Planning and Zoning

Syracuse is a fast growing lake community which continues to maintain high standards for development and a desirable quality of life for residents.  From the quaint antique and craft shops in the "Uptown", to the commercial corridors in the Riverfront District and the Village area, along State Route 13, the town offers an aesthetic appeal.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is responsible for reviewing all developments to ensure they meet the development standards of the Kosciusko County Planning and Zoning Code and to assist applicants through the development process. The zoning certificate, site development checklists, zoning applications, submission deadlines and development permits have been prepared to provide information on the various development processes and submission requirements.

Currently, the town is governed by the county's comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance, subdivision control ordinance, flood control ordinance, and erosion control ordinance. While these ordinances have served Syracuse in the past, the generalities of some of the ordinances no longer serve the immediate needs of the town to effectively plan land use and growth.   

As the Town looks at expanding its boundaries, cooperation with the Elkhart County Planning Department will be necessary.  Any land use planning north of the county line must be consistent with the plans for growth management in Benton Township.

The town of Syracuse has six of the nine total zoning districts within its borders.   All zones apply with the exception of the Agriculture II, Environment, and Industrial III zones.  A brief description of the purpose of each zoning classification follows:

Environmental: Limited to agriculture, recreation, and certain other open land uses. The purpose is to prevent intensive development of land that isunsuitable for development.

Public Use: Limited to uses which are a benefit to the public.  These may or may not be taxed and may be owned and operated publicly or privately.

Agriculture: Purpose is to protect prime agricultural land and related use from urban growth.  Single family houses are allowed on separate tracts.

Agriculture II: Purpose is to allow the development of some tracts of marginal agricultural land into low density, rural atmosphere residentialsubdivisions.  It allows the mixing of residential and agriculture use.

Residential: Limited to dwellings, public and semipublic uses which are associated with neighborhoods.  Purpose is to create an attractive, stable and orderly residential environment.

Commercial: Purpose is for retail or service uses. Will permit manufacturing processes which are conducted within a closed structure.

Industrial I. Limited Industrial: Limited to industrial uses having high standards of performance and limited impact on adjacent areas.  This use can be located in close proximity to a residential zone.

Industrial II. Light Industrial District: Limited to the development of industrial uses for the operation of fabricating, manufacturing, processing, wholesaling, warehousing and ancillary related offices.

Industrial III. Heavy Industrial District (not located in Syracuse): Limited to development of heavy industrial uses including heavy fabricating,manufacturing, processing, extraction, heavy repair, and dismantling industries.