The Denison Zoning Board of Adjustments approved a series of variances for a new duplex unit in the 700 block of West Johnson Street during a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The applicant, Jeff Ground, requested a variance of 2,500 square feet to the lot size and a 50-foot variance to the city’s requirement of a 100-foot lot width. City staff opposed the request, citing a lack of hardship that would require this variance.

“Due to the lack of non-economic grounds for the variance, staff is recommending denial,” Planning and Zoning Manager Steven Doss said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Ground said he planned to build a single duplex building with two units at the site. Each of the units will be about 1,219 square feet and feature a single car garage, meeting documents showed.

Ground noted that there are already other duplexes in the neighborhood, and that current zoning for the site would allow the development. Aside from the lot size and width, Ground said the project met all other requirements for development under city code, including the necessary setbacks.

As a part of city efforts to relax some zoning guidelines, the city reduced the required lot size for a two-unit duplex from 15,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet in 2017. With this reduction in place, Doss said he did not see the need to reduce the requirement even further.

“We do not feel that cutting it down to half of what was previously required is appropriate,” he said.

In response, Ground said the 10,000-square-foot lots would be needed if developers planned to build a two-car garage. However, with this project, he felt the current designs better fit the look of the existing neighborhood.

“We feel we have a clean product and will bring value to the community and value to the city,” Ground said.

The request was ultimately approved by the board, with members citing that the project meets setbacks, zoning and that the size variance does not affect the visual appeal as reasons for the approval.

The board was also expected to discuss a variance request related to a proposed cement batch plant in the Foundation Business Park, however representatives pulled the request prior to the meeting. Earlier this month, the Denison City Council tabled a request by the developer for a conditional use permit for the project, citing concerns related to the nearby Denison High School.