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APC MEETING JULY 13, 2009

The White County Area Plan Commission met Monday, July 13, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Charles Anderson, David Rosenbarger, Gregory Bossaer, James Mann Jr., Donald W. Ward, Richard Lynn, Dennis Sterrett and David Scott. Also attending were Attorney Kevin Riley, Executive Director Joe Rogers, Secretary Gayle Rogers and Deputy Ben Woodhouse.

 

Visitors attending were: Charles R. Mellon, Steve Burton, Connie Neininger, Ryan Brown, Jeff Gastel, Wesley Meyers, Martin Culik, Mark Friel, Paul Cummings, Brian Dunneback, Erin Bowser, Bruce Brown, Walt Kelly, Donald Yerk, Lou Thompson.

The meeting was called to order by President Charles Anderson and roll call was taken. It was motioned, seconded and unanimously passed to approve the minutes of the June 8, 2009 meeting. Joe Rogers announced if anyone was present for the Janice Herman variance request, it would not be heard until the August 20, 2009 BZA meeting. The date was misstated in the public notice.

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#977 Habitat for Humanity of Lafayette; requesting a rezone from R-4 to R-2.

Lot 23 in HIGH SCHOOL ADDITION to the Town of Reynolds, White County, Indiana.

Also: That part of Lot 22 in said Addition described by:

Beginning at the Northwest corner of said Lot 22; thence East 50.00 feet; thence South 00 degrees 12 minutes 05 seconds West 72.75 feet; thence West 32.50 feet; thence South 00 degrees 12 minutes 05 seconds West 47.00 feet to a ½ inch iron pipe on the south line of said Lot 22; thence West 17.50 feet to the southwest corner of said Lot 22; thence North 00 degrees 12 minutes 05 seconds East 119.75 feet to the point of beginning.

Also, that part of Lot 21 in said Addition described by:

Beginning at the Northwest corner of said Lot 21; thence East 17.50 feet to a ½ inch iron pipe; thence South 00 degrees 12 minutes 05 seconds West 72.75 feet to a ½ inch iron pipe; thence West 17.50 feet; thence North 00 degrees 12 minutes 05 seconds East 72.75 feet to the point of beginning.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: The property is located 103 N Center Street in Reynolds.

No one was present to represent the request. The board had no questions. Joe Rogers stated that the Town Council of Reynolds sent a note stating they had no objection to the rezone request. It was moved by Don Ward and seconded by Greg Bossaer to vote. Eight votes were cast. Result: 7 approved, 0 disapproved, 1 abstained. The motion passed to send a positive recommendation to the Reynolds Town Council for final approval at their next meeting.

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APC MEETING JULY 13, 2009 CONTINUED

#978 Linda Rockaway/Chalmers Farm LLC; requesting a rezone from A-1 to B-2.

A part of the Northeast Quarter of Section 33 and a part of the Northwest Quarter of Section 34, Both in Township 26 North, Range 4 West of the second Principal Meridian, White County, Indiana, more particularly described as follows: Commencing at the Northwest corner of the Southeast Quarter of said Northeast Quarter, thence North 88° 56’ 55” East 904.14 feet along the North line of the Southeast Quarter of said Northeast Quarter to the West line of the Bobby L. and Sharon L. Young property recorded in Document Number 060904480 in the office of the Recorder of White County, Indiana, thence South 00° 23’ 19” East 205.55 feet along the West line of said Young property to an iron pipe found at the Southwest corner thereof and the point of beginning. From said point of beginning, thence North 89° 25’ 19” East 349.57 feet along the South line of said Young property to the Northwest corner of the Town of Chalmers Lift Station property recorded in Book 1981 at page 250 in the office of the Recorder of White County, Indiana; thence South 02° 55’ 01” East 50.23 feet along the West line of said Town of Chalmers property to an iron pipe found at the Southwest corner thereof; thence North 89° 25’ 19” East 49.10 feet along the South line of said Town of Chalmers property to the West right-of-way line of State Route 43; thence South 02° 19’ 12” East 360.84 feet along said West right-of-way line; thence South 87° 40’ 48” West 423.29 feet perpendicular to said West right-of-way line to the point of beginning, containing 4.00 acres, more or less, situated in White County, Indiana.

COMMON DESCRIPTION: The property is located on the west side of State Road 43 just south of Chalmers.

