Last year, the Town
of Porter Board of Zoning Appeals gave the managers of Seven Peaks Waterpark
a list of commitments to accomplish in order for them to permit a use
variance for recreational activities such as paintball game play, go-carts,
ice skating, outdoor movies and an Easter Egg hunt.
The Waterpark just
barely made the deadline on its commitments last year of putting in and
paving a new entryway, moving the parking booth, submitting a stormwater
pollution prevention plan and implementing a French drainage system on the
With all that work,
there was no paintball started, nor go-carts, nor fall festival, nor Easter
The failure to
launch any of these activities, even more so than the unmet written
commitments for landscaping and paving of the parking lot, are the reason
the variance is now invalid.
At Wednesday’s BZA
meeting, board attorney Laura Frost said the variance becomes void if the
petitioner hasn’t done anything they sought it for in 12 months of its
Since the written
commitments are for the separate use variance of year-round activities and
not for the variance permitting the operation of a waterpark, Seven Peaks
can keep its variance for its business.
Town Director of
Development and Building Commissioner Michael Barry said Seven Peaks had put
up netting for the planned paintball arena but never followed through on
working with the Town on getting an ordinance for projectiles. None of the
landscaping or paving for the parking lot has been done which was an
obligation set for the end of July this year, he said.
Waterpark for sale?
understanding, Barry said the Waterpark owners are trying to sell the
property which would explain why they have decided not to do any more
purchased the property at Wagner Rd. and U.S. 20 in 2012, formerly known as
Splash Down Dunes.
BZA President John
Kremke, at Frost’s advice, directed Barry to notify the Waterpark by letter
that the board considers the variance expired.
Porter Beach garage
board split 4-1 on Porter Beach residents Kevin and Kristi Masten’s request
to put a standalone 23’ by 30’ garage on their property when they have
already the maximum limit of accessory structures with an existing garage, a
cabana and a pool house.
Having bought the
property last year, Kevin Masten said the garage would be big enough for two
cars and some additional storage. The garage that is attached to the house
is 20’ by 20’ and barely fits two vehicles, he said.
There is a
buildable pad covering two lots and a garage would seem the most “innocuous”
choice. “We see it as kind of a win-win for us and the area,” Masten said.
The garage will be
10.5 feet in height and will have a slope of about 8.5 feet. A retaining
wall will be on the north and east sides to manage erosion.
Kremke and BZA
member Bill Sexton asked Masten what his plans are for restoration and to
hold the dune in place.
Read into the
record for the public hearing were two letters from neighbors also concerned
about dune erosion. No one else was present to speak during the public
Masten said he is
willing to work within the building code as he sees it’s for his benefit as
well as the neighbors.
Town Planner Jim
Mandon said the variance considered would not have to be weighed on
environmental impact but rather if it meets the standard requirements such
as determining a hardship if the variance is not given. The owners would
have to follow the Town’s building code anyway, he said.
Kremke, Sexton, and
fellow members Henry Huyser and Amy Waechter-Versaw voted in favor of the
variance with the condition that the exterior of the garage match that of
the house and that all environmental issues be followed through on with the
Town’s building ordinance.
Voting against the
measure was BZA member Kenneth Timm.