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BZA MEETING MINUTES THURSDAY JUNE 21, 2012

The White County Area Board of Zoning Appeals met on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, White County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Carl Hites, Dennis Sterrett, Richard Holmes, Dave Rosenbarger. Absent: None. Also attending were Attorney Ben Diener, Director Joseph Rogers and Secretary Gayle Rogers

Visitors attending were: Marcia Lewellen, Jeffrey Holewinski, Ann Marie Valle, Jerry Altman, Phil Hunt

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Shaker Hites. First order of business was the meeting minutes of April 19, 2012. Denny Sterrett motioned to accept the minutes as written. Dave Rosenbarger seconded. The motion passed with a 4-0 vote. Chairman Hites announced that next on the agenda was Variance #2859.

#2859 Michael A & Marcia K Lewellen; A tract of land out of the North of the Southwest Fraction lying West of the Tippecanoe River in Section Twenty-one (21), Township Twenty-seven (27) North, Range Three (3) West in Union Township, White County, Indiana; more commonly known as 1721 Francis St, Monticello

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests a 15’ front setback to build an attached garage. The required setback in the L-1 (Lake District) zoning district is 30’ front.

Director Rogers reviewed the petition for the Board: the original request was for three setback variances, front, side and rear. The property was zoned A-1 so had a 30’ front, 30’ rear and 10’ side setback requirement. The side setback variance was denied at a previous hearing; no determination was made on the front or rear setbacks. Since that hearing, the applicant was granted a rezone to L-1, Lake District, changing the setbacks to 30’ front, 20’ rear and sides a minimum of 9’ with a sum of 20’ for the two sides. This brings the rear setback of the proposed structure into compliance. It changes the side setback from 10’ to 11’ because the north side of the structure is 9’ from the line; however, the side was already denied so what faces the board tonight is the front setback. The applicant requests to build his garage 15’ from the waterside property line (30’ required). Mr. Rogers went on to explain that recently the applicant constructed a fence near the south side foundation. This presents no problem to the office, however it may come into play when the board discusses the south 4’ of foundation remediation. Mr. Altman again stated that the applicant has agreed to keep the south wall of the garage at an 11’ setback or whatever future ordinance requires, whether the garage is attached or detached. Dave Rosenbarger motioned to vote on the petition followed by a Denny Sterrett second. Result: 4 votes cast; 3 grant; 1 deny; Petition is granted.

Findings of Fact

1. The variance requested does not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area. 3-1; The character of the area was established long ago but the current ordinance appears to be attempting to limit this character and promote a more current appearance through larger setbacks.

2. The granting of this variance will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. 4-0

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. 4-0; The surrounding area, though undeveloped, would not likely be adversely affected.

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. 3-1; Nearby property is undeveloped but lots too small to permit garages of any kind are common on the lakes.

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. 3-1; The initial use of the area as a driveway doesn’t require variance of the code & many homes both on the lakes and elsewhere are without garages.

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. 3-1; Reasonable use of this property does not require variance.

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#2866 Phil Hunt, Liberty Arms, Inc; That part of the Northeast Quarter of the Southeast Quarter of Section 10, Township 27 North, Range 3 West in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana containing 3.054 acres and 1.800 acres and 2.696 acres; also that part of the Northwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 11, Township 27 North, Range 3 West in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana containing 1.758 acres and 1.033 acres; commonly described as 6942 E 350 N, Monticello.

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests retail gun sales in an A-1, General Agriculture zoning district.

Phil Hunt was present to answer questions. The applicant wishes to expand from gun-smithing to include a retail gun sales facility stocking guns, ammunition, hunting licenses, deer check station, etc. Such is allowed by special exception use in an A-1 zoning district. The facility would be 2000 – 2500 square feet and he would expect traffic of approximately ten customers per day. He is one-half mile off of State Road 39. When asked why he didn’t secure a B-2 zoned building in town for his sales, he stated he felt being out in the country was more conducive to public safety and also replied that the ATF requires the manufacturing of the guns be done on the subject parcel. Dave Rosenbarger motioned to vote on the petition and Richard Holmes seconded. Result: 4 votes cast; 4 grant; 0 deny; Petition is granted.

Findings of Fact

1. Appendix A of the zoning Ordinance authorizes the special exception for this use in this zoning district. 4-0

2. The requirements and development standards for the requested use as prescribed by the zoning ordinance will be met. 4-0

3. Granting the special exception will subvert the general purposes served by the ordinance. 4-0

4. Granting the special exception will not permanently injure other property or uses in the same district because of:

a. traffic generation 4-0

b. noise production 4-0

c. becoming hazardous or disturbing to neighboring uses 4-0

d. destruction, loss, or damage of a natural, scenic, or historic feature of major importance 4-0

e. becoming detrimental to the economic welfare of the community 4-0

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#2867 Indiana University Health White Memorial Hospital, Inc; A part of the East Half of the Northeast Quarter of Section 5, Township 26 North, Range 3 West in Union Township, White county, Indiana containing 38.165 acres, more or less; more commonly described as 720 S Sixth Street.

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests a heliport to support medical emergency services to the community in a B-2, General Business zoning district.

