Trone lauded for Culver service at lengthy BZA meeting

Staff Report
In the event there is no Board of Zoning Appeals meeting in December, the board members took the opportunity at the end of November’s meeting to thank chairman, Pete Trone for his years’ of service to Culver.
After 34 years of service on Culver’s planning and zoning boards, Trone has declined to be reappointed after his current term ends December 31. Trone first served on Culver’s plan commission in the 1960’s, and after a break of a few years, he again agreed to serve on the planning and zoning boards. He is currently serving as chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals, a position he has held for many years. BZA members noted his thorough knowledge of Culver’s ordinance and his vast historical knowledge of the development of lake residences through the years.
If the November BZA meeting was Trone’s final act as chairman, it was one of the more lengthy meetings of the board. There were four hearings for variances and one continuance from August to consider.
The variance for Suzanne Scott, 290 S. Shore Drive, was first introduced in July by attorney James Easterday, who asked for a variance to build a new 4,000 sq. ft. home maintaining the current setback of 3.5 feet on the east side of the property and extending to within 50 feet of South Shore. The ordinance requirement is a 10 foot setback for side yards and an 85 foot setback from a county highway.
The request was met with a great deal of dissent from neighbors in the South Shore area. The petition was continued until August when Easterday introduced information from the Marshall County Highway Department, that South Shore is not considered a “county highway” so the 85 foot restriction did not apply. He also noted at this time, that the front yard setback was reduced and the only variance needed was on the east side. The petition was again continued when it was apparent that board members and neighbors were still concerned about the proximity of the new residence to the Main residence on the east side.
New information was introduced by Mike Stallings, Mirar Development, Inc., who presented a new layout for the home that would increase the east side yard setback to 6’6 feet at the nearest point and 8’0 feet to the front of the home. Trone read letters in support of the project and also, letters objecting. Michael W. Reed, attorney representing Rodney and Lora Mail, 310 S. Shore Drive, presented a petition in opposition to the request and reiterated his original objection to the project and advised that he was not convinced that South Shore was not a county highway and that an exemption from the 85’ requirement was appropriate.
After discussion with the audience, Trone moved to the findings of fact necessary for the board’s final decision. After it was apparent that three of the five members voted no to one or more findings of fact, the petition was again continued at the request of Easterday.
The remaining four variances were approved without remonstrance and included James Story, 430 Vandalia, to add two bedrooms and sitting room on the second floor, Arthur & Judith Frigo to add a second story over an attached garage, Judith Ricciardi, a variance for east front yard setback of 20 feet from 25 feet to build a new home on Wabash St., and Alan and Wendy Loehr, to replace a flat roof with a pitched roof over a bedroom.
The monthly meeting of the Plan Commission was brief. The board members agreed to proceed with zoning of the newly annexed areas south of Culver. The three parcels which include a small subdivision for proposed Garden Court are presently zoned S-1/R-1. The zoning will recommend two parcels be zoned just R-1 and the parcel containing the Garden Court sub division will be zoned R-2. The zoning hearing will be scheduled for January, 2011 as there will be no plan commission meeting in December.