Tag Archives: planning and zoning department

Oklahoma, Is it OK?

Oklahoma, Is It OK?

Last weekend my lovely bride and I attended an event hosted by her first husband’s sister and her husband. Event purpose was to celebrate this couple’s upcoming 40th wedding anniversary.

Adding to this fun, at least for me, was a new Hansen Pole Building being erected onsite (D.I.Y. husband doing some nice workmanship). Like most new construction this attracted a fair number of looky-lous who wanted to check everything out and offer their ‘armchair expert’ opinions.

One of these lookers was aforementioned husband’s brother, who (as I later found out) had his old pole barn collapse due to snow last Winter. Rather than contact us about a replacement building, he ended up buying a post frame building to be delivered from Oklahoma (keep in mind we are in Northeast South Dakota).

Now I happen to know these folks in Oklahoma who provided this kit package. I hadn’t visited their website in quite some time, so I went browsing.

Here are some things I found:

“Building codes and permits

In our recent annual post-frame construction industry survey, one of our questions to builders was about code enforcement in their areas. Of the 134 post-frame builders who answered this question, 55% said they have needed on occasion to change their construction to meet a code. Codes can be problematic if not clearly understood. Start with your local planning and zoning office or your local building inspector. They will be able to tell you the standards for your community.

Know the rules in your area:

  • Some cities will not allow a steel skin building – you must have a brick veneer.
  • Almost all residential areas will have a setback requirement, meaning the building must be so many feet from the property line.
  • Many neighborhoods have a restriction on how tall you can make the building.
  • Many areas want to inspect a building at each stage of construction, starting with the depth of the holes, then they will inspect the wooden framework, then the completed structure.
  • Some communities insist on bolting the trusses in place, adding hurricane clips, beefing up the top plate, digging the holes deeper and providing longer poles or adding gravel or a concrete footer in the hole.

Bonus Tip: Some local code expectations may seem over-engineered when it comes to equating cost with necessity. In our view, codes generally foster a better quality building and we have found it is best to give the inspector what he or she wants. Life, and your project, will go easier that way.”

Now I agree total with starting a journey to a new post frame building with visits to your local Planning  (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/01/planning-department-3/) and Building (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/01/building-department-checklist/) Departments.

What amazed me was “55% said they have needed on occasion to change their construction to meet a code”. Thinking back over nearly 40 years of post frame buildings, I can only think of two sets of circumstances causing a change in construction to meet Code. First – not submitting plans prepared by a RDP (Registered Design Professional – architect or engineer), second would be not having correct design criteria (snow, wind and seismic loads, along with frost depth) provided.

In my humble opinion, a majority of these builders who had to change their construction were probably not building Code conforming structures! Think about this if you are considering investing in a post frame building from ANY builder.

While some jurisdictions will not allow steel roofing and/or siding, I have yet to have any demand a “brick veneer”. There are numerous alternatives to steel, they just happen to be less economical and less durable.

Only insistence from communities regarding how buildings should be assembled comes from those who have prescriptive requirements for non-engineered pole buildings. Read about challenges of prescriptive requirements here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/02/prescriptive-requirements/.

Path to best value for one’s post frame building investment nearly always involves having RDP sealed plans. Make everyone’s life easier (you, your building kit provider, any contractors, as well as your Building Department) and insist upon only using RDP sealed building plans. Headaches saved, will be yours!




Violating Setbacks: As Big as Texas

I believe in as little government interference in what a person constructs on their own property, as possible.

The physical size of the state and the bigger-than-life attitude of some of its inhabitants has led to the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas.”

Among things which appear to be bigger in Texas are the size of the mole hill mbigger in texasounds made by neighbors who have taken issue with some Texas sized pole buildings.

This article by John Verser appeared in the Aransas Pass, Texas “The Ingleside Index”:

“To Art Foss, the large metal building at the corner of Live Oak and Anacua is akin to a pimple.

 Foss was one of three people that spoke out against the large metal buildings in residential neighborhoods during last Wednesday’s Ingleside on the Bay City council meeting.

 “Imagine this big red pimple on your forehead. You’ll eventually forget to do that or to think about that when you look in the mirror, but this pimple that was built over there on that corner is going to be there forever,” Foss said. “I don’t know how in the world you let him get by with violating the setbacks that were already established for that street.”

 Foss, his wife, Yvonne, and fellow IOB resident Larrine Rice all three spoke against allowing the large buildings in the city’s residential neighborhoods.

