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APC MEETING March 9, 2015

 

The White County Area Plan Commission met Monday March 9, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

 

Roll Call:

Present: Charles Anderson, James Annis, Mark Bentlage, Cathy Gross, Mike Smolek, Dave Rosenbarger, Dennis Sterrett, Don Ward, Brad Ward, Richard Lynn, Dave Stimmell, Joseph Rogers (Nonvoting), Abigail Diener (Non-voting), & Tina Cronkhite (Nonvoting).

 

Visitors attending were: Robert Wrede, Barry Voorn, Mike Conquest, Larry Brew, Maury Waymouth, Philip Gutwein, Everett R. Shafer, Jack Landrum, Gary Baldwin, Janene Crawford, Ed Lucy, Jim Cade, Chris Sabo, Todd Keesling, Sean Owens, Jim Thayer, Pam Landrum, Randy Mitchell, Fred E. Ennis, George Loy, Bill Morris, Linda Diggs, Darrell Smith, Leslie Franklin-Smith, & Dow Dellinger. (An additional 2 illegible visitor sign-in registrations)

 

The meeting was called to order by Vice President, Mike Smolek.

 

 

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Opening Business:

 

Minutes: There was a motion by Brad Ward and a second by Mark Bentlage to approve the meeting minutes of 1/12/2015 as written; so moved.

 

 

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Rezones:

 

#1031 – White County Board of Aviation Commissioners/White County Commissioners: A-1 (General Agriculture District) & R-2 (Single and Two-Family Residential District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District)

Phil Gutwein, White County Board of Aviation Commissioners, was present to represent this rezone request. Joe Rogers explained that the properties that the airport intends to utilize for the runway expansion have different zoning district assignments which prohibits the combining of the parcels for development. An airport expansion impact study was updated in 2006. It is the opinion of the Staff that nothing in that study that would prevent the rezone request. A section of the comprehensive plan pertains specifically to airport development and it appears the request is also consistent with that section of the comprehensive plan. Mike Smolek questioned whether a buffer around the airport should be expanded for future development. Phil Gutwein said there is a runway protection zone that is FFA required currently in place that addresses this issue. There are also height restrictions for development near the runway. Art Anderson, who was on the airport expansion council, voiced concern about the replacement of Luse Road. He stated replacing Luse Rd. was a stipulation that the airport agreed to and that it would not be funded by the county. Joe Rogers added that the impact plan in 2007 stated that the airport would cause the Luse Rd. section to be moved to the north. Phil Gutwein presented the 2015-2020 Capital Improvement Program that outlines the developmental plan of the airport expansion. This plan does state that in 2018, the Board of Aviation Commissioners is to bid and construct Phase 5, Luse Rd. relocation with money from the FAA (Exhibit A-pending receipt) Joe Rogers read the call log for the rezone request. There were 4 total calls into the Building & Planning Dept. for information and one questioning whether it would impact his taxes. There were no objections called in relating to this rezone. David Diener stated the county completed a traffic survey of Luse Rd. and found it averages 150 cars per day in each direction, totaling 300 cars per day. With the funding that the county has already received for the Gordon Rd expansion, once the Gordon Rd. project, which includes encompassing the Luse Rd. relocation as part of the Gordon Road project, eliminating the need for the airport to acquire funding on its own. Linda Diggs questioned if the expansion or rezone would create additional developmental restrictions for residents near the airport. The expansion is not expected to impact the current residents. Gary Baldwin, new to the area, asked for a map view of the location and was concerned his notification letter didn’t give more detailed information. Joe Rogers explained that one reason for the notifications to the surrounding property owners is so they can call the office with any questions and for additional information on the request if they desire to do so. The rezone files are open to the public if any patron would like to come into the Area Plan office and request to see them.

 

 

There being no additional questions or comments, ballots were passed to board members by Abigail Diener.

 

Ballot Summary:

 

  1. The proposed rezoning is consistent with the goals, objective, and policies of the White County Strategic Plan and any other applicable planning studies and reports, as adopted and amended from time to time. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  2. The proposed rezoning is compatible with current conditions and the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  3. The proposed rezoning is the most desirable use for which the land in the subject property is adapted. 9 agree; 2 no opinion; 0 disagree

  4. The proposed rezoning will not have an adverse effect on the value of properties throughout the jurisdiction. 7 agree; 2 no opinion; 2 disagree; Comments: Will increase travel time

  5. The proposed rezoning reflects responsible standards for growth and development. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

 

 

President, Charles Anderson announced the results, as follows: 11 votes cast; 11 in favor - 0 opposed – 0 Abstentions. Rezone request will be certified to the appropriate legislative body with a “Favorable” recommendation.

