Tori Fehr’s petition to rezone 30.24 acres from a residential district to an agricultural district in Lake Township came under fire at the Wednesday Area Plan Commission meeting.

The property is on the west side of Ind. 15, north of Dixie Drive, and north of Silver Lake.

Attorney Steve Snyder represented Fehr and said she plans to build a barn and keep horses and offer a primitive campground in the wooded area on the west side of the property, which has shoreline along Silver and Little North lakes. A barrier would be established on the west side of the subdivision off Ind. 15.

Snyder said the town of Silver Lake had no interest in extending utilities that far north and no one was interested in buying the land.

Fehr also spoke for herself, saying she had initially planned to house 4-H animals for her grandchildren, but in the meantime her children had bought farms of their own.

Several people came forward against the petition.

Charles Creasbaun, 10020 N. Edgewater, asked about the financial impact of the rezoning.

Area Plan Director Dan Richard said tax rates were based on land use and currently the property was being used agriculturally.

Cynthia Jones, of 3052 W. Sunset Lane, said she moved there to live among people, not animals. She noted materials were already being taken to the site behind her house.

Harvey Hayes said he was concerned about the kind of people coming from the campground and hanging around the riding stable.

Morris Jones was worried about keeping the lake clear. He noted the area along the shore is swampy and the lake is low. Horse manure washing into the lake wouldn’t be good. He also said he tried to buy 10 acres from Fehr for years and Fehr wouldn’t sell any of it.

Daniel Kerlin pointed out that there’s no control over what happens on agricultural ground.

Commission President Lee Harman said what might happen in the future is of concern.

Snyder returned to the podium and said Fehr would place restrictions on the property with a limit of five horses, fencing them away from the lake and limiting the camping to family only.

Commissioner Bob Conley said he didn’t like to hand over control of anyone’s property to the neighbors and said there was no compelling reason for the restrictions.

The Plan Commission approved the petition, with the volunteer restrictions, which will receive final approval before the county commissioners.

Snyder also represented Gayle Pereira and Quality Engineering Services in presenting a petition to rezone ground from a commercial district to an industrial II district. The property is on the west side of Indiana Avenue, 200 feet south of County Line Road in Syracuse.

The industrial activity will take place in the former ShopKo building and be used to manufacturing wiring harnesses for recreational vehicles and boats. Snyder said there will be no outside storage and delivery trucks will be directed to enter the property directly off Indiana Avenue. The petition was approved and will go before the Syracuse Town Council for final approval.

Snyder represented Matt and Amy Cohagan, who want to rezone 14.41 acres from an agricultural district to an agricultural II district, which was approved. The Cohagan’s plan to sell parcels to their son and daughter for homes. The property is on the south side of CR 200S, 300 feet west of CR 400W in Harrison Township.

Glenn Hlutke’s petition for preliminary plat approval for a residential development on 9.95 acres was approved. The property is on the east side of CR 950E, 645 feet west of CR 975E in Tippecanoe Township. The board asked for a drainage survey before the property is divided into four lots.

Snyder presented an appeal petition to change one of the recorded 1984 covenants to allow outside storage and a small display area at the property on the west side of Ind. 13, south of CR 400N in Tippecanoe Township. It is owned by Edd Allen.

The property and building is leased by Alfano’s Pier & Lift, represented by Brandon Alfano. Alfano has customer boat lifts stored on the property for the winter and was unaware of any outside storage restrictions. He requested a change to display one boat lift and one pier section on the south side of the property and to build a privacy fence west of the building and store the boat lifts behind it, which was approved. Alfano agreed to have the fence up within 60 days.

Case No. 21007Z, filed by Edd Allen, to rezone ground from a residential district to a commercial district was continued as Allen did not appear at the meeting. The property is on the east side of Mill Street, with access off of U.S. 30 in Pierceton.

Harman asked if there were people opposing the petition and Joe Baker, who has a truck lot just south of the property, came forward.

Baker said there were standing water issues on that end of town. He presented photos showing wet areas from Saturday’s rain still hadn’t drained from the area. Another set of photos from 2020 showed water over the road that stayed for days. Baker said he kept three pumps working three days to keep water out of his building. Saying he was all for progress and businesses coming to Pierceton, he felt the drainage issue should be addressed first. He also felt there might be more pedestrian traffic in the area once a store was built and felt it might not be safe for walkers just off of the interstate.

Commissioner Mike Kissinger agreed with Baker regarding the water issues and said there has always been a problem in that area.

Robin Ousley also came forward, saying any building would be right in her backyard if the four lots were rezoned commercial.

The commissioners were concerned with traffic coming off of U.S. 30 and asked that a professional traffic study be conducted.

Case No. 21004Z, filed by Jason and Lindsay Gergely in Wayne Township, was dropped.

The vacation of property item as requested by Michael Irving, 544 EMS D15 Lane, was continued, as was the agriculture disclaimer discussion.