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BZA MEETING OCTOBER 16, 2014

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday October 16, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

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

Absent: Attorney Abigail Diener

Also attending were Executive Director Joe Rogers and Board Secretary Jennifer Hill.

Visitors attending were: Marty & Sharon McKay, Robert Morrow, Matt Hubbard, Jason Getz, Scott & Angie Williams. 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 September 18, 2014 as written. The minutes and findings of fact were unanimously approved.

Variances & Special Exceptions

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

Variance Petition # 2903 Hubbard GM Center

This petition was continued from both the August meeting per the Applicants request and the September meeting due to an indecisive vote. Entered into the record were the staff report and documents that were provided in meeting packets, as well as photos that were submitted at the last meeting by the Applicant. There were two citizen requests for information on this petition request and neither expressed opinions for or against this petition. Executive Director Joe Rogers reviewed the staff report and photo documentation of the property in the petition. Mr. Rogers explained that, in our Area Plan jurisdiction, when a site plan is submitted and approved, then that site plan becomes a contractual agreement between the Area Plan Department and the property owner. So any deviation from that site plan would require the applicant or their contractor to come back into the office and modify the site plan and receive approval of the modification. It’s deviations from the approved site plan that the Board is being requested to grant variance. On April 4, 2014 Mr. Hubbard’s contactor came to the Area Plan Office, at which time revisions were made to the submitted site plan to bring the site plan into compliance. Those changes were initialed and dated. At that meeting, the contractor had advised the parking lot hadn’t been striped or finished but requested a Certificate of Occupancy. He was advised that a full C/O could not be issued until a Final Inspection was completed by both the Building and Planning Departments. The contractor then requested a Temporary C/O. On April 8, 2014, a written follow up was sent to both the property owner and the contractor, at which time they were advised that a provisional C/O would only be issued upon written agreement that the site would be brought into compliance within a 90 day time period. That document was never executed by the contractor or the property owner. On July 10th, a warning notice was sent to the property owner and contractor advising that a written citation would be issued and a fine assessed if the new compliance date wasn’t met. On July 10th, the citation and fine assessment were issued. On July 14th, the contractor called for a Final Inspection. On July 15th, this office conducted a site inspection for site plan compliance. There were 10 check points inspected, 8 of them did not pass. At this point, the Area Plan office either looks for the site to be brought into compliance or the violation abated. On July 31, 2014, the property owner applied for their variances. Next, Executive Director Rogers discussed the 4 issues at hand: Request 1.) Reduction in parking space striping; Request 2.) Allowance to use gravel area to count towards their parking space requirement as grandfathered parking; Request 3.) Reduction in the number of spaces required from 118 to 40; Request 4.) Relief from the wheel stops requirements in vehicle display areas. Denny Sterrett asked if the plans were approved and met the ordinance but the site just didn’t get built that way. Executive Director Rogers answered yes.

Matt Hubbard stepped to the podium. Mr. Hubbard stated that they made a mistake and didn’t submit the plans correctly and are now asking for some adjustments. First, Mr. Hubbard asked that the gravel lot count as parking places for the dealership employees and vendors. Carl Hites asked Mr. Hubbard how many spaces were in the gravel lot area. Mr. Hubbard didn’t have an exact number, but estimated about 50. Second, the applicant asked for a reduction of spaces from 118 to 40. Mr. Hubbard stated it was at the time that they didn’t have their striping done on their lots that when they laid it out and determined that it wasn’t going to work for display purposes. Executive Director Rogers then asked why they waited until after they got a Citation and a Fine Assessment and then waited another 10 days before they applied for their variances. Mr. Hubbard stated that he couldn’t answer that, they just had to plead ignorance. The third request was for a striping standard modification. Mr. Hubbard asked that the standard be reduced to 18’. Lastly, Mr. Hubbard requested relief from the wheel stop requirement in display vehicle areas. He indicated that with wheel stops present, they won’t be able to pull vehicles into the display area around the building. Denny Sterrett asked the current number of ADA spots. Mr. Hubbard advised there were 2. Randy Conwell asked if the sidewalk isn’t being used for ADA access then does that change the wheel stop issue. Executive Director Rogers stated that if it’s not designated as an ADA Access route, then wheel stops would not be requested. Mr. Hubbard request that the gravel parking be voted on first, then number of parking spaces reduced from 118 to 40, then wheel stop alleviation and then striping lengths. Executive Director Rogers stated that he would like to see it clearly lain out that what is granted won’t waive ADA requirements. Mr. Hubbard stated that they would comply with all ADA requirements. Executive Director Rogers also advised the Board that there was an outstanding fine of $500 fine that needs to be dealt with as well. Executive Director Rogers advised the Board that they could vote to withdrawal the fine, let it stand, or increase it.

