Each type of land use is placed into a particular category or classification which regulates such things as uses, lot size, building size, parking requirements, height restrictions, and building setback requirements.
The building setback is the minimum horizontal distance between the building foundation line and the property line. On the street side of the property the distance is measured from the building foundation line to the property line, not the street. In residential areas these distances have been set in order for the property owners and their neighbors to enjoy some privacy and for the purpose of providing enough room for fire protection from neighboring dwellings.
We realize that there are occasions when a property owner wishes to expand an existing dwelling, add a carport, or build a new home in the older parts of our community where the lots are much smaller than what are now allowed. In these cases this construction would exceed the setback requirements of our zoning laws. Appeals for variances to these setback requirements are provided by state law, R.S. 33:4727, which designates that all communities with zoning requirements shall provide for a Board of Adjustments to hear such appeals and to determine whether or not such variances should be granted. The Port Allen Board of Adjustments has been established for this purpose as set forth in Section 10.1. Appeals, in our zoning regulations.
The Board meets regularly, as required by law, on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Council Meeting Room at City Hall, 375 Court Street whenever there is a variance request to consider. Notice of meetings are published in advance in the city's official journal, the WestSide Journal newspaper.
If the variance which you are requesting is granted you will then be required to apply for a building permit before you actually begin your project. If your request is denied you will not be allowed to begin your project.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and hope that this better explains the variance process. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at City Hall, 346-5670, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.