TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Zoning of Appeals voted in favor of two variances for the high school football stadium improvement project, while tabling two others.
The board voted in favor of a variance to the minimum setbacks from all lot lines and rights-of-way to allow for the construction of new restrooms and concessions and one allowing the press box to be taller than the maximum height of 35 feet for structures in the Conservation District.
Variances allowing the district to build a chain link fence instead of a solid or masonry fence, and waiving the landscaping buffer requirements were tabled until the next meeting.
The applicant for the schools, Tipp City School Director of Services Gary Pfister, told the board that the district is “not looking to take over the park” with the improvements to the stadium.
Asked how many feet into the park the new concession stand and home side restrooms will encroach, representatives from the district did not have a definite answer, but estimated about 15 feet.
Several residents and representatives from the schools spoke in favor of the variances.
Athletic Director J.D. Faust said the current facilities are inadequate and embarrassing. He noted that the home team uses the roundhouse as a locker room, which is not heated, cooled or equipped with running water. There are no permanent visitors’ locker room facilities.
One resident who manages a property near the park, Abby Bowling, said the stadium project is outgrowing its current boundaries at the expense of the public park. She said that the parameters of the project are “constantly changing” and added that a new stadium should have been built at the park.
Amy Hackenberger, who lives adjacent to the park, raised concerns about the number of variances already approved for the project and urged the board to “consider the cumulative effect of what you’re doing.”
The first phase of the project was completed over the summer and included a new artificial turf. Phase two includes plans for a new concession building and restrooms on the home side. The restrooms will also be open to park visitors outside of events at the stadium.
Future phases include home side bleachers, press box, lighting and scoreboard.
Scott George, vice president of the Tipp Pride Association that is privately raising funds for the project, said he does not expect the tabled variance requests to delay any work on the project.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.