Carl Hites made a motion to vote in the order that Mr. Hubbard had requested and that regardless of the outcome of the variances that the ADA requirements must meet federal standards. Seconded by Dave Rosenbarger. Approval unanimous. Motion was carried.

There being no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Joe Rogers issued ballots for voting. After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition # 2903 Results

Parking in Gravel Area

5 votes cast; 4 to grant; 1 to deny; Petition is APPROVED

Parking reduction from 118 to 40

5 votes cast; 3 to grant; 2 to deny; Petition is APPROVED.

Wheel Stops

5 votes cast; 2 to grant; 3 to deny; Petition is DENIED.

Striping

5 votes cast; 2 to grant; 3 to deny; Petition is DENIED.

Carl Hites requested a discussion of the fines before voting on them. Mr. Hites stated that fines are meant to discourage people to not break rules. After a short discussion about the length of time it took for Hubbard’s to come into the office to rectify the situation, Carl Hites made a motion that the fines be assessed at $250 a day for 10 days totaling $2500. With a second from Denny Sterrett. Vote 4 in favor 1 against.

Fines for Variance Petition #2903

Assessed at $250/ day; totaling $2500

Mr. Rogers requested that there be discussion on the amount of time that Hubbard’s is going to have to bring the other two issues that were denied into compliance. Carl Hites asked Mr. Hubbard how long he thought it would take for them to become compliant. Mr. Hubbard stated that he could have that work completed in a week; however, he wanted to know how the fines could go up. Executive Director Rogers stated that this Board has the authority to increase fines, decrease fines or leave them the same. After further discussion, Carl Hites made a motion that they be given 45 days to bring the site into compliance with a second from Dave Rosenbarger. Vote Unanimous.

Site Compliance Time Frame

45 days to bring site into compliance.

Executive Director Rogers then advised that, in 45 days, he would come out and do an inspection and, provided that the inspection passes, that will take care of the Area Plan portion; however, that the site would still have to comply with the building portion that remains uncorrected and that he would like to see that taken care of in the same 45 days so that both Doug and he could come out together.

Special Exception Use #2904-Sharon & Martin McKay

Executive Director Rogers advised that this petition has also been continued from the September 18, 2014 meeting. Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record and provided photo documentation of the properties in the petition. He advised the Board that there was one citizen request for information on this petition and that the citizen expressed no opinion for or against the petition request. Executive Director Rogers reported that he did go out and do an inspection of the site and that it did meet all but one requirement of Subsection 3.16.9 and Chapter 8 of the Zoning Ordinance. The only issue outstanding is the handicap parking. A Written Commitment was generated and signed by Mr. & Mrs. McKay to deal with this deficiency. Executive Director advised the Board that they would need to consider attaching the commitment to the Special Exception Use petition determination before voting on the submitted request. Mrs. McKay came to the podium and spoke in support of her request. She stated that they signed the affidavit stating if they alter or remodel the cottage that they will comply with the existing requirements for handicap accessible symbols, ramps and so forth, for the ADA parking area. Carl Hites asked if any of the utilities were shared with neighbors, to which Mrs. McKay answered no. Executive Director Rogers further offered that he had contacted Twin Lakes Regional Sewer District, and they had no issues with this petition.

