By Maggie Kenworthy
WARSAW — The Town of Syracuse received a positive recommendation for a rezoning request during the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission meeting held today, Sept. 2.
The petition was to rezone ground from a Residential District to an Industrial II District. The property is located on the west side of Maple Street, north of Brooklyn Street in Syracuse. The request was made to accommodate the future expansion of Polywood, which has plans for a new 400,000 square foot facility.
Attorney Steve Snyder was present at the meeting and represented the Town of Syracuse.
“This is the next proposed step in the expansion of Polywood,” said Snyder. “Syracuse wants them in the community from an employment and tax revenue standpoint.”
Snyder explained that the expansion includes the relocation of the baseball fields, which currently sit on the town’s land. The deal also includes the establishment of a TIF District to help fund the new field.
If the expansion occurs, the new facility is expected to bring around 300 jobs to the town. In addition, the project will include the enhancement of Brooklyn Street, which includes a curbing project to help accommodate semi-trucks that frequent the business. Overall, the project is estimated to be a $12 million expansion.
Snyder presented a preliminary plan for the expansion project to the board, which includes a buffer consisting of arborvitae from nearby residences.
Multiple residents of nearby Portland and North streets came to the meeting to express their concerns. Five neighbors stood up to speak, complaining about the traffic and noise levels already produced by the business. They fear that if expanded, these issues will only grow.
Area Plan Director Dan Richard invited the neighbors to gather their concerns and to express them to the Syracuse Town Board, as they have final approval on the matter.
The commission approved a positive recommendation, which will go before the Syracuse Town Board on Tuesday, Sept. 15, for final approval.
The commission also discussed a vacation request by Bucher Family Enterprises. The result was for the vacation of the western portion of lot 54 in the plat of South Shore Green, located off of Tee Trail in Syracuse.
Donald Bucher explained that the lot was unbuildable and he would like it vacated for tax purposes.
A representative of the South Shore Green Homeowner’s Association was present to oppose the request. He presented a petition with 35 out of 43 homeowners in the subdivision also opposing the request.
Five points of concern were presented. These included setting the precedence of vacating lots, the lot being used in future development of the neighboring agricultural land and maintaining the covenant restrictions that having the lot remain in the subdivision provides.
A motion was made to approve the request, but only two members voted in approval with three denying the request. Due to the motion failing to pass, the matter was continued until the next meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
In other news, the commission:
- Approved a final plat request for Deborah Meyer for the replat of lot number four in Lake Forest, Warsaw. The property is located on the westside side of EMS C29 Lane, south of CR 450N.
- Approved a final plat request for Michael Long for a Residential II lot development on a 5.5-acre tract of ground. The property is located on the south side of Hoffman Lake Road, east of CR800S, in Warsaw.
- Approved a final plat request for David and Holly Cesaretti for the subdivision of a 20-acre tract of ground located on the west side of Packerton Road, north of CR 400S in Warsaw.
- Continued a preliminary plat approval request made by Blake and Apryl Harris for the replat of lot four in Brannon Estates in Pierceton. A drainage plan is still being completed.
- Approved a request made by Donald and Peggy Bucher petitioned for the vacation of lot 11 in the plat of Cindonway Shores Addition. The property is located on the east side of Bucher Drive in Syracuse.
- Approved a request to vacate a portion of a right-of-way within Blueberry Island 4th addition, near Dewart Lake. This is a favorable recommendation to go before the Kosciusko County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
- Approved a request to vacate a portion of a right-of-way on EMS T34C Lane in Leesburg. This is a favorable recommendation to go before the Kosciusko County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 15.