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APC SPECIAL MEETING FEBRUARY 17, 2010

The White County Area Plan Commission met Wednesday, February 17, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Charles Anderson, Dave Rosenbarger, Don Ward, Jim Mann, Dave Scott, Richard Lynn, Greg Bossaer, Dennis Sterrett, Gerald Cartmell and Mike Smolek. Absent: None

Also attending were Attorney Ben Diener, Executive Director Joe Rogers, Secretary Gayle Rogers and Security Officer Ben Woodhouse.

 

Visitors attending were: See attached (some names illegible)

The meeting was called to order by President Charlie Anderson. The business on the agenda was moved to the end of the meeting.

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Rezone:

#981 Northgate-Thayer Aggregates LLC; requesting a rezone from A-1 to I-2 for the purpose of limestone quarrying, processing and related uses.

Part of SW ¼ & NW ¼ OF THE SE ¼ S14, T28N, R4W, Monon Township, White County, Indiana containing 100 acres. Property is located approximately one mile east of Monon on the north side of State Road 16 between 75E and Lowes Road.

Director Joe Rogers gave an overview of the request, stating that the 100 acre parcel to be rezoned was split out of a 320 acre parent tract. Thayer Farms will continue farming operations on the surrounding acreage. Two letters of support were received by the Area Plan Office. Joe read these into the record and they are attached. One is from Steve Carlson, neighboring property owner to the south; the other is from the Town Board of Monon and the Monon Chamber of Commerce.

Marty Landes of Northgate Aggregates was present to represent the applicant. His presentation is attached. They do not intend to do any special processing. They will simply break big rocks into smaller rocks. Their major market is Chicago and Northern Indiana. Truck traffic will increase by very little as their plan is to utilize the trucks from up north that are already driving past to get to Liberty Landfill. On the return trip these trucks are empty. They can stop by the quarry and go back up north full. The floor was then opened to the board for questions. Don Ward inquired about an exit strategy. Marty answered that the quarry will become a recreational lake. Mike Smolek asked about drainage and stated he thought the quarry should be responsible for it. Marty agreed that drainage is the responsibility of Northgate. There are currently four quarries with two operators in the Monon area. This will add healthy competition and a third operator. They would like to be up and running by early Spring and are serious regarding hiring local people. Mike also asked about the possibility of an assurity fund for the homeowners nearby. Marty said per past experience such a fund does not work well, however, they are committed to being good neighbors and will listen to and help the homeowners as much as feasible. The floor was then opened to the public.

APC MEETING FEBRUARY 17, 2010 CONTINUED


Lillie Cooper spoke first stating concern about the neighborhood turning from quiet and peaceful to dusty and noisy. She is afraid wells will run dry and wildlife will disappear. She also expressed concern that if the homeowners approach Northgate with a legitimate problem, Northgate will claim it was the result of work from a different area quarry and not fix the problem. Marty Landes answered that blasting will be monitored not only by the quarry but by IDEM. He also expressed that history shows wildlife to not be affected by quarries and again stated that Northgate is committed to being a good neighbor.

Ed Lucy asked doesn’t the trash truck drive by quarries already in existence? He also said his daughter lives nearby and has a shallow well which could easily dry up and her daughter has asthma. His contention is the quarry should make legitimate offers to buy the homeowners out.

Mitch Cooper asked the distance from the quarry to his house. Marty responded 2630 feet. Mitch also asked for clarification, which was given, as to the location of the 100 acres.

Connie Neininger, Director of White County Economic Development, pointed out that White County continues to lose population as well as counties to the north, east and west. White County desperately needs to bring in jobs. This is a difficult task, competing with Tippecanoe County because White County does not have the infrastructure. White County needs to capitalize on things like its natural resources to attract business to the area. In addition, as history has proven, it is much better to have many smaller employers than one very large employer. When one who employs thousands closes, everyone is out of work and the county is devastated.

Janene Crawford bought her home two years ago. When she bought, there was no quarry there, nor were there any plans for one, to her knowledge. She would not have bought there if she had known of any future plans for a quarry. Her home is 100 years old and has a rock foundation that may be in danger when blasting begins. She has a shallow well and she and her daughter both have asthma. She does not want to live near a quarry. Why are the other quarries not back hauling? How do the homeowners know Northgate will take responsibility for problems they cause. Marty responded that he attributes the back hauling idea to the innovativeness of their team. It is not Northgate’s intent to blame anyone else for their actions. Again, they want to be a good neighbor.

