Marion Township Officials Explore Explosions, Possible Zoning Infraction
February 1, 2021
By Mike Kruzman / firstname.lastname@example.org
Marion Township officials are investigating possible zoning ordinance violations at a residential property where multiple explosions were said to be heard.
Marion Township residents Jean Root and Susan Schooly both neighbor the property on Harvest Drive. Schooly’s property on Davis Road has a driveway easement for the Harvest Drive location. The parcel is zoned rural residential, but both Schooly and Root believe that a contractor’s business is being run from it, which would be a violation of the township zoning ordinance. Rural residential allows for a nursery operation, but contractors are limited to industrial zoning. Schooly and Root also complain of multiple loud explosions coming from the site. Schooly told the Board of Trustees at their most recent meeting that three times earlier this month there were house-jarring blasts that sent plumes of smoke 80 feet into the air. She claims business activities including gravel trains, dump trucks, and landscaping equipment are operating on the site from as early sometimes as 5am until as late as 1am. Schooly alleged multiple deliveries of limestone and gravel, as well.
Trustee Les Andersen if this is true, something needs to be done. He said the owner openly advertises building outdoor kitchens, landscaping, and other non-agriculture uses. Andersen said the township may have been duped into thinking an agriculture business for tree and shrub raising was going in, but instead it has become a contractor’s operation.
Trustee Greg Durbin said he went out to the site and observed it for about an hour but had no access to the site and saw minimal activity. As far as the gravel and limestone, he said there wasn’t any there but that doesn’t mean anything, as it could have been moved to where it belongs. He suspected the owners caught wind of the complaint, because once Root filed it, the noises ceased.
Andersen and Durbin expressed an interest in trying to get a hold of the property owner to ask questions and potentially gain access to the site to look around.
The Board of Trustees ultimately voted to put it in their planner’s hand to begin his enforcement and investigative duties.