By Maggie Kenworthy
WARSAW — Many different cases were heard during the Kosciusko Board of Zoning Appeals meeting which lasted four and a half hours Tuesday morning, June 8.
The case which attracted the largest opposition was an exception request made by Tori Fehr for the property located on the west side of SR 15, north of Dixie Drive in Silver Lake. The request allows for a campground in an agricultural district with nine RV campsites, a storage cabana and 10 primitive campsites. When the property was rezoned to agricultural, a condition was placed on the approval that camping would be limited to only family and friends of Fehr.
Attorney Steve Snyder, representing the request, provided a layout of where all the camping sites would be placed.
A petition against the request was passed around to board members and nine neighbors spoke at the meeting opposing the request, with many more in attendance. Neighbors were worried about the campers being noisy, trash becoming an issue, having a clear view of the campsites, increased traffic flow and many other concerns.
Attorney Scott Ruest, representing Morris and Cindy Jones, best summed up the neighbors’ opposition.
“It’s become out-of-hand,” said Ruest. “It’s just short of a commercial campground.”
He explained that when speaking to neighbors, Fehr originally presented her idea for the property as a place to have a few horses and to live with her mother. But since then, the requests have grown.
Chairman Lee Harman stated that he did not recall seeing the RV campsites as a part of the original rezoning requests.
“I was surprised to see how the scope of this has changed,” said Harman. “I share the uneasiness about where this is going.”
The board unanimously denied this request.
The board also heard two variance requests made by Verizon Wireless regarding the placement of a new communication tower. The requests are to allow a 154-foot-tall communication tower in an agricultural district and to allow a new communication tower to be located closer than two miles from eight existing towers. The new tower will be placed on the east side of Robinhood Drive, south of Glad Street in Warsaw.
A representative of IP Towers and Verizon Wireless was present at the meeting. He explained that the new tower was necessary to keep up with the increasing data usage in the area.
It was difficult to find an alternative location for the tower due to the setback requirements and the FFA requirements due to the local airport and hospitals. The existing towers within the two-mile radius were either too small to handle the necessary equipment or already used by Verizon Wireless.
The board approved this request.
In other news, the board:
- Approved a variance request made by Luis Rios, 220 South CR 250E, Warsaw, to allow an oversized accessory building in a residential district. Rios must also petition for home-based business approval to allow him to store business-related trailers inside the building.
- Approved a variance request made by Stephen and Carol Reed, 11819 N. Pine Drive, Syracuse, to allow a residence addition to remain at three feet, eight inches from the south sideline and three feet, eight inches from the north sideline without a permit.
- Approved both an exception and variance request made by Leigh Smith, 12 and 14 EMS T20 Lane, Leesburg. The requests allow the change and alteration of a common lot line on the non-conforming lots. The request also permits the construction of a residence addition 31 feet from the water’s edge and 18 feet from a front access property line. The approval is contingent upon measurements matching up with a new survey.
- Approved a variance request made by Matthew Estes, 50 EMS B8 Lane, Pierceton, to allow a shed to be placed four feet from the west line and 1.5 feet further off the right-of-way than the current shed.
- Approved a variance request made by Danny Hayes, 10409 S. Edgewater St., Silver Lake, to allow a residence to remain as constructed zero feet from the north property line, 16.7 feet from the right-of-way and 32 feet from the water’s edge.
- Approved a variance request made by Jeremy and Shauna Young, 8264 E. Highland View Drive, Syracuse, to permit allowing an increased cubic content to remain one foot from the west property line.
- Approved a variance request made by Shambaugh/Momas for the properties located at 10421 and 10413 N. Grand Blvd., Syracuse. This allows two residences on one tract of land (one primary residence and a garage with living quarters to be used by family guests only). The residence will be located five feet, six inches from the south sideline while the secondary residence is located eight feet, nine inches from the north sideline and 12 feet from the right-of-way.
- Approved a variance request made by Thomas and Diane Ellis, 33 EMS W16C Lane, North Webster, to permit the construction of a porch with motorized screens 17 feet from the water’s edge and five feet from the side property line.
- Approved a variance request made by Larry and Barbara Sheets, 376 EMS D15 Lane, Syracuse, to permit the construction of an accessory building seven feet from the right-of-way and five feet from both the south and rear property lines.
- Approved a variance request made by Vicki Roeder for a property on the southeast side of Cassandra Drive in Syracuse. The property may be constructed 25 feet from the water’s edge, 10 feet from the sidelines and 15 feet from the road right-of-way.
- Approved an appeal request made by Glenn and Jennifer Hlutke which allows them to receive an improvement location permit for the property on the south side of XR 450N, east of CR 100E in Warsaw.
- Denied an appeal request made by Amber Real Estate regarding a repetition request for the property located on the north side of Armstrong Road, west of EMS T25 Lane in Leesburg. The board found that the request had not changed from the original request.