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

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


Visitors attending were: Steve Burton, Tammy Hardesty, Ray Hardesty, Marjean Marvin, Jim Marvin, John Heimlich, David Tolley, Patricia Tolley.

The meeting was called to order by President Charlie Anderson and roll call was taken. It was motioned, seconded and unanimously passed to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2009 meeting.


President Anderson announced the meeting would be one of general business as there were no rezones or subdivisions submitted. President Anderson turned the floor over to Executive Director Joe Rogers for an explanation of the Zoning Ordinance amendments to be considered.

Appendix B Bulk Use Standards

Amending the A-1 and RR districts

The Area Plan Office has had numerous recent situations in which people with property in an

A-1 zoning district have had difficulties with room additions, decks, etc., and in some cases new construction, meeting current setbacks. The new Ordinance setback requirements for agricultural and rural residential districts are considerably more stringent than the previous ordinance. According to the Comprehensive Plan, the goal is to preserve as much farmland as possible, yet the new Ordinance requires larger parcels to be divided out and greater setbacks on those parcels. Existing parcels grandfathered in with the new Ordinance can not meet setbacks without a variance, requiring a delay in construction and a substantial monetary outlay for the cost of the variance and the cost of the required survey. The Area Plan Office submitted revised setbacks for the board to consider.

Tammy and Ray Hardesty were present to speak on behalf of changing the setbacks. They have a lot south of Brookston. It is over an acre and was divided out in the 1950’s and zoned A-1. The lot is 120’ wide and 700’ deep. The lot size and building width are grandfathered. The current setbacks are: front: 100’ (State Road 43), rear: 50’, sides: 50’. The front and rear setbacks are not an issue, however, the side setbacks leave only 20’ of building width. Tammy and Ray stated they currently have a mobile home on the property with a well and septic. They purchased the property two years ago with the intention of eventually building a brick home. When they recently came in to apply for their building permit, they were informed they would require a variance to be able to build. That would eliminate their ability to build this year because they could not get scheduled for a meeting until mid-November. The old setbacks were 15’ on each side which would allow for ample building space. The Hardesty’s decided if they could not build this year they would simply rent out the trailer and build in a different county. Also present to speak in support of changing the setbacks was Patricia Tolley. They are adding a family room to their existing home. They are within 3 ½ feet of meeting the 50’ setback. The room would be further from the property line than their existing home. When they designed their room addition they believed they were well within the setbacks as they had checked a year ago and the setback was 15’ on each side. To apply for a variance would require $500 - $600 in costs plus the time lost waiting for the meeting would prohibit construction this year. If a variance is deemed to be necessary, the costs do not justify the action and the Tolley’s would not be able to add their room.


County Commissioner John Heimlich informed the board that he and Joe had been discussing this topic for a month. John said his original objection to easing the 50’ required side and rear setbacks was because when farmers spray their abutting field with weed killers and fertilizers they kill flowers and shrubs at the residence. After speaking with Joe, John realized that there is no setback requirement for flowers and shrubs so they can be planted right on the line anyway. There is no buffer required in a residential zoning. John’s opinion was at the very least that existing lots should be grandfathered for setbacks, but he believed it to be simpler and cleaner to just change the setbacks.

APC Board Member Mike Smolek pointed out that the lot size requirement changed from one acre to one and one half acre for A-1 properties to afford room on the lot for a well and septic system. Joe said in his research, he found the average amount of land required for a septic system is 3000 square feet, leaving 40,560 square feet on an acre lot. County Commissioner Steve Burton concurred with Joe’s findings.

Board Member Dave Scott was not in favor of the 30’ front setback from a rural highway that the Area Plan Office proposed. He preferred the 60’ setback as in the previous ordinance. Member Don Ward agreed. Member Jim Mann disagreed stating that the Area Plan office deals with this daily and has done the research and it is his belief the proposal should be accepted as presented. Dave Scott made a motion with a second by Don Ward which passed with a 6-1 vote to set the front setback in an A-1 district on a rural highway to 60’. Following a short discussion Dave Scott motioned to accept the Area Plan proposal as is with the exception of the previous change of a 60’ front setback on a rural highway in A-1. Don Ward seconded. The motion carried unanimously (7-0). This revised amendment will be presented to the County Commissioners for final approval at 8:30 am on October 19, 2009.


Chapter 12 Subchapter 12.16 Alternate Procedure

Amending the previously passed amendment

Joe explained to the board that when he took the previously passed Alternate Procedure amendment to the County Commissioners for final approval, the Commissioners requested a change in the procedure. The Commissioners would like to have final approval on the appointment, removal or replacement of the hearing officer.


Both John Heimlich and Steve Burton expressed their support of the Alternate Procedure. They believe it will serve the public well by expediting the process and eliminate many complaints from the public regarding the variance procedure. Mike Smolek made a motion with a second by Jim Mann to accept the requested change. The motion passed unanimously (7-0). The revised amendment will be presented to the Commissioners for final approval at 8:30 am on October 19. 2009.


RV Executive Committee

Joe explained that the Area Plan Office can not enforce the RV part of the Ordinance as written. Currently, an RV campground is the only place an RV can be permanently affixed. There is no definition of “permanently affixed” in the Ordinance. The definition of “RV” in the Ordinance is not good. The Executive Committee recommends defining “permanently affixed” and changing the “RV” definition and clarifying the Use Chart. Attorney Kevin Riley requested they clean up the terminology in the section. The committee also recommends adding a stipulation for the use of an RV as a temporary construction trailer with a maximum time limit of 18 months. The current Ordinance does not address the use of an RV, only the storage and parking of an RV. The Committee suggests addressing the use of an RV in a residential district. Joe will submit a proposal at the next meeting.


Home Occupation

At the BZA hearing August 20, 2009, Joe was asked to move amending Section 3.1 Home Occupation of the Ordinance to the top of his priority list. The BZA settled a suit with a party and this section of the Ordinance will come into play. It needs to be clarified for enforcement. After much discussion by all, it was agreed that the amendment to the Ordinance should include the following:

1. delete the opening paragraph stating all home occupations must be registered

2. remove the special restrictions for professional offices

3. yard signs should be allowed

4. change “eliminate” to “regulate” in 3.1.1 Purpose and Scope

5. delete “wherein no home occupation exists” in 3.1.2 H.

6. reword 3.1.2 B. to eliminate the calculation of accessory buildings in the 25% rule

7. 3.1.2 K. relates to structures, not activity as far as business being “invisible” from the outside

8. “massage parlor” should be defined

The changes the APC requested are reflected in the proposed amendment. Don Ward moved to accept the amendment. A second came from Jim Mann. The vote was unanimous (7-0). The amendment will be presented to the County Commissioners at 8:30 am on October 19, 2009 for final approval.



Kevin Riley presented a resolution for the board to adopt regarding the set up of a committee to draw up a proposed amendment to the sign section of the Ordinance. Don Ward motioned to adopt the Resolution with a minimum 7 committee members and a maximum of 11 members. Mike Smolek seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Meeting Schedule for 2010

Area Plan submitted the 2010 meeting schedule for approval. Joe explained he cut his budget 10% as requested by the County Council. The Council made further cuts resulting in a total 16% budget cut. In order to meet these cuts, the Area Plan office proposed reducing the meeting schedule to ten meetings versus the usual twelve. Also proposed was moving the meeting time up to 6:30 pm. It was moved by Don Ward, seconded by Jim Mann and unanimously approved to accept the proposed meeting schedule with a meeting start time of 7:00 pm.


President Anderson asked if there was any new business. There was none. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 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