3 area residents’ requests approved
Three requests considered by the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals April 12 from Bremen residents were unanimously approved, but not without the board asking some tough questions.
Appearing before the board was Harvey Chupp and his father-in-law, Gerald Yoder. Chupp and wife Gloria plan to convert an existing building at 4133 County Line Road from an agricultural shop use to grocery.
The front portion of the structure (50’x50’) would be used for the retail business and the rear portion for storage and warehouse use (40’x50’).
County Plan Commission Director Ralph Booker showed several slides of the existing property and surrounding areas.
Yoder said the family has room for 14 regular 10’ parking spaces, two handicapped spaces, and 15 special spaces designed for buggies.
“Seventy–five percent of the business would be from the Amish community,” Yoder said.
According to Booker, Yoder would only have to have one parking place for every 300 square feet of building space.
Yoder also indicated they plan to lay concrete in the parking lot and put in a culvert.
Board member Robert Flora asked if the family had applied for and received the necessary permits. Yoder said they followed the advice of Booker and came before the board as a starting point and have not applied for any permits as yet.
Currently the Chupp family is using a two-car garage in Kosciusko County for their business and has outgrown the space.
Foster Davenport, board member, questioned how signs for the business would be placed. He said, “I would hate to see a sign blocking the view for cars.”
Booker indicated there are sign ordinances that would limit the placement and size of any sign.
Yoder said they intend to have regular hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The business would be closed on Sundays.
During the public hearing on the matter, there were no people speaking either for or against the application. Booker did read a letter from a neighbor identified only as Mr. Slabaugh stating that he was in favor of the request and thought it would be good for the community.
Board Member Deb Griewank questioned whether that type of business was necessary for the area. Yoder said Pine Hill is only a damaged food store and is two or two-and-a-half miles away and that Rentown is closer to three miles away.
Griewank also shared her concerns about the amount of traffic on County Line Road and what affect it could have on delivery trucks bringing goods to the business. Yoder had said that trucks could back up to the delivery area from the road. He said, “We had a milkman for 40 years that backed in with no problems.”
Davenport echoed Griewank's concerns and included wordage concerning it in his motion to approve. Although the request was approved, the approval was passed with the understanding that the Chupp family receive permits from the Marshall County Highway Department, erect appropriate signs, designate parking that adheres to the zoning regulations, get a Health Department permit, include a construction design release, and that no trucks would be allowed to back into the property from the road.
Flora had voiced his opinion on approval prior to the actual vote: "I for one wouldn’t want to approve this without the permits.”
However, Booker said they could approve the request with contingencies.
• Steve Pittman, 8372 3 A Road, Bremen, was granted approval to proceed with a small hunting, fishing and camping equipment store.
Pittman’s property lies just east of Lake of the Woods. Pittman and his wife intend to use only 24’ x 32’ of their 75’x100’ building for retail space that is on the same property as their home.
Pittman said a store that carried some of the items he intends to sell has closed and there is no where nearby for fisherman or campers to purchase such things as bait, tackle, lures, worms, or camping equipment.
According to Pittman, hours of operation would be from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. They would not open on Sundays. Pittman also said the business would only be run by him and his wife and no other employees.
The structure that would be used is some 500 feet off the road.
The board did open the matter for a pubic hearing, but there was no one in the room to speak on the request and Booker said he had not received any written correspondence.
• Michael Goins, 4406 W. Shore Drive, Bremen, was granted his request for setbacks in his side yard to 3 feet and front yard to 23 feet so that he can erect a garage. It was noted that his property is an odd shaped lot.
Booker said that Goins has already torn down the garage that was on the property. Booker showed slides on the concrete pad that was the site of the old garage. Booker said if the garage was still standing, they would not have had to seek approval and would have been grandfathered in. Goins intends to build a garage that is larger than the original one on the property.
Davenport asked if the property has been surveyed. Goins said he purchased the property in 1993 and the cost of the survey was high, so he and the seller decided against a survey. He said, “We use the fence line as the property line.”
Stan Klotz, board member, said, “Without a survey, how do you know what the setback would be?”
Since no one spoke against the project during the public hearing that was held and a next-door neighbor, Mitchell Adams, had written a letter in favor, the board approved the request.