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BZA MEETING
May 17, 2018

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met Thursday, May 17, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Present: Randy Conwell, Abbey Gross, Stan Minnick, Dennis Sterrett, Chris McWhirter

Also attending were Executive Director Colin Betts, Board Secretary Annette Cobb, and Attorney Makenzie Martin

Visitors attending were: Robert McClain, Bill Hollerman, Dianne Hollerman, Michael Wilson, Jim Seiter, Sharon Seiter, Kathy Cosgray, Sonya Einsele, James Allen, and Amy Allen. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Dennis Sterrett at 6:00 P.M.

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Minutes & Findings of Fact: There was a motion by Stan Minnick and a second by Chris McWhirter to approve the meeting minutes and findings of fact dated April 19, 2018. Motion was 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:

Director Betts clarified for the audience and Board general things that apply to all of the Special Use Exception that were to be heard tonight.

“In our zoning ordinance in the official schedule of uses we have a variety of uses permitting, temporary, or accessory or various uses depending on what zoning they are in. For most things, if they are permitted, they are either permitted by right or they are permitted and someone has to come into the Area Plan office and apply for a permit application so that they can be able to go ahead and do that use. If that is the case, in those cases, then the burden is on the AP office to ensure that the applicant meets the requirements of the ordinance for that particular structure. Special exception is a little bit different. In a special exception use the Area Plan Commission and the legislative bodies of all the communities have passed ordinance saying that this particular use is dangerous or whatever. There are special considerations that require each special case to be heard by the BZA. In those cases the burden is on the applicant to show to the board that that use would not provide a nuisance to the neighbors of that area neighborhood district, so they have decided for vacation rentals that those should be special exception uses in the districts of L-1, R-1, and R-2 which are residential districts. It is not because White County does not want vacation rentals, we do want vacation rentals, we are not opposed to vacation rentals, but the purpose is so that we can protect abutting neighboring properties from any adverse effects from that use. So each case, when that is heard the board will have to decide based on that use whether or not that use will affect neighboring properties. There was in the board packets; there was statement about a waiver of ADA requirements that’s not entirely accurate. That has to do with parking lot ADA requirements that are found in Chap 8 of the zoning ordinance. Vacation rentals have to provide adequate parking for the number of guests or number of occupancy rooms that will normally be slept in. The parking lot has to be a hard surface stable surface for people to park in and if it is going to be ADA compliant it has to also be stable and there are certain requirements so on and so forth. In the ordinance if you have to provide a parking lot then you also have to provide ADA parking stalls there is an option that a property owner can request from the executive director a certain it is called a waiver of certain developmental standards of those requirements. This board does not actually grant a waiver of anything. What this board can do is either approve/disapprove/continue to a following meeting or they can approve with conditions. Having said that there is a previous case in 2014 and I won’t get into to that entirely where the parking area that was provided did not meet the development standards of the ordinance. As a condition on that particular case, the Board approved the use that if there was any substantial improvement to the residence then they would have to put in ADA compliant parking. Normally you do not have to have a compliant parking lot for a residence, that doesn’t make any sense, it is your residence you live there you have your driveway you do not need to have an actual parking lot. So, that will be up to the board whether or not they want to impose conditions on each individual case and they will take that on a case by case basis for each one of these special exception use applications that we are going to hear tonight.”

