Los Alamos Shrine Club Seeks Approval For 2,080 Square Foot Garage Next To Mason’s Lodge On N. Sage Street


The Los Alamos Shrine Club is asking the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval of a site plan and four-foot height waiver for a garage to be placed next to the Mason’s Lodge at 1400 N. Sage Street. The property is zoned single-family residential.

The application, submitted by Paul Lewis on behalf of the Shrine Club, indicates that the garage will be 32 feet by 65 feet, 2,080 square feet in area, and 16 feet high. The one-acre site is currently owned by the Pajarito Lodge #66 which was built in 1951.

According to the staff report for the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting slated for Wednesday, there are no building permits on file for the Lodge. The use of the Lodge is under social, fraternal and recreational clubs which are allowed in residential zones with a special use permit. Since the Lodge existed prior to the adoption of the Los Alamos County Code in 1965, it is considered “grandfathered-in.

When the Shrine Club sold its Trinity Drive property, which is where Natural Grocers has been built, the Club placed a shipping container on the 1400 Sage Street to store its equipment. Now the Club wishes to add a garage for storage with a small administrative office at that location.

The staff report states that the addition of a garage to the property will not change the site’s use or intensity but that since the size of structure is larger than the 20 percent of the size allowed for an administrative site plan amendment, the application has been deferred to Planning & Zoning for review.

The Shrine Club is also asking for a 4-foot waiver to the 12-foot maximum height of an accessory structure in the County in a residential zone. The application states that if the proposed building were built as an addition and attached to the existing Lodge, the requirements of the building code on the old and new structure would be a financial hardship and there is no other suitable location on the property for the proposed garage, which is needed to house the Shriner’s parade equipment such as the carts used in parades and the antique truck used for their annual onion fundraiser.

The staff report indicates that the Interdepartmental Review Committee recommended that the application be forwarded to Planning & Zoning with the following conditions:

1. The removal and relocation of an electric guywire.
2. One shed on the west side of the building must be removed. Code allows for the maximum of two accessory structures on a property in this zone.
3. Applicant shall obtain approval for a waiver to the side street setback encroachment which can be done administratively before building permit is issued.

The Planning & Zoning Commission meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 8 and will be held virtually. Members of the public can also join this meeting session to make public comment via Zoom by pasting into their browser the following:


Or by telephone: +13462487799,,87913016129# US (Houston) +16699006833,,87913016129# US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 879 1301 6129 Passcode: 060966