 

 

#1030 – White County: I-2 (Heavy Industrial District) to I-3 (Industrial Park District): Joseph Rogers was present to represent this rezone request on behalf of the White County Commissioners. This is a small parcel of property where the water tower is located for the Mid-America Commerce Industrial Park. This request is to convert the parcel from its current zoning district assignment to that which is planned for the Park, I-3 Industrial Park District.

 

Executive Director, Joe Rogers, notified the board no calls were logged in the Area Plan Office relating to this rezone request.

 

There being no additional questions or comments, ballots were passed to board members by Abigail Diener.

 

 

Ballot Summary:

 

  1. The proposed rezoning is consistent with the goals, objective, and policies of the White County Strategic Plan and any other applicable planning studies and reports, as adopted and amended from time to time. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  2. The proposed rezoning is compatible with current conditions and the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  3. The proposed rezoning is the most desirable use for which the land in the subject property is adapted. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  4. The proposed rezoning will not have an adverse effect on the value of properties throughout the jurisdiction. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  5. The proposed rezoning reflects responsible standards for growth and development. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

 

 

President, Charles Anderson announced the results, as follows: 11 votes cast; 11 in favor - 0 opposed – 0 Abstentions. Rezone request will be certified to the appropriate legislative body with a “Favorable” recommendation.

 

 

#1029 – White County Economic Development Organization: I-2 (Heavy Industrial District) to I-3 (Industrial Park District): Randy Mitchell, White County Economic Development, was present to represent this rezone request. This parcel is also part of the Mid-America Commerce Park Industrial Park. This request is to bring the parcel into compliance with the I-3 Industrial Park District developmental standards for the area.

 

Executive Director, Joe Rogers, notified the board no calls were logged in the Area Plan Office relating to this rezone request and that the zoning plan is the same for this parcel as that for Petition #1030.

 

There being no additional questions or comments, ballots were passed to board members by Abigail Diener.

 

Ballot Summary:

 

  1. The proposed rezoning is consistent with the goals, objective, and policies of the White County Strategic Plan and any other applicable planning studies and reports, as adopted and amended from time to time. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  2. The proposed rezoning is compatible with current conditions and the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property. 9 agree; 2 no opinion; 0 disagree

  3. The proposed rezoning is the most desirable use for which the land in the subject property is adapted. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  4. The proposed rezoning will not have an adverse effect on the value of properties throughout the jurisdiction. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

  5. The proposed rezoning reflects responsible standards for growth and development. 11 agree; 0 no opinion; 0 disagree

 

 

President, Charles Anderson announced the results, as follows: 11 votes cast; 11 in favor - 0 opposed – 0 Abstentions. Rezone request will be certified to the appropriate legislative body with a “Favorable” recommendation.

 

 

 

