Greencastle BZA approves office building expansion

Friday, May 5, 2017
Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE The office building at the northwest corner of Round Barn and Ridgeland roads will be expanded to the east to provide additional space for the Indiana Department of Child Services office. The Zoning Board has approved a variance allowing the project to come within 30 feet of Round Barn Road.

With a state agency expanding its operations across Indiana, it’s only logical its Greencastle office would need an expansion of its own.

And Tuesday night approval of the expansion of a building housing the local office of the Indiana Department of Child Services and Case Chiropractic at 121 Ridgeland Rd. was granted by the Greencastle Board of Zoning Appeals in the form of a development standards variance.

The property at Ridgeland and Round Barn roads on Greencastle’s East Side will be expanded by 1,600 square feet -- a 20 x 80-foot addition -- petitioner Brad Emmert of Emmert Group Properties told the BZA during its May meeting at City Hall.

He explained that the Department of Child Services is “expanding all over the state” as it adds case workers.

Because of that, he said, the local office building needs to be “expanded to meet their needs.”

The expansion project will create “a bullpen atmosphere” with 24 cubicles and eliminating offices in the process, Emmert said.

To do all that, however, it will be necessary for the expansion to encroach on the prescribed 40-foot front yard setback from Round Barn Road by 10 feet. That is why a development standards variance was necessary to allow the expanded building to instead come within 30 feet of the roadway in an area zoned mixed density (XD).

City Planner Shannon Norman also noted that it is a corner lot, which requires meeting other standards, including that the new construction not infringe upon city right-of-way nor enter the easements for water or sanitary sewer lines. Norman said she checked with the Department of Public Works and the proposed addition and setbacks should be fine.

Norman also noted that the existing building has plenty of parking spaces under city ordinance regulations, so no additional spots will be necessary.

BZA member Andrew Ranck raised the only concern, asking about how the property seems to drop off severely on the Round Barn Road side about 20 feet out from the present building.

“It doesn’t fall off as much as you might think,” Emmert said, adding that landscaping will be added around the area where the new addition will meet the drop-off to make it more visually pleasing.

Wayne Lewis subsequently made the motion to approve the variance request with Ranck and Chairman Brian Cox adding affirmative votes. Board member Margaret Kenton was absent.

The BZA is currently operating one member short, awaiting an appointment from the Plan Commission, Norman said.

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  • why not expand to the west where there is more room

    -- Posted by Rainbow6 on Sat, May 6, 2017, at 10:24 AM
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