Two Union residents whose setback variances were challenged by the city of Union are back to square one.
A circuit judge has ruled that the variance hearings in which the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BOZA) granted the setbacks was flawed because the zoning code had not been entered into the record.
To further pursue their cases, petitioners Ed Schmelz and Randy DeWitt would be required to go back to the board of adjustment and have their requests reheard.
The BOZA is a commission appointed by the mayor and approved by aldermen. The board conducts hearings with testimony from applicants to determine if they should have a variance from city building codes due to unique circumstances
Schmelz’s case began in May 2015, when he applied for a variance. He appeared before the BOZA Jan. 6, 2016, when BOZA approved a variance granting side yard setbacks of 10 feet so Schmelz could build storage units on the property located off of CC Camp Road.
Schmelz argued that he has a hardship because he has an 80-foot lot with two 40-foot side yard setbacks, and can’t build on the property according to city code.
The second variance appealed by the city was granted at the same time as Schmelz’s request to Randy DeWitt in order to build an addition to his home, including a fence and a roof.
The roof was to be built above the fence to control water runoff and create an outdoor patio area.
The DeWitt property is located on State Street next to Adel Place, a roadway that extends south near the property.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann noted during the BOZA meeting that there is a possibility of extending Adel Place to the north to meet State Street. If that occurs, DeWitt’s roof and fence would encroach on city right of way.
The two were informed in April 2016 that the city was challenging the BOZA decision. The two civil suits were filed in circuit court March 21, 2016, appealing the decision in granting variances on properties.
City Administrator Russell Rost said DeWitt has indicated that he does not want to pursue the adjustment. Schmelz indicated that he hasn’t made a decision either way yet.