Jerome passes accessory building ordinance

JEROME -- Jerome Town Council passed an ordinance Tuesday limiting the height and use of accessory buildings.

Ordinance 446 amends the definition of an “accessory building” as being a building or structure that is “visually” subordinate to the main building. The proposed amendment adds that an accessory building “shall not be used for human habitation.”

The amendment also dictates that the building height should be no greater than 14 feet. The current ordinance allows up to 25 feet.

Council unanimously approved the ordinance with a change to define accessory buildings as garages, carports and sheds.

During a call to the public, Jerome Fire Chief Rusty Blair said limiting the size of accessory buildings is ideal for public safety.

“We are not like any other community … they have a grid pattern,” he said. “They don’t have the topography we have. We have unique situations. If you are going to build at those heights, you need to do it with extreme caution.”

But Jerome resident Richard Johnson implored council to not accept the proposal as written and that accessory structures should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Lance Shall, vice chair of Jerome’s Planning and Zoning Commission, asked for council to provide clarity on what council defined as an “accessory building.”

“If you want to maintain that historic viewscape in Jerome, you should encourage people to enlarge their house with an accessory building – if they want to add a bedroom, family room – we would prefer they put it in an accessory building.”

Jerome Mayor Alex Barber noted that FEMA guidelines dictate accessory structures are not to be used for human habitation.

She also noted that the new ordinances would be consistent with neighboring municipalities.


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