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BZA MEETING
November 16, 2017

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Present: Randy Conwell, Abbey Gross, Dennis Sterrett

Also attending were Executive Director Colin Betts, Board Secretary Annette Cobb, and Attorney Abigail Diener

Absent: Chris McWhirter and Stan Minnick

Visitors attending were: Melanie Green, Steve Balgemann, Barry Milleman, Ken Green, Chad Henricks, Jillian and Loren Weeks, Elizabeth Williams, Will Gooden, Judy Booze, Les Miller and Tim Trowbridge

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett at 6:00 P.M.

*****

Minutes & Findings of Fact:

There was a motion by Abbey Gross and a second by Randy Conwell to approve the meeting minutes and findings of fact dated October 19, 2017 as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Note: At the introduction of each case hearing, Director Betts introduced the Staff Report and affiliated documents into the official record of the meeting, to be used as supporting documents for developing the Findings of Fact for each hearing.

Variances & Special Exceptions

Variance Petition #2961

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a 23’ height to peak allowance vs. 19’ max in an R-2 district for an accessory structure. Mr. Betts stated that Mr. Milleman requests the additional height allowance to store recreational vehicles and equipment allowed in an R-2 zoning district. Barry Milleman stepped to the podium to represent his request. Dennis Sterrett, Vice-Chairman, explained to the audience that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in January. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed. Mr. Milleman chose to have his request voted on tonight. There were no questions for Mr. Milleman from the Board. Mr. Sterrett asked the audience if there was anyone who would like to speak in favor or against the request. No one came forward. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2961 -3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Variance Petition #2962

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a 13’ front (east property line) vs. 30’ req’d for a detached garage. Mr. Betts explained that Hickory Ridge Ct. curves around the subject property which creates two fronts and the dotted line on the survey indicates the edge of pavement, not the right of way. Chad & Michelle Henricks stepped to the podium to represent their request. Michelle Henricks clarified the survey for the Board by saying “There is on the plus or minus 13’ it goes all the way up to 20’ towards the north and south of the garage I think the lowest point is eleven. Just so you have an approximate.” This area is part of the right of way that the Henricks maintain. Randy Conwell asked the applicants if there would be a new driveway to access this building. Mrs. Henricks explained that there is already two access points to the subject property that will continue to be utilized in the same manner that they are now. Dennis Sterrett asked if they were to park vehicles in the drive if that would restrict any view for motorists. Mrs. Henricks stated that they currently park on the drive, and there have not been any issues that they have been made aware of. There were no further questions for the Henricks from the Board. Dennis Sterrett, Vice-Chairman, explained to the audience that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in January. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed. Chad & Michelle Henricks chose to have their request voted on tonight. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2962-3 votes cast-3 to grant-0 to deny; Petition Granted

Variance Petition #2963

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a variance for the required parking spaces for a boat storage facility. The applicant asks for relief from the 31 required spaces to 1 parking space. Mr. Betts explained that the Green’s were granted a building permit on October 2, 2017, for a new facility intended to meet the current parking requirements according to the submitted parking plan. Randy Conwell asked Mr. Betts if this request is approved would they be allowed to set up an office or shop with employees in the future. Mr. Betts explained that the permit was issued for an unoccupied building used for boat storage and if there were a change in the use or structure the owner would need to apply for a new building permit. If parking requirements change at that time, the owner would need to either comply with the parking requirements or ask for another variance. Ken & Melanie Green stepped to the podium to represent their request. Melanie Green stated that they are required to follow the boat storage parking requirements, but the way they operate their business they believe they would fall in line more closely with the warehouse requirements. She explained that 40% of the boats they store they pick up on the customers’ property or boat launch area, so customers are never on site. For the rest of the customers that visit the site, they back in and unhitch their boat then pull away without ever turning off their vehicle. Mrs. Green stated that they have a home office to conduct all administrative tasks, and that payments are either sent in the mail or put in the drop box on site. The Green’s are asking for a variance from the parking requirements to avoid excess hardscape for the neighborhood. They believe that the more natural they can leave the area the more beneficial it would be for the surrounding area. Mrs. Green stated that they have started the retention pond that was required per the drainage plan. Randy Conwell asked if there are ever boats stored outside. Melanie Green replied that all the boats are stored inside, and that as soon as they are on site they are put into the storage building. Abbey Gross asked if the area would be left vacant or if they are planning to build additional buildings where the parking lot would be required if the variance is not granted. Melanie Green stated that they are intending to leave the area as green space. There was a short discussion explaining the facility operation between the Green’s and the Board Members. Dennis Sterrett, Vice-Chairman, explained to the audience that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in January. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed. Melanie Green chose to have their request voted on tonight. Mr. Sterrett asked the audience if there was anyone who would like to speak in favor or against the request. No one came forward. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2963 -3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Variance Petition #2964

