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Workshop OK'd on property line

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A man described by his step-son as a "master tinkerer" who turns sticks into ink pens and planks of wood into furniture has been authorized by a quasi-judicial panel in Lewisburg to expand a garage for his workshop.

"He does all kinds of odds and ends," John Myers said of his step-father, Alan Baldwin, who has a garage on land next to property owned by Lee Cothran near Henry Horton State Park. "This will let him open up and do more."

Adding a workshop to a garage became a subject for the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday evening last week because Baldwin's garage is so close to Cothran's property line and county codes include a "set back" requirement which, without a variance from strict enforcement of the rules, would prohibit the addition.

"They came over to get a building permit," County Zoning Administrator Don Nelson told the zoning appeals board. "We went there and realized it was right on the line."

However, Cothran has no objections to Baldwin's request for a variance and Nelson noted there "are some flood plain issues" near Baldwin's garage, so selection of a place for the workshop led to the garage.

The land is "off Coble Road," according to Cothran.

"It's the east side of my property," the neighbor said over the weekend, confirming he's not opposed to the garage addition. His land "is grown up in woods. I keep it as a buffer between our properties. There can't be much built there. It's all rock."

Baldwin told the zoning appeals board Cothran declined an opportunity to sell the land.

After brief deliberations, Doug Martin, a member of the county's Board of Zoning Appeals, moved to grant approval for the variance and the vote was unanimous.

"Hopefully," Myers said on that night of the vote, "we'll get this workshop done and I'll be able to get my kitchen cabinets done instead of buying the at Lowe's."

Among the wooden objects Baldwin makes, according to Myers, are bowls and tools used with a lathe.