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BZA may put time restrictions on applicants with special requests

Applicants for variances and special exceptions may be given a time limit if the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals decides to amend its bylaws.
BZA chairman Tod Smyrichinsky suggested the amendment at Thursday night’s meeting after an applicant asked that his request be tabled a second time.
Smyrichinsky also recommended that applicants be required to give at least two weeks notice when asking for a delay.
The discussion arose after Greg Gurtz asked that his request for a special exception be tabled another month.
Gurtz came to the BZA in April to request a special exception for a conditional use, saying he wanted to open a used furniture store on the west side of S.R. 337 between Tunnel Hill and Frenchtown-Milltown roads.
The BZA tabled the request to allow Gurtz time to determine the property lines after opposition was expressed.
Gurtz asked that the request be tabled at the May meeting, then again at last week’s meeting.
Smyrichinsky suggested applicants be allowed to have their request tabled one time “without just cause,” for things other than those beyond their control.
“I think it should be heard,” said Fritz Gettelfinger, who was recently reappointed to the BZA. He had resigned in June 2000.
Gettelfinger then made the motion, which passed unanimously, to the hear the docket at the July BZA meeting, “whether the applicant is here or not.”
Harrison County Planner Eric Wise will draft a proposed bylaw change regarding applicants tabling requests to be considered July 26.
Also at last week’s meeting, the BZA unanimously approved:
* A special exception request by Michael D. Gable for an auto repair and resale business at 101 Wiseman Road, Corydon. It was stipulated that: all work must be done inside Gable’s barn, there can be no sign posted, and Gable can have no employees.
* A special exception request by Dawn M. Roberts for a daycare in her home at 775 Brunner Hill Road, Palmyra. Stipulations included that all illegally placed signs must be removed and one sign can be installed at the end of the driveway.
* A variance for Jeff Waynescott that reduces the front and side yard setbacks for property on the southeast corner of Motts and Oak Park roads. The variance allows the applicant to follow the same setbacks used by existing properties.
Another special exception request was approved, but received a 3-1 vote, with Gettelfinger saying nay.
Michael O’Connor made the request so he could operate a firearms dealership and auto electric/tune-up repair at 7905 Walk Drive, New Salisbury. He plans to have two to three vehicles at a time and will do the repair work inside. O’Connor said he’s had a firearms license since 1981, although he doesn’t usually sell to the general public.
Angela Kitchel spoke against the request, saying she was concerned about the volume of traffic O’Connor’s business would generate.
“This is a residential area,” she said. “I don’t think it would be good, at least not for me.”
The request was approved with the stipulations that O’Connor keep the vehicles and parts inside and that adequate parking be provided for customers. Gettelfinger said he voted against the request because it’s a business one would not expect to find in that area and because “we do have someone in opposition to it.”
The BZA meets again on Thursday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Room of the Harrison County Court House.