By Maggie Kenworthy
WARSAW — During the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission meeting held Wednesday, July 7, the board once again looked into rezoning the old Syracuse Elementary School.
This new request, made by Marlin Schwartz, is for rezoning the property, located at 502 W. Brooklyn St., Syracuse, from a Public Use District to a Residential District.
Planning Director Dan Richard explained that in January, the APC recommended approval of rezoning the property to both Residential and Commercial districts. This recommendation was later passed by the Syracuse Town Board, but the development plans fell through. Because of that, the Syracuse Town Board rescinded the rezoning and the property remained as a Public Use District.
Schwartz was present to represent the request. He explained that this new request includes using the full existing building as multi-family apartment units and does not include a business element. The hope is to use the existing footprint of the former school and create between 45 and 50 units.
Robert Long, a neighbor to the property, came to the meeting with a few concerns regarding flooding in the area and increased traffic. It was explained that if the rezoning is approved, these two items would be addressed later during the engineering phase of the project.
APC board members agreed that any hesitation with the past rezoning came from the business aspect of the property.
“It seems like we are moving into a better situation,” said Boardmember Mike Kissinger.
With that, the board approved a favorable recommendation. This recommendation will go before the Syracuse Town Board at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 20.
The board also held a public hearing for an ordinance amendment that would allow home childcare facilities to exist in the county.
The ordinance defines home childcare facilities, which helps to distinguish them from home daycares and commercial childcare centers. Home childcare facilities are defined as an “establishment providing supervision and protection of children in a private residential structure, not occupied by a permanent residence, in which at least six and no more than 16 children at any time receive child care from a provider.”
These facilities would be allowed as a permitted use in a public-use district and an exception use in agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial districts.
The board approved the amendment, with one change. The words “non-overnight care” were removed from the ordinance to allow for childcare during third-shift hours.
This ordinance amendment now goes before the Kosciusko County Commissioners at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20.
In other news, the board:
- Gave final plat approval for a subdivision request made by Robert and Phyllis Swanson, 6008 W. Old Road 30, Warsaw.
- Gave final plat approval for 11 lots located in Ryerson’s Green subdivision located in Pierceton.
- Approved a resolution regarding a TIF District in the Syracuse Tech Park. This resolution declares Aluminum Insight and Travel Star as taxpayers within the district.
- Appointed Joe Cazier as the board-appointed member of the Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals.
- Dismissed a final plat approval Blake and Apryl Harris requested preliminary plat approval for the replat of lot four in Brannon Estates in Pierceton. The sale of the property fell through and this ensures that the final plat approval is rescinded and not recorded.