At the old location, the hospital had a “special exemption” to have a heliport. When they moved, they did not realize they had to go through the process of securing a special exception use permit from the BZA at the new location. The heliport is currently there and in use. All the surrounding is slated for light industrial use, supporting the medical field, by the City of Monticello and zoned such. There will be no nearby residential uses. Dave Rosenbarger moved to vote on the petition with a second by Richard Holmes. Result: 4 votes cast; 4 grant; 0 deny; Petition is granted.

Findings of Fact

1. Appendix A of the zoning Ordinance authorizes the special exception for this use in this zoning district. 4-0

2. The requirements and development standards for the requested use as prescribed by the zoning ordinance will be met. 4-0

3. Granting the special exception will subvert the general purposes served by the ordinance. 4-0

4. Granting the special exception will not permanently injure other property or uses in the same district because of:

a. traffic generation 4-0

b. noise production 4-0

c. becoming hazardous or disturbing to neighboring uses 4-0

d. destruction, loss, or damage of a natural, scenic, or historic feature of major importance 4-0

e. becoming detrimental to the economic welfare of the community 4-0

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#2868 Purdue University (Jeffrey Holewinski); That part of the Northwest Quarter of Section 12, Township 28 North, Range 3 West in Liberty Township, White County, Indiana containing 22.91 & 1.422 acres more or less; more commonly described as 9797 N Rock Ridge Road.

Violation: None

Request: The applicant requests a 500’ setback from the Tippecanoe River and approval of prototype blades to be utilized in the operation of a low speed vertical axis wind turbine. The proposed blades are rigid plastic with a cast foam core designed to provide a blade which is strong, lightweight and efficient. The required setback in the A-1, General Agriculture zoning district is one-half mile (2640’) from the shoreline of the Tippecanoe River to the center of the tower.

The office received one letter, which Director Rogers read into the record and two phone calls opposed to the petition. One caller was opposed to the requested setback and the other was opposed to the possibility of the turbine pushing wind in their direction coming from the landfill and the odor that might be created. Director Rogers stated that, in his opinion, the wind turbine research cited in the letter appeared to pertain to commercial horizontal axis turbines, not micro horizontal towers. Director Rogers explained to the board that when the zoning ordinance chapter on wind turbines was originally written and later amended, it was addressing commercial wind farms and not particularly geared toward micro towers. The tables pertaining to micro towers mistakenly did not get changed regarding developmental standards. This has proven to be a detriment to many who have inquired about having a personal wind turbine on their property. The one half mile setback from the river was meant for towers in excess of 200’ tall, not micro towers. This is slated to be amended in the future, but has not yet been done. Jeff Holewinski from Purdue University was present to answer questions. The property owners, Angelo and Ann Marie Valle, have funded a grant to Purdue to install and monitor a micro (56’ high) vertical axis wind turbine with experimental plastic covered foam core blades to service their barn with electricity. There is currently no electricity on their parcel as the lines are across the street and would have to be brought underground to their parcel at a very high cost. Mr. Holewinski explained that the blades spin like a merry-go-round which creates the illusion of a solid surface so is bird friendly as they will fly around it. It is slow moving and very quiet. It will run no higher than 150 rpm. The power will run from the turbine to two 1 kw generators to batteries in the barn to the inverter to 110 power. It will take approximately four hours per day to fill the batteries if completely exhausted. The power will used for garage door openers, lights, etc. Mrs. Valle mentioned that one of callers in opposition to the petition spoke with her husband just as she was leaving to come to the meeting and after hearing her husband’s explanation of the turbine, was no longer opposed. There are two variances to be considered – one for the setback and one for the blade construction. Mrs. Valle and Mr. Holewinski chose to have both variances voted on one ballot. Richard Holmes motioned to vote on the petition followed by a second from Dave Rosenbarger. Result: 4 votes cast; 3 grant; 1 deny; Petition is granted.

Findings of Fact

1. The variance requested does not essentially alter the character of the surrounding area. 3-1; This would change the character of the area.

2. The granting of this variance will not be injurious to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community. 4-0

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. 3-1; There is significant alteration of the character of the area.

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. 3-1; Wind turbine generators by residential is not generally a property owner’s right.

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. 3-1; Electrical service is available with conventional means.

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. 3-1; the request is for a significant change in setback.

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Business

The BZA By-Laws will be continued to the next BZA meeting.

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The board discussed remediation of Mr. Lewellen’s foundation violation, 4’ of the foundation on the entire south side is in violation of setbacks. Mr. Rosenbarger moved that there be no exposed block allowed, the block must be taken down below the concrete grade of the existing driveway and capped level with said driveway incorporating that portion of the foundation wall into the driveway, if no garage is built, and into a sidewalk, if a garage is built at the site. This requirement applies to the south 4’ portion of the wall which runs approximately parallel to the front building line and the entire portion of the wall closest to the side property line nearest the proposed development site. Richard Holmes seconded the motion. A unanimous vote of 4-0 followed.

 

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As there was no further business, President Hites adjourned the meeting at 8:45 pm. Unanimously approved.

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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, WCAP “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.”____________________________