At its regular meeting Wednesday night, the Decatur County Board of Zoning Appeal appointed its officers for 2013.
Long-time Board member Albert Armand was re-appointed president, while Board member Roger Krzyaznowski was appointed vice president. Board member Jay Hatton was appointed secretary, rounding out Wednesday’s appointments. The Board approved all three unanimously.
Also Wednesday night, the Board heard a request from local landowner, and grain and livestock farmer Kenny Gauck.
According to documents, Gauck petitioned the Board for a “special exception” to the zoning boundaries that apply to his property at 7400 East County Road 200 North, in Fugit Township.
Gauck told the Board he wants to build a personal-use pond on the property. He clarified that the pond wouldn’t be used to irrigate crops or for any other business-related purpose. He added that the proposed spot is one-eighth mile from the nearest road and thus, the pond would pose no impediment or danger to nearby traffic.
Gauck also assured the Board that the property is well-removed from other properties and that the surrounding soil is “highly erodible.” The pond’s only source of groundwater would be from his property, Gauck added.
“Is there any chance that you’ll want to build another house on this property?” Armand inquired. “It’s typical in exemptions like these to stipulate that the owner not build new houses on the property. Are you okay with that?”
Gauck conceded that the idea of building new homes near the spot has “crossed my mind,” but added that he would do so only for his children, should they express future interest in building at the spot.
With Gauck’s answer, Board member Shannon Kunkel expanded on Armand’s question, revealing the Board’s exact concern with regarding future construction projects on the property. “Are you looking to [commercially] develop the property?”
“No,” Gauck responded. “Not unless one of my kids wants to build a house on the property sometime in the future. There’s a possibility we might put a small cabin nearby for shelter, but anything we build would be for private, family use only. We wouldn’t be building anything for commercial use or for sale to the public.”
After the meeting, the 56-year-old Gauck told the Daily News that he anticipates using the area in the not-to-distant future as a “retirement area,” and that he intends to stock the new pond with fish for fishing.
“I’m 56,” he said, “so retirement is still several years down the road, but I envision that spot as a great place to spend time once I do finally retire.”
Once sufficiently clear on Gauck’s plans for both the pond and the land moving forward, the Board unanimously approved Gauck’s request.
The next regular meeting of the Decatur County Board of Zoning Appeal is March 6, at 6:30 p.m., at the Decatur County Courthouse.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.