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City of DeBary

Subject:  Special Exception Case #14-03-SE-MULDER- Request to Allow a Garage Apartment for Family Members of the Occupants of the Primary Residential Structure at 617 Fort Florida Point Road.

From:   Rebecca Hammock, AICP
                 Planning Administrator     

Meeting/Hearing Date:  December 3, 2014
(    )  Ordinance
(    )  Resolution
( X )  Other
( X )  Supporting Documents/Contracts

The property owner and applicant, Heather Mulder is requesting a special exception for her property zoned A-3 (Transitional Agriculture) to permit a garage apartment/in-law residence for property located on the south side of Fort Florida Point Road, west of Fort Florida Road and south of 15th   street with a parcel ID # of 06-19-30-00-000043. The subject property is 1.5 acres.

Pursuant to Section 1-9, LDC, special exceptions are certain uses or development situations that may involve consideration of special circumstances or factors to determine that they are appropriate to the specific location and property. In considering a request for a special exception, the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council shall evaluate the request against the criteria put forth in Section 1-9 (2) Criteria for Special Exceptions, attached.

The applicant is requesting special exception approval for the subject property to allow a garage apartment for use by her husband’s elderly parents that will allow for wheelchair accessibility. Please see the attached request letter affixed as Exhibit 2.  The applicant is proposing a new 3,730 square foot structure that includes a garage for storage space and garage apartment for use by relatives of the occupants of primary residential structure. Please see the attached plans.  



Zoning Designation

FLU Designation



R-3 Urban Single Family Residential

(RLD) Residential Low Density

Vacant Single Family Lots, Single Family Residential


Seminole County

Seminole County

St. John’s River


A-3 Transitional Agriculture

(RLD) Residential Low Density

Large Lot Single Family Residential


A-3 Transitional Agriculture

AR Agricultural Rural and ESL Environmentally Sensitive Lands

Large Lot Single Family Residential


Background Discussion
The future land use of the subject property is AR (Agricultural Rural), which permits low density residential development with a maximum of 1 dwelling unit/ 5 acres. The subject lot is a non-conforming lot. Pursuant to Section 1-12, LDC, single family dwellings are permitted to be built on non-conforming lots of at least  5, 000 square feet and 50 ft. in width at the building line. A permit to build a single family home on the lot was issued in 1998.

The subject property is zoned A-3 (Transitional Agriculture), which permits garage apartments as a special exception use. Garage apartments are defined by the Land Development Code (Sec.1-3) as an accessory building containing a storage area and one single-family dwelling occupying no more than 800 square feet of living area for residential use by family members of the occupants of the primary residential structure. The applicant is proposing a living area of 1,346 sq.ft, which exceeds the 800 square feet limitation outlined in the definition of a garage apartment. The applicant is requesting a larger living area as part of their special exception request in order to provide wheelchair accessibility and a living space large enough to accommodate two people.

Section 138(3) Accessory Structures, LDC requires that garage apartments meet all setback requirements for the principal building on the lot. A-3 zoning requires 40 ft. front and rear yard setbacks and 25 ft. side yard setbacks. Section 3-122 Exceptions to Minimum Yard or Lot Coverage Requirements requires an increased setback of 15 ft. for accessory structures that exceed 600 sq. ft. The applicant is proposing a front yard setback of approximately 349 ft., a side yard (west property line) setback for the garage of 15’ and a side yard setback (east property line) of 31.33 ft. for the garage. The applicant is proposing side yard setbacks for the apartment (living area of the garage apartment) of 33 ft., which exceeds the required 25’ setback.

Maximum floor area and number of accessory structures are not limited on agriculturally zoned properties pursuant to (Sec 3-138(5)). However, development is limited by the lot coverage maximum permitted by the property’s zoning designation of A-3. Lot coverage is defined as the total lot area covered by principal and accessory buildings. The maximum lot coverage in A-3 zoning is 35%. The total lot size is 65,340 square feet, which permits 22,869 sq. ft. of lot coverage (35%). With the construction of the garage apartment, the lot will have approximately 16,917 sq.ft. of lot coverage; therefore, the addition of the proposed garage apartment will not cause the property to exceed its lot coverage limitation. If the special exception is approved, the applicant will be required to apply for a residential stormwater permit for the garage apartment in conjunction with her building permit to ensure compliance with the City’s stormwater regulations.

Planning & Zoning Commission Recommendation
The Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing on November 24, 2014 to review and make a recommendation regarding the proposed special exception. The Planning & Zoning Commission voted 3-0 to recommend approval of Case #14-03-SE-MULDER.

Findings of Fact
If City Council votes to approve the special exception request, the Council finds that the request meets the criteria put forth in Section 1-9(2) Criteria for Special Exceptions contained in the Land Development Code and that the request is in compliance with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  Pursuant to Section 1-9(3), LDC the City Council may impose additional reasonable conditions for the establishment and operation of the use. If the request is denied, the reasons shall be provided as part of the action for denying the request.

Example Motions
Approve Case # 14-03-SE-MULDER
Approve with Conditions Case # 14-03-SE-MULDER
Deny Case # 14-03-SE-MULDER

Section 1-9 Special Exceptions, Land Development Code
Request Letter
Site and Development Plans      

City Council Action:
(   )  Approved As Recommended
(   )  Approved With Modification
(   )  Disapproved
(   )  Continued Date:

(   )  Other


City of DeBary, FL
16 Colomba Rd, DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: (386) 668-2040  Fax: (386) 668-4122