By Lauren Zeugner
WARSAW — After four months of continuances, The Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals made determinations regarding two of Ryan Stuckman’s properties north of North Webster. The BZA made its decisions during its regular meeting Tuesday morning, July 12.
Stuckman had approached the BZA seeking a variance to permit allowing a mobile home to remain as placed, 15 feet from the right of way and 5 feet from the east property line, on the lot at 4732 N. Blacks Court West.
After testimony from Stuckman that he did receive a permit to place the mobile home but it just wasn’t set properly on the lot, members of the BZA heard from remonstrators.
One neighbor told the board, “He just puts his trailer where he wants to, regardless of what he’s been permitted to do. … It’s not a danger to move that trailer. He can argue his case all he wants. … If he knew it wouldn’t fit, put in a smaller trailer.”
The neighbor went on to tell the board Stuckman had told her directly “he’ll do what he wants. If he gets caught, oh well. He shows disrespect to neighbors. He needs to face some repercussions.”
Lee Harman, president of the board, asked Stuckman why he put a bigger trailer on the lot. Stuckman claimed it’s harder to find smaller trailers unless they are special ordered. The trailer in question was 80 feet long, when the permit was for a trailer measuring 60 feet.
In the end, the board approved the variance with a settlement of $2,500 for being out of compliance.
Stuckman was also seeking a variance for another mobile home he owned at 7441 N. Blacks Court East. The variance would allow the residence to remain 11.7 feet from the east road right of way and 9.4 feet from the west property line.
After some discussion and hearing from a remonstrator, the board ordered Stuckman to remove the trailer from the lot and replace it with a compliant mobile home.
Stuckman was not happy with the outcome of either case, asking local attorney Steve Snyder, who was sitting behind Stuckman, if they could chat for a few minutes. Snyder stated he was representing clients in upcoming hearings and Stuckman could call his office.
Nate and Ashley Ries, owners of Jerky Jerks in Syracuse, came before the board seeking a variance to permit allowing a 12-foot-by-30-foot shed to be relocated to 5 feet from the right of way and 5 feet from the side property line of their North Webster home. The shed was originally located 8 inches from the right of way.
The Rieses were also asking for an exception to allow a home occupation in a residential district.
Board member Ron Robinson asked how many vehicles were on the property. Ashley Ries said they owned one vehicle, had no employees and only a state inspector came by on a regular basis. She explained when she and her husband decided to go from retail to wholesale, their county inspector never mentioned needing permits. It was the state inspector who mentioned the need for permits.
Dan Richard, area plan commissioner, asked what the Rieses could do to fix the problem. He noted the BZA made several suggestions regarding moving the shed so it was in compliance, but the Rieses resisted all of them for a variety of reasons.
Steve Ward, Ashley Ries’ father, came forward in support. He told the board he owned the home his daughter and son-in-law lived in. He didn’t realize there would be setbacks or permits required when he suggested the shed be moved onto the property.
The board approved a motion to move the shed back so it was 5 feet from the right of way and approved a home-based business permit.
The board approved the following cases:
• A request from Christopher Muckridge to replace and increase a partially roofed deck as long as he provided letters of support from his neighbor.
• A request from Jon Oldham for a 10-by-20 addition to his home.
• A request from William Hess to install a carport 5 feet from the road.
• A request from Dave Cox for a change and alteration to previous approved hearings to allow construction of a storage building for marina use.
• A request from Andrew Bowes to permit the construction of a 14-by-9 shed.
• A request from Thomas and Cheryl Baker to keep two accessory buildings on a lot without a principal residence. The permit is approved as long as there is no outside storage and the property is maintained.
• A request from South Shore Ventures allowing eight lots as part of a larger development to be created under the 10,000-square-foot size with the conditions outlined by Snyder. The lots will be used by property owners on the other side of SR 13 for storage and guest sleeping quarters.
• A request from Lara Gilbert to allow two air conditioning units to remain as placed at 3 feet and 3 feet 8 inches from the property line when 5 feet is required. Gilbert must also provide a letter from her neighbor stating the units are not a problem.
The board agreed to continue the following cases until its Aug. 9 meeting:
• A request from Bryan Moriarty to construct a single-family residence 3 feet from a north alley, 1 foot to the east property line, 10 feet from the west alley and 1 foot from the south side property line. The property is in Etna Green. The board requested more information regarding Moriarty’s plans for the house.
• A request from Jason and Jessica Harreld to build an oversized accessory building. The board asked to see detailed drawings and profiles before making a determination.