WARSAW — Three variance requests were heard during the Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals meeting held on Monday, April 22. Most of the discussion revolved around a use variance request for a church on Center Street and what that would mean for surrounding businesses who serve alcohol.
The RUWM Church requested to use the currently vacant property at 1400 W. Center St. The church has a congregation of around 60 people. The lot has 53 parking spaces in the front as well as additional room for parking in the rear, which is adequate to accommodate per municipal code.
Senior Planner Justin Taylor explained that the initial recommendation from the planning department was positive based on the understanding of Indiana Code.
“However, there remains some ambiguity in the code regarding the transfer and renewal of an existing liquor license,” said Taylor. “We have been approached by property owners who fear that the loss of or inability to renew their license would have a negative impact on their investment.”
Attorney Steve Snyder, representing RUWM Church, shed some insight on the Indiana Code and how the church would handle any future liquor permit requests.
According to Snyder, the code only affects businesses within 200 feet of the church. If a property within 200 feet of the church applies for a liquor license, then the church would be asked for their consent on the matter. This would affect four surrounding properties but not the Warsaw VFW.
“The VFW shouldn’t be concerned and doesn’t need to be,” commented Snyder.
Snyder said that the church was willing to give consent to the Kosciusko County Alcoholic Beverage Board for any businesses in the area to obtain a liquor license.
The board approved the use variance request based on the condition that the church grants proper consent to anyone who petitions for their liquor license in the surrounding area.
Eric Kosins, 1015 Country Club Lane, Warsaw requested two separate variances from development standards.
The first request was to allow an 18-foot variance on a lakeside setback of 25 feet. A proposed plan was presented to the board which showed an inground swimming pool 7 feet from the rear property line. Per the municipal code, if the property was not located on the lake, the setback requirement would be 3 feet. Taylor said that the addition of inground pools typically has a minimal impact on adjacent properties regarding sightlines and aesthetics and recommended approval of the variance request.
The second variance request for 1015 Country Club Lane was to allow greater than 45 percent impervious lot coverage. It was noted that in recent years, there have been a number of improvements to the property which has increased the impervious lot coverage area. When Kosins was applying for the variance to construct a pool, they were informed that the addition of a pool and pool deck may cause them to exceed the permitted lot coverage for an R-1 zoning district.
From the plan drawing provided, Taylor said that the homeowner is able to cover 5,405 square feet of the lot with impervious surface. The proposed impervious surface is within 100 square feet of what is permitted per the city ordinance. Based on that information, Taylor recommended that the board also approve this variance request.
The board approved both variance requests for 1015 Country Club Lane.