#1028 – Ozinga Materials, Inc. (WPP LLC): A-1 (General Agriculture District) to I-1 (Light Industrial District) – Barry Voorn and Mike Conquest, respresenting Ozinga Materials, Inc. were present to represent this rezone request. A handout was provided to the board members that coincided with a power-point presentation outlining the developmental proposal at this site, along with the company business history. Photos of current sites were supplied for comparison. The request is for the purpose of operating a ready-mix concrete plant. The proposed plant will be very small initially and grow to possible only 8-10 employees and encompasses only a section of the 100 acre parcel. Parking, safety, and pollution issues were all addressed in the presentation, as well as each specific question for consideration in the rezone application packet. Barry stated they were contacted today by an adjoining property owner regarding a possible drainage issue for the site. Ozinga is willing to meet with the property owner to discuss resolutions to the drainage at the site. Jim Thayer was in person as the adjoining property owner that presented the drainage concerns, along with Bob Wrede. Jim stated that he sold the 100 acre parcel to Northgate Aggregates in 2010 and their developmental proposal included a drainage plan that was never fulfilled. Mr. Thayer’s concern is that the original proposed drainage plan by Northgate Aggregates is not a feasible and executable plan. There has been topsoil removed on 20-30 acres down to limestone and water drains to the southeast corner of the property. Pumps were supposed to be installed to pump that run-off to 2 retention ponds and they were never installed. This has created flooding in the roadway and into his farm field. Further developments will only worsen the existing drainage problem and he requests this issue be resolved prior to approving the rezone request. Ozinga Materials currently only leases the property from Northgate Aggregates who submitted the original drainage plan in May of 2010 according to White County Surveyor, Brad Ward. Mr. Thayer stated he has spent a lot of time and money trying to add drainage tile to help alleviate the problem which is only getting worse. The question was asked why the Surveyor’s office or the Drainage Board were never notified until now regarding this problem. Jim Thayer said he was not able to contact the property owner to resolve the problem and did not know who else to contact. Ozinga Materials, Inc. is willing to meet with Mr. Thayer and the County Surveyor to discuss resolutions to the drainage issue. Rezoning the parcel does not resolve, nor is it connected to the drainage issue. Joe Rogers stated that the rezone request does not affect the plan to fix the drainage, that would have to be fixed regardless Bob Wrede reiterated that he does not believe that the drainage plan that was submitted is possible. His concern is that the property may not be suitable for any future development. Brad Ward, County Surveyor conveyed that the Drainage Board does have allowances to activate a new plan for the site, if necessary. Larry Brown asked how the plant proposed to handle and dispose of the waste material generated. Mike Conquest said they intend to use a crusher for disposal of the waste material. Janene Crawford, an adjoining property owner to the east, asked why the entire parcel has to be rezoned. Joe explained that the former request to rezone was withdrawn after the APC came back with a negative recommendation to the request and certification was made to the County Commissioners. A litigation suit occurred because state statute read that mining could not be prohibited in the zoning district and location of the site. There was an agreement between the company, the County Commissioners, the APC, and BZA that mining would be allowed in the rural A-1 district as long as they met the conditions & restrictions that were set forth in the rezone hearing. The zoning was left the same but the current request includes concrete batching which isn’t allowed in an A-1 District, hence the rezone request. Janene stated she has drainage concerns as well and is against the current rezone request. Joe Rogers stated again that the rezone request does not affect the issues and concerns of the drainage. It was explained that the procedure for applying for a building permit for the proposed plant would trigger the standard routing procedure in the Building and Planning Dept. that includes going to the Surveyor to address drainage. At that time, the drainage problem will be addressed. Ed Lucy and Bill Morris also addressed the board with their concerns regarding the drainage. Joe Rogers stated that neither the APC, nor the Area Plan Dept. are responsible for the drainage of the site and the issue is entirely a matter for the County Drainage Board. After additional discussion, Ozinga representatives were asked if they were still interested in pursuing this request at this site. Mike Conquest and Barry Voorn took a moment to consider the issues at hand and decided they are still willing to pursue the property and find a feasible solution for the drainage. If a solution cannot be achieved, they will be forced to walk away.

 

There being no additional questions or comments, ballots were passed to board members by Abigail Diener.

Prior to voting, Jim Annis made a motion to table the request until the next meeting to give all parties a chance to meet. A second to table the request was made by Denny Sterrett and by a show of 9 hands, the motion to table the request was passed.

 

 

 

Amendments

 

#A41 – CH 3 – Wireless Communications Facilities: Joe Rogers stated that this amendment is not ready for final vote. The Area Plan office would like some guidance relative to amending the Zoning Ordinance for wireless towers. The current ordinance does allow for tower upgrades but only with much difficulty. The amendment would separate new towers from tower upgrades. The permitting process for new towers will essentially stay the same, however tower upgrades will have revised requirements making it much less cumbersome on the applicant. Joe asked the board to review the draft amendment and be prepared to vote on it at the next APC meeting. Secondly, the height requirements for towers are not feasible in the current zoning ordinance when relating to the standard tower height for wireless Improvement Location Permits. The proposal is to change the maximum tower height to 300’ and make the setback equal to 1’ of setback for every foot in tower height. This amendment will also be presented for vote at the next APC meeting.

