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BZA turns down request for RV storage variance

A Shipshewana area firm looking to park and store RVs at its location on North Village Drive had its variance request turned down when LaGrange County BZA members voiced concerns about the times of day that traffic would be coming and going from the lot.

Shipshe Investment Properties had requested a land use variance to allow them to park and store RVs at the intersection of Taylor Dr. and North Village Dr. on the north side of Shipshewana. The business had been previously approved for a facility that would manufacture and repair refrigerators and freezer units that are used in RVs and other uses.

However, the company needed a second variance to allow it to store RVs that were being worked on.

Randy Sexton, speaking on behalf of the company in presenting the variance request, told the board that they had an evergreen buffer as part of the planned development. He also noted that there were similar activities already taking place to the immediate west of the location.

Several adjoining landowners, whose homes are immediately to the north of the location, spoke against the proposed variance, noting that they were worried about increased traffic through the area as well as the hours that RVs would be coming and going from the lot.

Sexton asked the board for an extension so that the business could come back with a revised plan to address the issues brought up. However, the BZA denied the request to extent the public hearing.

Sexton then responded to some of the issues, noting that when the residents bought the land, it was public knowledge that the land to the south was zoned B-3 and therefore open to various types of businesses.

He also noted that the drivers taking RVs would use North Village Drive as it was the most direct route to SR 5. There was also no intention to perform any maintenance at the facility.

He told the board that he felt that the plan could be altered to address the issues.

However, board members voiced doubt that the hours could be regulated with a commercial drive-away lot as planned before voting to deny the request.

In other business:

The BZA denied two other variance requests Tuesday. A developmental standard variance request by Gregory and Susan Walbridge at 2110E 700S in Wolcottville for two lot width variances of 91.16 ft. and 77.83 ft. from the standard of 150 ft was denied.

A request from Ernest and Mary Alice Yoder of 2270S 1000W for a land use variance for the sale of handguns and rifles during the auction at that location, not to exceed more than two times a year, was also denied.

The BZA approved a developmental standard variance request from Robert and Barbara Hedges of 11565E 565N in Orland for a lake access lot with a width of 60 ft.

Milan and Lora Wingard of 5705W 600N in Shipshewana received approval for a land use variance for retail sales of aluminum storm doors as well as plastic trim and signs and fabrication of plastic sheets into retail items.