Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals members considered the request of Leland and Ann Zumbaugh for a Variance of Use to allow a second residence in a proposed barn to assist in caring for a special-needs grandchild at 16412 State Road 10 east of Culver.

The Zumbaughs live on 39-plus acres and want to build a barndominium for their daughter and granddaughter.

BZA President Jeff Gustafson asked Planning Director Ty Adley why the Zumbaughs are not taking off a piece of the property and making a second parcel with the barndominium on it.  Adley said it was their choice to keep it all together.  Again, Gustafson asked the question of why two residential structures are on one parcel of ground when it is enough to land to make a separate parcel. 

Mrs. Zumbaugh said they recently upgraded the septic system on the property and enlarged it so they could add the barndominium on the septic without having to put in a second septic system.

The county only permits one residence on a lot except for a special exception.  Mr. Hostetler said the county can grant a temporary use to allow for the care of an individual as long as they need the extra care or are alive.  At that point then the variance would be withdrawn. 

The Board of Zoning Appeals conducted a public hearing with no remarks. 

BZA member Trent Bennet asked the Zumbaughs if they had discussed the issue with their estate planning attorney with concerns about not making a second lot for the barndominium.  His concern was that “this is a massive structure.” 

Mr. Zumbaugh said he had the plans so that the structure could be converted into a barn when the family wasn’t needed to assist the grandchild. 

Mr. Hostetler said their request is no different than what we do for someone taking care of their elderly parent who adds a trailer or modifies a garage.  They may have a little more money to do something different.

When asked by Mr. Gustafson why they shouldn’t have to split off a lot for the second structure, Mr. Hostetler said, “That’s their choice.  We should be directing them.  You can tell them that is your recommendation, but I don’t think we should direct them to do that.”  When asked about the comprehensive plan Mr. Hostetler said, “I think this is an exception to those kinds of things.”

Mr. Hostetler then made the motion to approve with the stipulation that only the daughter and or granddaughter are allowed to live in the barndominium.  The vote was 3 yes by Hostetler, Michelle Mieras Chris Kline, and no votes by Jeff Gustafson and Trent Bennett.