Township Opposes Aspen Rd. Zoning Variance

The Bethel Township Trustees of Clark County met in regular session on Tuesday, January 26 to discuss current area issues.

The board addressed a zoning variance request for a property on Aspen Road, saying that a township easement runs through the property and that they are opposed to any construction on the easement. The owners have requested a variance that would allow them to build what one board member considered to be a “huge pole barn” on the property.

Trustee Dave Phares said that the county requires that a structure be erected no closer than 25 feet away from the roadway and no more than 15 feet from the back of the property line, however, the lot in question is only 44 feet deep, according to Phares.

Bethel Township has a 20-foot easement on the property, and as of the meeting time, the board was still trying to determine which utilities ran through that easement. Phares said he is also concerned that water runoff will be directed onto the street because “they’re trying to build such a big building on a small lot,” he said.

Trustee Nancy Brown said she learned from Alan Neimayer at Clark County Development that building on top of municipal easements is prohibited in the county.

Trustee Don Minton suggested sending a letter to the county zoning committee, informing them that the township is opposed to the construction as currently drafted.

In other portions of the meeting, Bethel Township resident Edwin Dow was appointed to the Clark County Tax Incentive Review Council. Dow, who has served on the committee in years past, was also appointed to the New Carlisle Tax Incentive Review Council, along with Trustee Brown.

The board voted to allow the Donnelsville and MedLake Baseball Associations to use the Donnelsville cabin and Styer Park buildings for sign-ups at no cost.

Acting Fire Chief Chris Ludwick said that as of the meeting time, the Bethel Township Fire Department had been dispatched to a total of 144 runs since the first of January. 107 of those calls were EMS, the other 37 were fire. Ludwick said the department had attended “several motor vehicle crashes,” one building fire, and one pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle.

Mr. Fugate, a resident who lives on Oaklawn addressed the board about his neighbor’s property, which he said is an eyesore. Fugate said he takes great pride in his community and the appearance of his property, as he has lived in the area for many years and raised a family there. He said his neighbor “has no business being in the neighborhood,” and asked the board what could be done. Phares told Fugate that he would pass the address onto the township’s deputy, Alan Cox, and see what could be done. The board declares properties to be nuisances if they are in great disrepair or in need of regular maintenance that has gone unfinished.

Another resident, Mr. Fisher, approached the trustees about his concerns over speeding cars on Funderburg Road, saying that the speeding is getting out of control and that he fears that someone is going to lose their life in an accident. Trustee Minton, who lives in the same area, said that he too has noticed the extreme speeding in his neighborhood, saying he’s seen cars going in excess of one hundred miles per hour. Minton said he has approached Sheriff Kelly about the speeding on Milton-Carlisle, as there are no speed limit signs posted there. Brown said that the board could possibly ask for a speed study, as well as finding out the exact speed from the county and posting a speed limit sign, as there are none in place along the roadway currently.

The trustees meet the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the firehouse on the corner of Lake and Gerlaugh. The public is always welcome to attend.

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