Closer to home |

Closer to home

Oak Creek Town Board approves garage as 'medical necessity'

— Dave and Eve Ege cleared one more hurdle in remodeling their home Thursday night when the Oak Creek Town Board approved a variance allowing the Eges to construct a handicapped-accessible garage.

Dave Ege was paralyzed in September in a construction accident. Ege has not been home since his accident and currently is in Denver recovering from a health issue.

The garage would allow Dave Ege the space and building he needs to drive an altered truck.

Despite concern from the Eges’ neighbor, David Chen, that the garage would be too close to his property line, the board agreed to approve the garage plans as long at the Eges comply with all Routt County building codes and mitigate possible fire concerns.

Chen said his issues with the garage include snow sliding onto his property and the garage simply being “too close.” Chen requested the garage be set back at least four feet from his property, instead of the two feet proposed.

“Two feet is very close to my property,” he said. “I’d like to do four or five (feet) because it’s too close.

Marcia Trout, who also neighbors the Ege property, did not have any problems with the garage.

“I believe that Dave and Eve should have, and be able to build, whatever they need to make it easier for Dave to get in and around their home,” she said. “They have gone through so much as it is, and we as a town and neighbors need should do what we can.”

Board member Tom Bleuer cast the lone dissenting vote, saying the decision was setting precedent and that other variances typically aren’t approved if neighboring property owners oppose the variance. Via telephone, Eve Ege explained to the board the need for Dave Ege to have the garage built as planned because it will enable him to have enough room to navigate his altered truck in a relatively tight spot. Moving the garage any farther would have cut off sunlight to the home, which Dave depends on to warm his body temperature. “That doesn’t sound important to anybody, but it’s important to Dave,” she said.

David Truly of Truly Custom Remodeling is helping the Eges construct the garage, and told the board approving the plans will allow him to construct the garage sooner.

“They looked at all the options and there just aren’t that many,” he said. “It’s not like he’s putting a boat or other toys in there. This is something he absolutely needs.”

In other business, the Town Board:

– Renewed Oak Creek Liquor’s liquor license.

– Agreed to allow Ken Montgomery with the American Legion Bird-Howe Post No. 189 in Yampa to sell raffle tickets for an Oak Creek centennial rifle.

– Approved its minutes from Feb. 8.

– Appointed the public works director as Oak Creek’s designated emergency response authority. Current director Jim Photos will serve as the authority until he leaves his position.

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