Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals issued a variety of rulings at its Thursday, March 15, meeting at Syracuse Town Hall.
Indiana Telephone Network’s petitions for an exception and variance to erect a 200-foot communication tower were dismissed.
Board Chairman Larry Coplen indicated the petitioner had sufficient time since the January hearing to work out details, but no one appeared Thursday to defend the petition.
The evening’s lengthiest discussion involved a petition for a variance at 1405 N. Indiana Ave. to allow construction of a 140-foot by 60-foot storage building within 10 feet of a right of way.
The minimum setback for commercial property is 35 feet.
Petitioner Tim Yoder of Goshen requested the shortened setback to accommodate semi trucks delivering materials to the business and to minimize the necessity of filling wetlands on the property.
Without the variance, contended Yoder, several feet of fill would be required, which could prove cost prohibitive.
Yoder contended the proposed location of the dry storage building, which would not have electricity or heat, would make the best use of the property.
Other locations, he said, would necessitate the dangerous situation of having semi trucks back into the property from the county road.
The right of way in question was an effectively abandoned 50-foot-wide road, but the board indicated until the road was vacated, they had to legally treat it as a traffic thoroughfare.
“There is no through traffic on that road,” countered Carl Graber, who Yoder hired to construct the building. “I don’t think it is injurious to the neighbors.” Without the variance, “the lot disappears on (Yoder) pretty fast.”
The board approved a 20-foot setback and requested Yoder and Graber to reconfigure their plans consistent with the board’s ruling.
Milford resident Daniel Slone requested an exception to allow multifamily use of a former church located at 107 E. Pearl St.
Slone’s plans called for a two-bedroom apartment in the basement of the building and a two-bedroom apartment and antique resale shop on the main floor.
The antique business would qualify as a home occupation, available only to Slone as long as he lives in the church building. Subsequent owners would have to reapply for an exception.
No remonstrators were present, but staff member Matt Sandy read into the record a letter from Slone’s neighbors endorsing the proposed plan.
The board approved the petition with the caveat no outside storage would be allowed on the property.
The board’s final order of business involved a petition for exception and variance to allow the addition of a dormer and deck to the house located at 202 N. Huntington St.
The petition for variance requested the deck to come within 6 feet of the side property line. The minimum setback is 10 feet for commercial properties and 5 feet for residential.
Lynn Hostetler of Goshen appeared before the board to defend the petition. Sandy noted although the area is zoned commercial, it contains several legal nonconforming residences that existed before the ordinance took effect.
The board approved the petition.
Hostetler also requested permission to erect a privacy fence, but had not included that request in the petition. The board ruled since the issue was not properly advertised, the board could not rule on the request.
The board will next meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at Syracuse Town Hall.