Culver BZA, plan commission tackle variety of requests
The Culver Board of Zoning Appeals had four appeals for variance at their September meeting. John and Agnes Bramfeld, 1322 East Shore Drive, requested the board approve a rear yard setback of 25 feet from the required 42 feet and a height of 20 feet from the required 16 feet. This would allow construction of an accessory building with two bedrooms and a bathroom. John Bramfeld advised the board that the building had been destroyed in the July storm when a tree fell on it. Bramfeld said it was necessary to reconstruct the building to accommodate a large family. The new structure will duplicate the original and will not have a kitchen, heat or air conditioning. The board approved the request with the stipulation that a deed restriction be filed which will prohibit any future multi-family use.
Troy and Hollie Schultz, 203 E. Lake Shore Drive, asked that a Special Use be granted to maintain a Bed and Breakfast in an R-1 district. Schultz explained that the current building is for sale and the family no longer lives at that address. However, the past history of the home has been as a Bed and Breakfast operation. The recent zoning ordinance changes, makes the use of a home in an R-1 district require a Special Use designation. Russ Mason, building commissioner, pointed out that a Special Use stays with the property but the use cannot be dormant for more than one year or the Special Use category is revoked. The board approved the request unanimously.
Rodney and Peggy Dawson, 417 N. State, asked for a north side variance of 6 feet from the required 10 feet to build a garage. The construction had begun prior to this hearing as a permit was issued under the impression that part of a vacated alley belonged to the Dawsons. Further construction stopped when it was determined that the vacated alley belonged to the Culver Community School. A motion was made by Barbara Winters, board member, to amend the request to reflect a 4 foot variance, the actual footage required, the motion was seconded by Brandon Cooper, board member, and approved unanimously. The board expressed their concern about the size of the garage not being subordinate to the principal structure. Dawson said that remodeling of the principal structure would begin upon completion of the garage making the garage in compliance. The variance request was approved without objection.
The final variance request was presented by Trent Bennett, Bennett's Contracting, for Paul and Sandy Hadley, 604 Peru Court to construct a new home. Bennett told the board that the residence had been severely damaged in a July fire. To build a new home, a variance of 4 feet on the north from the 10 foot requirement, and 4 feet from the required 10 feet on the south side was necessary. Rather than rebuild on a 100 year old foundation, Bennett said the Hadley's wish to build a new, modern home on the site incorporating the present safety and energy standards. It was noted that when the structure was first erected, lot lines were not considered. The damaged structure was a 960 sq. feet home on a non-conforming lot. The new structure will be a 2,250 sq. feet home. The board unanimously approved the request with Mason's note that he wished to see elevations included in the plans when the permit is applied for.
Mason distributed a revised zoning ordinance which reflects proposed changes including an Agricultural District, Debris and Rubbish Removal and lock boxes.
The Culver Board of Zoning Appeals is a five-member board consisting of Dan Adams, president, Barbara Winters, vice-president, John Helphrey, secretary, Brandon Cooper and Ron Cole.
The Culver Plan Commission's meeting in September included continued discussion regarding a request raised in August by Tim Yuhas to rezone property on State Road 17. Yuhas wishes to purchase the property if properly zoned to erect a 60 by 90 feet shop with living quarters above. The shop would be used for metal processing. A Special Use would have to be granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals. There was discussion among the commission members regarding the issue of spot zoning.
Ralph Winters, chairman of the commission asked for a motion to hold a public hearing for a change in the current sign ordinance. Mason noted it was a minor change in the wording for a certificate of occupancy. Ron Cole, member, made the motion to hold the hearing, seconded by George Duncan.
Dave Schoeff, town manager, handed out a draft of the proposals for a new Comprehensive Plan review for approval to be sent to candidate consultants. Winters explained that a grant was not available so the Culver Redevelopment Committee is underwriting the cost along with a contribution of $5,000 from the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council. Additional donations from the Culver Park Board and Chamber of Commerce in Culver will be invited. Additional citizens will be asked to review proposed plans along with the current plan commission members. Kevin Berger, Easterday Construction, was thanked for his efforts in spearheading the drive for a review of the 11 year old current plan. Brandon Cooper, secretary, made a motion to approve the proposal with a 45 day window for returns. After a second by Ron Cole, member, the proposal was approved unanimously.
Barry McManaway, member of the commission, said that he felt there might be some lack of communication between boards regarding the wording in the zoning ordinance relative to accessory structures. He asked if the wording "An accessory structure must be subordinate to the principal structure" was the intent of the Plan Commission. McManaway also stressed the importance of the Comprehensive Plan as a guideline for future development in Culver's zoning jurisdiction.