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The City of Shoreview (MN) has denied my request for a variance…

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The City of Shoreview (MN)...
The City of Shoreview (MN) has denied my request for a variance for a recently installed driveway extension that is within the 5-foot side yard setback (by less than 18"). The city is demanding that I remove the driveway extension.

Most of my close neighbors have permanent structures (driveways, houses, garages, and sheds) within the setbacks. Some extend to the lot line. I've made the city aware of these violations, but they are only taking action on my case (due to the complaint of a neighbor across the street, who is attempting to make me park an RV elsewhere even though the RV is legally parked in my drive).

Does the state's "equal protection" clause help me here?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
6/22/2010
Lawyer: SavyLawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
SavyLawyer
SavyLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,300
Experience: Licensed to practice law, I have experience in dealing with a wide variety of legal issues.
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Hello, and thank you for contacting the just answer team.

Possibly, yes. As a general matter, governmental bodies, both under federal and state constitutions, are required to adhere to the principles of "equal protection" under the law unless they can assert a legitimate governmental reason not to. Unfortunately, in order to do anything about this, you would have to sue the city for allegedly violating your civil rights, and the city likely has some reason that they can show that your situation is different than the others (although what that would be I do not know). Consequently, it becomes a question of whether or not the time and expense in pursuing a lawsuit over such an issue is worth it to you. But yes, I think there is an equal protection argument to made in your situation.

I hope this helps, and thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Otherwise, please remember to click the green ACCEPT button so that I can receive credit for my work.


Take care

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I can't imagine any significant differences other than the time the structures were installed. Most went in a number of years ago, in some (but not all) cases, before the current owner purchased the property. In almost all cases (including mine) they were installed without a permit or a variance.

If I do nothing, can you guess at the odds that the city will actually modify my driveway and charge me for the work? They haven't formally said they will do this, but have mentioned the possiblity.

They have said (in writing) "the driveway extension must be removed." But, so far, their enforcement language is quite vague: "a citation may be issued" "I am hopeful that this can be resolved by July 1."
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Still waiting for an answer to my follow-up question.
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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