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Ripon OKs use of ‘flag lot’ for home
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The Ripon Planning Commission has approved a “flag lot” residential parcel located at 622 E. Main St.

That came after a public hearing Monday on the request to subdivide a 0.89-acre property located east of Highway 99 into two separate parcels for residential use. The existing structure features a three-foot setback.

“The proposed subdivision would create what is known as a ‘flag lot,’’ said City of Ripon Director of Planning Ken Zuidervaart, who explained that ‘flag lots,’ while not common, are that of a narrow strip providing access to a public street, with the bulk of the lot containing no street frontage.

“There are a handful of ‘flag lots’ that exist within the City of Ripon,” he added.

The reason for these long narrow lots, Commission Chair Debra Van Essen noted, was that this area was once part of a farming community — some have used these side yard setback for gardens.

Zuidervaart pointed out that there’s no physical way to build a structure on this proposed lot being so close to the existing house, with this portion of the lot requiring the 20-foot driveway to remain unobstructed. “They may install a fence,” he said.

One of the two lots has trees.

Alex Chen, an architect for this project, indicated during the public hearing that some of the trees will be removed and possibly sold but the Mulberry trees could remain intact.

Removal of the trees  — included is a redwood tree — could impact the neighboring property of Katharina Beeler, who was concerned about her landscape of bushes growing in that area.

She’s interested in what trees and structures will be kept and which of the two will be removed.

According to Chen, who plans to lay out a new design, the owners are currently living in the main unit and could move into the new house when construction is completed.

Commissioners gave their OK on the plan knowing precedence had already been set with Ripon already having other flag lot properties.

“This is probably the best usage of the land,” Commissioner David Collins said.