Map of Proposed Warehouse Location

Maps of Water Flow

Maps of Water Table / Suitability for Building

Photos of Proposed
Warehouse Location

Plan of Proposed
Warehouse Development

Concerns Voiced About Clear Lake Water Quality

Mini-storage Warehouse Development Proposed on Environmentally Sensitive Land

Applicants Gregory and Christina Thomson have re-filed a zoning variance request with the Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals. They are again asking for permission to develop a subdivision for thirty-one individual mini-storage/self-storage warehouses on a parcel near Clear Lake that is zoned for agricultural uses. Warehouses are not a permitted use in the agricultural zone. (see development plan)

The proposed mini-warehouse development would be on 875E between Four Corners and the Winzeler "Observatory" property. (see location map)

The applicants purchased the parcel in May 2015 knowing that warehouses are not a permitted use in the agricultural zone. They are asking for a Steuben County zoning variance to allow them to build the warehouses anyway.

A number of Clear Lake property owners and others already have expressed concern and oppose the variance.

A Threat to the Water Quality of Clear Lake

Clear Lake residents and visitors have worked long and hard to ensure that water draining into Clear Lake is as pure as possible. The Steuben County Comprehensive Plan supports this effort by seeking to protect the water quality in streams, lakes, and their watersheds. The Comprehensive Plan specifies that that uses likely to impair surface water near streams, major ditches and lakes should be denied.

The parcel in question for this variance is 1,700 feet from Clear Lake. The parcel contains a confirmed wetland (see development plan). Water flows into this parcel from farm fields on the south and farm fields and wetlands on the north The water then flows directly into the Alvin Patterson county ditch and into Clear Lake. (see maps of water flow)

This parcel performs an important environmental function by slowing and filtering the drainage water from upstream farm fields before it enters the Patterson ditch and Clear Lake. USDA soil maps show the water table is at a depth of 2.8 to 15 inches on the parcel. (see maps of water table and suitability for building)

Covering the parcel with industrial buildings will prevent the land from performing its essential water filtering functions and additionally may introduce new pollutants from activities related to the mini-warehouses.

Allowing mini-storage/self-storage warehouses on this environmentally-important location is inconsistent with the Steuben County Comprehensive Plan.

Inappropriate Use in a Scenic Rural Agricultural Zone

This scenic rural road between Clear Lake Drive and Four Corners is heavily used recreationally by cyclists, runners, and walkers. Allowing a mini-warehouse development, which is not a permitted use in the agriculture zone, would be detrimental to the lake environmental quality that so many have worked so hard to create and maintain.
(see location photos)

What You Can Do

If you agree this warehouse development is inappropriate, please join others in making your opposition to the variance known to the Board of Zoning Appeals in two important ways.

Attend the hearing and speak in opposition. The Steuben BZA hearing for the Thomson variance will be on Monday September 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the multi-purpose room on the lower level of the County Community Center, 317 S. Wayne St. in Angola. Attend the hearing in person and speak for up to three minutes in opposition.

Write a letter to the Steuben County Plan Commission opposing the Thomson variance. Your letter should state your opposition to the Thomson variance at Clear Lake and give your reasons for opposing it.


Please copy your email to Judy Johnston at .