WARSAW — The Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals approved both of the items of business discussed at the meeting held tonight, Nov. 25.
The first item of business was a tabled case first brought to the board in September. The variance request is to allow a detached garage in the front yard at 903 Glee Miner Drive, Warsaw.
Warsaw Senior Planner Justin Taylor explained that the property is located on Winona Lake and that Warsaw’s municipal code treats both the street and lake sides as front yards, making it difficult to place garages on some lots. The board had previously tabled the case so that they could receive more detailed plans.
Widman Builders representative Josh Salsgiver was present at the meeting representing property owners KT and Anita Kishan. Salsgiver agued that the detached garage would not change the look of the neighborhood or affect local property values.
“It will look like a garage, not a barn,” said Salsgiver.
Attorney Steve Snyder was present representing adjacent property owner David Holsclaw opposing the request. He argued that the garage should be redesigned so it’s attached to the home to meet ordinance requirements.
“It looks like a garage and it looks like a garage that’s in the middle of a roadside yard,” said Snyder. “Without the showing of some hardship, there’s no way to approve what’s proposed.”
At this point, Salsgiver and Snyder both approached the board to further discuss the site plans. Salsgiver explained that the exact positioning of the detached garage allows for easier maneuverability and is positioned around an active well on the property.
After a lengthy discussion between the board, Board Member Rick Keeven made a motion to approve. Board Members Dan Smith and Tammy Dalton also approved of the motion, with Board President Tom Allen and Board Member Jeff Johnson opposing. The motion passed with a majority vote.
The other case was a variance from development standards for Warsaw First Brethren Church, 1318 E. Center St. The request is to allow an internally-illuminated monument sign within an R-2 zoning district.
The existing sign already contains the necessary wiring but the lighting feature is not currently used. The church would like to increase the visibility of their sign by illuminating it until 11 p.m. or midnight nightly.
Taylor explained that the city does not have an ordinance regarding how late a sign can be illuminated. Instead, the light can not spill off the property. According to Skinner, the potential light pollution created by the sign will be negligible when compared to the traffic signal to the northeast of the property.
The board unanimously approved this variance request.