 

Other Business:

 

  1. TIF Expansion: Mid-America Commerce Park – George Loy, White County Attorney, was present with Randy Mitchell & Dave Diener in support of the county’s plan to expand the Wolcott Corridor/Economic Development TIF District established in 2007, now known as the Mid-America Commerce Park. This expansion will double the size of the current TIF District. Developmental progress of the Mid-America Commerce Park has progressed far enough to now include the additional area in the TIF District. Upon APC approval, this resolution will go before the White County Commissioners and then a public hearing before the Redevelopment Commission. Taxes captured will come from Industrial development only. This expansion does not increase or change current taxes, only affects the distribution of the increment generated as a result of Economic Development. Everett Shaffer, a surrounding Jasper County resident was in person with concerns to the building access at the site and destruction of the county road. He requests changing the access point to the east side versus the west side currently being used to access the shell building. Cathy Gross asked if part of the TIF funds could be used to address the infrastructure concerns of the road. Randy Mitchell stated that could be an option, but that the Redevelopment Commission still has to meet with INDOT to determine what the future and final access point will be. Mike Smolek questioned how long the TIF District will stay in-tact. George Loy stated that this is a newly created TIF that is valid for 30 years. All funds of the TIF are distributed solely by the White County Redevelopment Commission. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation look for mega-sites for large industrial & manufacturing development and the hope is to establish this site as one of those. A motion was made by Dave Rosenbarger and seconded by Jim Annis to accept the TIF District Resolution proposed. With all in favor, motion carries.

 

  1. Comprehensive Plan Update (continued) – At the January 12, 2014 APC meeting, the board was presented 4 total comp plan proposals from outside companies. Joe asked the board to review those proposals over a 2 week period and advise him as to which companies the board would like to come in person and answer questions, etc. After only receiving 3 out of 11 responses, Joe generated a list of questions he would like to ask and asked Charlie Anderson if it was appropriate to send those questions to each company. Each company’s response to those questions was made available to the board for review. Joe asked the board for their recommendation in continuing to move forward with this process. After discussing the options, the board agreed for a subcommittee to convene to move this process forward. The committee will include Joseph Rogers (Chair), Cathy Gross, Dave Stimmel, Richard Lynn, Mark Bentlage, and one representative from each town of Burnettsville, Chalmers & Reynolds. By show of hands, decision approved.

 

  1. Variance Clarification Criteria (continued) – Joe provided the APC with clarification points relative to the specific variance criteria involving practical difficulty (See Exhibit B). The APC will need to decide to accept the recommendations and determinations of the sub-committee on variance clarification. The subcommittee discussed at great length the issue of “self-inflicted” and the committee agreed to recommend to the board that if an applicant creates a self-inflicted issue regarding development, then a variance should not be granted. The APC needs to understand that could require residents to remove or tear down improvements that are considered in violation of the zoning ordinance and be prepared to enforce any and all requirements and consequences. By show of hands, all in favor with Dave Rosenbarger opposed, a majority agreed to send the subcommittee recommendations to the BZA for final vote. .

 

  1. Improvement Location Permit Compatibility (continued) – The board received a draft of a potential amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to exclude improvements including central air units, stand-by generators, heating units, etc. from the setback requirements. The building dept. requires 18” setback from the property line. The Building & Planning Dept. recommends excluding these improvements from the required principal structure setbacks of the residence. The board agrees by show of hands to include this exemption in the proposed amendment at the next APC meeting.

 

  1. Barn Quilts – Joe requested to exempt barn quilts from the current permitting requirements for signs in the Zoning Ordinance. The formal amendment will be submitted to the APC at the next meeting to include this exemption. By show of hands, all members agree to this proposal.

 

  1. Compact Housing – The current Bulk Use Standards list a minimum building size for dwellings, however nowhere in the Zoning Ordinance does it define does it specify what is included in that minimum building size. It is not specific to whether the minimum building size includes only living space or if it includes an attached garage, attic (finished or unfinished), basement (finished or unfinished), enclosed/un-enclosed porch, etc. The Zoning Ordinance also makes allowances for cabins and cottages, but does not specify anything relative to minimum size for smaller structures. Currently, if a resident wants to build a cabin or cottage on a parcel, they are required to meet the minimum dwelling size for that zone. Joe recommends a revision to the Ordinance Amendment that addresses these specific issues. Compact housing is currently not addressed as an alternative to building for smaller homes such as retirement homes, etc. Joe recommends a committee convene to begin looking at these issues and work towards finding resolution. Joe asked permission to create a committee of citizens, possibly including those in the real-estate business to begin to address this topic. The board agreed to allow Joe to put together a committee by show of hands.

 

  1. Airbnb (Air Bed & Breakfast) – Currently, there are several residents renting properties in zoning districts that don’t allow this. Additionally, the issue of permanent RV dwellings has come to the forefront for clarification. Regulations need to be clarified for these types of properties.

