Property plans cause concern among Main Street neighbors in FarmingtonRecent activity on one city block in Farmington has a group of residents — not to mention, city of Farmington officials — wondering just what is going on in their back yards.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Recent activity on one city block in Farmington has a group of residents — not to mention, city of Farmington officials — wondering just what is going on in their back yards.
Ryan Khalaf came home June 26 to find a stake in his driveway. It was a land marker, apparently placed by surveyors who were working for the Colin Garvey, the owner of the adjacent property. Behind his Main Street property there were more of the stakes.
Neighbors told Khalaf that Garvey had plans to build a parking lot on the property. Garvey owns a piece of property between Third and Fourth streets, where a railroad line once operated. The land cuts a diagonal section between the two streets, coming just to the edge of Khalaf’s own property.
In May, city of Farmington planner Lee Smick had also heard Garvey planned to construct a parking lot on the site. However, Smick said Monday, the property is zoned for heavy business. Under the zone requirements, a parking lot is considered an accessory use, which means a principal use is also required on that property. In order to build a parking lot, Smick said, Garvey would also need to construct an office on the same location.
Those requirements were laid out in a May 22 letter from Smick to Garvey. In it, Smick acknowledged Garvey’s plan to store his construction trucks from his business, C.G. Construction, on the property. However, she said in the letter, plans for parking lots have to be submitted to the city engineer for approval before such a project can begin. As of this week, the city of Farmington has seen no plan or proposal from Garvey.
In recent weeks, Garvey has started removing the large, older trees on the property. The city cannot do anything to regulate that activity, even though it may be upsetting to neighbors.
“He’s been cutting down trees back there, and that’s his right,” Smick said.
But it is upsetting to neighbors, all the same. Khalaf was annoyed by the surveyor’s stake in his driveway, but it’s the possible affect such a project may have on his property value that’s the real concern.
“My neighbors and myself are all on the same page,” Khalaf said. “We’re all concerned about what he wants to do. The whole future value of our property is my main concern. We’ve all taken a pretty big hit on the depreciation of our properties already.
“If he’s looking to build a commercial parking structure behind our home, I’m very concerned about what that will do to the depreciation of the value of our home. Especially if he’s out of code with the city of Farmington,” he added.
Any changes to the property owned by Garvey will wreak havoc with neighboring lots, as well. Technically, the northernmost section of land Khalaf considers to be his own yards is actually part of Garvey’s property. The same is true of a large portion of a neighbor’s yard on Pine Street. A good chunk of the parking lot used by Pedersen Auto also, technically, is located on Garvey’s land.
Garvey, though, says all he is doing right now is clearing the trees from the lot.
“It was a mess out there so we’re just clearing the trees off of it,” he said Tuesday.
He refrained from commenting on future plans for the lot, other than to say the neighbors are welcome to contact him with questions.
“They can come talk to me any time they want. If someone wants to talk to me, they can come out to my office,” he said.