Homeowner's variance granted by cell phone vote

Friday, February 11, 2011

CHAPEL HILL -- A town panel granted a resident's request recently when two votes were heard on cell phone calls.

"It may not be orthodox," Mayor Carl Cooper said after the unanimous vote by the Board of Zoning Appeals, "but we got it done."

BZA members John Chunn and Isaac Zimmerle were not physically in Town Hall when the zoning appeals board met on Jan. 19, but their voices were on the speakerphone function of two mobile phones.

Chunn and Zimmerle couldn't get to Town Hall in time for the BZA meeting that was followed by a meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Ed Massey of Morningside Drive sought a variance from strict enforcement of rules on the distance required between the side of a home and the property line. Massey is building an addition.

Nobody spoke against Massey's request during the BZA hearing on his request to use eight of the 10-foot "set back" requirement.

A carport will help Massey assist his wife who uses a wheelchair, according to discussion in Town Hall that Wednesday night.

Alderwoman Marion Joyce, who's also a member of the BZA, moved to grant Massey's request. Chunn seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous with support from Zimmerle and Cooper.