BZA hears about speeding issue

Cathy May - Contributing Writer

For more than an hour at the May board meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals, two sides discussed the pros and cons of a request from Ferrelgas to upgrade their facilities in Osgood. Neighbors Janice and Bob Rutherford and Natasha Kirschner were represented by Attorney Henry Pictor.

Pictor spent 30 minutes outlining the history of the property and asked the board to not grant the variance to permit a loading dock, truck canopy and possible office building in the Industrial-2 zone district.

It was 45 minutes into the discussion before anyone asked,” Just what do the neighbors object to?” The answer, “Speeding.” The neighbors had put inordinately high speed bumps on the easement which goes to the Ferrelgas property, 15" according to Bob Rutherford, to prevent the trucks from speeding.

The neighbors had recently gone to court and lost to Ferrelgas regarding two 15' easements and were told not to put speed bumps on the easement road. The Ferrelgas property has no road frontage.
The discussion got heated when it centered on the speeding issue. Jeff Volz, the manager and only full time employee, said that he never speeds on the road. The Rutherfords said the worst one was Rodney Stepleton who works for Ferrelgas part time.

When BZA member Denessa Benkie asked if they couldn’t ask the Osgood police to keep an eye on the road, Janice Rutherford replied, “Stepleton is the Osgood police!”

Natasha Kirschner was near tears when she said, “I have small children, two 3-year-olds and an 18-month old, and they play in the yard next to this road and I fear for their safety.”

The BZA granted the application with a 10' set back and required Ferrelgas to put in two speed bumps that will stay.

Paul Scholle asked for a variance in order to permit a survey to divide property in the Agriculture-1 zone. Scholle’s property, containing 2.1124 acres is on County Road 800N outside of Napoleon. His request was granted.

Arnold Cornett had two requests for property he owns on US 50 at Elrod. Cornett wants to put a small auto repair business on the property. Cornett described it as “a respectful business and one that would represent the area well.” The BZA granted both his requests.

Executive Director Tad Brinson asked the board to correct an error on the planning map. Property in Holton has been used commercially since 1955. The board voted to make the property General Business.

The Board then held an executive session to discuss a pending writ of certiorari with their attorney, John Ertel.

Three members of the board were present: Denessa Benkie, Roger Lang, and David Nuhring. Director Tad Brinson and Attorney John Ertel were present to advise the board. The next meeting of the BZA will be June 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Room of the courthouse annex in Versailles.

Attorney Henry Pictor pleads the case for his clients Bob and Janice Rutherford and Natasha Kirschner at the BZA meeting.