Area Plan Commissioner David Rosenbarger recused himself from the vote. Representing the request was Dave Rosenbarger. This is a four acre parcel being rezoned to build an operations and maintenance facility for Meadow Lake Wind Farm, LLC. After a couple questions clarifying information on the survey, it was moved by Jim Mann and seconded by Richard Lynn to vote on the request. Result 7 – 0 passed. The rezone request will be presented with a positive recommendation to the County Commissioners at their meeting on July 20, 2009 at 8:30 am.

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General Business:

Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance

Chapter 7 Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS)

Connie Neininger was present to explain the amendment proposal. She began with the changes to Chapter 14 Definitions. She then proceeded through the proposed amendment with an explanation for changes. Upon reaching section 7.5.1 she told the board a decision would be required by them as to setbacks. Director Rogers pointed out that all the changes to this point were simply clarifying language. There was some discussion regarding section 7.5.1 which covers setbacks. These setbacks relate to farm ground only, not residential or business districts. The question at hand was whether to leave the setback for commercial WECS towers at 1.1 times the tower height (~437’) or change the setback requirement to the length of the blade (~135’). County Commissioner Steve Burton spoke to support a change to the length of the blade as did land owners Walt Kelly, Bruce Brown and Donald Yerk. The landowners pointed out that not only does the current requirement (1.1 x height) waste farm ground, but it also adds the expense of more cable, more tiles and more access roads necessary to reach the towers. Dave Rosenbarger motioned to vote to change the setback requirement to the length of the blade for commercial WECS towers. Greg Bossaer seconded and the motion passed with a unanimous 8 – 0 vote.

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The remainder of the proposal was basically language clarification as was the change to Appendix B. Attorney Riley suggested cross referencing the section of the ordinance with the footnote in the appendix. A motion was made by Dave Rosenbarger to accept the proposal. Greg Bossaer seconded. Result: 8 – 0 approved. The proposed ordinance will be presented to the County Commissioners for final approval at their meeting on July 20, 2009.

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Alternate Procedure

Director Joe Rogers explained to the board that state statute allows for an alternate procedure for hearing variances and special exceptions. According to statute, the APC sets the criteria as to what can be heard by the hearing officer and appoints the hearing officer. It is recommended that the hearing officer be on the Area Plan staff. Some of the pros to this procedure are as follows:

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.

The same public notification is required as with any public hearing. Joe stated he was looking for an opinion from the board as to whether he should further explore this option. The board voted unanimously for Joe to pursue the matter. Joe explained an ordinance amendment would be required and he would not pursue this if the BZA is not supportive.

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Flood Plain Ordinance

Director Joe Rogers advised the board that the current zoning ordinance does not mirror the county adopted flood plain ordinance. He said the zoning ordinance barely addresses the issue. He asked the board if they prefer he amend the current ordinance or if they would rather adopt the county ordinance into the zoning ordinance. The board voted unanimously to adopt the county ordinance into the zoning ordinance. Attorney Kevin Riley will peruse the county ordinance to make sure it fits with the zoning ordinance and state statute.

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Audit

Director Joe Rogers informed the board that the area plan office was “dinged” by the state auditors. The auditors came in to audit the 2008 year. The previous administration had a practice of keeping two receipt books; one for sign deposits and one for all other receipts. When the auditors were given both receipt books they stated they had never seen the one for sign deposits before in previous audits. It is

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against state code to hold money as all county departments are aware. Joe’s solution to this problem is to go to disposable signs and collect no deposit. The cost is minimal and the County Commissioners are in favor of the idea. Hopefully some people will return the signs and the office will be able to reuse them or dispose of them environmentally. This will make the auditors happy along with being easier on citizens who file for variances, special exceptions and rezones. The disposable signs are much lighter weight and there is no need for a special trip to the courthouse to return a sign within seven days of a meeting, nor will anyone any longer be in jeopardy of losing a $50.00 sign deposit. The board unanimously agreed to go to disposable signs with no deposit fee.

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Signs

Director Joe Rogers narrated a slide show of signs within a five mile radius of Monticello that are not in compliance with the zoning ordinance. The board agreed that the sign chapter of the ordinance needs a major overhaul. Joe will be forming a committee of volunteers to write an amendment proposal.

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President Anderson asked if there was any new business. There was none. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

____________________________

Donald W. Ward, Secretary

White County Area Plan Commission

______________________________

Joseph W. Rogers, Director

White County Area Plan Commission

 

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

“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.”

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