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BZA MEETING JULY 18, 2013

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday, July 18, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Carl Hites, Dennis Sterrett, Randall Conwell, Richard Holmes. Absent: David Rosenbarger.

Also attending were Attorney Abigail Diener, Executive Director Joe Rogers, and Board secretary Erin Carlson.

Visitors attending were: See Attached

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Hites at 6:00 p.m.

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Business

 

Minutes: There was a motion by Dennis Sterrett and a second by Randy Conwell to approve the meeting minutes and findings of fact of 3/21/13 as written. So moved.

Variances & Special Exceptions

Note: At the introduction of each case hearing, Director Rogers requested that the Staff Report be incorporated into the official record of the meeting, to be used as a reference document for the Findings of Fact for each hearing.

 

#2881 - John Jossund Variance: Lot Number Two (2) in Amos Oak Crest Lodge Addition Number (2) being a Subdivision out of the Southwest Quarter of Section Thirty-two (32) Township Twenty-eight (28) North, Range Three (3) West in Monon Township, White County, Indiana. Also known as 5525 N West Shafer Dr.

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests a 13' rear setback on the North (street) property line, and a 3' East side setback to allow construction of a detached garage. The required setbacks for this lot size in the L-1 zoning district are 20' rear and 6' side.

Discussion: Director Rogers advised the Board that this is a successive application, which requires approval by this body to be heard at this time. He read the following contents of his file memo to the Board this date into the record:

"Zoning ordinance prevents successive applications for a period of one year unless grounds are established which justify a second consideration of such application. This may be due to changes of conditions or new facts.

This office has reviewed Mr. & Mrs. Jossund’s petition #2881 which is a follow up request to petition #2874. After review by Staff, we believe grounds do exists which warrant a second hearing and request this Board vote to approve such hearing.

1. At the first hearing, this Board requested input from the neighboring properties and indicated such input might have a significant impact on the outcome of one or more votes. Such input has been obtained and will be presented if this new petition is heard;

2. The applicants have adjusted their request significantly and in such a manner as this office believes such adjustment could influence one or more votes of the Board; and,

3. The applicants have changed the proposed construction dramatically in an effort to present circumstances which result is requesting the minimum variance possible.

In considering whether or not the Staff approves a successive application, we attempt to determine whether or not the new request has significant enough changes that a high probability exists that one or more votes of the Board may change after consideration of such new facts and circumstances.

In this case, the Staff believes the changes may impact one or more votes and recommends the successive application be approved for hearing."

Director Rogers reminded the Board that this approval should be handled via a voice vote. Following clarification of the purpose and content of the Director's memo and the nature of changes/updates to the petitioners' successive application, Chairman Hites called for a motion to vote on whether or not the variance petition would be heard. Said motion was made by Randall Conwell, seconded by Dennis Sterrett. Motion was carried by a vote of 4-0.

Director Rogers provided a summary of the 2-part variance request for 2 smaller garages (a change from the previous request of one larger garage) and read the staff report. He provided additional background regarding a pre-existing building permit obtained by the previous owners in 2008 to construct a garage with a 30' front (lakeside) setback, a 5' rear (roadside) setback, and a 5' side setback. That permit was issued and was in compliance with the ordinance at that time. After the permit was issued, developmental standards changed providing for a 20’ rear (road side) setback and a 6’ side setback. An improvement location permit is valid for 3 years, meaning that the project must be started within 3 years of ILP issue. Once started, there is an additional 7 years to complete the project. However, since this project was not started within the allotted 3-year time frame, the new owners were required to submit for a new ILP, and because the side and rear setbacks now requested are no longer valid, the applicant must now apply for a setback variance. They feel this is necessary in order to construct a garage, due to the placement of a well, 2 existing oak trees and a utility box which limit their ability to build within the required setbacks.

Director Rogers presented pictures of the subject property, including photos of his car parked approximately where the edge of the proposed garage would have been located if the applicants' previous petition would have been granted (an estimated 5' inside the road right of way). He reminded the Board that the requested setback has now been changed to 13', a full 8' further in from where his car is parked in the photos in question.

He continued with a detailed overview of the proposed garage locations and the surrounding properties via overhead projection of photos and the applicant's survey.

