By Scott Morales
WARSAW — A local resident appeared before the Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday, Jan. 11, and expressed his opposition to the rezoning of an asphalt plant, saying the expansion would “affect the economic, health and residential growth of the area.”
Attorney Steve Snyder, as a representative for Brooks Construction, appeared before the board addressing dual items: a petition for an extension for the purpose and alteration of a previously granted exception, allowing an asphalt plant in an Industrial III district and a petition for a variance which would allow two uses (mineral and asphalt plant) on adjoining grounds, located on the north side of CR 300N and west of CR 200N, in Prairie Township.
Brian Moore, a resident who lives on the other side of the earthen buffer, voiced his complaint the buffer does nothing to stop the smell and noise from the plant. He stated he had purchased his residence six months ago and the plant expansion would increase the traffic in the area and drive down the property values. He also pointed out the plant is situated less than a mile from an elementary school and he is concerned about the environmental impact it would have on the children.
Snyder addressed the issue, stating the plant has been in operation since 1987, long before Moore had moved there and due to the demands of expansion of the roadways and highways in Kosciusko County, it will expand. Snyder also pointed out the asphalt business is a very regulated industry. A member of the board asked if the regulation procedures were available for the public to view, and Snyder advised anyone can contact Brooks Construction or Elkhart Gravel to examine the regulations they adhere to in maintaining an asphalt plant.
With no further discussion, the board voted to approve both agenda items.
On another issue, the board discussed a petition for a variance which would permit allowing a residential fence to remain 6 feet tall in a street yard, on a property located on the south side of EMS W16 Lane and 158 feet west of EMS 16W Lane, in Tippecanoe Township at Webster Lake.
Bruce Stanton advised the board the fence was in place to block the view of some old outhouses that had been left on the property. Stanton said he has approached the board on previous occasions about the removal of the outhouses, which had been on the property since around 1926, but nothing has been done. Area Planning Director Dan Richard advised Stanton the outhouses have pre-dated the county ordinances passed in 1975 and they have no jurisdiction over the removal.
One of the residents who spoke in support of the fence stated he is a biologist and an engineer. He said he has been in at least one of the outhouses and has found dead animals and animal bones, as well as human waste and pointed out the possible health hazards to the immediate area due to leaked sewage into ground water. Richard suggested Stanton approach the health department with his concerns and see if the outhouses could be removed through that process. The board agreed to allow the fence to remain, pending the disposition of the removal of the outhouses, at which time the part of the fence located in the right of way would be removed.
Other agenda items included:
• Kayla Metzger was granted a variance which would permit an open air carport to store a camper on CR 100N and 1,600 feet east of Parks Schram Road in Harrison Township.
• Susan and Robert Kirkpatrick were granted a variance which allowed construction of an open deck 29 feet from the water’s edge on the north side of George Street and south of Lake Wawasee’s water’s edge in Turkey Creek Township.
• Kelly and Sheila McDonald were granted a variance on construction located on the east side of EMS B40 Lane and north of EMS 40B Lane in Tippecanoe Township. Snyder pointed out the contractor had made an error in the measuring and the structure should be 25 feet from the water’s edge, not 22 feet, which is in the construction paperwork.
• Brad Robinson was granted a variance for construction of a residence 23 feet from the water’s edge. The property is located on the south side of Camp Mack Road and north of the water’s edge in Van Buren Township.
• Ryan Slabaugh was granted a variance which would permit the construction of a 10 foot by 20 foot residential addition in line with the existing residence. The property is located on the west side of CR 800W and south of CR 900N in Scott Township.
• John and Colleen Benedetto were granted an exception for the purpose of construction of an oversized residential accessory building, which exceeds the ordinance of 1,200 square feet. The property is located on the north side of Defreese Road and east of EMS D18 Lane in Turkey Creek Township.
• Scott Mentzer and Tom Dahm were granted an “after the fact” permit which allowed a shed to remain as placed without hearing approval of permit. The property is located on the north side of EMS B29 Lane and north of South Barbee Road in Tippecanoe Township.
• Burket United Methodist Church was granted a variance which permitted being allowed to re-configure a non-conforming tract by allowing the tract of land to be split, to sell some of the property. The property is located on the east side of Market Street and west of CR 700W in Stewart Township.
• Owen Helmuth was granted a variance to temporarily live in an accessory building during construction of a new residence located on the east side of CR 900W and north of SR 19 in Scott Township.
• Kunal Gupta and Jolanda Muenzel were granted a variance which allowed for the construction of a new residence on the property located on the west side of North Channel Road and south of North Road in Turkey Creek Township.
• Jack Hess was granted an exception to allow an accessory structure to remain as placed in violation of a previous BZA-granted variance. Hess was advised to obtain a new permit for the structure located on the north side of Island Avenue and west of Kings Drive in Turkey Creek Township.
• Deborah Johnston was granted an exception and a variance for the purpose of allowing the construction of an oversized residential accessory building. The property is located on the west side of CR 750W and south of Nebraska Street in Seward Township.
• Bruce Martin was granted a variance which would permit the construction of a new residence on the north side of EMS B49 Lane and south of EMS 48A Lane in Tippecanoe Township.
• Jason Brooks was granted a variance which would permit the construction of a 10-foot-by-12-foot shed on property located on the north side of EMS B60 Lane and south of Sechrist Lake in Tippecanoe Township.
• Eric Pontious was granted an exception for the purpose of allowing a tract of ground with a garage to be adjoined with another piece of property not adjacent to it. The property is located on the west side of Northcrest Lane in Seward Township.
• Dennis Sexton was granted a variance which would permit the construction of a residence addition. The property in located on the east side of EMS C24G1 Lane and west of Big Chapman Lake in Plain Township.
• Brian and Diane Blake were granted a variance which would permit the construction of a residential addition. The property is located on the east side of Beach Road and north of South Road in Turkey Creek Township.