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Concern for S.R. 135

An applicant wanting to place a mobile home on his property and reduce the required front-yard setback was met by opposition from a neighbor who disputed the location of the property lines.
Walter L. Kennedy Jr. asked the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals at its meeting Thursday night for the variance and special exception on his property at 6775 Highway 135 NE. One request was denied and the other approved.
Kennedy wanted to put a mobile home on the property near the location of a house that had burned, but a utility pole would prevent the required 50-foot setback. Because Kennedy doesn’t want to have the pole removed and placed in a different location, the dwelling would be placed about 34 feet from the right-of-way on S.R. 135.
Harrison County Planner Eric Wise said the proposed site is farther from the road than where the structure had been.
Brooks Richards questioned the location of the property lines.
‘I don’t see how this board can have any impact on’ the property line dispute, Wise said.
BZA member Jim Klinstiver, a retired state highway employee, said, ‘Everybody knows they’re upgrading (S.R.) 135 from Palmyra to Salem. They probably will work on this section of 135’ between Corydon and Palmyra.
‘Protection of 135’s right-of-way is a concern of mine,’ he said.
‘I agree with Jim,’ said BZA chair Larry Ott. ‘We need to protect the right-of-way here.’
Tod Smyrichinsky, another BZA member, said, ‘We can still disapprove this (one request) and approve the other.’
And that’s what the BZA did. In denying the request to reduce the front-yard setback, the BZA told Kennedy he could still do what he wanted to do, but he would have to relocate the utility pole.
The special exception for the temporary mobile home was approved with the stipulation that the dwelling be removed when no longer needed by a family member, and it can’t be rented or sold. But before a permit is issued by the Harrison County Plan and Zoning Office, Kennedy would have to remove junk cars located on his property.
Another applicant’s request was opposed by her neighbor but still had her request approved.
Janet Gurtz asked for a variance to reduce a required side-yard setback for her property at 3615 Lost Creek Road.
Gurtz said she wants to sell the property, half of which she obtained through an inheritance and the rest by purchase from her sister, but her neighbor, Dallas Hoback, made a formal complaint to the plan and zoning office that the garage on the property is too close to his property line.
According to the staff report, the garage is about 9-1/2 feet from the property line; because there is not at least 10 feet between the garage and the mobile home, the garage should be a minimum of 25 feet from the line. ‘It’s in a better place than it could have been,’ said Wise.
The BZA approved the request with the stipulation that when the mobile home is replaced, it must be placed with at least 10 feet between the dwelling and the garage.
Other docket items approved last week include:
* Larry and Catherine Lowe’s request for a special exception for a temporary mobile home on their property at 1450 Highway 335 and the couple’s request for a variance to create a lot less than one acre and reduce a required front-yard setback. They intend to place a mobile home on their property for Catherine’s mother. The dwelling will be removed when it’s no longer needed or reset if the right-of-way needs to be widened.
* James Gowers’s request for a special exception for a second dwelling on his property at 13525 Corydon-Ramsey Road in Blue River Township. He had converted part of his garage into an apartment that his son has been living in since 2000. The BZA stipulated that only family members can live in the apartment, Gowers’s property cannot be divided, and if the property is sold, the apartment in the garage could no longer be used as a dwelling.
* Robert and Karen Stilger’s request for a variance to create a lot with less than 150 feet of road frontage. The Stilgers have lived on the property about 17 years and didn’t know they were in noncompliance until they asked for a building permit to replace a garage. Their property is located at the end of Woody Lane, a dead-end county road.
* Alan Feller’s request for a variance to reduce a required front-yard setback on his property on the south side of Old Forest Road between Walnut Valley and Feller roads. Feller intends to construct an equipment storage building at least 50 feet from the center of the road, rather than the required 65 feet. Feller said if the topography will allow him to set the building back farther, he will.