WARSAW — Aeriel Jones was introduced as the newest addition to the Warsaw Planning Commission at the Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals meeting held Monday, July 23. Jones will be serving as Assistant City Planner, a position currently held by Justin Taylor.
Jones, who recently moved to the area, attended college in Alabama, graduating with a degree in urban area planning.
It is anticipated that Taylor will be moving up, into another position.
“Not everything has been ironed out yet,” said Taylor, “I’ll be taking a more active role in some of the other meetings and we’ll be incorporating Aeriel into the mix.”
A special exception and a use variance request were presented at the meeting.
Nicole Moorehouse requested a special exception to allow a beauty shop to be located within an R-3 zoning district. The property, located at 1934 E. Center St., is within the Center Street overlay district corridor. The intent of the overlay district is to encourage professional uses while retaining residential characteristics. This property has historically functioned as a commercial space. The site has an existing parking lot as well as signage, which will accommodate the petitioner’s desired use.
Beauty shop uses are permitted in R-3 zoning districts through special exception per the municipal code, provided they meet specific requirements, which include expressed written consent of all property owners within 300 feet of the property line, buildings or structures shall be located a minimum of 50 feet from adjacent structures of buildings when located adjacent to a residential district and parking requirements are strictly adhered to.
Moorehouse plans to have five stations and there are currently two employees. This would make the parking requirement 16 spaces for this use. The property has a total of 11 spaces. Moorehouse advised that they rarely have more than two patrons in the shop at the same time.
The R-3 district provides for high density residential areas within the community. The intent of this district is to create a predominantly residential environment for all types of residential structures, in addition to schools, parks, public facilities and other uses which serve the residents of the R-3 district. Professional offices and some commercial uses, serving the neighborhood, will be permitted. The R-3 district should relate to the central business district and to primary thoroughfares providing access to site and to other areas of the community.
Assistant City Planner Justin Taylor stated that, although this property does not meet the minimum parking requirement, the planning department feels this case should be viewed favorably because the strict application of this requirement would constitute an unnecessary hardship in this case. BZA members approved this request.
In the second case presented, Alan Hoyt of Global Auto requested a use variance to permit an auto repair shop in a C-2 zoning district. The property, located at 802 S. Buffalo St., has historically been used in the same capacity as the requested variance. The existing, nonconforming auto repair shop has been at this location for the past 23 years and is considered a valued asset to the community. The city became aware of the nonconforming use when a permit was requested due to an addition planned for the building. The architecture of the building is conducive to the requested use. Carl Hostetler of Ideal Construction, Warsaw, stated that the intent is to add a second floor to the office area of the building and a gable roof.
According to the Warsaw Planning Commission, the petitioner was unaware that he had a nonconforming use and has been proactive in resolving the issue. This property has been used for auto repairs since the mid 1900s. The continued use of this property for auto repairs will not have a detrimental impact on adjacent property values or public safety. The strict application of the zoning ordinance in this case would constitute an unnecessary hardship for this property.
A C-2 general business district is intended to provide areas to be used for certain types of retailing uses and certain service uses along with wholesale and warehousing uses that are normally associated with commercial uses.
Based on the information provided, Taylor said it is the opinion of the planning department that this case could be viewed favorably.
“They’ve been an outstanding business in the community for many years,” said BZA Vice-President Rick Keeven. The variance request was unanimously approved.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27.