Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 28, 2012

Goshen BZA: Church needs to move its mission trailer

GOSHEN — A local church will not be granted a variance to store a semi-trailer on the church’s property.

The members of the Goshen Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday denied a variance request from Goshen Christian Church, 2133 Berkey Ave., to store a 45-foot semi-trailer used for their mission, Eden Children’s Ministries, in Zimbabwe, Africa.

The variance request also asked for a sign and the occasional placement of a shipping container.

Fred Ramser with the church said storing the trailer on-site would be economical, so that more funds can go to the mission.

“The idea is to keep it economical on-site,” Ramser said.

Members of nearby Larimer Greens said they don’t have a problem with the mission — just the trailer.

“I bought in Larimer Greens because my property would be protected by covenants,” resident Linda Taylor said.

Jim Simmons, who is president of the home owners association, called the mission work a “noble cause.”

“I just have problems with the location of the trailer,” Simmons said. “I’m sure there’s abundant warehouse space with a dock where they can store it.”

City Planner Rhonda Yoder cited Residential-1 zoning code as the basis for her negative recommendation to the board.

“The R-1 zoning district is designed to permit and protect single family homes, allowing very limited conditional uses, such as churches and schools, and the parking/storage of large vehicles (an industrial use) is prohibited in order to protect residential neighborhoods,” Yoder wrote in her recommendation.

The church has 90 days to remove the trailer.

Old Bag Factory

The board members voted to hold a show-cause hearing in January 2013 for the variance granted for The Old Bag Factory in March 2011.

The conditions of the variance have not been met, according to Yoder, though a deadline was set at the June meeting of Nov. 1.

James Rupright, owner, was required by the meeting to have delineation of the parking lot, construction of the driveway approach and sidewalks completed by Nov. 1.

Other business:

• The board members also denied a variance request for a larger-than-permitted sign for Bontrager Hardies Realty on Elkhart Road. The request was for a 72 square-foot sign, where only 64 square feet is allowed.

• Yoder gave dates for the 2013 meetings for the Board of Zoning Appeals. December’s meeting of the board will be held Dec. 27, as a joint meeting with the Goshen Plan Commission.

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