Special Exception Use #2974 Hollerman

Colin Betts, Executive Director, read the Staff Report and presented photos of the subject site. Mr. Betts stated that the review process has found that the applicant has met the requirements of Subsection 3.16.9 Category 8. Applicant has submitted proof of compliance for rules & regulations, maximum occupancy, setback waiver from abutting neighbors, smoke detectors, waste management, certification from TLRSD, Fire extinguisher size & type not specified. Three parking spaces are provided which are sufficient for three sleeping rooms, again they are not hard surfaced per ADA requirement but this can be dealt with by a waiver or conditions imposed by BZA. Mr. Betts read the call log into the record. Mr. Charlie Combs called to protest the Vacation Rental. Mr. Combs is one of the abutting neighbors. The Staff learned that Mr. Combs later contacted the Hollermans directly and had misunderstood the request concerning parking. At that time he confirmed with them that he was fine with the intent to use the home as a vacation rental. Staff member Annette Cobb contacted Mr. Combs directly on May 11, 2018; he confirmed that he had misunderstood and that he is perfectly fine with the request as presented. Dennis Sterrett asked Mr. Betts if our office considers Mr. Combs phone conversation as the required documentation for the request. Mr. Betts explained that it is not stipulated as to what kind of waiver the office must receive. Mrs. Dianne Hollerman stepped to the podium to represent the request and answer any questions from the Board. Mr. Sterrett asked if there is adequate parking for at least three vehicles. Mrs. Hollerman explained that yes, they have plenty of room and have had family reunions that require additional parking without any problems. Mrs. Hollerman stated, “We always meet, if it is at all possible, we go over and meet the people and we tell them ahead of time that we are going to meet them and I feel that that deters them from bringing their animals or having a large group there. It’s not unusual for us to go by and pick up the trash, so we really try to keep an eye on it.” Dennis Sterrett asked if all compliance issues have been met. Mr. Betts stated that all except the hard surface parking. Dennis asked, “and that is done by your office?” Colin responded, “Either the board can place a condition on the use reference the parking lot or they can come later when they request the special exception use permit and request a waiver for just the specific developmental standards and nothing else.” Abbey Gross asked if the Board has to have all the requirements, or if that will be checked when they apply for the permit. Mr. Betts explained that if it is not done now it will be done later, but should be a factor in the Boards’ decision tonight. Mrs. Hollerman stated that she was not sure what they are referring to. Mr. Betts, “You have a parking area that is specified gravel and in the ordinance parking lots specifically have to be hard surfaced areas/stable for ADA compliance. Wheelchair accessible and that kind of thing. In residential areas we are not going to have that because we don’t need to have that. So that is something we can deal with if you need to actually have a parking lot that is hard surfaced we can look at the requirement of the ordinance and what of those could be waived if that is requested by you. And if you are not intending to rent the home to a handicapped person, then I see no reason to require that.” Mrs. Hollerman explained that they have a lot of contact prior to the rental time and sometimes a question that they receive is how many steps are there to access the dwelling? There are 3-4 steps and it is not wheelchair accessible. Mr. Betts explained accessibility is more of an issue when it’s a hotel/motel when it’s a commercial use like that when the proprietor has to get a license to operate that business. This primarily is a personal residence and the vacation rental is more of an accessory use.

Dennis asked If the board members would like to attach a condition that the office must receive a letter from Mr. Combs prior to issuance of a permit. The board conferred and they accept the phone call that was placed to Mr. Combs as an acceptable waiver for the setback requirement. When there were no further conditions to consider, Makenzie Martin passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record: Special Exception Use #2974-5 Votes cast; 5 to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Special Exception Use #2975

Colin Betts, Executive Director, read the Staff Report and presented photos of the subject site. Review process has found that the applicant has met the requirements of Subsection 3.16.9 Category 8 applicant has submitted proof of compliance for rules & regulations, maximum occupancy, setback waiver from abutting neighbors was not required as Mr. McCain owns the parcel to the West and to the East is a ravine area owned by SFLECC which provides a separation between the vacation rental and the dwelling to the east, smoke detector, waste management, certification from TLRSD, Fire extinguisher size & type not specified. Parking area is provided along the existing garage on the property parking is not hard surfaced, but is not necessary at this time. There were no questions from the board for Mr. Betts, so Robert McClain stepped to the podium to represent his request. Mr. McClain explained to the board in more detail the layout of the area and parking When there were no further conditions to consider, . Makenzie Martin passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record: Special Exception Use #2975-5 Votes cast; 5 to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted.