 

 

 

Additional Business:

 

Attorney Abigail Diener updated the APC on the current ongoing Shaefer litigation. Tippecanoe County Judge Bush heard the final arguments on Monday, March 2, 2015. The Judge has a maximum of 90 days to consider the case and make a final decision. This decision is considered final, although the litigants can file an appeal within 30 to the Indiana Appellate Court. If the judge rules in favor of White County, Abigail can pursue an order to prohibit them renting the property, as well as issuing fines from the time a violation was issued by Area Plan to the time they filed suit. Secondly, in the Smith-Erickson rezone case, there has been a formal request for information by Camp Tecumseh has been issued. Copies of all electronic communication are required to be submitted that include text messages, e-mails, facsimiles, or letters regarding the case from all APC Board members. Abigail will e-mail the board members with a copy of the letter and a request for information to be turned in within 30 days.

 

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There being no further business, Charlie Anderson made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:06 pm., with a second from Brad Ward.

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Donald W. Ward, Secretary

White County Area Plan Commission

 

 

Joseph W. Rogers, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

 

 

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Assistant, Tina Cronkhite “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 B

 

 

 

WHITE COUNTY AREA PLAN COMMISSION

Joseph Rogers P.O. Box 851 Phone: 574/583-7355

Executive Director Monticello, IN 47960 Fax: 574/583-1593

 

Clarification Points:

 

Practical Difficulty – A difficulty with regard to one’s ability to improve land stemming from regulations of the White County Indiana Zoning Control Ordinance, a situation where the owner may or may not be able to comply with the developmental standards of the Ordinance, but would like a variance from the required standards to improve his/her site in a manner which would be more practical than otherwise.

 

By Comparison:

Hardship – A circumstance where one has no possibility of developing their property in accordance with the regulations of the White County Indiana Zoning Control Ordinance for an improvement common in the surrounding area or applicable to the use of the site.

 

The strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will / will not* result in practical difficulties in the use of the property, provided that the situation is not self-imposed or that the need for the development standard variance is not based on a perceived reduction of, or restriction on, economic gain.

 

 

Self-imposed:

  1. The purchase of land with actual or constructive knowledge that, for reasons other than physical characteristics of the property, the developmental standards of the ordinance will inhibit the desired improvement;

  2. Any improvement initiated in violation of the standards of this ordinance or done in contradiction to an approved site plan; and,

  3. Any result of land division requiring variance from developmental standards of this ordinance in order to render that site buildable.

 

  • Examples of physical characteristics of the property would be a high bank property along the lake, a cliff or ravine running through the property, unusual topography, etc.

 

  • Constructive knowledge examples would be a recorded easement which runs through the property or recorded restrictive covenants applicable to the land; in these cases, the landowner should have knowledge of these characteristics because they are part of the public record.

 

 

Perceived reduction of, or restriction on, economic gain:

  1. A variance requested solely for the purpose of pursuing development in a manner which is the most economical method, it would costs less than to build in compliance, with no other relevant obstacles.

  2. A variance requested solely for the purpose of economic gain (such as a request to vary the minimum area of a lot so a property owner can sell the property as a “buildable lot”).

 

 

WHITE COUNTY AREA PLAN COMMISSION

 

PUBLIC NOTICE OF REGULAR SESSION

 

January 12, 2015 - 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 Plan Commission will meet in Regular Session pursuant to Indiana’s Open Meetings Law, I.C. 5-3-1-2 (b):

BUSINESS – ELECTION OF OFFICERS

  • APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

  • APPOINTMENT OF ATTORNEY

  • APPOINT TECH REVIEW COMMITTEE MEMBER

 

READING OF THE MINUTES – November 10, 2014

 

 

REZONINGS –

 

#1026 – Clint Judd: I-1 (Light Industrial District) to R-2 (Single and Two-Family Residential District); Easy St., Monticello.

 

#1027 – Kenneth & Nicole Dotson: B-2 (General Business District) to R-2 (Single and Two-Family Residential District); 6379 E State Road 16, Monticello.

 

 

AMENDMENTS –

 

A39 – CH 8 – Parking Standards pertaining to the off-street parking requirements for Home Occupation-Childcare Home & Childcare House.


BUSINESS –

 

1) Annual Report

 

2) Variance approval criteria – Practical Difficulty; The strict application of the terms of the White County Zoning Ordinance would result in practical difficulties in the use of the property, “provided that the situation is not self-imposed or that the need for the development standard variance is not based on a perceived reduction of, or restriction on, economic gain”.