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is to replace a legally nonconforming 1960s-era built manufactured home. The applicant requests to place a 1979 manufactured home. White County Ordinance Chapter 3 states that any manufactured home permitted within the White County Area Plan Jurisdiction no manufactured home built prior to January 1, 1981. Mr. Betts explained that Golden Beach is a legally established subdivision, but not a mobile home park, that the variance request is for a nonconforming structure, and that the White County Board of Zoning Appeals has jurisdiction in this matter. The Board did not have any questions for Mr. Betts, so Phillip Jackson stepped to the podium to represent his request. Dennis Sterrett, Vice-Chairman, explained to Mr. Jackson that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in January. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed. Mr. Jackson expressed that he would like to be heard tonight. Dennis Sterrett asked for clarification on what variance is being sought. Mr. Betts stated that “There is similar language in other jurisdictions at least outside of the state there is similar language and the purpose of that language is due to the fact that prior to 1981 the wiring and the plumbing is different than those built after that date.” He went on to say “In the variance that was approved before in 2009 for a 1979 mobile home it was approved that structure was rewired & re-plumbed.” Dennis Sterrett asked, “so that was approved with a commitment?” Colin Betts “yes with conditions that it was rewired & re-plumbed.” Mr. Jackson stated “This home was built it is a Fairmont Bayview Addition built in Nappanee, Indiana, so I am sure they went by the regulating rules.” Abbey Gross asked if the plumbing and electric is a safety issue. Mr. Betts said “Yes, it is a safety issue.” Abigail Diener stated that “It was an industry wide change, so the zoning statutes specifically reference a 1981 date which is why five years or so ago when Mr. Rogers was here we amended this ordinance to reflect the 1981 date.” Abigail Diener stated that “there has been a lot of dialog and I had some dialog with Mr. Jackson’s, I don’t think he is your attorney, but someone from the manufactured housing association contacted me on your behalf and so there is kinda some conflict between the health statutes saying that you can’t regulate based on age, and the zoning statute saying that you can based on this 1981 statute definition, so I guess it would be my opinion that if we can ensure that the mobile home is up to standards and going to be safe that it would not be an unreasonable variance to grant.” Abigail Diener asked if this is something the building inspector would check when he installs it? Colin replied “Yes…so yeah in order to place the mobile home he would have to have a building permit that the inspector would check and make sure that when it goes in and you are supposed to have two permits. One to move it and the other from us to place it on the grounds and it is just to make sure that it is properly secured and tied down, that sort of thing and not necessarily for plumbing & wiring.” Mr. Jackson stated that the home is to be delivered, tied down, skirted and on the required piers. Abby Gross asked if it is Mr. Jackson’s intent to replace the wiring and plumbing. Mr. Jackson stated that “at this point I had not intended to, no, if necessary, yes.” Abigail Diener stated that it would be safer than the one he has there now. Mr. Betts was asked how expensive it would be to bring a mobile home up to code like the one in 2009. He said he did not know for sure, but that “it is my understanding that the home would have to be gutted, and that’s expensive”. There was discussion on where Mr. Jackson parks and where the sewer and water are located on the lot. Abbey Gross asked if the setbacks would be met, and it was confirmed that he meets the setbacks listed per the plat. Dennis Sterrett asked Mr. Jackson about the addition on the north side of the current home if that will stay or be taken out. Mr. Jackson stated that that will be removed and not put back in. He explained the site plan in more detail for the Board. Mr. Betts asked if Mr. Klaszak was in attendance. Mr. Jackson did point out that he received approval from Mr. Klaszak on his site plan, and that the only requirements per Golden Beach Regulations are that the home be at least 12’ wide and to have written approval from Mr. Klaszak. The board asked where he would park vehicles and if he had enough space. Dennis Sterrett asked if there was anyone in the audience that would like to speak on behalf or against the request. No one came forward. Abigail Diener asked Mr. Jackson if he would like to go ahead with the vote, and he decided that he would. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2964 -3 votes cast; 1 vote to grant, 2 to deny; Petition Continued to January 2018 meeting.

