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BZA MEETING MINUTES THURSDAY AUGUST 20, 2009

The White County Board of Zoning Appeals met on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

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

Visitors attending were: Janice L. Herman, Ted & Gretchen Leuenberger, Cathy Wilson (Johns), Dick & Jean Terry

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 July 16, 2009

It was moved, 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 Business items would be discussed at the end of the meeting.

#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.

Joe Rogers gave an overview of the situation including photos. He explained the two adjoining parcels are owned by Janice Herman and the deck in question abuts that adjoining property line. Representing the request was Janice Herman. She told the board she built the decks with no permit and no setbacks after discussing with a local contractor the work to be done and acquiring a quote, the contractor informed her that a permit was not required and a deck could be built from property line to property line. Ms. Herman indicated that she believed the contractor had remodeled a home and built decks on it just a few doors south of Mrs. Herman. She assumed he would know. His quote was too high so she had some friends build the decks. She stated the decks do not hinder the neighbors’ view. She has her hospital office in the property to the north. She walks several times per day between the two properties. The deck shortens the distance for her to walk on unlevel land. She needs to have a sidewalk poured to make the walk level. She has difficulty with falling down on unlevel ground and not being able to get herself back up. She submitted pictures which will remain in her file. The board questioned whether the applicant’s illness was severe enough to warrant the variance request. After deliberation and consideration Dave Hall moved that a vote be taken. Dave Scott seconded. 4 votes were cast. Result: 0 granted; 4 denied; 0 abstained

Joe Rogers offered that the board should provide a time frame to bring the deck into compliance. Dave Scott motioned to allot six (6) months to bring the deck into compliance, Dave Hall seconded, the motion carried by a unanimous vote. Joe Rogers will track the time to ensure compliance is achieved. Janice Herman inquired as to the appeal process.

Findings of Fact

  1. The variance requested does not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area. 3-1
  2. The granting of this variance will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. 4-0
  3. The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance request will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner. 4-0
  4. The granting of the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other property owners in the same vicinity and district but which is denied to the property in question. 3-1
  5. The strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will 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. 3-1
  6. The granting of a variance would be a minimal departure from the strict application of the provisions of the zoning ordinance. In other words, the variance will be the minimum necessary to permit a reasonable use of the land and building. 1-3

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#2825 Theodore J & Gretchen A Leuenberger; A parcel of land out of the North half of the Northwest Quarter of Section 5, Township 27 North, Range 3 West, White County, Indiana

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Located two lots north of the Lighthouse Lodge, directly across Shafer Lake from Tall Timbers Marina at 4900 Boxman Place

Violation: None

Request: Requesting a 2’ elevation variance from the required main Lake Shafer flood protection grade of 654’ to the base flood elevation of 652’ for additions to the existing structures (setback variance #2810 granted 5-21-09) and the future addition of a garage and storage shed.

Joe Rogers gave and overview and showed photos. Ted Leuenberger was present to represent the request. He stated the lowest his construction will be is 1.7’ below the flood protection grade. Building Commissioner Dave Anderson suggested he request a 2’ variance. There has never been water in this house. After some discussion Dave Hall moved to vote, Dave Scott seconded. 4 votes cast.

Result: 4 granted; 0 denied; 0 abstained

Findings of Fact

  1. The variance requested does not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area. 4-0
  2. The granting of this variance will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. 4-0
  3. The use and value of the area adjacent to the property included in the variance request will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner. 4-0
  4. The granting of the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other property owners in the same vicinity and district but which is denied to the property in question. 4-0
  5. The strict application of the terms of the zoning ordinance will 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. 4-0
  6. The granting of a variance would be a minimal departure from the strict application of the provisions of the zoning ordinance. In other words, the variance will be the minimum necessary to permit a reasonable use of the land and building. 4-0

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Cathy Johns Fine Appeal - $550 citation plus removal of semi-trailer – 3469 West Shafer Drive, Monticello, IN 47960

