O'Fallon Progress

Former Shiloh police chief will serve on Planning Commission

Recently retired Shiloh Police Chief Jim Stover is the newest member of the Shiloh Planning Commission.

Stover decided to accept an invitation from Shiloh Village Mayor Jim Vernier to serve on the panel after long-time commission member BJ Berger stepped down following 15 years of service.

“BJ has accepted to be co-owner of Distler’s Auto Repair in Shiloh. He asked to step aside, and Jim Stover has taken over as our new board member,” Vernier said as he honored Berger with a plaque commemorating his tenure on the board.

Stover said he felt good about being back in an official capacity with the village since retiring in January.

“I’m still a solid standing resident in the village of Shiloh, and with the extra time I’ve got, I thought I could contribute still to the village and the safety and issues here at the village,” said Stover, who was sworn in Monday.

Zoning requests

The village of Shiloh held three meetings beginning Monday night: a public hearing, followed by special Planning Commission meeting, followed by a regular Village Board meeting. The trio of meetings was to accommodate review of three special-use zoning variances local homeowners had applied for. The Village Board had already given preliminary approval on all items during its May 22 committee meeting.

“We want people to know ahead of time, so people don’t think we are trying to slip something under the radar, cause we aren’t. It’s simply a matter of scheduling, and just out of consideration for them (the applicants),” Vernier said.

Shiloh board meetings are typically held the first Monday of the month, as scheduled, while the planning commission meets the second Monday monthly at 7 p.m., but earlier if there is a public hearing scheduled.

Vernier said the special use requests were “reasonable.”

The first request was from Nate Hufker, who wants to build a new storage structure on his Johnson Road property. According to a memo from John Marquart, village administrator, to the planning commission members, “the variance is to allow an accessory structure that is 60 feet by 40 feet.”

“He plans to have electric and water running to the structure, that will be used only for storage,” Marquart wrote.

The code permits accessory structures in R-3 districts of only 24 feet by 24 feet.

In the May 5 application, Hufker stated he wanted to build shed adequate size “for storage of a boat, tractor and a camping trailer that is being customized to be handicap accessible.”

The current code doesn’t currently allow for any resident to allow swimming pools in side yards, but that’s what Kevin and Susan Williams of Tribe Court were asking to do.

“Their property lines are oddly shaped. It’s the only place, because they have long, narrow yard. It should (have) been on last month’s agenda, but didn’t make it. So we are trying to help them, so they can at least swim this summer after building it,” Vernier said.

They will meet all the fencing and set-back requirements, Marquart said of the application, submitted May 8.

Russell and Tracy McCullough of Raven Oak Drive want a two-car detached garage, but it will encroach into the side yard if it’s allowed. The code requires a side-yard setback of 25 feet.

“Because of the odd shape of the lot and the location of the new garage, the structure will encroach into the side yard set back requirement,” Marquart wrote.

The application was submitted to the village March 14. Raven Oaks Homeowner’s Association, represented by Josh Struewing, stated the couple’s plans for a garage/pool house were approved Oct. 31, 2016, in the letter dated Feb. 19.

“We hope your construction process goes smoothly,” the association wrote.

The McCulloughs also stated that, in addition to the HOA approval, they have a letter from Ken Obernuefemann, the adjoining property owner, who is on the HOA board of directors.

“Ken is willing to deed, will or sell a portion of property, if required,” the McCulloughs stated.

No one spoke in opposition during the public hearing to any of the three requests. Both boards approved the all the requests unanimously.