WARSAW — Mark Dillon wants to expand his business near Kuhn Lake and petitioned the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission to rezone two parcels of land during the commission’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Warsaw.
Dillon owns the Number 1 Stop Bait & Tackle business on SR 13 in Tippecanoe Township, just north of CR 350N. Steve Snyder, Dillon’s attorney, said Dillon wants to expand the current building and not only sell bait and tackle, but also hunting supplies, firewood, propane gas, food, beer and wine and take consignments in. Snyder noted in order for the building to be expanded, the property would need to be rezoned from residential to commercial. A second petition is asking for the adjacent property to the east to be rezoned from agricultural to commercial.
Dillon’s business has been granted approval multiple times by the county board of zoning appeals for non-conforming uses of the property, said Dan Richard, area planning director.
But there was confusion between Richard and Snyder about whether the property has to be rezoned or could another exception be granted by the BZA. Snyder believes it has to be rezoned because the county ordinance does not allow for a non-conforming business to be expanded, but Richard believes the BZA can still grant an exception.
Richard also noted allowing the BZA to consider the petition would give more control over what is approved, though Snyder said Dillon is willing to impose restrictive covenants on the property. Dillon said he needs more room for parking and the lot to the east would be used for parking and some boat storage, thereby freeing space for more consignment items to be displayed in front of the current building close to SR 13.
A few of the APC members said if the property is zoned commercial, what is considered a consignment item is too open ended and they want to see a site plan with more specific details. There is also the issue of a county regulated drainage ditch cutting through the property on the east tract Dillon wants to have rerouted, which could limit development of the property.
Lee Harman, chairman of the APC, said previously a firing range had been requested for the property but Dillon said that would be out of the question due to the building expansion plans. He said there is another parcel of land nearby where firing is done for personal use, but not commercially.
Eventually the APC voted to table both petitions until the March 1 meeting to allow time for a more comprehensive site plan.
In other business, Henry DeJulia, Syracuse town manager, gave a brief report on the town’s newest comprehensive plan. He said the last plan was done about 10 and a half years ago and about 65 to 75 percent of it was accomplished. He cited several examples including establishing a technology park, extension of the trail system, building a new water plant, creating an emergency home loan program, creating a town beautification program and more.
DeJulia did not cite any specific goals of the newest plan, but did say annexation is a big issue because there are many rules and restrictions towns have to deal with in order to grow. Copies of the plan were provided to APC members and they will review the plan prior to the March 1 meeting.
The APC also voted to recommend approval for Lyle Faulkner II to rezone ground from residential to commercial on State Street in Etna Green. Etna Green Town Council will consider the petition at its Tuesday, Feb. 14, meeting.