Village of Roscoe Zoning Board: from chicken coops to historic autos

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If the law changes after a wider driveway is approved but before it actually gets widened, does it need to be approved again? The ZBA will decide next month.

At its June 8 meeting,  the Village of Roscoe's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) recommended that the Village approve the annexation of  an auto museum on Metric Road, allow two more businesses on Edith Lane to pave their parking lots without requiring curb and gutter, and  rezone a single-family residence on 2nd Street as Single Family Residential. Oh, and also authorize the construction of a chicken coop on Terragon Court. By law, all these requests must be be considered by the ZBA.

The ZBA "laid over" one decision until their next meeting. The owner of 961 Brandy Bend Lane received approval last year to widen his 24' driveway  to 30' to make parking less unsightly and more safe (he has teenaged drivers). But before he widened it, the Village passed new ordinances which limited driveway widths. ZBA member Michael Prosser asked Village Attorney Josef Kurlinkus if last year's approval had an expiration date or if it was grandfathered in. Kurlinkus said he would check the laws and the ZBA will take another look at their July meeting.

After their neighbor Straightline Moving received similar approval last month, Kitto's Automotive at  5397 Edith Lane and D & S Marine at 5350 Edith Lane also want to pave their parking lots if the Village will let them save money by not having to add curb and gutter. All three businesses are in a light industrial area west of 251, off the main road. The ZBA agreed.

Next, the owner of 11345 2nd Street said his realtor had told him his residence would be harder to sell if it continues to be zoned Commercial Retail. The property, across from Stepping Stones Child Center, was originally zoned Agricultural but though he changed it to Commercial Retail, he never put it to any commercial use. The ZBA agreed it should be changed to Residential.

Finally, Wayne Lensing, owner of the Historic Auto Attractions museum, presented his request for the museum to be annexed into the Village of Roscoe. With his attorney, he said he wasn't asking for any changes at this point, he just wanted approval to continue his current operations as part of the Village instead of unincorporated Winnebago County. The ZBA agreed. In the future, Lensing wants to double the size of his 36,000 square foot museum at 13825 Metric Road, which is open during the summer Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 The museum already features more than 75 historic autos, "including the world's largest collection of presidential and world leaders limousines, John Dillinger's getaway car, Elvis Presley's personal car," Indy cars, an Old West-style stagecoach, and the Batmobile.  The museum includes one of the largest collections of memorabilia from President John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy family, and even a collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. Roscoe News will focus on the museum in an upcoming story.

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