Chairman Hites asked for clarification regarding where the proposed garage would be placed in comparison to the neighbor's garage. There was much discussion throughout the remainder of Director Rogers' photo presentation regarding distance from the proposed garage to the NIPSCO meter, distance from the garage to the edge of pavement/road right-of-way, staging of the applicants' boat trailer in/near the road right-of-way, etc.

There being no further questions for the Director, Chairman Hites asked the petitioner to approach the podium and identify himself. Mr. Jossund did so, and shared additional details of his revised proposal. Upon Director Rogers' request, Mr. Jossund entered the 2 letters of support he had received from his neighbors into the record by reading them out loud, as follows:

Letter #1 - From Lucinda and Justin Edmonds - 5/22/13

"To Whom it May Concern,

My husband and I, Justin D. and Lucinda T. Edmonds, own the property at 5537 N. West Shafer Dr. on Lake Schafer, next door to the property at 5525 N. West Shafer Dr., owned by John and Sherry Jossund.

The Jossunds are seeking a construction variance to allow them to make improvements on their property. They approached us recently to inform us of their potential plan. We found the proposed variance to be acceptable to us with no infringement or interference of the use of our property.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please don't hesitate to call." [Signatures and telephone number]

Mr. Jossund clarified that this is the neighbor to his North, the home with the garage.

Letter #2 - From Mark Rojkowski - 5/26/13

"I am the neighbor immediately adjacent to 5525 N. West Shafer Dr.

I was informed they are requesting a variance to build two proposed garages.

I support the granting of the variance so John Jossund can construct the garages as proposed." [Signature and address]

Mr. Jossund clarified that this is the neighbor to his South, the one who objected to the petitioner's first application.

Chairman Hites asked how and where the applicant would park his boat trailer. This was followed by much discussion regarding the staging of vehicles on and near the road right-of-way. Mr. Jossund advised that he would park just like one would park across the street at the Pit Stop, and that he also has a CDL license.

Chairman Hites then asked again about the NIPSCO utility pole and meter. Director Rogers suggested that the Board place a condition on the side setback decision that the owner must receive approval from NIPSCO in writing to build so near to their pole.

More discussion followed regarding maintenance of the well and the ability of contractors to reach it.

Mr. Jossund added that his proposal would add to the symmetry of the property and the overall look of it.

Director Rogers reminded the Board that, the way the Zoning Ordinance is written, parcels in the Lake District are required to have 2 parking spaces, which can be accomplished by parking inside a garage. In any normal case, you could build your garage within 20 feet of the road right-of-way, and even if you were in complete compliance, your 25' truck will end up in the right-of-way. Our ordinance does not regulate staging areas.

Chairman Hites asked if we were considering this as 2 requests, to which Director Rogers and the applicant answered in the affirmative. After hearing his options for how the 2 setback requests were heard/voted on, the applicant requested that the 2 requests be considered separately, and that he had no preference for which was heard first.

Chairman Hites asked additional questions regarding which garage would be used for the boat trailer and which would be used for the car. The applicant noted that the 24' garage would not hold the boat trailer.

Richard Holmes asked how much room there would be between the big tree and the garage. Additional discussion took place regarding where the owners would park their cars if they were not using the garages.

Richard Holmes moved that the Board consider the side setback request first. All were in agreement. Richard Holmes also confirmed that the Board's vote on this issue would include the condition that the owner must obtain written approval from NIPSCO before moving forward with development. This was considered a motion to approve the NIPSCO condition, and seconded by Dennis Sterrett - all in favor.

Randy Conwell moved that the first issue be put to a vote; Dennis Sterrett seconded; all replied in favor. Ms. Diener passed out the ballot which contained decision criteria for Issue #2 only, the 3' East side setback.

After all ballots for Issue #2 were returned to Chairman Hites, he read the following results into the record:

Result - 4 votes cast; 3 grant; 1 deny; Issue #2 (3' East side setback) of the petition is granted with the condition noted.

Chairman Hites asked if there were any further questions before the Board considered Issue #1, the rear setback. Richard Holmes advised that he was still unclear as to how much further the new garage would be towards the road, vs. the neighboring garage. Mr. Jossund stated his garage would be approximately 4 feet further towards the road than his neighbor's.