Vivian Hornback spoke of the safety of the area children. What is Northgate going to do to protect the children when curious teenagers ride their bikes to the edge of the quarry and fall in? How is Northgate going to protect the children?

Tom Brejza, Sales Manager for Hanson Material Services, stated many trash trucks are ill-equipped to haul stone because they are too lightweight. The Chicago market is sufficiently handled by the current quarries. Another quarry is not needed. Employees will just be laid off and there will be extra empty holes.

APC MEETING FEBRUARY 17, 2010 CONTINUED

Carolyn Sollars has natural gas just below her rock line. Won’t blasting activate the natural gas close to the surface?

Linda Eckert asked about a letter from Ben Diener to the Board stating that State Statute holds that no body (BZA or APC) may interfere with the extraction of minerals from the ground. If this is true, what is the purpose of this meeting? The county needs sustainable jobs, not jobs that rape the ground. What is the mission of the APC? Ben Diener answered that he believes if the case was taken to court, the court would have to allow the extraction of minerals. Charlie Anderson stated the mission of the APC is to determine the best use of land along with the general welfare of the public.

Jim Mann (board member) asked Marty if a well runs dry what does Northgate do? Marty answered that per the hydrology report, wells within 1000 feet of the quarry could be affected if the quarry goes 120 feet deep. There are two wells within 1000 feet, one is the neighbor to the south with whom they have an agreement; the other is Thayer Farms. Marty also stated they will control the dust with water and asphalt emulsion systems.

Walt Crawford asked who will be watering the dust down on a Sunday when winds are 35 mph? Marty said someone will be available to address and remedy those concerns. Generally the manager of the quarry has a hotline number and will be contacted with any situations that arise.

There were no further questions. Dave Scott moved to take a vote. A second came from Don Ward. Ten votes were cast. 5 grant; 5 deny The rezone will go before the County Commissions with no recommendation from the APC on March 1, 2010 at 8:30am.

Findings of Fact:

1. The proposed rezoning is/is not compatible with current conditions and the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the property that is the subject of the rezoning request. 8 – 2 Grant vote comments: 2 quarries in use now; the immediate area is farmland. Deny vote comments: Currently no I-2 around current vicinity; Should stay agriculture.

2. The proposed rezoning is/is not the most desirable use for the property that is the subject of the rezoning request. 7 – 3 Grant vote comments: the value of the improvement will be greater than the existing farmland. Deny vote comments: Farm land; prime farm land; Should stay in agriculture.

3. The proposed rezoning will/will not have an adverse effect on the value of properties throughout the jurisdiction. 8 – 2 Grant vote comments: Because of distant location from the site. Deny vote comments: Many citizen complaints; could have a negative effect on local residents.

4. The proposed rezoning reflects/does not reflect responsible standards for growth and development. 9 – 0; 1 abstention Grant vote comments: The area is underlain with limestone which is a natural resource.

APC MEETING FEBRUARY 17, 2010 CONTINUED

Contingencies stated: Subject to Northgate Agg’s complying with conditions set out by them in the letters dated January 22, 2010. subject to commitment to start construction of the installation within 24 months of this date or the rezone reverts back to A-1. Stated by 4 members.

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Business

Mike Smolek motioned to approve the minutes of the January 11, 2010 meeting. Following a second by Don Ward, the vote was unanimous.

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Joe sited Indiana State Statute regarding the role of the APC in selecting an attorney for the BZA.

§ The Area Plan Commission shall be the governing body over the Area Plan Department which consists of:

A. The Area Plan Commission

B. The Area Board of Zoning Appeals

C. The Executive Director

D. Any necessary staff

§ The Area Plan Commission shall determine the budget of the Area Plan Department to be taken to the County Council for final approval.

§ The Area Plan Commission shall administer the duties of the Area Plan Department

On January 21, 2010 the BZA voted to hire Rob Little as their attorney. The BZA has no budget, nor do they have any budgeting authority. The APC must decide to honor the BZA’s request and go to the County Council for funding of a second attorney, or, they must deny the BZA’s request and appoint the APC attorney as the BZA attorney also. Dave Rosenbarger moved to deny the BZA’s request. Greg Bossaer seconded. The vote was 9 – 1 in favor of the motion.

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President Anderson adjourned the meeting at 9:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

____________________________

Donald W. Ward, Secretary

White County Area Plan Commission

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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.” ____________________________________________________________