A sign already announces the Good News Habitat for Humanity project on South L Street.

A zoning variance granted July 12 by Richmond’s Board of Zoning Appeals helps Good News move forward with its planned three-bedroom house. The house, which is 59 feet, 11 inches wide, allows just three feet on either side between the house and property line. Zoning requires six feet.

Dan Groth, the executive director for Good News, said the house’s width is important because pre-fabricated walls Good News is receiving as a donation fit that footprint. Groth said the walls save about $8,000 in construction costs.

The house will be built at 1308 S. L St. on a lot vacant after a previous structure was razed during blight elimination efforts. City planning and zoning staff recommended BZA approval of reducing the side-yard setback, noting that Richmond Fire Department was not concerned about the reduced distance between the planned house and neighboring structures.

Groth said Good News has scheduled a survey to assure the house sits properly within the 0.13-acre property.

The BZA also granted a front-yard setback variance for 3600 Geraldine Lane. James Hunter said his family plans to add a 15-foot-by-20-foot living room addition on the home’s west side.

Because the home sits on a corner lot, it’s considered to have two front yards. The addition would reduce the required 30-foot setback to 10 feet, but still leave 20 feet from the addition to the street.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 19 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.