Yet another roadway vacation near a lake was debated by the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission at its regular monthly meeting June 6 in Warsaw. And many of the same questions and concerns were dealt with.
David and Vicky Metzger, who own lots 6, 7 and 12 in the Morts housing addition at Barbee Lake and have two residences on the three lots, want to consolidate the lots.
Dan Richard, area planning director, said the platted public way was never developed into an actual road and bisects the petitioners’ property. There is also a drainage way on the property with a catch basin nearby.
Richard noted it was originally thought the intent was to not only vacate, but also relocate the roadway. There was a miscommunication, though, and the intent is to only vacate the road. But, Richard added, there is a concern some neighbors may still not understand the intent of the petitioner.
Steve Snyder, attorney representing the Metzgers, said one structure on the property will likely be renovated into an accessory building. He said if the Metzgers can combine the lots into one tract “… it is a more reasonable lot size than originally was platted in the 1940s.”
Snyder said roadway vacations being considered by the APC is a procedural matter requested by the county commissioners and is not required by state law. “We will re-advertise the petition if the county attorney requests it,” he said.
There was considerable discussion about the petition. Dick Kemper of the APC said he is against vacating platted public roadways in order to restrict public use. “Where do we draw the line on these?” he asked. “If we continue doing this, the only lake access points will be public launches.”
Eventually, Kevin McSherry made a motion to vacate the road with the condition it be relocated to the southeast side of the property. This will mean a public roadway still exists, but in a different location. The motion passed by a vote of 6-1 with James Moyer voting against.
County commissioners will consider the petition at their June 19 meeting.
In other business, Richard informed the APC a request by the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation to amend the county ordinance governing lake access developments is pending. He said the request is likely motivated, at least partly, by recent happenings at the Oakwood property on Lake Wawasee. The ordinance amendment, for one example, addresses minimum space required for boat docks at residential developments by lakes.
A public hearing will be held at the July 11 APC meeting to consider whether to allow storage warehouses as an exception for properties zoned residential. This was prompted by a petition in May in Pierceton where someone asked for an accessory building to be rezoned to commercial. Also during that same hearing, temporary structures used in conjunction with public improvement projects or declared emergencies will be considered.