Susan Taylor Martin
Published: May 2, 2016
Updated: May 3, 2016 at 01:15 AM
ST. PETERSBURG — Pamella Settlegoode is not one to aback abroad from what she considers the adequate fight. While teaching in Portland, Ore., she won a battleground case involving the rights of appropriate needs students.
Since affective aback to St. Petersburg, Settlegoode has been affected in a beneath momentous, but appropriately arresting action — accepting burghal approval to put in a carport.
Over the accomplished 11 years, as her cartage broiled in the sun, Settlegoode has spent bags of dollars, assassin an artist and a lawyer, and met with staffers from three altered mayoral administrations aggravating to acquisition an adequate architectonics for a carport. Her contempo band-aid — a custom adumbration awning that absolutely matches the blush of her Spanish-style home — has won the abutment of neighbors, the bounded Abomination Watch Affiliation and alike a Burghal Council member.
But the city’s top zoning official and her agents say the awning is out of befitting with the celebrated Allendale area, accepted for its Mediterranean-style architecture. They are advising that the city’s Development Analysis Agency on Wednesday abjure Settlegoode the variances she needs for the already-installed canopy.
To Settlegoode, it’s a archetypal case of a homeowner aggravating to do what’s appropriate and a burghal authority throwing up obstacles at every turn.
“I accept 35 pictures of carports all over Allendale, some aloof 4-by-4s with corrugated roofs, all of them illegal,” said Settlegoode, 67, who has a doctorate in education. “I accept accustomed to accommodated every cipher and go through the process, and I’ve done aggregate they appetite me to do and again they appear appropriate aback to the about-face issue.”
The 90-year-old home was congenital on 38th Avenue N aback it was still a sleepy, two-lane alley on the bound of the city. Decades ago, it was widened to the heavily trafficked artery avenue it is today, acid off artery admission to the house’s garage.
After acceptable a whistleblower’s case adjoin the Portland academy system, which she said had been shortchanging its appropriate needs students, Settlegoode confused aback to her built-in Tampa Bay and bought the two-story, 2,800-square-foot abode in 2005 for $365,000.
Though on a active highway, the home additionally was on two bus curve and had a garage-turned-suite that was absolute for her mother, who was again active with her. The capital access to the abode had been reoriented from 38th Avenue to the abundant quieter Foster Hill Drive, breadth a advanced brick driveway ran from Settlegoode’s advanced aperture about to the neighbors’ acreage line.
It was during Ambassador Rick Baker’s administering that Settlegoode aboriginal discussed putting in a carport. At that time, she said, a staffer adumbrated the burghal would accept a about-face acceptance a three-car, masonry anatomy absorbed to the house.
Family emergencies intervened, and by the time Settlegoode got aback to the project, Bill Foster was mayor. She assassin an artist who drew up affairs for a alone anatomy that additionally would accept continued abreast the bend of the driveway, accouterment allowance for her base wagon, her tear-drop camper and the agent of a disabled acquaintance who lives in the barn suite. But the staffer she dealt with again said the burghal would not accept a ancillary variance.
“I anticipation that I would delay to the abutting mayor,” Settlegoode said. After Rick Kriseman was adopted in 2013, she consulted with addition artist and proposed a pergola-style anatomy with balk beams.
City staffers admired the design, she said, but capital a Spanish asphalt roof so the barn would be added in befitting with the neighborhood. Settlegoode balked: Spanish tiles would be abundant added big-ticket and heavier, acute added massive supports. Moreover, none of her actual neighbors had Spanish asphalt roofs.
Then Settlegoode apparent Adumbration Systems, an Ocala aggregation that makes bolt adumbration canopies. She says a adumbrative told her they had been installed “all over Florida” after the charge for architecture permits because they were advised portable. Last fall, she paid $5,581 for a disposable awning on four annular atramentous posts anchored in the driveway. She spent addition $4,000 to accept it installed.
The awning blends so able-bodied with the abode that aback a cipher ambassador came out, he didn’t alike apprehension it at first, Settlegoode said. Nonetheless, she had to retroactively administer for variances.
City zoning official Elizabeth Abernethy has acclaim abnegation on several grounds. Among them: rain could cascade off the awning and be “injurious” to a neighbor’s yard.
Not so, Settlegoode says. The canopy’s hip-roof architectonics agency that baptize flows off evenly, not in a torrent in one direction.
Abernethy did not acknowledge to questions about whether Settlegoode would accept to booty bottomward the awning if the analysis agency denied the variances and she absent an address in ambit court. Preparing for Wednesday’s appearance, she has marshalled abutment from abounding Allendale residents.
The awning “is a admirable anatomy and I accept no botheration with it at all,” said Nina Light, admiral of the area’s abomination watch association. “She’s formed adamantine to accomplish that a nice abode and now she has article to awning her cars so she doesn’t accept to get into the rain anymore.”
City Council affiliate Darden Rice, who represents the Allendale area, said she anticipation the case had become added acerbic than necessary, with Settlegoode authoritative what Rice alleged “a lot of aftereffect comments” abutting on the claimed about assertive burghal staffers.
But, Rice added, “I am affectionate with Miss Settlegoode and the barn she wants approved. I anticipate she has a admirable house. Sometimes the burghal needs to be adjustable with work-arounds aback there are issues with these earlier houses. It’s adamantine to do things originally to the T, and I feel like Miss Settlegoode has put some anticipation into a anatomy that the neighbors aren’t aghast to.”
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.
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