By Tim Ashley
WARSAW — A large portion of the regular monthly meeting of the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 4, was spent discussing a road vacation request by Morris and Cynthia Jones. They live in the Lake View Acres subdivision just north of Silver Lake off SR 15 and requested a stub road in front of their house be vacated.
Attorney Scott Reust, representing the petitioners, said the stub road was originally platted in 1977 as Sunset Lane but “was never developed, maintained or used” and instead most people use Dawn Drive off SR 15 to access the subdivision. He also noted in April the county Board of Zoning Appeals approved a petition from a nearby property owner to rezone land from residential to agricultural.
Dan Richard, area planning director, said the overall planning process typically includes stub roads being left open for possible future development. He said it is a possibility the area could further develop residentially in the future.
Reust noted the Jones couple was getting mixed messages because of the April petition for agriculture being approved “but now they are hearing the area might develop residentially.”
Morris Jones said he would be willing to donate the vacated land back if the area develops with more housing. A motion was made to include that as a deed restriction but the motion failed. A second motion was made to deny the petition which was ultimately approved by the APC.
County commissioners will consider the petition at their Aug. 17 meeting.
In other business, the APC recommended approval to rezone a lot from industrial II to commercial at 970 N. Lake St. (Old Road 30) in Warsaw. It had been vacant and was formerly a video store.
Richard noted the lot has physical limitations because it is located in a flood zone. Because of it being in a flood zone, there are limitations on how much money can be spent for renovations without moving the building higher off the ground. The amount allowed is based on the assessed value of the building.
Petitioner Mike Vest said he purchased the building and plans to renovate the parking lot and building “within the budget limitations.” He owns a tattoo business and there is a beauty salon in the same building and one of the businesses could be moved into the building he purchased.
There was some discussion among APC members about what could happen later if more renovations are needed. Jim Moyer made a motion to recommend approval of the petition, saying renovations made now will improve the value of the property which would not happen if it remained vacant.
His motion was approved and the petition will be considered by the county commissioners Aug. 17.
Also on the agenda, the APC recommended approval for William Bowen to rezone ground from residential to agricultural on CR 850S at the intersection with CR 600W in Seward Township. Much of the property is lowland and swampy and is not suited for residential development.
Bowen said he has seven grandchildren and wants a few horses on the property. He also noted hay is cut about three times each year on the land.
The county commissioners will consider the rezoning Aug. 17.
Other agenda items included:
• Approval was given to two lots in the southwest corner of the Ryerson Green subdivision in Pierceton, the fourth addition to the final plat. Language had to be added to the plat and property deeds concerning a sanitary sewer easement. Kathy Cone of Cone Construction said the restrictive covenants only allow one residence and one garage per lot so only a driveway would cross the easement.
• Approval was given for a final plat for three lots in the Cohagan Estates subdivision southwest of Warsaw pending two minor changes needing to be made to the language of the final plat.
• The APC voted to deny installation of a sign at the southern entrance of the Northwinds subdivision off CR 100E in Plain Township. When the technical committee reviewed the request earlier, they were hesitant to approve it based on liability issues. The sign on the northern entrance is on private property but the one being requested would be in the right of way. Ultimately denial was based on who would be liable for any damage to the sign if the property owners association dissolves in the future.