Board Supports Variance for Home In Flood Zone

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The county Board of Supervisors has approved a zoning variance for an Alexandria area couple who embarked on a routine home renovation only to discover that their house was built illegally.

John and Magdalena LoGrande, who applied for a permit to build a garage, were told by county officials that their four-bedroom house in the Belle Haven neighborhood near the Potomac River sits seven inches below the required elevation for homes in a flood plain.

The problem appeared to be a county surveying error made when the house was built and inspected in the early 1980s. Instead of jacking up the house or taking some other action to bring it into conformity, the LoGrandes appealed to the county Board of Zoning Appeals and the supervisors, whose vote Monday was unanimous.

"If there was ever a perfect case for a variance, this is it," said Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), whose district includes the couple's property.


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