the next day convert the garage defeats the purpose of the ordinance in the first place.  I moved into my neighborhood knowing that all the houses have a standard. I believe that this standard should be kept the same. Removing a garage is like removing one of the two bathrooms in a home to make it a storage closet. In both cases it lowers the value of the house which affects the others in the neighborhood.
 - The building code ordinances to build homes in a neighborhood seem to serve a purpose to protect other homeowners property values and keep the neighborhood looking uniform.  I can see the benefits of this reasoning.

 - The home was designed to be a set number of rooms with a garage.  A homeowner has to get a permit to add another room if they need another room or sell to buy a larger home.  Likewise, if a family was living in an apartment and they needed another room, they would rent a larger apartment.
 - The neighborhood should be built to the minimum specifications as it was intended to be. I assume that adding on to a structure has to be approved with a permit which I hope would include the exterior look, etc... In some neighborhoods, I have seen houses add a second floor – if the neighborhood will absorb the look.

 - I understand the concept that a person owns a house but they really do not as we seem to pay taxes on it forever. The only thing an owner has is a higher level of privacy. Besides, if the City wanted to build a stadium for a sports team, then the home owners will be evicted like Arlington and the new Cowboys Stadium. Another example, if you are Jed Clampitt of The Beverly Hillbillies fame, you cannot shoot a gun on your property.  If the crude was bubbling out of the ground, it belongs to the company that owns the mineral rights of your property.  As home owners, you might not own the mineral rights.

 - I do not think my neighbor has the right to burn their house down either.  Nor do they have a right to demolish it. Allow the roof to cave in. Allow goats to be raised in their backyard (yes, this was next door - they had a BBQ and no more goat).

 - Though parking is an issue in some areas of the City, it is not the main reason to have a garage.  Most people use their garage for storage anyway.  I personally do not care if they use the garage as a storage area, work area, or a place to park the cars. I think that when they move out, it should still be a garage as it was originally intended to be.
 

I do not want the outside changed. I also want Single Family Dwellings to be just that. I did not move into a neighborhood that was going to have houses packed full of people (families).  I might as well have bought a condo or moved into the budget suites apartments.

 

 That's the way I see it - John Gorena


11-05-2007:  Council dumps garage ordinance Vote 3-2.
There was some discussion and I was quite surprised that the supporters were councilmen Greg Tierny and Dean Uekert.  These two were actually very logical  about the reasoning to have the ordinance.  They kind of had some of the same reasons that I have said above.  All agreed that there is a problem with people converting their garages but did not really know the answer to the problem.  They also seem to be stating the reason is parking and emergency vehicles not being able to go down some streets because of the parking.

Note: I was elected to Lewisville Council in June of 2009


04-04-2011: Council Considers recommendation from Neighborhood Preservation Committee:

  • ITEM 11. Consideration of an Ordinance Amending the Lewisville City Code Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations by Prohibiting the Conversion, Enclosure or Alteration of a Garage for Non-Parking Use in Single Family Dwellings.
    • This item was tabled until the next meeting on 04-18-2011

04-18-2011:  Council Bans Garage Conversions.  The following is from the Minutes of the meeting:

Tabled Item: Consideration of an Ordinance Amending the Lewisville City Code Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations by Prohibiting the Conversion, Enclosure or Alteration of a Garage for Non-Parking Use in Single Family Dwellings, as Requested by Councilman David Thornhill (Agenda Item H-11)
     This item was tabled at the April 4, 2011 City Council meeting. Currently the Lewisville City Code does not specifically prohibit conversion, enclosure or alteration of any garage for any purpose. Due to increasing traffic loads and inadequate off-street parking, the Neighborhood Preservation Committee reviewed and discussed this item as a part of their study and has recommended this item for approval. Staff presented the Neighborhood Preservation Committee’s final report at this year’s City Council Retreat. Although the complete final report is not being considered at this time, Councilman Thornhill requested this item be brought to Council for consideration.
     The City staff’s recommendation was that the City Council approve the proposed ordinance as set forth in the caption above.
     Councilman Thornhill advised that he had requested this item be placed on the agenda following the receipt of the Neighborhood Revitalization Committee’s recommendations regarding enclosed garages as he wanted it to come before the City Council for a vote.
     Mayor Ueckert advised of this item coming before the City Council three or four years ago and that it had not passed at that time. Discussion was held that the City requires any home built in Lewisville to have a one car garage. Mayor Ueckert expressed his concern that it is required when built and then once someone closes on the house then they can turn around and enclose the garage and make an additional room. He stated that he was in favor of this and was glad that the committee had gone over this topic extensively. He further stated that he felt it would help in alleviating some of the situations in the City where people are parking in their yards. Mayor Ueckert clarified with Director of Community Development Eric Ferris that someone could enclosed their garage if they had enough room to build an additional garage on their property.
     Councilman Watts indicated that was not in favor of this change and that if he wanted to enclose his garage on his own property then that was his right. He stated that if he was not in support of this change for himself, he was not going to approve for the residents.
     Councilman Gorena advised that he agreed with Mayor Ueckert and found it illogical to require the house to be built with a garage and then once an owner moved in they can make changes to the structure.
     Mayor Pro Tem Durham advised that he was still against this item. He stated that as far as market value, an enclosed garage might decrease the value of the home and that it did not add value unless an additional garage was added.
Eric Ferris, Director of Community Development, was present to respond to any questions posed by the City Council.
     City Attorney Lizbeth Plaster read the ordinance caption into the record as follows:  “An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Lewisville, Texas, Amending the Lewisville City Code, Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations; by Prohibiting the Conversion, Enclosure, or Alteration of a Garage for Non-Parking use in Single-Family Attached or Detached Dwellings; Providing a Repealer; Providing for Severability; Providing for a Penalty; Providing an Effective Date”

  • MOTION: Upon a motion made by Councilman Thornhill and seconded by Councilman Gorena, the Council voted three (3) “ayes” and two (2) “nays,” with Councilman Watts and Mayor Pro Tem Durham casting the negative votes , (due to the tie vote Mayor Ueckert was required to vote on this item) to approve and adopt an ordinance as previously captioned. The motion carried.
  • Present:
    Dean Ueckert, Mayor - Aye
    Greg Tierney (absent) - NOTE:  Lewisville Councilman Tierney had resigned in February of  due to a DWI arrest.  You can Google it.  I will not comment any further about this here.
    David Thornhill - Aye
    Lathan Watts - Nay
    John Gorena - Aye
    Rudy Durham - Nay

  


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John Gorena 972-315-0496