Standing are Larry Coplen (L) and Bob Conley. Seated (left to right) are Jon Garber, Doug Ruch and Lee Harman. With his back to the camera is Regional Plan Director Dan Richard. Photo by Tim Ashley, Ink Free News.

Potential business growth became the topic of the regular monthly meeting of the Kosciusko County Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The CPA reviewed four zoning change applications, all of which involved potential business growth.

Jeff Strombeck’s petition to rezone 20 acres of agricultural to commercial area along the north side of CR 500N (also known as Armstrong Road) near the intersection with Ind. 13 at the northwest corner of Tippecanoe Township was recommended for approval. Attorney Steve Snyder represented Strombeck and said a potential buyer of the property wanted to start some type of retail business along Armstrong Road.

“We’re looking to rezone the northern portion of the 20 acres and it really needs to be commercial zoned to be usable,” Snyder said.

Scott Anderson owns the property on the north side of the wooded area next to the land owned by Strombeck and has said his property is primarily used for hunting and is concerned about the effect a commercial venture would have. on his property.

Snyder said it is likely that the business will not be an active retail business but a storage business of some type and that there is no residence nearby. County surveyor Mike Kissinger noted that rezoning the property for commercial purposes opens it up to several types of potential uses. He asked Snyder if a commitment could be made to keep the use other than active retail, but Snyder said, “I can’t make that commitment now.”

There was some discussion about the location of the curbs and whether they will be off the Ind. 13 or Armstrong Road. Snyder said: “It is too early in the development process to know for sure” and when the preliminary platform is presented, the APC will either approve it or not approve it at that time.

Power lines also crossed the property and it was noted that nothing could be built in this easement.

Since the property sits outside the city limits of North Webster, county commissioners will consider the petition at their October 26 meeting.

In other cases, the CPA has voted unanimously to file a petition until the Nov. 3 meeting by the Wesleyan Church in the Northern District of Indiana to dezone 17 acres from residential to commercial on the west side. of the Ind. 15 at the intersection with Dixie Drive in Lake Township. . The property adjoins the city limits of Silver Lake to the north.

Spencer O’Dell is with the engineering firm working on the development of the property and has said the intention is to subdivide the land and sell it to a developer for general retail use, which he said he couldn’t be more specific. With the exception of one house, much of the land is now vacant.

Two neighboring landlords who live next door to each other said they oppose the petition due to the risk of increased noise and litter in the neighborhood. They said there are other commercial properties in the area that are vacant and can be used.

There have been discussions within the APC on how this development would affect the overall county plan. It was decided that even if the property is outside the city limits of Silver Lake, to seek the advice of city council, as this “directly affects their growth and development,” said Dan Richard, director of the regional plan.

Also during the meeting, the CPA recommended Jeff Clifton’s approval to change the zoning of the property from residential to commercial on the east side of Jefferson Street, south of Sycamore Street, to Silver Lake. These are three residential lots on the south side of town.

Clifton said he wanted to start some sort of rental business where small tools, lawn mowers, grills and maybe outdoor furniture could be rented. A driveway that is nothing but grass is still flat and cuts the property in half. Clifton said he would use it as an entrance off the Ind. 15.

Approval was recommended on the condition that some type of buffer zone, such as trees or shrubs, be used between the property and the house to the south. Silver Lake City Council will consider the petition at its Wednesday meeting.

Larry Hilty’s petition to clear 2.35 acres of public to commercial use on the east side of Harrison Street, north of Main Street, in Silver Lake was recommended for approval. Hilty said he plans to have a wedding venue built on the property. An agreement was made with the Silver Lake Lions Club to use their driveway to access the wedding venue.

Silver Lake City Council will consider the petition at its Wednesday meeting.

The last agenda item was recommended for approval by the PCA. The Ridenour family are requesting that a utility easement, in this case a NIPSCO gas line, be released on Lot # 7 in the Cripplegate Crossing subdivision in Plain Township near Oswego Lake.

Snyder said the property was recently purchased and the owner wanted to be able to use all available space to build on the hillside. He said the owners of Lots 5 and 6 are in favor of the petition.

“We have contracted with NIPSCO to relocate the gas line with the approval of the owner of Lot 5,” he said.

County commissioners will consider the petition at their October 26 meeting.