Dennis Sterrett moved that Issue #2 be put to a vote; Richard Holmes seconded; so moved. Ms. Diener passed out the ballot containing decision criteria for Issue #1 only, the 13' rear setback.

After all ballots for Issue #1 were returned to Chairman Hites, he read the following results into the record:

Result - 4 votes cast; 2 grant; 2 deny; Issue #1 (13' rear setback) of the petition is continued until the next BZA meeting, as no quorum was reached.

Director Rogers informed Mr. Jossund that he would need to return to the next BZA hearing for reconsideration of the 2nd half of his petition.

#2882 - David & Amy Moulton Variance: Lot Number 33 in Gingrich Addition in Union Township, White County, Indiana; also known as 6012 E Taylor Tr.

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests a 7’ rear setback on the West (street) property line to add a 2nd bedroom and bath. The rear setback for this L-1 zoning district is 20'.

Discussion: Director Rogers provided a summary of the variance request and read the staff report. He presented an overhead view of the subdivision plat, noting that the lots are laid out in a convoluted right-of-way line, which makes these lots almost unbuildable by today's development standards. He does not expect the requested development would interfere with traffic flow or make unsafe conditions. He then presented the applicants' survey, and photos of the property. These items illustrate the plans to build out to the current/existing retaining wall, and not beyond. He confirmed for Richard Holmes that the addition would go between the existing structure and the existing retaining wall.

There being no further questions for the Director, Chairman Hites asked a petition representative to approach the podium and introduce themselves. Owner David Moulton introduced himself and thanked the Board for the opportunity to meet with them.

Chairman Hites asked if the proposed addition was one or two stories. Mr. Moulton stated that it is two stories - filling in the void up to the parking pad, continuing up and blending in with the existing roofline (not quite as high). He confirmed that neighbors or others driving by would see very little difference, except for the roofline.

Mr. Moulton answered a few minor questions from the Board, such as structure size, plans for the retaining wall, whether he would be keeping an existing tree, etc. He went into detail about his plans to improve the current drainage situation for his property and his neighbors' property.

Director Rogers advised that the office had received no communication from neighbors of the applicant, either for or against the variance, following the publication of notice. Mr. Moulton stated that a few neighbors had approached him in person because they had received the notice of hearing by mail, and were not clear on what type of variance was being considered since they are unable to observe the property in question except when driving by. When the Moultons shared their intentions with the neighbors, they voiced no concerns.

Following 2 more questions from the Board, Mr. Moulton stated that the road is maintained as a private road by the 10 to 13 neighbors who utilize it for some type of access to the homes in the area. He shared that he lives in Lafayette and has owned the property as a vacation home for 15 years.

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Dennis Sterrett moved for a vote on the variance; Richard Holmes seconded. Ms. Diener distributed the ballots.

After all ballots were returned to Chairman Hites, he read the following results into the record:

Result - 4 votes cast; 4 grant; 0 deny; petition is granted.

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Closing Business

 

None

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There being no further business, Randy Conwell moved that the meeting be adjourned; Dennis Sterrett seconded. Chairman Hites adjourned the meeting at 7:07 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

____________________________

Erin Carlson, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

___________________________

Joseph W. Rogers, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary, Erin Carlson “I AFFIRM, UNDER THE PENALTIES FOR PERJURY, THAT I HAVE TAKEN REASONABLE CARE TO REDACT EACH SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IN THIS DOCUMENT, UNLESS REQUIRED BY LAW.” _________________________________________________


EXHIBIT A

WHITE COUNTY AREA BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

PUBLIC NOTICE OF REGULAR SESSION

 

July 18, 2013 - 6:00 p.m.

2nd Floor Conference Room

White County Building

Monticello, IN 47960

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AGENDA

6:00 P.M.: The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals will meet in Regular Session pursuant to Indiana’s Open Meetings Law, I.C. 5-3-1-2 (b) with the following agenda:

READING OF THE MINUTES – March 21, 2013

BUSINESS –

VARIANCES & SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

1. #2881 - Jossund

2. #2882 - Moulton