Silt cracks down on shed code enforcement
After two discussions over several months with the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Silt residents continue to voice their complaints about a crackdown of the town’s municipal code regarding sheds.
During Silt’s December planning and zoning meeting, Zebulon Roe said he felt the ticketing was arbitrary, and certain people in the community were being singled out.
The Planning and Zoning Commission began a discussion on June 6 about accessory buildings in Silt’s Spruce Meadows. To conclude the Dec. 5 hearing, Chair Meredith Robinson said the board was not going to find a solution that night and said this will be something they will have to look into further.
The issue of sheds in Silt came to light when several individuals in the Spruce Meadows subdivision wanted to get permits for sheds on their property, but could not because the proposed locations didn’t comply with city code. The applicants argued there were many illegal sheds in the subdivision that should be addressed.
Silt doesn’t employ an ordinance officer, and once the town receives a complaint, it is bound to investigate and bring properties into compliance. After an audit of Spruce Meadows, Silt sent notices to 14 noncompliant shed owners of the town’s backyard easements regarding sheds and accessory buildings.
According to the ordinance, Silt has a five-foot easement from the side lot lines, a 10-foot easement from all front lot lines and a 10-foot easement from the rear lot line. Accessory buildings, such as sheds, cannot be built on Silt easement. This means if a shed is against the back property line or the side property line, it needs to be moved in order to be compliant.
This upset several of the 14 property owners who felt singled out because the easement had not been an issue until now.
A Facebook post by Shauna Zelenka onto the Facebook page “Silt Happens” on Nov. 21 has received dozens of comments from Silt residents and town officials.
The shed easement became the focus of a heated discussion between several community members and the planning and zoning commission a few weeks later.
Jeff and Shauna Zelenka were among the first to speak and questioned why they were being targeted, especially since the shed was already there when Jeff Zelenka bought the property in 2006.
Zeb Roe demonstrated, with photos, that there are several sheds in neighboring subdivisions that weren’t in compliance, so he wanted to know why Spruce Meadows was being singled out.
“Nobody’s shed in this town bothers me,” he said.
When this was first discussed on June 6, Jack Arbaney said his shed had been there for more than nine years before he received a letter stating it was noncompliant.
Planning and Zoning commissioner Alex Sanchez said he understood that this is frustrating, but he, like other commission members, felt that little was going to get accomplished from back-and-forth after the conversation had become heated.
He said they will try to solve this problem, but admitted the town has to apply the same rules to everybody or give everybody a break.