 Yvonne Foss said that although nothing can be done about the building across from their home, she hopes that speaking out will help prevent the large buildings from being built in other residential neighborhoods.

 “It’s as big as an airplane hangar and certainly not a normal-sized garage,” she said. “They don’t belong right in the middle of neighborhoods. In my opinion, they are ugly and bring down property values. I certainly would not buy (property) across the street or right next to one, or even on the same street. There are already at least six with no houses, and possibly being used to operate businesses.”

 According to ordinance 2012-05, setbacks for the principal residential building must not be nearer than 25 feet from the property line. They must also not be nearer than 10 feet to any side or rear property line. The ordinance states that out buildings, such as a garage, servant’s quarters, guest house or boat house detached from the principal residential dwelling and located on the rear one-third of the building site, may not be nearer than 10 feet from the side property line and four feet from the rear property line.

 The ordinance also states that the height of a new building cannot be taller than 33 feet above the street level plus in areas on or below the flood plain and 29 feet above street level in areas above the flood plain. The ordinance applies only to new buildings, and not buildings constructed prior to the ordinance being adopted in 2012.

 According to ordinance 2011-03, a detached building shall not be any nearer to the street than the front line of the wall of the primary resident and the front building line. It also states that it shall conform to all setbacks. The ordinance states that such a building may not be a business.

 “To call this two story, 2400 square feet building a garage is stretching it,” Art Foss said. “I mean, that’s totally ridiculous in my opinion. It doesn’t blend in with the neighborhood, it’s unsightly and it lowers the value of your property. I cannot imagine any reason for having a building like that in a residential neighborhood. It does nothing for the neighborhood. What I’d like to hear from each council member is how you justify letting him put this building 10 feet from the street when the other two houses on the street are set back the way they should be.”

 Members of the council could not comment on the item since it was not on the agenda. Those that spoke did so during “citizen participation” portion of the agenda.

 Rhoda Poenisch, a member of the city’s planning and zoning commission, said it was not exactly the garage she had in mind when it was approved.

 “I did ask about this building and I was told that it was a garage,” Poenisch said. “You know, I have in my mind what a garage looks like, so I didn’t have a problem with a garage being built there. It turned out that it wasn’t exactly the garage I had in mind. I think everybody needs to come (Thursday) and we can hash it out.”

 Poenisch suggested that the ordinance be discussed at Thursday’s meeting of the planning and zoning commission. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at city hall.

 Rice said the large building across from her Sunset Street home have affected property values.

 “Right across from us most of these years was a vacant lot. We’ve entertained horses in that lot. There was a period where we had three or four goats in that lot, and both of those items were delightful. Now we have a humongous ugly, ugly building,” Rice said. “It does happen to be of metal. But worse than that, it is a business in the very middle of a residential area. I resent it. I resent that our property values have sunk to rock bottom. It was not what it was claimed to be.”

 Wayne Jewell, who has owned one of the large metal buildings in town for about a decade, asked if it was an issue solely because the buildings were metal.

 “My question is, is it because it’s metal? Everybody keeps saying metal buildings,” he said. “If that was a wood-frame construction the exact same size, would there be as much squalling about it? I asked this recently when another building was built, and nobody really gave me much of an answer. If it’s metal versus stick frame construction (issue), that’s kind of iffy.”

 Both Art and Yvonne Foss asked that the issue be included on the April city council meeting agenda. Art Foss said he wanted the council members to respond on how the buildings could violate established setbacks without seeking a variance.

 “I don’t know of anything in that ordinance that allows him to just totally disregard the setbacks that had already been established for this neighborhood,” Art Foss said.

 “I’d like to hear exactly how y’all feel about the fact that he brought this building out 30 feet beyond the front of the next house,” he added. “Totally ridiculous. He didn’t even have a hearing or a variance request to do that. He was just allowed to do it. I’d like to know what’s in that other ordinance that allows him to do that.””

 After reading this article several times, the only item which may actually being an issue appears to be one of setbacks – which is up to the jurisdiction’s Planning Department to regulate.

New building owners in any neighborhood, not just those in Texas, can do their part to mitigate potential irritated neighbors who might have to park their goats and horses on their own land! By incorporating architectural features such as enclosed overhangs and wainscot, as well as the choice of colors which are not garish, can make a new pole building at home in nearly any neighborhood – even in Texas!