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APC MEETING FEBRUARY 11, 2013

The White County Area Plan Commission met Monday, February 11, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Second Floor, County Building, Monticello, Indiana.

Members attending were: Charles Anderson, Jim Annis, Richard Lynn, Jim Mann, Mike Smolek, Dave Stimmel, Donald Ward, and Brad Ward. Absent members were: Mark Bentlage, Dave Rosenbarger, and Dennis Sterrett.

Also attending were Attorney Abigail Diener, Executive Director Joe Rogers, outgoing Administrative Assistant/now County Auditor Gayle Rogers, and incoming Administrative Assistant Erin Carlson.

 

Visitors attending were: See Attached

The meeting was called to order by President Charles Anderson. The first order of business was reorganization. Jim Mann nominated Charles Anderson as President. Richard Lynn seconded, and moved that nominations for President be closed and vote be called. The motion passed with a 6-0 vote, 1 abstention. Don Ward nominated Jim Mann as Vice President. Jim Annis seconded and moved that nominations for Vice President be closed and a vote be called. The motion passed with a 6-0 vote, 1 abstention. Richard Lynn nominated Don Ward as Secretary. Jim Annis seconded and moved that nominations for Secretary be closed and a vote be called. The motion passed with a 6-0 vote, 1 abstention. The members unanimously voted to retain Executive Director Joe Rogers for another 1-year term.

Introductions were made of: 1) Abigail Diener, new board attorney; 2) Erin Carlson, new administrative assistant.

There was a motion by Don Ward and a second by Jim Annis to approve the meeting minutes of November 13, 2012 as written; so moved. President Anderson noted that Rezone Request #1008 has been continued until the March 11, 2013 meeting, and asked therefore that the members move forward with review of the subdivision request.

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Subdivisions:

#331 - Tioga Hill Subdivision

Following a summary by Director Rogers, including a reading of the Tech Review Committee minutes and the results thereof, President Anderson asked if anyone was present to represent the request. William J. Misenheimer stepped to the podium. Director Rogers advised that 2 citizens had visited the office to inquire about the subdivision at hand, and that after review of the plat and supporting documents, they had no objections. Dr. Misenheimer noted for the record that he lives directly past the proposed subdivision property, and stated that he would have control of access to the subdivision. President Anderson asked if the Commissioners had any questions. As there were no questions, the board granted Dr. Misenheimer's request with a 7-0 vote. Director Rogers reminded the petitioner to bring a mylar original of the subdivision to the office to be approved prior to recording. Result: 7 votes cast; 7 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention due to late arrival.

Continued****

Rezones:

#1008 Smith Erickson Farms Inc; requesting a rezone from A-1, General Agriculture District to A-2 Agricultural Industry District.

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Director Rogers advised that he would be skipping around on the agenda items a bit so that the most important items were covered first.

Amendments:

Items 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the agenda (see attached - incorporated herein as Exhibit A) are all related to each other. Director Rogers asked that these items be continued until the next meeting, due to a discussion he had with both the outgoing and incoming board attorneys about the interpretation of state law relating to manufactured homes. Because this issue is critical for small communities, it was agreed that the manufactured home subcommittee would meet again to review the attorneys' interpretation of state statute and to make a recommendation to the APC about how to move forward with the relevant ordinance amendments. That original subcommittee consisted of Jim Mann and Dave Scott. As Dave Scott is no longer a member, Director Rogers asked that Dave Stimmel, Richard Lynn, and David Rosenbarger join Jim Mann on the committee, so that all small communities are represented. All members were in favor of tabling items 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the agenda, and having the above-referenced subcommittee meet and report back in the March, 2013 meeting (motion by Brad Ward, seconded by Jim Annis, vote 8-0). In the meantime, Director Rogers will update the proposed amendments based on the subcommittee's findings and plan to have new drafts available at the next session.

Items 6 and 7 on the agenda, amendments to Chapter 12 and Chapter 13, were discussed next. Director Rogers advised that the proposed changes to these sections were stimulated primarily by changes in state statute relating to citizen appeal rights. It appears that, during the 2008 ordinance amendment process, certain sections of the state statute were incorporated into the ordinance, but then this incorporation seemed to stop about 1/3 of the way through the ordinance update. The proposed amendments on the table rectify this issue, adding primary judicial review procedure and additional statute language where it was absent. Certain grammatical changes, where necessary, were also made. As the members had reviewed the proposed changes and there were no further questions, Brad Ward motioned to approve the amendments to Chapters 12 and 13, as presented; Jim Annis seconded; amendments approved with an 8-0 vote.

Business:

Rules & Procedures: Director Rogers reminded the board that the APC Rules & Procedures document was first presented in July, and was then held over. Since then, one change has been made, to clarify continuances. Secondly, Director Rogers noted that, in the 1995 ordinance, the Rules and Procedures were set forth within the ordinance document, which required a formal amendment to and a full legislative review in order to change them. However, state statute does not require that. The APC has authority to establish its own rules and procedures outside of the ordinances and approve any changes to them via vote. As the members had reviewed the proposed changes and there were no further questions, Dave Stimmel moved to approve the proposed Rules & Procedures document as presented; Jim Mann seconded; Rules & Procedures approved with an 8-0 vote.

