says no more 'monstrosities next door'
By Aubreyann Hansen
December 10, 2008 | NIBLEY -- What would you do if
your neighbor built an addition to their house that
is bigger than your house?
Scott Mikesell, Nibley resident, attended three city
council meetings this fall to talk with Council and
Mayor Gerald Knight about the "monstrosity going up
next door" to him. Mikesell said he is unhappy with
the city for not having a strict enough code to prevent
his neighbors, the Falslev family, from building the
addition to their house that some say is bigger than
the actual house.
Shari Phippen, Planning and Zoning administrator for
Nibley, said when the Falslevs built there was no formal
ordinance regarding accessory buildings.
Since there was not an accessory building ordinance,
the Falslevs built their addition as a private garage.
There was an ordinance specifying regulations for private
garages which stated the garage is an area that holds
motor vehicles but cannot be used for business or profit
and shall be structurally connected. The Falslevs addition
fits these standards.
The Falslevs built a garage and family room in the
new addition to their house. Falslev is engaged and
his fiancée, Holly Lewis, said they need the space for
vehicles, family and toys.
"We're getting married and starting a family. We need
more room," Lewis said. "We're also sick of scraping
our windows in the winter."
According to Kris Falslev, the new addition is approximately
70 feet long, 42 feet wide and slightly over 17 feet
Mikesell said he bought his property for the view
of the mountains and Falslev's addition blocks part
of that view.
Some neighbors said the addition appears twice the
size of the house. However, the Falslev's addition is
in compliance with city ordinances.
Since the time the Falslev's started building Nibley
has created an Accessory Building Ordinance. The new
ordinance clearly defines accessory buildings as a building
that is detached from the first building, clearly for
supplemental use to the principal building, and not
intended for human habitation. Buildings that qualify
under those standards must meet zoning setbacks and
The ordinance also lists other structures that could
be confused as an accessory building and sorts them
into categories and defines the regulations on each
"I know there is nothing I can do but be neighborly,"
Mikesell said his main concern was having the city
change the ordinance so other people in Nibley will
not have the same problem.
"The new ordinance repealed [the old] definition and
clarified what constitutes an attached building and
what constitutes an accessory building," Phippen said.
"The Falslevs would not be able to build their addition
according to the new ordinance."
The new ordinance is the one currently enforced in
Nibley city. However, this ordinance allows buildings
and structures existing when the ordinance passed, like
the Falslevs, to be grandfathered and non-conforming.
The ordinance was signed off by the mayor after the
majority of Nibley's City Council voted to pass the
ordinance. The ordinance was passed in late July, before
Mikesell ever showed up to council. The council assured
Mikesell the zoning laws are now more specific and limited
so this situation will not appear in Nibley again.
"All I'm asking is don't let this happen again in
Nibley," Mikesell asked Mayor Knight.