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BZA denies single- wide request

The LaGrange County BZA denied an application for a land use variance from the Michiana Baptist Camp at Tuesday’s meeting.

The camp, located on the north side of Shipshewana Lake, had applied for the placement of a single-wide mobile home in an L-1 zone, which would require a land use variance.

According to Donald Chesher from the Michiana Baptist Camp, the camp had recently demolished a single-wide trailer that had been deteriorating over the years, but had been used to house the camp’s groundskeeper and his family. The camp received a replacement single-wide as a donation and moved it onto the property before finding out it would need the variance.

The initial trailer had been on the site long enough that it preceded current county zoning laws.

The BZA heard from Shipshewana Lake resident Steve Weiderman, who acknowledged that the camp needed the living quarters for the family, but questioned if allowing it would set a precedent to allow other single-wides around the lake area. Board President Lynn Bowen noted that it would not set a precedent from the board’s point of view for any future variance requests.

The board also received a letter questioning the past care of the campgrounds from H. John Veenstra.

Neighbor John Wolf spoke in favor of the variance, noting that the camp has been making visible headway in cleaning up the area over the past year.

In other business, the BZA approved the following applications:

Philip and Barbara Anderson, 8105N 1140W in Shipshewana, for the construction of a major accessory structure in a L-1 zone on an accessory lot with a footprint greater than the primary structure by 746 sq. ft.

Jeb and Ashley Thomas, 9495E 520S in Wolcottville, for the construction of a major accessory structure in an L-1 zone with a footprint greater than the primary structure by 2,128 sq. ft.

Esther Stahly, 11706W 750N in Middlebury, for two side yard setback variances of 4 ft. where the standard is 10 ft. in an L-1 zone with sewer.

Jeffrey Michel, 0170W 590S in Wolcottville, for placement of a 32x12 ft. shed 3 ft. from the east property line where the standard setback is 10 ft. in an L-1 zone with sewer.

Richard Dunne, 7025S 1195E in Hudson, for the addition of a garage to be built 7.1 ft. from the property line where the standard setback is 10 ft. in an L-1 zone with sewer.

James Sinish, 11525E 600N in Howe, for a roadside setback of 29 ft. where the standard is 45 ft., a side yard setback of 5 ft. where the standard is 10 ft., and a rear setback of 5 ft. where the standard is 15 ft. in an L-1 zone for a garage.

Larry Bauer, 7055S 125E in Wolcottville, for an addition of a garage to an existing house with a road side setback of 0 ft.

Harley and Loranna Bontrager, 6395S 900W in Topeka, a land use variance request for the repair and sales of refrigerators and freezers, along with other various heating devices, water softener units, and other items.