With growth often comes the need for an increase in parking spaces, or at least a rearrangement of them.
Monday, Cardinal Services Inc. petitioned the Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance from development standards to allow a parking lot and retention pond in a Residential-1 district at 505 S. Colfax St.
The proposed parking lot and retention pond will be a new addition to the existing Cardinal Services property with landscape buffers for neighboring properties, according to information read by Assistant City Planner Jackson Longenbaugh. These will be located in the southwest corner of the current Cardinal Services facility.
Longenbaugh said based upon the findings of fact, it was the opinion of the Planning Department that the request could be ruled favorably.
Megan Carr, with G & G Hauling & Excavating, who is the engineer doing the design for the site plan for Cardinal Services, said, “Basically, they are doing current expansion, kind of phase 1. They started already moving the dock around to the other side and doing a new Opportunity Lab expansion. And in that, they’re going to redo the curb appeal of the building and add greenscape, so the east side, currently, the parking is very, very steep as it goes down to North Bay Drive.”
She said they are improving the east side and there will be an entrance drive and one exit out so the parking will be separated from the street and it will be flatter and more accessible to those getting in and out of their cars.
With improving the east side, Carr said Cardinal will be losing some parking spaces so they want to expand the parking on the southwest side to help recover those parking spots, as well as make room for a retention/infiltration pond so the stormwater from the expansion will be collected and stored and will infiltrate down to the ground water in that area. She said any overflow will go to the street.
“Currently, all the water on this parking lot just goes to the street so on both sides, we’re providing retention on the one side, and on the east side we’re actually slowing it down and filtering it through the landscape that will be added over there,” Carr said. “We’re overall improving the drainage and the curb appeal and ADA parking spots. They’re adding canopies for their clients to be dropped off at the main entrance and the west entrance.”
There were no remonstrators against the petition, but Jeff Owens, 504 S. Colfax St., had some questions about why they were improving that lot instead of another one that was zoned Commercial, as well as the water retention plans.
Carr showed Owens and the BZA the site plans, which went through the city’s technical committee. She explained how the site plan addressed a 100-year storm, and if there was overflow, there was a planned spillway, as required by state standards.
Owens also had a concern about headlights shining into his home’s windows. Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens said when the parking lot is done, they would be willing to entertain a screening on his property if it will help. “We definitely want to work with him,” she said.
With no other remonstrators, the BZA approved Cardinal’s petition unanimously.
Three other petitions before the city’s BZA were for home-based businesses, one of which was denied.
Katrina Van Ness petitioned for a use variance to allow a pet grooming business in a home in a Residential-2 zoning district at 1310 E. Clark St.
Longenbaugh said the zoning district only allows home-based businesses with a few conditions as provided in city code, but in this case the petitioner does not live at the property.
Planned hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with an expected five to seven customers per day. The entrance and parking are along the alley on the south end of the property. There will be no overnight boarding of animals.
In the future, this variance can be revoked if issues arise such as noise or parking problems, he said. For now, this case presents well and has no outstanding issues. The Planning Department found that the request should be ruled favorably.
Van Ness did not show up to the meeting, but two women representing remonstrators did.
Mary Lafountain, of 1219 E. Clark St., said that while she wasn’t an adjacent neighbor, the house right across at 1226 has little kids that play in the backyard where the alley goes east and west. She asked if there was a speed limit for the alley because five to seven cars a day was a lot of vehicles for that alley.
She also asked if the home needed to be inspected for the grooming business, but was told it did not.
Julie Kline, speaking on behalf of her daughter and son-in-law who live at 1350 E. Fort Wayne St., said the petitioners are currently doing the dog grooming and cars do block the alley. The dogs that are arriving are not on leashes and they’re in her daughter and son-in-law’s yard.
Neighbor Della Swain, 1303 E. Clark St., emailed her concerns about the request. She wrote, “As we discussed, my concerns begin with an increase in traffic with school children walking along East Clark Street and in the alley between East Clark and East Fort Wayne streets due to our lack of continuous good sidewalks on East Clark Street.”
She stated there are elderly residents who walk in the paved alley for exercise.
Her last paragraph expresses “unpleasant situations” she’s endured “regarding activities of the residents and visitors at the 1310 location.”
Because Van Ness did not show up to the meeting to provide more information, Board member Jeff Johnson made a motion to deny the petition, and the motion passed.
Jay Morehead petitioned the BZA for a special exception to allow a welding operation in an R-2 zoning district at 934 E. Fort Wayne St.
According to Longenbaugh, Morehead stated their hours of operation typically will be 5 to 9 p.m. now, but 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the future hopefully. They typically will see one to two clients a week, but the number could expand in the future if there is growth. With available parking along the garage, there would be very little disturbance to the alley and current traffic patterns. Morehead will be the only employee.
The opinion of the Warsaw Planning Department was that the exception should be ruled favorably, Longenbaugh said.
Morehead told the BZA everything would be indoors and he won’t be doing anything in the driveway or such. It is Tig welding, so it doesn’t produce the smoke, fire and sparks like other welding does, he said.
Neighbor Ron Wright left the department a voicemail supporting Morehead’s petition, while neighbor Darlene Eherenman emailed her support. There were no remonstrators.
The BZA approved Morehead’s petition 4-0.
Joel and Jessica Popenfoose petitioned for a use variance to allow a beauty shop in a Residential-1 district in the rear of the home at 1910 E. Clark St.
Longenbaugh said the home-based business will be accessible from the front of the house by a proposed sidewalk around the east side of the garage. The petitioner will be living at the home and will have no other employees. Since the petitioner has a larger driveway, there is ample parking and increased traffic is not a concern.
The Planning Department said the request should be ruled favorably, he said.
Jessica Popenfoose said the hours will only be three to four days a week, some Saturdays, six to eight hours a day. She estimated she may only see two clients a day, depending on the services being provided.
With no remonstrators, the Popenfooses’ petition was approved 4-0.