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BZA MEETING July 17, 2014

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday July 17, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Carl Hites, Dennis Sterrett, Randy Conwell and Richard Holmes.

Absent: Dave Rosenbarger

Also attending were Attorney Abigail Diener, Executive Director Joe Rogers, and Board Secretary Jennifer Hill.

Visitors attending were: Jimmy Maxson Sr, Suzanne Maxson, Brad Adams, Jimmy Maxson Jr., Jacque Maxson, Gayle Rogers, Marcele Alm, Dan Vandevender, Marita Muller, Connie Gannon, Jennifer Gandy, Jeff Ban, Bob Rossman.

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Holmes at 5:58 p.m.

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Business

Minutes: There was a motion by Randy Conwell and a second by Dennis Sterrett to approve the meeting minutes and findings of fact of June 19, 2014 as written. The minutes and findings of fact were unanimously approved.

Variances & Special Exceptions

Variance Petition # 2899

Submitted by the White County Commissioners, serviced by the Area Plan Staff. The Commissioners have decided to exercise their option for a continuance. Executive Director Rogers explained the reasoning behind the continuance due to the drawings being very difficult to distinguish what the Commissioners were requesting. Due to many in the audience being here for this Variance, Executive Director explained what the Commissioners were trying to accomplish with their request. There was a question from the audience as to whether or not there would be another letter sent out for that meeting. Executive Director Rogers informed the audience that anyone who would like follow up information on the final request should stop by the Area Plan Office after the meeting and leave their name and address and we would mail out information as soon as available. Hearing continued until 8/21/14.

Variance Petition # 2900-2901

These two requests are being joined together due to the request impacting both sites. The property owner, thru the Title Company, has filed suit against the Auditor’s Office in White County. They’re saying that the Deed that was generated for this parcel should be accepted by the Auditor without supplying proper surveying documentation. Executive Director Rogers explained that this issue should be resolved before the Variance is heard, due to this issue having a wide range of ramifications as far as the Area Plan Office is concerned, and if this issue goes to court and the court decides you can create a parcel split simply by taking a deed down to the Auditor’s Office he believes that the APC would want to challenge that position. If not, then the procedure in place for creating a subdivision would have no validity. The office requested this hearing be continued until the case is settled and the APC has had a chance, if needed, to respond. Executive Director Rogers explained that the Auditor Gayle Rogers was asked to attend to explain the procedure of deed acceptance and what results if this request is supported. Chairman Holmes requested a motion to continue this hearing until the court has made its decision.

Jeff Ban, Project Engineer, of DVG asked if he could explain their position and stepped to the microphone. Jeff made a clarification and explained that he was here with Bob Rossman of R2C, Monticello who had made a transaction of selling the property and building that they owned to Rural King. Bob isn’t part of the lawsuit against the County. Jeff explained that they need a variance to create a new parcel line that shares a common wall. There are no changes, just a transfer of ownership of real estate. Richard Holmes questioned the A/C units on the backside of Rural King and if it was on someone else’s property. Jeff Ban explained that the units are non-functioning and will be scrapped – they are old rooftop units. Attorney Abigail Diener requested the deed status from Gayle Rogers, who stepped to the podium. Auditor Rogers explained that the deed was returned to the title company by the recorder due to it being received without payment. It was further explained that the recorder cannot process a deed without payment. The Recorder’s Office made contact with the Title Co. who refused to send payment due to their being other things they were going to be recording at a later date, so they were told that it couldn’t be recorded, it never reached the Auditor’s Office. The deed was initially sent to Auditor’s office but when that happens the deed is immediately taken down to the Recorders Office because that’s where the process starts. Auditor Rogers further explained that had the deed made it to the office it would have been held up because by law, I.C. Code 32-21-2-13, parcels for property tax purposes may not be recorded by the Auditor unless the Auditor’s furnished with a drawing or other reliable evidence including the number of acres of each tax parcel being created, the existence or absence of improvements on each new tax parcel being created and the location within the original tract of each new tax parcel being created. None of that was received by the Auditor’s Office.

Executive Rogers offered further clarification stating that the process is happening in reverse, R2C Monticello sold a piece of land and improvements before the parcel was legally created. Executive Director Rogers explained that had R2C came to our office and provided the necessary documents to create a legal parcel and then requested a variance and received approval, then it could have been legally sold to the buyer but that’s not the process that was followed. Executive Director Rogers’ further explained that this Board has been subject to litigation on pretty technical terms and what could be considered pretty minor terms, this litigation has the potential for pretty significant ramifications as far as the Area Plan Office is concerned and whether this is dismissed, withdrawn or goes thru court, that outcome should be known before action is taken on this petition.

Carl Hites made a motion to continue #2900 and 2901 until the court decisions have been made and clarified with a second from Dennis Sterrett. All in favor, motion carried. Hearing continued until further notice.

Additional Business:

Executive Director Rogers had one minor issue that he wanted the board to address. He explained that when a petitioner applies for a variance they can ask for several requests on one application. At the meeting they’re then asked whether they want them heard individually or together. Our office would like to ask them at the time of application which way they would like their requests to be heard. Randy Conwell made a motion to accept the change, with a second from Carl Hites. All in favor, motion carried.

Executive Director then addressed the Schaeffer Appeal and explained that there is going to be a judicial review of that hearing. We’ve gone to the APC and presented that they authorize utilization of additional legal resources to assist with that matter. That was subsequently approved and the Attorney that works for the insurance company that handled the litigation in court is going to be assisting us in preparing our position on the appeal hearing. Attorney Abigail Diener further provided that notice to file for Judicial Review was received by her office, the process now will be that the office will prepare transcripts and Findings of Fact.

Chairman Holmes asked if there was a motion to adjourn the meeting.

There being no further business, Randy Conwell made a motion the meeting be adjourned with a second from Carl Hites.

Respectfully submitted,

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Jennifer Hill, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

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Joseph W. Rogers, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary Jennifer Hill “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.” _________________________________________________