Variance Petition #2965

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a 0’ setback to all property lines (lease lines) to replace a wireless support structure in a B-2 district. The proposed replacement structure is a 195’ tall Saber monopole; according the section 3.10 the setback for a communications support structure is equal to the height of the tower or the engineered certified fall zone area measured to the property line, lease line, or principle building, whichever is most restrictive. The engineered certified fall zone for this structure is 100’, however the certification also indicates that if the structure were to fail it would become permanently deformed, but would not collapse onto surrounding buildings. There were no questions for Mr. Betts from the Board, so Will Gooden stepped to the podium to represent Horvath Communications and Verizon Wireless and introduced his colleague Elizabeth Williams. Dennis Sterrett, Vice-Chairman, explained to the audience that the BZA Board is typically a 5 member board, but only three members were available for tonight’s meeting. By State Statute, an official action of the board cannot take place unless there are 3 affirmative or 3 negative votes. Therefore, all 3 votes must be cast in favor of the variance to grant or against to deny. If there is a split vote, your hearing would be continued to the next hearing, which is in January. You have the option, as a petitioner, to ask to be continued until the board is fully staffed. Mr. Gooden chose to have his request voted on tonight. Mr. Gooden gave the Board a background on the existing structure. He also passed out a packet to the members to demonstrate what their plans consist of and explained the documents included. He stated that Verizon has indicated a need for additional data coverage in this area that is explained further under Tab 4 of the documents submitted. Essentially this is an existing structure but needs to be replaced. The reason a new one is required is because when the tower is loaded with the new equipment it would not be structurally sound so it needs to be rebuilt to accommodate the update. He also reiterated the fact that if the tower were to fail it would fail at a point up on the tower, bend over, and remain in place. There was a short discussion clarifying the structure will not take up any of the existing parking, the existing tower will be removed, and the construction of the tower. Mr. Sterrett asked the audience if there was anyone who would like to speak in favor or against the request. No one came forward. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2965 -3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Variance Petition #2966

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a 15’ rear (roadside) vs. 20’ for a detached garage. Mr. Betts stated that the applicant submitted plans for a detached garage. The foundation of the structure is located at the 20’ setback, but the overhang on the rear (roadside) of the detached garage is 5’. The ordinance states that “setbacks are measured from the foundation of the building to the property line or the road right of way line, whichever is most restrictive, when the eave is 16” or less. For eaves greater than 16”, setbacks are measured from the edge of the eave.” Loren & Jillian Weeks stepped to the podium to represent their request and indicated they would like to continue to be heard tonight. Loren Weeks explained that they tried to move the garage back initially but where the deck area is the deck is basically there so you can get to the house because it sloped so hard that the garage had to be at the top of the hill. The house had to be built into the hill, and they would have preferred to have an attached garage, but that was impossible with the narrowness of the lot and the slope of the hill. The Week’s explained that the way the road and their parcel line angles, only the west corner will be encroaching into the setback area as shown on their site plan. There was a short discussion over parking. Mr. Sterrett asked the audience if there was anyone who would like to speak in favor or against the request. No one came forward. When there were no further conditions to consider, Attorney Abigail Diener passed out the ballots to vote on request.

After tabulating the ballots, Vice Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record:

Variance Petition #2966 -3 votes cast; 3 votes to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Variance Petition #2967

Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. Director Betts explained that this request is for a 0.5’ front (waterside) setback vs. 30’ req’d to build an addition on to the lake side of the existing dwelling. After Director Betts finished with his presentation, Todd Anderson stepped to the podium and expressed that he would like to continue his request to the next meeting in January. Continuance granted.

Variance Petition #2968

Executive Director Colin Betts read the staff report and presented photos of the subject site. When Director Betts finished with his presentation, Tim Trowbridge stepped to the podium to represent his request. Mr. Trowbridge explained that the application was submitted inaccurate and that their intent was to eliminate the parking requirements. Abigail Diener explained that since the variance was advertised as a request for 19 parking spaces, they would need to amend the application to reflect the intent to eliminate parking requirements and new notifications need to be sent to the public. Petition continued to January meeting.

Other Business:

Approve BZA meeting dates for 2018 - There was a motion by Randy Conwell and a second by Abbey Gross to approve the 2018 BZA regular meeting dates. Approved unanimously, so moved.

There being no further business, Abbey Gross made a motion the meeting be adjourned with a second from Dennis Sterrett. Motion carried unanimously, meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

__________________________

Annette Cobb, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

__________________________

Colin Betts, Executive Director

White County Area Plan Commission

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary Annette Cobb “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.”__________________