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The White County Board of Zoning Appeals met on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: David Scott, Charles Mellon, Carl Hites, David Hall and Gerald Cartmell. Also attending were Attorney Attorney Wayne Szulkowski, Director Joseph Rogers, Secretary Gayle Rogers and Deputy Ben Woodhouse.

Visitors attending were: Teresa Bowen, Dylan Bowen, Deborah Lee Reindt, Jack Reindt, Michael McLaughlin, Ann McLaughlin, James Fox, Don Echterling, Martha Ambrose, John Ambrose, Katrina Underhill, Michael Ambrose, Tom Gillam, Doug Keesling, Perry McWilliams, Jim Bowen

The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Gerald Cartmell. A motion was made by Dave Scott, seconded by Dave Hall and unanimously passed to accept and approve the meeting minutes of June 18, 2009

Motion was made, seconded and carried that there be incorporated into the public hearing portion of each application to be heard this evening and to become part of the evidence at such hearing, the Unified Zoning Ordinance, the Unified Subdivision Ordinance, the By-laws of the Area Plan Board of Zoning Appeals, the application and all documents followed therewith, the staff report and recommendation on the applications to be heard this evening.

VC Gerald Cartmell announced the By-Laws would be discussed after the variances were heard.

#2816 Janice L Herman; Commencing at a point on the North line of the Southwest Quarter of Section Thirty Two (32), Township Twenty Eight (28) North, Range Three (3) West Nine Hundred Eighty Two and Eight Tenths (982.8) feet East and South Sixty Four (64) degrees West one Hundred Six (106) feet of Quarter Section corner between Thirty One (31) and Thirty Two (32) which point is the Northeast corner of the following described parcel of land which is Tract No. 3.

Thence South Sixty Four (64) degrees West Forty Seven (47) feet and Four (4) inches; thence South Thirty Five (35) degrees Thirty (30) minutes East one Hundred Fifty Eight (158) feet to the Indiana Hydro Electric Power Company Northeasterly direction Thirty Five (35) feet and Three (3) inches; thence North Thirty Four (34) degrees West One hundred Fifty One and One Half (152 ½ ) feet to the point of beginning.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Property is located at the intersection of West Shafer Drive and Monon Road at 5491 N. West Shafer Drive.

Violation: Deck built without obtaining proper permit. Deck is not in compliance with side setback requirement.

Request: She is requesting a 6’ side setback variance for an existing deck and stairs.

The incorrect date was advertised in the public notice for this request.

Result: Continued to August 20, 2009


#2817 James & Teresa Bowen; Lot Number Four (4) in Stahl Subdivision, this subdivision located in the Northwest Quarter (1/4) of Section Thirty-one (31), Township Twenty-eight (28) North, range three (3) West, in Monon Township, White County, Indiana and recoded in plat book 1 page 60 in the office of the Recorder of White County, Indiana.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Property is located at 3375 E. Stahl Rd.

Violation: Deck is not in compliance with side setback requirement.

Request: They are requesting a side setback variance of 1’ 6” for an existing deck.

Dir. Joe Rogers displayed pictures on the wall as he explained the variance request.

Teresa Bowen stepped to the podium to represent the request. The building permit

#17979 was issued 4/13/09 with the setbacks listed and the following footnote: Side

setback must be 6’ from property line. Site plan does not provide side dimensions for the

proposed deck. The Bowen’s missed this footnote as did the building department upon

inspection. The error was discovered because of a neighbor’s complaint. It was also

pointed out that removing the two foot length of deck in question would be a serious

safety hazard for anyone on foot coming up the sidewalk from the waterside. Mrs.

Bowen produced a petition in support of the variance request signed by twenty-four

members of Sycamore Acres Homeowners’ Association. Mike McLaughlin (next door

neighbor to the west) spoke in opposition of the request. He said the Bowen’s sidewalk

is at the edge of their property line and they should have secured a variance prior to

construction. Jack Reindt, a neighbor, spoke on behalf of the variance request stating that

it would be a substantial endeavor to move the deck. It does not block anyone’s view.

He also reiterated the safety issue. Dave Scott moved to vote on the request. Dave Hall

seconded the motion. Five votes were cast. Result: 5 granted; 0 deined


#2823 Thomas M & Donna M Gillam; Lot Number Forty-four (44) in Stahl Subdivision Number Two (2). This Subdivision being located in the Northwest Quarter (1/4) of Section Thirty-one (31), Township Twenty-eight (28) North, Range Three (3) West in Monon Township, White County, Indiana.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Property is located at 5671 N Stahl Rd., Monon, IN 47959

Violation: None

Request: They are requesting a 2’ side and 11’ rear setback variance to build a detached garage on the existing footprint.

Dir. Joe Rogers displayed pictures as he explained the nature of the request. Tom Gillam

was present as representative. He stated the garage will be attached, not detached as

originally requested. He is far enough away from the shared well. Doug Keesling,

contractor, said the proposed garage could be moved south two feet, however, that would

block the only window in the house that overlooks the street. When asked, Tom said he

intends to remove all or most of the existing concrete slab as he needs to pour footers

with the garage being attached to the house. The old garage was two feet off the line, this

one will be four feet off the property line to the eave of the garage. Dir Rogers pointed

out that with a 16” eave (verified by Doug K) the request should be amended to read that

