By Maggie Kenworthy
WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a request to allow swimming lessons to occur in a home-based business during the meeting held today, Sept. 8.
Tony and Kari Shepherd, 10817 North CR 1000E, Cromwell, petitioned for an exception to allow a home-based business in an agricultural district. Kari Shepherd, who has taught swimming lessons since 1996, hopes to provide individual swimming lessons to one person or one family at a time. The residence has an indoor pool attached to the main building.
Attorney Steve Snyder, representing the petitioners, stated that the addition of the business would not change the appearance of the residence. The property is isolated on a 32-acre parcel and contains more than adequate parking to accommodate the business. In addition, the nearest residence is over 1,000 feet away.
With one letter of support and no opposition, the board approved the request with little discussion.
Most of the meeting’s discussion involved a variance request made by Kevin Kleeman for the properties located at 4749 and 4745 East Armstrong Road, Leesburg.
The request would permit the reconstruction of two residences on one tract of land and to construct an outbuilding for residential storage purposes. The property contains two homes, one outbuilding and one garage. The two homes and garage would be demolished in order to construct the two new residences and additional outbuilding.
Area Planning Director Dan Richard explained that a portion of the access road was vacated by a previous owner. When this occurred, the two lots were combined, causing two residences to be on one tract of land, which is non-conforming with current ordinances.
Kleeman bought the property around five years ago and explained that the three buildings he wished to demolish were “junk.” He stated that he would rather rebuild then remodel. The ultimate goal for the residences would be for family or friends to stay in or to serve as rental properties. He told the board that the two outbuildings were for personal storage use.
Richard brought up the fact that the planning department has heard several complaints about the property being used to store items related to Kleeman’s business, which is a violation of local ordinances. He also stated that while at the property to gather video evidence for the petition, a business trailer was seen stored outside.
Kleeman stated that he was unsure of why he couldn’t store his business supplies on his own property, but assured the board that these items could be moved if necessary.
The board did receive one letter of remonstrance for this request.
Chairman Lee Harman stated that since the board does not permit two residences on one tract of land, he did not want to set a precedence in this case.
Based on that discussion, the board approved allowing the construction of one of the residences and one outbuilding after the demolition of current buildings. If Kleeman wishes to keep the two residences and merely remodel them, he’d have to create a separate petition for the construction of the second outbuilding.
In other news, the board:
- Continued a previously continued exception request made by Edward Snag, Lake Shore Drive, off of Sellers Lake in Warsaw. The request is to allow a non-conforming garage to remain converted as a residence. One neighbor was present to object the request, citing health concerns.
- Approved a variance request made by David and Toni Fox, 23 EMS B40C Lane, Warsaw. This permits a shed to remain as placed 10 feet from the right-of-way.
- Approved a variance request made by Timothy and Anitra Murphy, 327 N. Stanley St., North Webster. This permits the contribution of a roof over an entryway within 2 feet from the north sideline and to replace an existing deck within 6 feet from the water’s edge.
- Approved a variance request made by Gregory Hess, 45 EMS B61H Lane, Warsaw. This permits the construction of a screened deck and screening an existing deck 12 feet from the water’s edge. The request also allows a shed to be placed 5 feet from the water’s edge.
- Approved a variance request made by Gary and Jenny Helton, 9118 S. Don Way, Claypool. This permits the construction of a covered porch 8 feet from the right-of-way.
- Approved a request made by LEH & Associates, 329 S. Main St., North Webster. This allows a 54-foot by 60-foot building addition onto the existing business building, resulting in the expansion into a residential district when the main building was contained within a commercial district. The approval came with the condition that no outside storage is to occur.