Pool's HVAC a zoning violation

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There is a giant metal box sitting on top of Golden's community center, and it has caused some complaints from nearby residents.

It has also caught the attention of city staff who report the huge box - the center's oversized HVAC system - is in violation of the maximum height requirements for the building under zoning code.

Installed 20 years ago, the HVAC system serves the swimming pool area at the center. Mike Bestor, city manager, broke the news to city council on Oct. 17, apologizing for the mistake and said the building permit itself was therefore "issued in error."

"The problem is the unit exceeds the height limit ... the community center building is nonconforming at 45 feet high which is the maximum, the unit itself is over the allowed maximum by about six feet," Bestor said. "The building permit should not have been issued."

The unit itself is 16 feet high and sits on a 2 feet high platform, Steve Glueck, director for community and economic development said. "So the total height for the unit is 18 feet."

As part of a project for the capital improvement plan in which the HVAC system was to be evaluated for sustainability and energy cost savings, city staff was looking to replace the 20-year-old HVAC system that was out-of-date and wearing out. While working on the project city staff discovered the height problem, around the same time neighbors began to complain that their view to the west was blocked, Glueck said.

Rather than pull the building permit and close down the center, Dan Hartman, public works director who was not involved in the installation of the HVAC system or the project planning, will hire a consultant to evaluate the unit's efficiency, and provide options to relocate the unit to an area that would be in compliance with code whether it is moving the unit to another roof, modifying the current unit, or moving it elsewhere on the property.

The evaluation should take 60 days, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000, and will then be presented to city council early next year so the issue can be resolved.

Through it all, the community center will remain open.

One solution may be to rezone the property, Bestor said.

City staff will continue to monitor the unit per the capital improvement project while working to alleviate any air quality concerns inside the center.

Through it all, the community center will remain open.


Story provided by:  www.ourcoloradonews.com