Mr. Gillam is applying for an 8” side setback variance, not two feet. The setback (with

the passing of the new ordinance) is measured from the foundation rather than the eave

when the eave is 16” or less. When Joe asked about drainage, especially on the north

side, Tom answered that he discussed this with his neighbor on that side and Tom has

agreed to do whatever is necessary to assure that property drains effectively. Dave Scott

motioned to vote on the request with the stipulation that no part of the proposed building

be closer than four feet to the north side property line. Shaker Hites seconded. Five

votes were cast. Result: 5 granted; 0 denied


#2824 David & Kimberly Stevens/Troy Mercer/Perry McWilliams; A tract of land located in the North ½ of the Northeast ¼ of Section 32, Township 28 North, Range 3 West in Monon Township, White County, Indiana, and described more fully as follows: Beginning at a point which is North 90 degrees West 799 feet, South 2 degrees East 745 feet, South 57 degrees and 43 minutes West 122.6 feet and South 2 degrees and 6 minutes East 78.6 feet from the Northeast corner of the above said Section 32 and running thence North 58 degrees and 45 minutes East 59.5 feet; thence South 1.1 degrees and 37 minutes West 36 feet; thence South 30 degrees East 52.2 feet; thence Southwesterly along the Tippecanoe River 83.4 feet; thence North 2 degrees and 6 minutes West 100.4 feet to the point of beginning, continuing one Tenth (.1) of an acres, more or less.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Property is located at 5840 N Lake Road 52W

Violation: None

Request: They are requesting a 15’ front setback variance and a 3’ rear setback variance to build a new house, decreasing the nonconformance of the existing house.

Dir Rogers displayed photos of the subject property. The proposed structure will reduce

the current nonconformances. Perry McWilliams, builder, was present to represent the

owners. If the variance is granted, the new owner intends to have Mr. McWilliams build

a two story home. It will be in line on the water with the other homes in the area. James

Fox lives two doors down. He was concerned about how close the proposed home would

be to property lines and that it could block the lake view with it being two stories. John

and Martha Ambrose live next door. They are willing to transfer some land to the new

owner to help straighten out the property lines. They are in favor of the variance. The

new home will be an asset to the neighborhood. The proposed home will actually be

further from the adjoining property line than the existing home. They plan to tear down

their home within the next seven or eight years and build a two story also. The height of

the proposed structure does not bother them. Don Echterling owns the property to the

west. He believes the proposed home can be built within setbacks if they make it smaller

and variances to the ordinance should not be allowed. Perry McWilliams again

mentioned the proposed home will be in line with the others in the area and there is

nothing stopping anyone else from building up. Dave Scott motioned for a vote with a

second by Shaker Hites. Five votes were cast. Result: 4 granted; 1 denied. Passed.


BZA By-Laws

Director Joe Rogers pointed out some errors his office found in the by-laws. He contacted Attorney Riley who agreed the following changes were necessary:

Changing President and Vice President to Chairman and Vice Chairman

The secretary need not be a member of the board

Stating the number of meetings will be determined at year end rather than stating every third Thursday in case they are budgetarily forced to have fewer meetings

Changing “nor” to “or” in several instances

Attorney Wayne S suggested not mentioning the number of meetings or the day of meetings so that can be determined as needed without a change to the by-laws

Dave Scott motioned to vote on the above changes followed by a second by Charlie Mellon. Five votes cast. Result: Passed. Unanimous The revised by-laws to be presented at the next ( Aug. 20th ) meeting for signatures

New Business

Reorganization of the BZA is not necessary. According to state statute the Vice Chairman serves the remainder of the term. Reorganization will be at the first meeting in January as usual

Dir Joe Rogers introduced the subject of an Alternate Procedure as provided by state statute. The APC agreed he should pursue the matter if the BZA is in agreement. He stated the advantages of the procedure:

1. Quicker turn around time for citizens. Rather than a 4 – 6 week wait for a variance hearing, they would have a two week wait.

2. Cost effective. The expenditure would be less for Area Plan as these hearings would take place during working hours, no board fees, no attorney fees, less BZA meetings and meeting time.

3. Less intimidating. It is much less intimidating for citizens to speak to a one man hearing officer than in front of a five man board.

4. More efficient. One set of documents would be prepared rather than seven sets.

5. Offers a tool to be utilized for renewable home occupation permits, etc. to better enforce the ordinance.

6. Allows citizens an appeal process outside the court system. Anyone appealing the decision of the hearing officer would appeal first to the BZA, therefore saving court costs and attorney fees. Appealing a BZA decision goes directly to the court system and involves much greater cost to the citizen. With this procedure, a citizen may take the case to the board for a much smaller fee.

Joe then answered questions of the board. They are concerned about people not being treated fairly by having only one hearing officer to hear their request rather than a five person board. Most could see the merit in it and the benefit to the public. Some believe it would not be effective because they are uncomfortable with a single individual making a decision and the timing is not right. Joe explained if they are interested in the concept they should have him move forward with sketching out a plan. It can be amended into the ordinance but need not be implemented until such time the board deems necessary. That would be better than waiting until it is needed to rush into the design. The hearing officer has no set length of appointment and so can be changed at any time. The APC appoints the hearing officer. Joe again asked for direction. Should he pursue the creation of an alternate procedure or drop it? Shaker Hites motioned that Joe develop an Alternate Procedure. Charlie Mellon seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 3 -2 vote.

Dave Scott moved the meeting be adjourned. Dave Hall seconded. Vice Chairman Gerald Cartmell adjourned the meeting at 9:12 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


David Scott, Secretary

Board of Zoning Appeals


Joseph W. Rogers, Director

White County Area Plan Commission

Document Prepared By: Gayle E. Rogers, White County Area Plan