When the foundation was poured on the lawn of 267 Plainville Ave., people wondered what it would be. When the large red outbuilding rose, people wondered ‘is that legal?’
Lucius Whitaker III, who lives in the house and built the garage with the help of some friends, wonders why people can’t mind their own business.
In fact, Whitaker says he’s heard from lots of people about his new garage -mostly complaints.
Town officials, too, have heard the complaints. Town Planner Jeffery Ollendorf said his office has received numerous complaints about the structure.
But both Ollendorf and Whitaker say the garage conforms to the town’s zoning regulations, as long as Whitaker follows through on certain conditions.
First, the garage must be attached. An attached garage is allowable in Farmington and its size is measured relative to the house.
"The garage square-footage cannot exceed 75 percent of the living area of the house,” Ollendorf explained. “He does qualify for that regulation as well.”
The garage, which is steel construction, is not yet attached to the house. The zoning office has repeatedly reminded Whitaker that he must attach the garage to house.
“We plan to attach it to the house,” Whitaker said. “There’s going to be a breezeway from the house to the garage.”
A second condition is that the building not be used for commercial vehicles. While commercial vehicles have surrounded the garage lately, Whitaker says he wanted the garage to store his boat in and plans to bring it up once he can dig it out from the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy.
“He indicated to our office that he wants to store his boat and personal materials. We told him that would be fine, he just can’t use the building for commercial purposes,” Ollendorf said. “At this point most of project appears to be complete but it won’t be legal until he attaches it to the house. We’ve been out there several times to make sure he understands that’s part of the deal.”
The allowable placement of the building in relation to the house and its height would be different under Farmington regulations if the building were not attached.
Whitaker says he did everything by the book and he wishes everyone would leave him alone.
“Before I even put a bucket in the ground to dig the foundation, I went to the town, showed them what I wanted to do,” Whitaker said. “I am completely within the town’s guidelines and boundaries.”
“There’s got to be something more important than that I built a garage - it’s just ludicrous.”