Flood Plain Ordinance: Director Rogers spoke with the County Commissioners last year and shared a concern that they had adopted a flood plain ordinance, back in 2005, which was outside of the zoning ordinance. There is now a conflict between their flood plain ordinance and our zoning ordinance which requires reconciliation. The question before the board is whether we should add the flood plain ordinance as an amendment to our zoning ordinance, or recommend that it remain a standalone ordinance that remains the responsibility of the County Commissioners. If the latter is the board's preference, we would need to repeal the conflicting flood plain sections from our zoning ordinance. Director Rogers stressed two issues to be considered in making this decision: 1) This is an overlay district, and should therefore be managed as a zoning issue; 2) If flood plain is not covered as part of the zoning ordinance, variances cannot be presented to the BZA as the deciding body, and the BZA therefore will have no authority in flood plain zoning decisions. In the same vein, any ordinance or ordinance modifications will not then trickle down to the other legislative bodies for additional review. After additional input from the members, and with no more outstanding questions, Dave Stimmel moved to make the flood plain ordinance a part of the zoning ordinance, under the authority of the BZA, vs. a standalone county ordinance; Jim Mann seconded; motion approved with an 8-0 vote. Recommendation will be made to the County Commissioners. Action, if necessary, will be taken upon their decision.

Communication Towers: Wireless communication towers are currently only permissible in agricultural and industrial districts, and by special exception in B-2 and B-3 districts. The 1995 zoning ordinance allowed some owners to have split-zone parcels. For instance, some schools in R-2 parcels were split into partial I-1 districts so that communication towers could be installed at those locations. Split-zoning was problematic and difficult to manage, and was disallowed via the 2008 ordinance. The dilemma now is that we need to remove all split-zones going forward. That means that current split-zoned parcels must be zoned back to their primary purpose - for schools, back to R-2 vs. I-1. Should they wish to upgrade their communication towers (additions, modifications, etc.), they become a non-conforming site. Should we be approached by Sprint, or another carrier, wishing to upgrade, we will be required to tell them no, requiring them to go through the subdivision and rezoning process. After detailed discussion, Mike Smolek moved that the board approve the following solution: 1) Modify the definition of applicable communication tower items to allow for industrial accessory use; 2) Add this as a permitted use in B-2, B-3, and AED; and 3) Allow as industrial accessory use in RR, R-1, R-2, and R-3 districts. Jim Annis seconded, and the board approved the motion with an 8-0 vote. Director Rogers will make these changes to the amendments which were continued until the March meeting and present them for approval at that time.

Signs on Agricultural Property (Farms), continued: Director Rogers presented an update on signs being clustered on agricultural property, such as those out by the golf course on West Shafer Drive and 400 E. As we started enforcing the sign ordinance, owners and residents were complaining, stressing that multiple signs should be allowed. As follow-up to the November 2012 APC meeting, Director Rogers proposed the following restrictions for these signs: 1) 4' x 4' minimum size; 2) maximum 160 square feet per site (examples of permissible combinations might include 1 10 x 16 sign, 2 10 x 8 signs, etc.); 3) no disposable yard signs; 4) all signs must be professionally prepared; and 5) all signs require a permit be obtained. The board agreed that this proposal would be a start, but asked that the issue be tabled until the next meeting (motion by Richard Lynn, second by Jim Annis, vote 8-0).

Sign Enforcement, continued: Director Rogers updated the board on his efforts to be more proactive in sign enforcement. Since the past summer, there have been approximately 8 signs identified as having no permit and/or illegally placed. In each case following contact by the APC office, the non-conforming party has either removed the sign or obtained the necessary permit after the fact. There have been no ongoing issues once the courtesy letter was received by the party. Jim Annis moved that Director Rogers should continue these proactive efforts (identifying non-compliant signs, taking pictures, contacting the parties) as time allows; seconded by Mike Smolek; approved by a vote of 8-0.

Road Center Line/Right-of-Way (Committee Request): Director Rogers advised that determining road right-of-ways and center lines has become problematic when applying setbacks, and that we require a way to apply these uniformly. Following a motion by Don Ward and a second by Jim Annis, the members voted 8-0 to form a subcommittee consisting of Don Ward, Dennis Sterrett, Brad Ward, and Mike Smolek. Director Rogers will coordinate and attend the subcommittee meetings, and will report back at the next session.

Manufactured Homes Enforcement, continued: Director Rogers summarized this issue for the group, noting that there are certain situations where we have cited owners for civil zoning violations relating to manufactured homes on their property. We have sent out letters, fined them, sent out follow-up notices, to no avail. There have been discussions with Ben Diener to clarify the process for getting these non-compliant structures removed and be reimbursed for the costs incurred. At this point there is no clear answer, as most are going to tax sale. It was agreed that Director Rogers should meet with Abigail Diener to examine this issue in more detail, and provide an update at the next session.

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There being no further business, President Anderson adjourned the meeting at 7:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

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Donald W. Ward, Secretary

White County Area Plan Commission

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Joseph W. Rogers, Exec. Director

White County Area Plan Commission

Document Prepared By: White County Area Plan Secretary, Erin Carlson “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.” _________________________________________________