Entrepreneur hits roadblock in plan

PLYMOUTH — Bryan Naylor, of Plymouth, thinks that his property at 12498 Maple Road would be the perfect location for weddings, parties, and other events. He would like to build a barn on the property and rent it out to interested groups.
“I basically just want to put up a finished barn out there and give something to our community that we don’t really have around here — a place to hold an event in a rural setting,” said Naylor in an interview Friday. “It’s my understanding that there is a need for this type of thing.”
He added that the endeavor may boost local economy.
“You get 20 people on my land, one person falls in love with it, and you could get 20 more,” said Naylor.
He’s run into a problem, however. Naylor’s property, according to city building commissioner and zoning administrator Keith Hammonds, is classified as a rural residential area.
“The property does not allow for commercial structure because of (city) zoning regulations,” explained Hammonds Wednesday.
Naylor first applied to the city board of zoning appeals for a variance of use for the property in their April 3 meeting, according to board member Mark Gidley, and was denied because his situation did not meet the five standards required for a variance.
The standards state that:
• The approval of the request must not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the people in the area affected;
• the use and value of the area adjacent to the property in question will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner;
• the need for the variance arises from some condition peculiar to the property;
• the strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will constitute an unnecessary hardship; and
• the approval does not interfere substantially with the city’s comprehensive plan.
Naylor appealed the board’s initial decision and again visited their meeting Tuesday to further present his plan.
Gidley said Wednesday that the city attempts to uphold their comprehensive plan for what goes on within city limits. He added that several of Naylor’s neighbors had voiced concerns at the Tuesday meeting, citing possible traffic flow problems and the smell from a nearby dairy farm as issues that could interfere with a event facility on Naylor’s property.
Naylor said that traffic would mostly be on the weekends, and since he lives near Plymouth Speedway, the area is congested anyway during summer months. As for the smell from the dairy farm, Naylor said, “I understand this is Indiana, I understand that there might be smells. That kind of goes into the whole idea of a rural setting (for events). I don’t want to change the agricultural setting — I want to give our community something to hold events in with a beautiful landscape for photographers.”
Naylor also said that while some people expressed concern that holding events might put more drunk drivers on the road, he intends to hold “respectable events, exactly like what Christo’s (Banquet Center) would have.”
He plans to take the issue to Marshall County circuit court and is currently looking for a zoning lawyer.
“As a young entrepreneur, I want to be very persistent and optimistic that I can do this, and that it can happen,” said Naylor, adding, “This has always been a dream for me.”