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Allen Twp.
Written by Larry Limpf   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 15:09

Denial of zoning change upheld by court

An appeals court has upheld a decision by the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court to deny a request for a zoning variance by a man who wanted to construct an 8,200-square-foot building in Allen Township on land zoned for agricultural use.

Tim Miller had asked the Sixth District Court of Appeals to reverse the common pleas court decision after the lower court affirmed a decision by the township’s board of zoning appeals to deny the variance request.

Miller filed a request with the township for a variance permit in May, 2008. The zoning board, which conducted a public hearing on June, 4, turned him down, citing the township’s zoning resolution that sets a limit of 3,000 square feet for accessory buildings in an agriculture district.

The common pleas court affirmed the zoning board decision on July 10.

Miller’s appeal contended the common pleas court erred by disregarding that the zoning board’s decision constituted “unreasonable and arbitrary enforcement of the (zoning) ordinance.”

He also argued the common pleas court erred when it didn’t rule a typographical error in the zoning board’s public hearing notice adversely affected his request.

The notice mistakenly listed the size of the requested structure at 6,200 square feet.

“As such, one could conversely speculate that the effect of the error accrued to the benefit of appellant via reduced opposition of a structure stated in the notice to be far less nonconforming than was actually the case,” the appeals court decision says.

After being rejected by the zoning board, Miller, in a letter to the editor published by The Press, wrote that he wanted to construct the building to store two race cars, trucks, and equipment used for an installation business.

He also wrote that he asked residents with property near his and they said they didn’t object to his plans for a building.

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By: Larry Limpf

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