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The White County Area Plan Commission met Monday, May 9, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Charlie Anderson, Jim Mann, Don Ward, Richard Lynn, Dave Scott, Jim Annis, Dennis Sterrett.  Absent:  Dave Rosenbarger, Mike Smolek, Gerald Cartmell, Greg Bossaer.

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

Visitors attending were:  Brent Blume 

The meeting was called to order by President Charlie Anderson. The meeting minutes of March 14, 2011 were approved as written following a Dave Scott motion and a Dennis Sterrett second. 


#988  Brent D. & Erica J. Blume; requesting a rezone from A-1 (General Agriculture District) to RR (Rural Residential District) to convert to a residential district.

A tract of land described as follows:  Beginning at the Southeast corner of Section Eight (8), Township Twenty-six (26) North, Range Five (5) West, and being the Point of intersection of the center of public highways on the East, and on the South side of said Section; thence running West along the center of the public highway Three Hundred Twenty-two (322) feet; thence North Three Hundred Fifty-one (351) feet; thence East Three Hundred Twenty-two (322) feet; thence South along the center of the public highway Three Hundred Fifty-one (351) feet to the point of beginning, containing 2.6 acres, more or less; more commonly known as 7021 W 300 S.

President Anderson read the request and asked if anyone was present to represent the request.  Brent Blume stepped to the podium.  Mr. Blume was asked his reason for the request.  He stated setbacks and the mortgage company.  Director Rogers elaborated by explaining to the board that the office is receiving more and more calls from mortgage companies that resist loaning on homes in agricultural districts.  They prefer to loan in residential districts.  Mr. Blume confirmed that by stating he ran into the same resistance.  He also showed the Board two photos of the construction he wishes to complete on his home.  He would like to add a room connecting his home and garage.  The home was built long ago and does not meet the front setback for A-1 property.  Jim Mann moved to vote on the request, followed by a second from Don Ward.   Result:  7 votes cast; 7 grant

Findings of Fact:

1.    The proposed rezoning is consistent with the goals, objective, and policies of the White County Strategic Plan and any other applicable planning studies and reports, as adopted and amended from time to time.  7 agree

2.    The proposed rezoning is compatible with current conditions and the overall character of existing development in the immediate vicinity of the subject property.  7 agree

3.    The proposed rezoning is the most desirable use for which the land in the subject property is adapted.  7 agree

4.    The proposed rezoning will not have an adverse effect on the value of properties throughout the jurisdiction.  6 agree; 1 disagree

5.    The proposed rezoning reflects responsible standards for growth and development.  6 agree; 1 no opinion

The favorable recommendation will be taken to the White County Commissioners to be heard at their May 16, 2011 meeting at 8:30 am for a final decision.

Director Rogers presented the board with several options for amending Chapter 8 of the Zoning Ordinance to include an outlying B-1 zoning district in the parking and landscaping requirements.  Currently B-1 districts are exempt because most B-1 districts are in downtown areas.  Some are in outlying areas where parking and landscaping standards should be followed.  President Anderson asked Director Rogers which option he preferred.  He stated option number two.  Don Ward motioned and Jim Mann seconded to proceed with that option.  The vote passed unanimously.

Zoning Ordinance amendments for Chapter 4, Section 4.4 Temporary Uses; Chapter 12, Section 12.11 Improvement Location Permits; Chapter 14 Definitions; Appendix A Schedule of Uses was next on the agenda.  President Anderson stated he read through the proposals and they sounded reasonable to him.  Jim Mann agreed adding that if the changes make the document easier for the office to govern, they should be implemented.  He reminded the Board that the Ordinance is a living, breathing document that they all knew would require periodic change and this change appears to be for the good of all concerned.  Dave Scott motioned to vote on accepting the amendments as proposed.  Jim Annis seconded.  The motion passed with a 7-0 vote.

Next on the agenda was State Legislative changes due to go into effect in July.  There are five changes that need to be addressed.

1.    Vacation – the Ordinance does not address procedure for vacating platted lots, roads, etc.  The state is changing laws in this regard.  We either need to amend the Ordinance to incorporate vacations or have an internal document available to the public outlining vacation procedure.  The Board voted 6-1 for Director Rogers to produce an internal document that falls in line with Indiana Statute.

2.    Conflict of Interest – the standards for conflict of interest will be changing.  Joe’s recommended amending that part of the Ordinance to “as amended from time to time” to cover this and any future changes.  The Board agreed with a 7-0 vote.

3.    Hearing Examiner – much like the Hearing Officer for BZA issues, the state will now provide for a hearing examiner to handle certain APC rezones and subdivisions.  This cuts costs to the county not only by eliminating the cost of the meeting, but also because the examiner is part of the Area Plan staff and the meeting take place within normal working hours so no extra pay is required.  Legal notice is still required, including notifying nearby property owners, but the meetings can be scheduled more quickly, benefiting the public.  The Board chose to have the staff propose an amendment to the Ordinance to allow for a Hearing Examiner by a 6-1 vote.

4.    Subdivision Plat Waivers – currently our Subdivision Ordinance does not include a Bulk Use Chart (setbacks).  Historically, if someone platting a major or minor subdivision wants to deviate from the setbacks, they request a waiver.  This appears to be illegal per State Statute.  Joe informed the Board that, as he reads statute, the only setback waiver the Board can grant is to waiver from the Subdivision Ordinance chart to the Zoning Ordinance chart.  If those charts are identical or if the Subdivision Ordinance does not have a chart, a waiver may not be granted.  The only way a waiver can be granted is if the Subdivision setbacks are more restrictive than the Zoning Ordinance setbacks.  The Board voted 7-0 to have the Area Plan office draft a proposal amending the entire Subdivision Ordinance including the Zoning Bulk Use Standards Chart.  Once the proposal is submitted, it will most likely go to committee.

5.    Commitments and Conditions – this deals with commitments and conditions the BZA and/or the APC put on granted requests.  Currently the Ordinance does not deal with proper procedure for these.  The Board voted 7-0 for the office to submit a proposal outlining such procedure.

Last on the agenda was the Fultz violation.  Joe told the board that after further investigation he discovered that unregistered vehicles can only be towed by law enforcement or by court order.  The Area Plan office has no authority to have a vehicle towed without a court order.  The Fultz unregistered vehicles are from his now defunct tree trimming business.  This is considered an ag related business and his property was, at one time, zoned agricultural.  Local law enforcement resists towing Mr. Fultz’s vehicles because of the relationship to agriculture.  It is legal for agricultural properties to house non-registered vehicles.  In light of this, the Board decided with a 7-0 vote to drop the Fultz violation.
At 8:00 pm, Don Ward motioned for adjournment, Jim Mann seconded; so moved.
Respectfully submitted,

Donald W. Ward, Secretary                       
White County Area Plan Commission                 

Joseph W. Rogers, Exec. 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.”   ____________________________________________________________