Ryan Homes is a developer of residences in north Baldwin Borough's Breckenridge Highlands complex, and its request was for borough officials to make an exception to the amount of space required in the borough between a structure and the street that it sits along (known as "setback").
The impetus for the request is that Ryan wished to build "morning rooms" onto five future Breckenridge homes. The morning rooms are extra living spaces built onto residences' kitchens.
Ryan had hoped to lessen its required setback from 20 feet to 15 feet. As Barrett pointed out at an earlier council meeting, however, Ryan's 20-foot requirement is already down from an original 35-foot one.
Some council members have expressed concern that 15 feet is too close to the street, especially if driveways and sidewalks get involved.
The borough's Planning Commission had already rejected Ryan's request before it moved on to the council level for a possible overruling.
Amanda Anderle, a Ryan Homes sales manager, said in front of the council on Jan. 15 that homes with morning rooms would add to the overall size of those structures, meaning an increase in real estate tax revenue for the borough.
However, that argument was not enough to sway the council's decision.
Councilman John Ferris said on Jan. 15, "We can't keep making exceptions."
Ferris later added that, if the council continues to make exceptions to the borough's code (variances) for Ryan Homes, it would have a hard time enforcing its code in other places in the borough.
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