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THE PAPER March 28, 2012 Proudly Serving Wabash County Since 1977 Dairy Queen franchise to open in Wabash by Danielle Swan DSmith Brad Walker of H&H Development and Troy Terew of True North appeared before the Wabash Board of Zoning Appeals on March 22, seeking approval of two variances and a special exception for the Dairy Queen franchise they plan to open at 1015 N. Cass St., Wabash. One variance was requested because the proposed 1,900 square foot building is smaller than the required 3,000 square feet. This variance passed unanimously along with the special exception for the drive-thru service. The second variance was for a reduction in the requirement of a 15-foot setback from property lines. The franchisees requested this variance as their drivethru is proposed to sit only 11 feet from the rear property line. Upon discussion, it was determined that the variance was unnecessary because the setback requirement is for the structure itself. Accessory uses are allowed in the area between the structure and property line. The actual building that will house the business will sit 34 feet from the rear property line. At the meeting, several concerns were discussed such as the screening between the Dairy Queen property and the neighboring properties in the rear. The board determined that the existing pine trees, which the franchisees plan to retain, provide adequate screening. The franchisees assured the Board that the drive-thru lighting will be down lighting, which will not impede on neighboring properties. “If we need to add evergreens, we’re all for it,” said Walker. “We want to be neighborly and friendly and if that’s what it requires, we’re all for it.” One individual, Ray Prater, speaking on behalf of a friend that lives on a neighboring property, raised concerns about the size of the lot not being large enough to accommodate parking for the business. City ordinance requires one parking space for every three customers at maximum capacity and one parking space for every two employees. DAIRY QUEEN is projected to be open by the end of June for peak season. The business is expected to employ an average of 1520 employees at any given point. (graphic provided) The franchisees and the Board agreed that adequate parking was within requirements. Prater also raised concerns about trash traveling over the fence into the yards of neighboring properties, which he says is already a problem even without the added restaurant. “I understand their concerns so we want to do everything we can to keep it clean,” Walker said. “We want to maintain it because it’s our image and we have to abide by our national standards because we’re a national franchise.” The franchisees are currently waiting on approval of state permits, and they hope to break ground on the new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill within 15-30 days. Walker says their goal is to open by the end of June for “peak season”. The new Dairy Queen will employ about 15 employees at any given time, with possibly 20 during the busy season. H&H Development also owns nine Dairy Queen franchises in Fort Wayne and has four new Dairy Queens in the building stages in Indianapolis. They also have Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Escaped inmate in jail custody Many leads were received this week on two inmates who escaped from the Wabash County Jail on March 17. Numerous agencies, along with Major Randy Miller and Sgt. Mike Davis, both of the Wabash County Sheriff ’s Department, have been following BRAD WALKER, H&H Development, hopes to alleviate concerns of residents by vowing to keep the up on these leads. property maintained and free of trash, as according to Dairy Queen’s national standards. (photo An associate of one by Brent Swan) of the escapees, Index Classifieds ....................31-35 D&E..............................20-21 Weekly Reports ............12-15 Aaron Perry, provided information, and has been working very closely with Major Miller. Perry had made contact with this associate since the escape. On March 25, at approximately 1:15 p.m., Perry turned himself in to Major Miller without incident. Authorities are still following leads on the second escapee, In Memoriam Lawrence Bonewitz, 88 Donald Brubaker, 86 Charles Butrin, 93 Melvin Cook, 66 B. Rosann Custer, 83 Betty Duffy, 89 J. Edward Gilbert, 92 Mary Harper, 85 Edith Kester, 85 Chance Hanaway. This is an ongoing investigation, and further information will be released when it is available. Anyone who has information about the whereabouts of Hanaway is encouraged to call law enforcement or Wabash County Crime Stoppers at 1866-665-0556 or 5635821. Vol. 35, No. 2 Mark Lutz, 51 Annabelle Pressler, 98 Helen Shear, 99 Ernest Young, 87 PO Box 603, Wabash, IN 46992 (260) 563-8326

March 28, 2012

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