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June 18, 2015



The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday June 18, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.


Present: Randy Conwell, Carl Hites, Richard Holmes, Dave Rosenbarger, Dennis Sterrett


Absent: none


Also attending were Executive Director Joe Rogers, Attorney Abigail Diener and Board Secretary Substitute, Jenifer Geiger


Visitors attending were: Michael Gasser, Sharon Hughes and Jerry Hughes


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







Minutes: There was a motion by Carl Hites and a second by Dennis Sterrett to approve the meeting minutes and Findings of Fact of May 21, 2015 as written. The minutes and Findings of Fact were unanimously approved.


Variances & Special Exceptions

Variance Petition # 2923 – Horton Farms, Inc. and Crown Castle GT Co.

#2923 – Executive Director Joe Rogers stepped to the podium and explained that the first scheduled business was a continuance of previous month’s hearing pertaining to petition #2923. Director Rogers then summarized the Staff Report pertaining to this variance. The request was for an 83’ south setback and a 59’ west setback for an existing telecommunications tower. The other two setbacks were previously grandfathered in and are not an issue at this hearing. He then provided photo documentation of the site and asked if anyone had any questions. There were no questions.

Michael Gasser of Crown Castle, with offices at 9045 River Road, Suite 425 in Indianapolis, stepped to the podium. He explained that he represented both Crown Castle and Buzz Horton, the property owner. Michael Gasser expressed his regret that he was unable to attend the previous BZA meeting, but said he understood that in the last meeting there was a concern about the fall zone. He said the towers are built extremely well and he didn’t believe there was ever an incidence of a wireless communications facility falling in White County. He asked his team of engineers to evaluate the tower to see how it was built and they are confident the fall zone of the Tower would be no larger than 205’ for the 285’ tower. He submitted into the record an engineering report that reflected a fall zone of 205-225 feet. Michael Gasser explained that the property owner is willing to commit to not building any occupied structures in the fall zone. A discussion followed regarding what kind of building would be acceptable at the site, namely whether an unoccupied structure could still be built in the fall zone. Michael Gasser said that he hadn’t spoken to Buzz Horton regarding not being able to build any structures, only not being able to build occupied structures.

Michael Gasser also stated that he believed under the new law to take effect in January, that one cannot impose restrictions on a wireless service provider that are not imposed on another utility, so the Board can’t require a 1:1 fall zone ratio. Director Rogers said they might not want to get into legislative interpretation because then the matter won’t be resolved at this hearing.

After further discussion, the Board took no action on the petitioner’s offer for the building restriction. Carl Hites said he was willing to go with the 205’ fall zone for setbacks and made a motion that the variance petition be modified to reflect a south and west setback of 205’. The motion was seconded by an unidentifiable source and unanimously approved by the Board. The variance was considered with a 205’ setback applied to the south and west property lines.

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

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

Variance Petition #2924 – 5 votes cast, 5 to grant, 0 to deny; the variance was granted with the stated change of a 205’ setback on the south and west property lines.

Variance Petition #2924 – Jerry & Sharon Hughes

Executive Director Rogers stepped to the podium and read the Staff Report and provided photo documentation of the petition site. Director Rogers mentioned he received one phone call from a neighboring property owner. The neighbor wanted to know where Mr. and Mrs. Hughes were going to build the garage on the property because he was concerned that he may not be able to make the street curve when hauling his boat depending on where the garage was located. Director Rogers sent a site survey and never heard back from caller. Some discussion was had about the proposed garage site. Carl Hites said that he noticed some neighbors might have trouble backing out of their driveways or lose their view of the lake when the garage goes up.


Sharon and Jerry Hughes of 4682 Reuben Ct. stepped to the podium. Sharon Hughes stated she would like to build a garage for safety reasons, to help get snow off of her car and also to keep yard tools. There is already a concrete pad at the proposed building site so that she could remove snow more easily. Jerry Hughes also said he put the pad in assuming they would be able to get a garage since all their neighbors already have garages. Jerry Hughes expressed that he didn’t believe their garage would hurt the neighbor’s view and that people drive slowly in front of their home so the street curve shouldn’t be an issue. A discussion followed regarding ideal placement of the garage. The Board decided that a 1’ setback was needed on the side of the garage because the garage was being built on the side of a bank and 1’ was needed so that repairs could be done to the garage without standing on the neighbor’s property. Randy Conwell made a motion to modify the variance request to alter the east setback request from .3’ to 1’ and the road side setback from 7.7’ to 7’. Motion was seconded by Carl Hites and unanimously approved by the Board.

When there were no further questions from the audience, the applicant, or the Board, Attorney Abigail Diener issued ballots for voting.

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

Variance Petition #2924 – 5 votes cast, 5 to grant, 0 to deny. The petition was approved with the setback modification issued by the Board, 1’ on the east side and 7’ on the road side.

Other Business:

The hearing was followed by a discussion on decision criteria of the variance ballot, in particular the self-imposed criteria portion. The Board asked Director Rogers to provide some examples of self-imposed variances. It was agreed that the discussion would be continued at a future meeting.

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



Respectfully submitted,




Jenifer Geiger, Substitute Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals




Joseph W. Rogers, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission






Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary Jenifer Geiger “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.” _________________________________________________