Special Exception Use #2976

Colin Betts, Executive Director, read the Staff Report and presented photos of the subject site. Review process has found that the applicant has met the requirements of Subsection 3.16.9 Category 8 applicant has submitted proof of compliance for rules & regulations, maximum occupancy, contacts, noise, trespassing, fires, water safety, setback waivers from abutting neighbors, smoke detector, waste management, certification from TLRSD, Fire extinguisher size & type not specified. Four parking spaces are provided. Parking area is not hard surfaced, but is not necessary at this time. Mr. Betts read into the record four objection letters received in our office. Randy Conwell asked if there are any requirements for a local manager of a short term vacation rental. Mr. Betts explained that in the rules & regulations they have to list the owners and an emergency contact and this must be posted in the residence. There were no questions from the board for Mr. Betts, so Mr. Allen stepped to the podium to represent his request. Mr. Allen stated that since receiving the letter from the Area Plan office they have removed the home from the vacation rental site. Mr. Allen went on to say, “As you stated, in your letters, you have two letters the properties on both sides of the home are from the that approved it and the people who live directly across the lake also are the ones who approved it.” Mr. Allen spoke to the board and addressed concerns raised by the letters. There were no remonstrators or supporters who wished to speak in attendance. When there were no further conditions to consider, Makenzie Martin passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record: Special Exception Use #2976-5 Votes cast; 4 to grant, 1 to deny; Petition Granted.

Special Exception #2977

Colin Betts, Executive Director, read the Staff Report and presented photos of the subject site. Review process has found that the applicant has met the requirements of Subsection 3.16.9 Category 8. Applicant has submitted proof of compliance for rules & regulations, contact numbers, noise, safety, trespassing, maximum occupancy, setback waiver from abutting neighbors, smoke detectors, waste management, and certification from TLRSD, Fire extinguisher size & type not specified. Eight parking spaces and one ADA Parking Space are provided which are sufficient for the dwelling. There were no questions from the Board, so Mr. Michael Wilson stepped to the podium to represent his request. There were no remonstrators or supporters who wished to speak in attendance. When there were no further conditions to consider, Makenzie Martin passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record: Special Exception Use #2977-5 Votes cast; 5 to grant, 0 to deny; Petition Granted

