The Bethel Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) met on July 28, 2016 to hear three variance zoning requests. The first request from Matthew Burn of 6185 Dayton-Brandt Road was to build a pole barn that exceeds the maximum size for the parcel by 800 square feet. The size limit for the R1-AAA is 1600 square feet. The proposed pole barn would be 2400 square feet. According to Brun, he wants to use the barn to store a truck and boat trailer without detaching the trailer. The building would have electricity but no water. The BZA approved the request.

The second request for a variance form Bill Reece at 6821 US 40 was to build a lean to on the existing structure at that location that would encroach on the setback area of the property. Half of the property is zoned I-1 out of which Reece operates an antique store /flea market. The other half is zoned residential. At this point, the business portion is drifting over to the residential portion of the property. According to Reece, the lean to would allow him to remove the sale contents from in front of the residential area of the property. In addition, the current structure already violates the setbacks for an industrial property but was grandfathered in because the facility was built prior to the establishment of the current zoning codes.

BZA member Julie Reese expressed her concerns about the lean to. “I’m afraid that if we allow the construction, it would be just one small step to enclose the lean to and ignore fire code and create a wind tunnel that could become a fire trap.”

The BZA approved the request with Reese casting a dissenting vote.

The third case heard by the BZA was a request from the Iron Workers Local 290 to erect a sign at their headquarters at 4191 US 50. The current zoning requires that the maximum size for a sign is 50 square feet; however, the Iron Workers requested to place a 144 square foot sign at the location. The 5.132-acre lot is zoned I-1. In addition, to the sign being triple the size the Iron Workers requested that it be placed well above the 10-foot maximum height for a sign. The BZA did not have the current regulations available and tabled the request until they could research the issue more thoroughly.

The next meeting of the Bethel BZA is scheduled for August 25, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the township meeting room.

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