Cathy Johns asked if she could request a continuance as she had to be at work in one half hour. The Terry’s (V #2826) offered to allow Ms. Johns to be heard before them. The board agreed. Ms. Johns stated there was a misunderstanding on her part as far as the initial warning letter and the process to be taken to avoid a fine. The assessed fine totaled $550.00 which Ms. Johns said she could not afford. She requested the fine be dropped and she be given 60 days to remove the trailer from the property. Following a brief discussion, Dave Scott moved to allow 30 days for removal of the trailer with a fine reduction to $250 to be paid on a schedule agreeable to the Area Plan Office, and, if said payments were not made as to agreed upon terms, the original $550 fine would be enforced. Charlie Mellon seconded. The motion passed with a 4-0 vote. Findings of Fact are attached.

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#2826 Jean A. Terry; A tract of land laying in part of the East Half (1/2) of the East Half (1/2) of Section Twenty-one (21) in Township Twenty-six (26) North and Range Three (3) West in Union Township, White County, Indiana, being particularly described as follows:

Beginning at a point which bears North 88º 45’ East 1869.70 feet from a stone marking the center of said Section Twenty-one (21), and running thence North 49º 33’ East along the line of a thirty (30) foot roadway 71.85 feet; thence South 57º 12’ East 214.95 feet to the Northern Indiana Public Service Company line; thence South 41º 50’ West along said Northern Indiana Public Service Company line (all bearings in this description have been computed from this line) for a distance of 50.60 feet; thence North 69º 13’ West 242.62 feet to said thirty (30) foot roadway; thence North 49º 33’ East along said roadway 33.15 feet to the place of beginning, containing 0.38 of an acre, more or less.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: Property is located on Lake Freeman just south of Pierce’s Lakewood Addition at 4437 S Triangle Trail.

Violation: None

Request: Requesting a 3’ side setback variance from the required 6’ in L-1 for a storage shed.

Joe Rogers gave an overview of the request including photos and read two letters, received by Area Plan, into the record from supporting neighbors. Representing the request was Jean Terry. She submitted emails from several neighbors in support of the variance request. She explained that it has been common practice in that neighborhood for the past 40 – 50 years to build close to property lines. She further explained that moving the shed into compliance would block their view of the street from their front window, however, it would not block anyone else’s view if the shed is placed 3’ from the property line. Dick Terry added that granting the variance would not disrupt the flavor of the neighborhood. Dave Scott motioned to vote with a Charlie Mellon second. 4 votes were cast. Result: 2 granted 2 denied 0 abstained. Continued to September 17. 1009

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BZA By-Laws

Kevin Riley presented the revised By-Laws to the board for signatures. They are effective as of July 16, 2009.

Area Plan Commission v. Norris

Dave Scott motioned to vote on the Norris settlement; Dave Hall seconded. The vote was unanimous. The settlement was signed by Gerald Cartmell, Interim Chairman

Utility Pole Signs

Joe Rogers stated he has been enforcing the utility pole section of the sign ordinance for approximately three months. All poles should be in compliance by September 10, 2009. He wrote letters to both REMC and NIPSCO. He received a letter from REMC and a call from NIPSCO. Both stated that they do not allow signs on their poles, however, they do not generally enforce that ruling. Joe’s concern is with the new Greater Monticello Chamber of Commerce banners. He spoke with Janet Dold of the Chamber prior to the banners being purchased, and informed Janet the banners were not legal in Monticello. She turned the situation over to the mayor’s office. The banners have been installed. These are all off-premise signs. Monticello does not allow off-premise signs. Government agencies are allowed to attach signs to utility poles. Is the Chamber of Commerce a government agency? Neighborhood watch signs are also on utility poles in many areas. How does the BZA want Joe to proceed? He needs direction so he may be consistent. Kevin will review to determine if the Chamber is a government agency. The board will consider the matter so they may give input. Joe will await feedback. Janice Herman inquired as to public comment during the business portion of the meeting as she knows of signs that may not meet the ordinance standards. Joe explained the process to her as far as complaints and informed her that the meeting is public and anyone may speak.

Gerald Cartmell adjourned the hearing at 9:20 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

“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.” ________________________________