Special Exception #2978

Colin Betts, Executive Director, read the Staff Report and presented photos of the subject site. Review process has found that the applicant has met the requirements of Subsection 3.16.9 Category 8. Applicant has submitted a statement of intent, proof of compliance for rules & regulations, contact numbers, noise, safety, trespassing, maximum occupancy of 12, setback waiver from abutting neighbors, smoke detectors, waste management, certification from TLRSD, Fire extinguisher size & type not specified. Six parking spaces are provided which are not hard surfaced nor any ADA stalls provided, but are sufficient for the dwelling. Per White County Zoning Ordinance 8.2.2 parking must be provided for on the same parcel as the associated use, per the Staff request, the parcels have now been combined. Mr. Betts entered into the record five community communications and presented exhibits that were submitted. Mr. Nolan stepped to the podium to represent his request. Mr. Nolan stated that there were a lot of issues addressed in the letters, but that a lot of it had nothing to do with his property. “I think almost any of those complaints can be filed at any time on the lake with campfires and anything else that would be of concern. All my existing neighbors to the south, north, and on up a little bit have no problem with me renting my house. I appreciate your consideration.” There were no questions from the board for Mr. Nolan. Sonya Einsele stepped to the podium to represent the Lake Breeze Homeowners Association. She does confer that the pictures are a bit conflicting. Mrs. Einsele further explained the photos she submitted. She stated that there are three houses that are used as short term vacation rentals and that is where the problem lies. There was so much traffic and the photos are an example of all three houses. The sewer issue was not at Nolan’s it was at a neighboring property. When the sewer district arrived at 11:30 p.m. to work there were intoxicated people everywhere. Sonya Einsele stated that “Mr. Nolan is correct that was not his property at the time. The problem is when you have three homes that are all renting we don’t know who belongs at which house.” Mrs. Einsele stated, ”There is no public benefit for these people to want to vacation here. They cannot use our boat ramp, they have to travel miles to put boats in if they bring boats, I mean it is just causing a real nuisance and I heard you mention about the petition that we had signed. I heard you say that you are not sure about who signed. I can prove all these names if that is what it comes down to because they are actual legit homeowners. You did put up a thing about Brad Zeck signing an agreement that he was ok with the rental, but they have however came to the conclusion that was a bad decision, and they have also signed the petition. Just because of the parking; it affects their residence, the noise, the music is ridiculous, and the random people and the fireworks are crazy every weekend. They have no respect for the community or the time in the evening. ” Mr. Nolan stepped to the podium and stated “We have done our best to try to honor the Lake Breeze Association; we notify our people that they cannot go there; that they cannot use that. I would just say that would be true of anyone else on the lake or across the way that would be willing to walk down there. It is kinda hard to police all of that, it really is. I understand that but we have done our best to honor everybody in the whole area, we do our best to rent to families. We do not try to rent to groups. We turn down, I can’t tell you how many requests, to rent our homes because we realize they don’t have children, if they have children usually that means there’s not drinking; they are a very good family. We have wonderful people rent our homes and we have had very little damage to our homes, so I would just say from that respect that for the most part they are taking very good care of it.” Mr. Nolan went on to say, “When I am here vacationing the lake is always loud. It’s kinda the atmosphere in which we live.” Kathy Gross stepped to the podium and stated that “The people come flying around there and flying through the neighborhood and like we said we don’t know whose renting who they are renting to.” Steve Smart stepped to the podium and stated that he has a home in Florida but that when he came home the weekend with the sewer commotion, “The people that were located the number the people which there were many which were not at this residence but at the residence located next to me. Everyone was very polite, even the people who were partying were very polite when I asked I need one space because my residence will take five cars and they were all being used but mostly by the sewer people. I politely asked them and they were very nice. All the other people that were partying at this other location, they were partying, and having a good time, but I saw nothing that I would have been that was being abused the properties were not being abused and everybody was civil at the location next to my property which there were approximately twenty people. None of this had to do with Mr. Nolan, none of that commotion. They did have the road blocked but what was blocked there was all of the equipment the digging equipment.” Sonya Einsele, “I do agree with what he said, it was not Nolan’s. My whole issue with being here is when you have if you grant Nolan, and you grant Smarts and you grant Drish’s I mean it is just going to be a non-ending…and like you said there are loud things that go on at the lake, but we live in small community and everybody knows everybody. If I have my kids or Kathy has her kids being crazy all I have to do is make a phone call. We don’t know who to call except local authorities. We shouldn’t have to try to figure out where is this group from or where are they going?” Mr. Nolan stated that as far as he knows he has never had a law enforcement officer at my house. Mrs. Einsele confirmed that they have dealt with all the issues within the association and have not contacted the law. Mr. Nolan went on to say, “All of my immediate neighbors have my number and they can call me at any time. All of our people know that there is a noise ordinance that they have to follow and if they do not follow we let them know they will be immediately evicted.” When there were no further conditions to consider, Makenzie Martin passed out the ballots.

After tabulating the ballots, Chairman Dennis Sterrett read the following results into the record: Special Exception Use #2976-5 Votes cast; 1 to grant, 4 to deny; Petition Denied.

Mr. Nolan asked if he has an opportunity to appeal. Mr. Betts gave a quick overview of his options, and advised Mr. Nolan that he may come into the office to meet with him to go over in depth. Mr. Nolan is aware that he must cancel any upcoming reservations immediately.

New Business:

Mr. Betts announced that Annette Cobb the current appointed Secretary of the BZA has taken a position with the Auditor’s Office. The position has been posted and interviewing will begin soon.

There being no further business, Abbey Gross motioned to adjourn the meeting with a second from Stan Minnick. Motion carried, meeting adjourned at 8:16 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.”__________________