COMMUNITY FORUM

brendansr

05:57PM | 11/23/03
Member Since: 11/22/03
1 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Hi: My neighbor would like to build an addition that will be 28 feet high when completed.The addition consists of a garage on the first floor ,then a room over,then a high pitched roof 8/12 pitch.I say it will be actually a 3 story building which is not allowed on our deeds in our developement.Is there any source of info which defines a residential story in terms of height?If highest house in the neighborhood is now only 18 feet high.If this neighbor builds the addition then all our views of the valley below will be blocked! thanks Brendan

treebeard

01:58AM | 11/24/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
265 lifetime posts
The definition of what constitutes a 'story' will vary from place to place around the country...even within your own state. If your development has it's own covenants regarding what can and can not be done with the development but does not attend to the definition of a 'story', you should go to your local zoning code(s) and see how those codes define the word. In some communities the term 'story' is defined. In some the term is left undefined and the subject is governed by 'building height'. The definition of 'building height' can also vary, some defining it by simple largest distance between top of structure and adjacent grade and some by average grade, which can become rather complicated and cumbersome.

Usually, the term 'story' has much to do with habitable space, and not attic, or unused space. The definition and regulations for or against stories above a certain number come from the fire department, insurance, and life/safety concerns based on available local fire fighting abilities and equipment. In that case, the 'attic' or uninhabited space above your neighbors second floor space would not constitute a third story. But if the word 'story' is defined in terms of building height, your neighbor may have an issue with it.

Bottom line is, don't depend on a strict definition or yes/no answer to your question here. Look into your local development covenants (if they exist) or your local zoning code for the answer.

k2

10:20AM | 11/24/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
I'm no expert on this subject, but you sure see a lot of "pop-ups" in the Denver area--and people get really upset--but they still go in. I think a lot of what are called "2-story" homes can be REALLY tall--if you consider a walkout basement, for example, THEN add 2 stories on top of THAT (and of course a high-pitched roof).

I think Treebeard is correct--you can't really expect a definitive 'yes/no' answer here. But some covenant-controlled communities attach view protection covenants to certain lots. (This explains some of the flat-roof construction in certain hilly areas.) These (from what I understand) are quite specific regarding the exact building limits (in FEET, not STORIES) for specific lots. That's probably some pretty good view protection....but I don't suppose your neighbor's house has any such restriction(?)

Best of luck,
-k2.

[This message has been edited by k2 (edited November 24, 2003).]

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