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Gloucester City News Headlines for July 12 issue
Brooklawn Council Cracking Down on Riverfront Parties

Gloucester City Planning Board Tells Resident to Move the Shed

By Linda Boker-Angelo

Gloucester City News

The Gloucester City Planning Board granted a variance last week allowing a Walnut Avenue resident to keep a second backyard shed which the homeowner had installed last November.

But, Board members decided the building will have to be moved to comply with city law. 

Marcella Dempsey and her husband had applied for a variance to allow the prefabricated shed to remain in its current location, next to the pre-existing shed.

Both structures are positioned about one and a half feet off the rear property line, which is closer than city ordinance allows. The law states that the shed should be a minimum of five feet from the rear boundary.

Also, with the addition of the second shed, the Dempseys now exceed the allowable amount of impervious ground coverage, which is 30 percent.

The homeowners will now be at 32.2 percent.

Mrs. Dempsey said the second structure was added for storage as the home has no basement and a very small attic space. At the time the shed was erected late last year, she was unaware that she needed to apply for a permit since she and her husband were not building it themselves.

The Dempseys’ rear neighbor, Carol Joiner of the 300 block of Maple Avenue, objected to the second shed, stating that the 12-foot structures are like looking at “huge privacy wall.”

Joiner also said that the sheds act like a collection spot, with yard items being piled and stored behind them, at which she said she and her husband also have to  look at every day.

  Board members voted 3-1 to allow the Dempeys to exceed the acceptable impervious coverage limits by 2.2 percent, but, in a second vote, denied them the variance which would allow the second shed to remain where it stood. 

The Dempseys will have to move the shed forward so that is is at least five feet from the rear property. Board Solicitor Anthony Costa said the residents will have about 60 days to comply.

The Board also did an informal review of tentative plans by Robert and Alyssa Fine, the new owners of Heavy's on the Harbor at 200 Jersey Avenue. The Fines are interested in building an outside area and were looking for Board members input. Costa suggested they consult with the Board's engineer and put together a more detailed plan for submission. The new business owners also plan to meet with the City's Historic Commssion to make sure that alll ideas are in compliance with the commission. Board will meet on July 18 in the Police Administration Building, council chambers, 313 Monmouth Street.