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The White County Board of Zoning Appeals met on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Gerald Cartmell, David Scott, Charles Mellon, David Hall and Carl Hites, Jr. Absent: None. Also attending were Attorney Ben Diener, Director Joseph Rogers and Secretary Gayle Rogers.

Visitors attending were: Marvin Sutter, Learee Williamson and Paul Williamson

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gerald Cartmell. Dave Hall motioned to accept the minutes of April 15, 2010 as written. A second followed by Dave Scott. The motion passed unanimously (5-0). The first order of business was the new proposed ballot for Variances and for Special Exception Uses. Director Rogers explained that the new ballots conform with both state statute and our Ordinance, the old ballots do not. The new ballots are more flexible as some questions can be answered negatively and the petition can still be granted based on the weight the member gives to each answer, and vice versa. Even if a negative answer in the first section mandates a denial of the request, it is important to continue to answer all questions to give the applicant feedback as to why the request was denied so they can adjust accordingly. Gerald Cartmell requested more time to consider the new ballots. Shaker Hites moved to continue the discussion to the next BZA meeting on June 17, 2010. Charlie Mellon seconded. The vote was unanimous, 5 – 0. The ballots will be continued until the next BZA meeting.

The next order of business was #10 Appeal – Les Thurston Violation for setbacks for a storage shed. Joe gave the history of the violation. The shed, for the past 13 years has sat three feet from the side property line. The neighboring property owner on that line complained, not because it bothered him but because a different neighbor had complained about his shed. Since he had to move his, be decided that his neighbor should have to move his also. Joe further told the board that Brian Furrer of Biotown Ag, Inc., present at the last BZA meeting for a Special Exception Use, came into the Area Plan office to inquire as to Mr. Thurston’s situation. Brian has since informed the office that he and some members of his church have visited Mr. Thurston, looked at the shed and have agreed to move the shed and repair any damage from that move. The violation will be abated no later than June 17, 2010. Joe stated that Mr. Thurston could not attend tonight’s meeting because he underwent heart surgery this morning. Considering the nature of the violation, the fact that Mr. Thurston has always been cooperative with the Area Plan office and the fact that the violation will soon be abated, Mr. Rogers recommended that the board dismiss the fine completely. Dave Scott motioned to dismiss the fine. Charlie Mellon seconded and the following 5 – 0 vote confirmed the dismissal of all fines to Mr. Thurston

#2839 Paul & Learee Williamson;

Violation: None



Director Rogers showed photos and gave the board an overview of the request. Joe informed the board that the Williamsons were unsuccessful in attempting to purchase a tract of land from the abutting lot to their east. He explained that to build anyplace else on the lot is not practical. The driveway and garage are to the west; the south is the front; to add on to the north would require removal of one or two large, older trees and this act conflicts with the White County Comprehensive Plan


Learee and Paul Williamson were present to represent the petition. Their neighbor to their east was also present in support of their request. Mrs. Williamson explained that she is the primary caregiver for her father who currently is in stage 2 dementia and lives 2 ½ blocks away. She is forced to spend the night with her father, leaving her handicapped husband alone all night. Her mother passed away in early April so there is no one else to take care of her father. When asked about closing in the screened porch on her home, she stated that the screened porch is an area that allows her handicapped husband and ill father to enjoy the outdoors while remaining safe inside. It was moved and seconded by the board to vote on the request. Result: five votes cast; 4 grant; 1 deny.

Findings of Fact

1. The variance requested does not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area. 5-0

2. The granting of this variance will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. 5-0

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. 5-0

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. 4-1

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. 4-1

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. 5-0



Violations – Cathy Johns had a trailer violation. The violation has been abated. The BZA reduced her fine from $550 to $250 with monthly payments acceptable to the Area Plan office and the stipulation that if a payment is missed, the original $550 fine ensues. Cathy made the first payment of $50 on October 16, 2009 and has ignored all correspondence from this office and the attorney since. Mr. Rogers suggests taking Ms. Johns to small claims court.

Violations – Michael Lattimore had sign violations. He agreed to a settlement then never sent in payment and has since ignored all correspondence from the Area Plan office and their attorney. Again, Mr. Rogers suggested small claims court.

Violations – George Cook had a set back and time limit violation for a portable trailer placed on his property which has since been abated. He incurred fines. The Area Plan office and Attorney Diener are currently in negotiations with Mr. Cook as authorized by the BZA at a previous meeting. This matter should be settled by the next BZA meeting of June 17th.

RLS parked a food trailer in front of the court house last week. The Area Plan office has received complaints regarding the noise from the generator. Joe has taken the position that the food service vehicle meets the ordinance definition of a restaurant and he has advised the owner that his operation requires a temporary use permit from Area Plan and must be located in a B-2 zoning district. Joe considers the street abutting a zoning district to take on that district to the center of the road. Dave Scott disagreed with Joe’s position on the street zoning. However, after some discussion, that point became mute since the ordinance requires a restaurant be in a B-2, B-3 or AED zoning district and B-1 only with a special exception use permit granted by the BZA. The street is either a B-1, A-1 or non-identified zoning district all of which do not allow a restaurant as a "permitted" use. Therefore, the vehicle must be parked in a B-2, B-3 or AED district. Joe asked the board to concur with his position or provide guidance. The consensus of the board concurred with Joe’s position and directed him to pursue the matter as he has outlined. Joe said he will begin by contacting the mayor’s office to let the mayor know what the Area Plan office will require of any such vendors.

The board asked Joe for an update on the Northgate Thayer property for the rock quarry east of Monon. Joe said the drainage plan has been approved by the Drainage Board. The Northgate attorney contacted Joe to inquire about building permits. Joe informed him that Area Plan would not issue any building permits because the property is not zoned correctly. The County Commissioners did not act upon the rezone request so the property is still zoned A-1. Joe told the board that the Commissioners understand the issues and will come to a settlement with Northgate in which the Commissioners set conditions to be followed. According to attorney Ben Diener, the agreement will be recorded so that it is a legal and binding document. This should take place within one to two weeks.



As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.



Respectfully submitted,



Gayle E. Rogers, Secretary

Area Board of Zoning Appeals




Joseph W. Rogers, Director

White County Area Plan Commission

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




Side setback of 6’ 6" to build an addition to the home to accommodate an elderly live-in father and a handicapped owner who can not maneuver the stairs. The required side setback is 10 feet.
Lot Number Twenty-seven (27) in E. H. Wolcott’s West side Addition to the Town of Wolcott, White County, Indiana, commonly described as 406 W. Anderson Street.