Bexley City Council approves new design guidelines for garages

Chris Bournea
ThisWeek
City of Bexley

A new law approved unanimously by Bexley City Council on April 27 clarifies zoning guidelines for garages and other residential accessory structures.  

Since March, a group that included Mayor Ben Kessler, Building and Zoning Director Kathy Rose and members of the city’s Architectural Review Board and the Board of Zoning and Planning have been working to develop the guidelines included the ordinance, said Jessica Saad, chair of council’s zoning and development committee. She introduced the legislation. 

“Recently, we’ve had some amendments from our BZAP,” Saad said. 

Karen Bokor, a design consultant with the city, said the purpose of the BZAP’s amendments to the ordinance is to set forth guidelines for residents who submit plans to the city for garage renovations and the construction of new garages and accessory structures.  

“The Board of Zoning … just wants to simplify the code and create a balance between what residents want and what is appropriate for our neighborhood lot sizes and streetscapes so that we have architectural integrity balanced with maintaining the needs of our residents,” Bokor said. 

The new law is designed to streamline the process for residents to receive approval from the city for garage renovations and construction, she said. 

She said the BZAP lately has dealt with this issue frequently. 

“We really do believe without clarification, we are getting a disproportionate amount of variance requests for zoning for garages,” she said. 

The ordinance includes the following requirements for garages and accessory structures: 

• The maximum building footprint can be no more than 624 square feet for structures less than 6,000 square feet through 13,999 square feet. 

• The maximum building footprint can be no more than 720 square feet for structures 14,000 square feet or greater. 

• The maximum building footprint can be no more than 936 square feet for structures 24,000 square feet or greater. 

• The maximum building height can be no more than 18 feet for structures less than 6,000 square feet through 13,999 square feet. 

• The maximum building height can be no more than 20 feet for structures 14,000 square feet or greater. 

• The maximum building height can be no more than 24 feet for structures 24,000 square feet or greater. 

• A special permit is required for structures less than 6,000 square feet through 13,999 square feet to include a dormer window. 

To view the guidelines and for more information about the ordinance, visit bexley.org.  

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