Bethel Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) unanimously approved three variances for exceptions to the size and height of accessory buildings in the township at the Feb. 23, 2017 meeting.   

The first request was from Steve Weichbrodt, 5930 S Rudy Road, to erect a pole barn higher than the 15-foot maximum allowed by the zoning code.  The parcel is 15.216 acres zoned A-1 Domestic Agriculture.  He requested to build a barn on the property that is 18 feet 9 inches at the midpoint, which is 3 feet, 9 inches about the established height.  An existed barn on the site is approximately 22 feet 6 inches, so the proposed barn would be similar in size to the existing building.  Weichbrodt said, “I plan to use the facility to store trailers and vehicles that are currently being parked outside on the property.  I also need the added height to provide for storage in a loft above the main floor of the building.”

The BZA approved the request.

Cathy Hamilton, 7930 Singer Road, requested an accessory building larger than the 1200 square feet permitted on the approximately .81-acre parcel.  The property is zoned R-1A Residential.  The proposed footprint for the accessory building is 1500 square feet, which is 300 square feet larger than allowed. 

Although Hamilton did not attend the meeting, the contractor Steve Owens was there.  He added, “The building would be placed where the current sewer system is; however, Hamilton is working with the county to relocate the existing sewer system.  It is old and leaks.  It is time for it to be replaced.  This work would take place before the accessory building is built.  It has to be done.”

BZA Board Member Jeff Butt asked, “Is the proposed building less than 25% larger than the maximum size allowed?”

Planning and Zoning Director Marty Caskey told him that it was 25% larger.

There were no further questions and the BZA approved the request.

The third request was from Mathew Brun to build an accessory building that is 19 feet at midpoint, which is four feet higher than allowed on the R-1 AAA Residential property.  Brun was not in attendance; however, his contractor Owens explained, “This request is being made to correct an oversight in the original request for a size variance for the barn.  If a height variance is not requested the pitch of the roof would not be sufficient for proper drainage.”  Owens also pointed out that the building would be located behind the house in a significantly lower area.  He said, “With the variance the house will still be higher than the top of the barn because of its location on top of a hill in front of the proposed barn location.”

The BZA approved the request.

The next meeting of the Bethel BZA is scheduled for March 23, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Township Meeting Room.