Continued from the October meeting, the petition for All Things New, a proposed addiction rehab facility for women in Tippecanoe Township, was tabled again, this time until Jan. 13, during the regular monthly meeting Tuesday of the Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals in Warsaw.
During the October meeting, the BZA wanted a more detailed site plan for the facility. That was presented by attorney Steve Snyder, representing Bill Fawley, founder of All Things New. But apparently the site plan still leaves too many unanswered questions.
Snyder said the facility would essentially be located in the center of a roughly 16-acre tract of ground owned by the Fawley family off CR 375N, just east of CR 400E. Locating it in the center would provide more of a buffer to adjacent properties, he noted. The treatment facility building would be 6,500 square-feet and there would be a long access drive.
A septic system is available, there would be surface water retention and the intent is to maintain agricultural use for the rest of the tract, whether that is growing corn or soybeans. Snyder said the landscaping plan is not finished yet, but will be attractive.
Snyder then introduced supporters of the facility including Dr. Tom Edgington and Dr. Kevin Roberts, both of Grace College, retired school administrator Alan Frank and Peggy Owens, assistant chaplain for the county jail. Each of the four spoke briefly and Edgington and Roberts noted having such a facility would be an educational tool for Grace students interested in counseling careers. Owens said she believes if women really want to change, they can get the help they need at a facility like the one being proposed.
Fort Wayne attorney Robert Eherenman represented four individuals against the petition and said the debate should be about whether a commercial facility is a proper fit for the area, not whether it is useful or needed.
He said there are still many details not known about the proposed facility, such as there are no drainage or lighting plans, how will the access road be built, what hours will the facility be open to the public and what will it specifically look like.
If the facility were to be approved, Eherenman presented several proposed restrictions be placed on it such as no medication be dispensed, it only be open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, only counseling will take place, there will be no signage along the road and the access road must be built to commercial standards. In addition, there needs to be a lighting and screening plan and if there is any intent to expand in the future, commercial land must be sought elsewhere.
In rebuttal, Snyder said the facility will be residential, not commercial, and doesn’t belong in a commercial area and the hours open can’t be limited or it will restrict family members from visiting too much. He said medication would need to be dispensed at times and would be done so by trained professionals. He noted the county planning commission is authorized to interpret its own ordinances and already has determined this can be a use approved as an exception.
Though remonstrators were given the opportunity to speak, no one else did so.
BZA member Lee Harman said though he is inclined to approve the facility, there are questions to be answered first. He noted Snyder did not have time to respond to Eherenman’s restriction proposals and suggested the two meet to work things out.