Warsaw BZA OKs variance for potential restaurant space

TTSO LLC petitioned the Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday for a use variance to allow for the possibility of a restaurant at 501 Argonne Road. The request was granted. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
By David Slone

WARSAW — If a restaurant is looking to locate along Argonne Road, there’s now a potential space for it.

During the Warsaw Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Monday, petitioner TTSO LLC requested a use variance to allow a restaurant in the building at 501 Argonne Road in an Industrial-2 zoning district. The parcel is near the developing 2525 Durbin apartments and is mostly surrounded by industrial zoning, with some adjacent commercial to the north, according to Assistant City Planner Bekah Schrag.

The property is owned by TTSO LLC, which rents out spaces for commercial and industrial offices. TTSO is anticipating renting to a restaurant as more residential develops nearby, but must obtain a variance to have that opportunity, Schrag told the zoning board.

Some of the adjacent area is being redeveloped for multiuse and residential purposes. Permitting commercial use near residential has proven to be beneficial for community welfare and growth, according to Schrag. By allowing a restaurant at 501 Argonne, the residential experience in that corridor will be enhanced. If approved, the petitioner will have to comply with parking regulations for restaurants.

Based on the information provided and the findings of fact, Schrag recommended the board approve the use variance to permit a restaurant at 501 Argonne Road.

Board Vice President Rick Keeven said, “In general, every time I hear about this area, it seems like we’re trying to do more commercial than industrial anyway. I just kind of wonder why, at some point, the city planner doesn’t look at rezoning some of that together.”

Schrag said there are still some industrial uses in the area. “However, industry typically wants to be closer to large highways and this used to be on a large highway, that’s why some of the residential is moving into that area.”

Mary Phipps, representing TTSO, said they rent office space right now to different companies, but as they are looking at the city’s plans to enhance the area with more developing residential and mixed-use properties, “we wanted the opportunity, if we should find a renter that wants to use our space for a restaurant, that that opportunity would be there. We could open up that space to those kinds of renters.”

She said they have multiple spaces in the building. Right now, they have office space in the building but they have more area that can be developed and further renovated into restaurant space.

“So it may end up being mixed-use,” Phipps stated.

With no remonstrators, the board unanimously approved the use variance.

In an other matter, Gabrielle Harris requested a special exception to permit a dog grooming business in a detached garage at 1410 Clark St., Warsaw, in a Residential-2 zoning district. The R-2 zoning district allows home-based businesses as special exceptions with conditions, Schrag told the board in presenting the petition.

The parcel is surrounded by residential, and the detached garage abuts an alley that would provide direct access to the home-based business. The petitioner will be living at the home and will have no other employees. Since the petitioner only has one client at a time, there is ample parking and increased traffic is not a concern.

Schrag recommended the board approve the special exception to permit the home occupation at 1410 Clark St.

Board President Tammy Dalton asked Harris if she had water in the detached garage. Harris said they did not and they will have to put in a water line.

With no remonstrators, the board unanimously approved the petition.