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The rumors are not true. Barndominiums ARE welcome in Groves.

GROVES —Groves council members spoke for some time this week about the increasing interest in barndominiums within the city.

During the regular city council meeting Monday, City Manager D.E. Sosa wanted to address rumors surrounding the growing architectural trend.

“Apparently there is some information that got out to the public that barndominiums are illegal in Groves, and that is not true,” Sosa said. “I believe we have only one of them in Groves.”

Groves Building Official Don Pedraza said, while the home style is allowed, there is not much in the city ordinance about the structure.

“We had one built in the city last year and it looks nice,” Pedraza said. “It doesn’t look much like a home, but it is nice. When you look at it from the road, it looks like a nice commercial building. There is nothing in the ordinance that says they actually have to make it look anything like a home.”

Barndominiums are typically large structures that look similar to barns seen in fields and have enough space for a garage/shop and a living area. The structures are usually made out of steel.

“We treat a barndominium like we treat any other structure,” Sosa said. “It has to meet the code. It has to meet the setbacks and it has to fit nice in the neighborhood.”

City Councilman Sidney Badon expects interest in the style of home to grow.

“It is going to happen more because the price and even the buildings have doubled,” he said. “With the price of homes right now, the wood parts have almost tripled what it was 19 months ago. Metal buildings have almost doubled, but they are still cheaper to build and look good if they are done right.”

Sosa said a standard lot size might be the only thing holding potential builders back.

“A barndominium is something a guy is going to put together to put all of his toys under one roof,” he said. “It has a garage, a shop and living quarters. They are usually much bigger than a standard house and garage. You usually have an oversized garage and shop. Here is the problem with one that is about 5,000-sqaure feet. A lot can be 125×150. You are not going to meet your setbacks.”

Sosa said a bigger lot size or having more than one lot can solve the issue.

Water report

The city council also went over the annual water report Monday.

Many of the local municipalities were written up for not being able to meet the requirements during the freeze, Sosa said.

“We weren’t able to meet the requirements during those three or four days we were under boil water notice,” Sosa said. “There is no penalty, but we had to put it in our report, so that people know we did not meet our parameters during that time. The thing is, we were under a boil water notice, so we didn’t want anyone drinking water. We knew we weren’t meeting our parameters because of the freeze.”