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County compromises on home business

May 17, 2018 GMT

Some Springfield Township neighbors won a compromise victory Wednesday when the Allen County Board of Zoning Appeals allowed the operator of a home-based concrete business to store materials and vehicles at his residence.

But the board also banned storage at the desired site, which neighbors complained was closer to their homes than his own.

The ruling came after testimony on an application for a special use as a home workshop for an L-shaped property owned by Amos and RoseAnna Lengacher, who also have their home there. The property has frontage on both Spencerville and Springfield Center roads.

The concrete business had been storing work trucks and trailers along the south property line near an entrance from Spencerville Road, as well as allowing workers to park there before being driven to jobs.

However, neighbors said the location was noisy and an eyesore.

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According to Department of Planning staff members, Amos Lengacher’s activities have been the subject of various complaints from neighbors for several years.

As a compromise, staff members suggested Lengacher store the vehicles within 200 feet of his home, which fronts Springfield Center Road, and extend his own driveway to reach the lot.

Lengacher, who said he is Amish, explained that “our tradition” made him wary of storing the vehicles close to the house, as did concern for young children who might get into mischief with them so close.

He said the proposal would cost him money to add gravel, but he could do it. 

After he told the board it was difficult to find commercial outdoor storage sites in the Grabill area, board members unanimously voted to allow the special use.

But they also limited the storage to 10 vehicles and the site to 2,000 square feet, and required a new site plan by June 15 and a completed move by July 15.

In addition, a follow-up meeting is required with a hearing officer in six months.   

rsalter@jg.net