Dottie Weir wanted a place to put her beloved loom – the wooden device she uses to weave her hand-dyed yarn into award-winning tapestries and fabrics.
Here’s a photo of Dottie and her loom:
But there simply wasn’t room in her tiny cottage where she moved after her husband’s death in 2004.
The cottage is a converted two-car garage behind her modest century-old bungalow on North Weber Street in Colorado Springs. To generate income to supplement her Social Security and make ends meet, financially, Weir rented her house, sold most of her furniture and moved into the cottage.
Take a look at the cottage:
In February 2007, Weir enclosed a small porch to create her weaving room. Now, she could weave, year-round, out of the cold and rain. It is barely visible on the back of the cottage, above.
The owner of the rental property next-door, Becky Fuller, was upset that Weir didn’t get the proper permits and variances necessary and called the city.
Here’s a look from www.FlashEarth.com at the neighborhood:
The long rectangular building at the bottom, facing Espanola Street, is Becky Fuller’s duplex with its attached two-car garage and large, detached two-car garage on the alley.
Weir’s tiny house and cottage are barely visible behind the fences, trees and surrounding structures.
After being notified she was in violation of city code, Weir immediately filed for the variance but was rejected because her porch was deemed to be no longer a porch but a room on her cottage. The total square footage of the original house, the cottage and the new porch/room exceeded the maximum coverage rules for the lot by about 100 square feet.
The city said the weaving room must go. If you like, you can read all the appeal documents.
Weir appealed to the Planning Commission, the City Council and even sued in District Court. But she lost each time. Doesn’t matter that houses all around her are wildly out of compliance with city codes. And her cottage barely violates code, if you consider it a room and not an enclosed porch.
So Weir is asking the Colorado Court of Appeals to define just what constitutes a porch.
Google “porch” and look at what comes up. OK. I know that is far from scientific or legal or definitive. But it’s interesting to see what some call a porch.