Carl Hites made a motion that they vote and enter into the record the commitment that was made, with a second from Dave Rosenbarger. Vote unanimous, motion carried.

There being no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Rogers issued ballots for voting. Executive Director Rogers requested that at least one of the Board members indicate on their ballot that their vote included the submitted commitment.

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

Special Exception Use #2904 Results

5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition #2904 is APPROVED WITH COMMITMENTS.

Variance Petition #2906 Getz Farms

Executive Director Rogers advised that this request is la continuation from the September 18, 2014 meeting. Executive Director Rogers read a letter into the record that was sent to Jason Getz, Owner of Getz Farms, in reference to sign posting and notification. Executive Director Rogers showed photo documentation of the sign issues. Jason Getz, Owner of Getz Farms, spoke in reference to the sign issue.

Carl Hites stated that he takes public notification very seriously and offered that he believes that, in his opinion, this has had adequate time for notification. Carl Hites made a motion that this petition be heard tonight, with a second from Randy Conwell. Vote unanimous, motion carried.

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record and provided photo documentation of the property in the petition. There were three citizen requests for information on this petition request and no opinions for or against this petition were expressed.

Mr. Jason Getz, Owner of Getz Farms stepped to the podium and spoke in favor of his request.

Carl Hites asked Mr. Getz why the building can’t just be moved to meet setbacks. Mr. Getz stated that to be able to get a vehicle in and out of there. FBI recommended 150’ of stone, to get semis in and out and I’m already down to well under 100’ of area stone to get vehicles in and out.

Dennis Sterrett made a motion to vote with a second from Carl Hites.

There being no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Executive Director Joe Rogers issued ballots for voting.

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

Results Petition # 2906:

5 votes cast; 4 to grant; 1 to deny; Petition #2906 is APPROVED.

Variance Petition # 2907- Robert & Debra Morrow

Executive Director Rogers advised that this petition request is a continuation from the September 18, 2014 meeting and read the Staff Report into the record and provided photo documentation of the property in the petition. The Staff received one community communication from an adjacent neighbor to the property requesting information about the request; they indicated that they had no objection to the request.

Mr. Morrow stepped to the podium and spoke in support of his request. There was a short discussion about whether the garage would be attached or detached.

Carl Hites made a motion to vote with a second from Dave Rosenbarger.

Dave Rosenbarger made a motion to modify the request from the 4.2 foot setback on the staff report and ballot to the 5.8’ setback shown on the survey. Mr. Dennis Sterrett seconded. Vote unanimous, motion carried.

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

Results:

5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition #2907 is APPROVED.

Variance Petition # 2908- Scott & Angie Williams

Executive Director Rogers read the Staff Report into the record and provided photo documentation of the properties in the petition. Scott Williams stepped to the podium and spoke in favor of his request. There were no community contacts by phone, there were 3 letters from property owners in the area all expressing support of the request. The White County Sheriff’s Office was also contacted to review the site to see if they felt that there would be negative impact on traffic in the area. Sheriff Pat Shafer did call and state that he felt that the development would not create any safety issues related to the corresponding road traffic.

Scott Williams stepped to the podium and spoke in favor of his request.

Dave Rosenbarger made a motion to vote with a second from Randy Conwell. Vote unanimous, motion carried.

After tabulating the ballots Chairman Holmes read the following results into the record:

Results Petition #2908:

5 votes cast; 5 to grant; 0 to deny; Petition #2908 is APPROVED.

Other Business:

Executive Director Rogers stated that there were two other items on the Agenda. He requested the first business item be delayed until Attorney Abigail Diener could be present. The second item on the Agenda was the 2015 Calendar; the Staff requested approval of the submitted 2015 calendar. Randy Conwell made a motion to accept the 2015 calendar, with a second from Carl Hites. Vote unanimous, motion carried.

There being no further business, meeting was adjourned.

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.” _________________________________________________