“We are aware that some feel this would be a great loss to the community,” Boyd said of the homes slated to be moved to avoid destruction. “We, the community, do not.”
Board of Zoning Appeals Member Rita Fleming said she respected the neighbors’ opinions about not wanting the home to be located on the lot, but also warned them about what could locate on-site.
“Be careful what you wish for because someone could put something very unattractive and very out-of-character with the neighborhood that would further destroy your property values,” she said.
Planning and Zoning Director Shane Corbin told the board before the vote that the office staff, while it did not conduct an official survey, measured the distances between the homes in the neighborhood. The distance between the homes averaged between 5 and 10 feet. The home that would be placed on the lot would be 9 feet away on one side of the home and 10 feet on the other side from its respective neighbors. He added that while the variance requested last month was rejected, a similar variance requested last year to help relocate the Reuben Wells house was approved.
In order to approve a variance, a majority of the board must approve the request on all of three criteria: that the variance will not be injurious to the public safety; the use and value of the adjacent property will not be affected by approving the variance; and granting the terms of the variance would result in a practical difficulty. The votes were 1-4, with Flemming, Mary Pat Boone, Josh Rodriquez and Marty Chalfant voting against; 1-4, with Boone, Flemming, Chalfant and Rodriquez voting against; and 2-3, with Boone, Chalfant and Rodriquez voting against. The remaining board member is Mike McCutcheon.
Following the vote, Hetrick said INDOT may have to look outside the historic district to relocate the home.