Zoning request denied

A local business owner is looking for additional space to park used cars but isn’t getting much support from the city’s plan commission.

Tom Fenton and his wife, Cheryl Fenton, own property at 802 W. Brown St., and currently rent out the home on the lot, but had requested a land use variance for the property.

Commissioners voted earlier this month to deny the petition with a vote of 7-1. Mike Jordan was the only one to vote in favor of the request. Three board members were absent from the meeting.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will have the final vote at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Representing the Fentons, attorney Jeff Lorenzo said Tom Fenton would like to be able to park and store vehicles on the property that will ultimately be sold at his used car lot, Apple Auto Sales.

“Several months ago he started parking vehicles at the rental property and a citation was issued by the city because he didn’t have appropriate zoning; so that is why we are here,” Lorenzo said. “Mr. Fenton occasionally has overflow from his used car lot, which is north of the property on the other side of Tipton.”

Building commissioner Jeremy Gray said the citation was given after someone complained about the property.

Lorenzo said the Fentons opted to file for a conditional use variance instead of a rezone because of other businesses in the area including a flower and gift shop and an optometry office.

“Long term we think that entire block will be commercial,” Lorenzo said. “All down Tipton and much of Brown Street what we have are commercial ventures. We recognize that to be an area in transition.”

Commissioner John Reinhart said he was concerned  there wasn’t enough room on the property for very many vehicles to be parked there. Another commissioner said he worried that Fenton would try to cram too many cars on the lot.

“We talked about six or seven, I think, and he wouldn’t be allowed to park them in the alley or in the street,” Gray said.

Fenton said that wouldn’t be a problem. He currently allows a renter to park his truck and trailer there too.

“I will go along with whatever you say,” Fenton said. “I don’t have to use it, but it would be nice to have the additional parking.”

“The intention is to put only as many (vehicles) as you allow,” Lorenzo told the board.

City engineer Nathan Frey said he went by the property and counted five vehicles that fit in the area behind the garage.

“Four or five cars will probably be plenty,” Gray said. “You couldn’t get 10 in there.”

If you go

What: Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals

Where: City Hall

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

On the agenda:

Tom and Cheryl Fenton requesting to vary from residential to commercial zoning on property located at 802 W. Brown St., to allow the property to be used to park/store vehicles that will ultimately be sold at their used car lot.

Stephen Manning Jr. requesting to vary from 25 foot front/side yard setback to 18 feet and to vary from 8.8 setback to 1 foot to allow construction of a 14 foot by 28 foot storage building at 1765 Creek Lane.

Samantha and Anthony Franklin requesting to vary from 20 foot rear yard setback to 4 feet to allow the construction of a 24 foot by 24 foot garage at 426 W. Seventh St.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.