Tuesday, March 01, 2005

28 February 2005 County Plan Commission Notes

28 February 2005 Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Mike Hall, Patrick deMaynadier, Jane Ohlmansiek, Tarry Feiss, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Jeff Hughes (on vacation)
Also present: Travis Miller, Plan Director, Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

This meeting lasted 5.75 hours. There were a little less than 100 people present and in the hallways. This is a summary of the discussions and decisions for all three zone change requests.

Plan Commission Narrowly Approves Favorable Recommendation for Maxwell Development on Dog Ridge Road
1. Zone Change from Ag to R for 198 single-family homes on 101.208 acres on Dog Ridge Rd. in Kelso Township.
Travis Miller presented the staff concerns and basic development issues, including an R zone having a maximum allowable density of 4/acre. This development figures at 1.96/acre in a clustered arrangement of cul de sacs. The area surrounding it is all Ag except for a H-1 around the interstate. Dog Ridge is 20.43 ft wide in good pavement condition. Traffic study indicates a need for L turn lane on Schuman and on Trojan Place as they access their respective hwys. A signal ay SR1 is needed particularly at peak hours. Traffic study by the applicant states the light is not needed yet because of AVERAGE daily traffic volumes. [NOTE: There may be an inherent problem with having applicants select and pay for traffic studies]
No portions of developed area in the plat exceed 20% slope.
Traffic study showed Schuman 21.6-21.9 ft wide and Trojan 27.6 ft wide as Cat I roads. Sanitary sewer is available from St. Leon. The hwy dept. changed their initial recommendations on improvements for Schuman Rd. via letter. [NOTE: This change was not stated nor was it explained why.]
Travis Miller showed pictures of the site (old barn and possibly historical house) and roads.
EC submitted plans to improve the road when the school was expanded.
John Maxwell presented. His statement included reasons for the site being good for this development: proximity to interstate, sewage and roadways were in place, and the lower density from the previous proposal is more in keeping with the area. “ Density provides an economy of public services so that it is more affordable for the end users.”
He stated that H-1 is not suitable for single-family homes.
He said that this is safe, aesthetically pleasing sanitary, and affordable homes as called for in the comp plan. He believes it is in character with the area and that there is a need for this type of development. They set the development 100ft back from Dog Ridge Rd and have greenspace easements to protect the woods and creek. Curbs, gutters, and sidewalks with a landscaped entrance and HOA are part of the plan. The state is in change of SR1and if they won’t allow a light, he can’t put one there. They are willing to fund a light if allowed. Drawings for the design of the intersections and turn lanes have been done for SR1-Schuman and SR46-Trojan Place.
The traffic study indicated there is a problem at SR1 even without this development, hence the turning lanes. [NOTE: The SR1 interchange needs attention- BEFORE someone is injured or killed there. There are kids at risk.]
PUBLIC Discussion:

27 people spoke on this issue for 90 minutes. 478 petitions were turned in with comments.
Jackie Kraus, Bill Werner, Cindy Lockwood, Jeanette Kraus, Mr. Duncan, Jim Hoskins, Ken Watkins, Dennis Wuestefeld, Jeff Siegel, Ellen Bulach, Chris Shumacher, Barbara Kurtz, Chuck Andres, Gordon Kurtz, Adam Allgeier, Linda Schumacher, Estelle Salisbury, Steve Burton, Karen Rudicel, Mark Hall, Karen Hurth, Denise French, Robert Hurth, Gerald Schneider, and Tom Holtgrieve. Two letters were also read.
Discussion included the following comments and issues:
Rezoning benefits the developer and not the community.” Tax revenue issues with area becoming unaffordable and services being stretched too thin. Precedent being set for more development in rural area, if this goes in. Schools are getting overcrowded and quality of education will diminish. Prefer slower development and less density. Crime rates and issues that people moved out here to avoid are following them. Traffic issues around school events and opening and closing times are already a problem (20 minute delays). There are no pedestrian services on Dog Ridge Rd. [Note: How can kids walk to school?] Farms in area will have interference now- machinery on roads etc. Water pressure concerns. Could this be a park perhaps? Price of farms is too high. Farms don’t even go on the market anymore- they go straight from realtor to developer with no chance for farmers or others to buy them up. Drainage issues with stormwater and creeks potentially affecting existing culverts and driveway access. There are many undeveloped lots in Dearborn County already- how many is too much? Roads are leading out of this development to other farms! This is surrounded by Ag land. Long history of traditions in this community. “If a 500-lb gorilla walks into a saloon, where does it sit? Anywhere it wants.”- you were appointed to serve citizens not the gorilla. [NOTE: This person later went on to say that he works with gorillas and didn’t mean this as an insult.] Wants clean air, sunshine, serenity. City problems are coming here with this much development. ROW at SR46 area on that farm is not available- doesn’t want any more eminent domain- their family has had enough eminent domain already. Farmers clean the roads in winter- hwy dept. doesn’t get there already. If sewer line breaks the creek will be contaminated. Domino effect of farms being gobbled up by development. EC already has trailers for classrooms. Sewer bills are getting too high. Underground springs potentially on this land- basements in some area and post holes are wet most of the year. Dearborn County has less than 17% of land suitable for farming- we need to call it open space instead- and if we can get money for it- why not? There is no Agricultural infrastructure left anymore. [Note: This was one individual who spoke in favor of development.] Police, fire, and EMS services were inadequate for this development. Teenage drivers on the old back roads- unsafe. Only one way out of this subdivision- Dog Ridge is a dead end. St. Leon has one cop on duty. We have “10 lbs of manure in a 5 lb bag!” This is a mess- don’t want to live in “Maxwell County.” Nice homes in the area (property value) will be affected by this dense “affordable” housing. Community is more important than builder’s pocketbook. “Land value is not just a dollar amount"- want to raise family in a rural setting. When others move away the land is not worth much to them anymore. Noise pollution from construction and more people. “What is ours is ours.” Invested because of rural setting- to do this is a form of theft. Turn lanes will not solve the traffic problem. Who will retain ownership of greenspaces- can the developer come back later and develop those too? Proud to live in this community where people care about it. It was unfavorable before and nothing has changed in the area. Comp plan meetings indicated that people wanted to keep the rural character of the county as their number one priority. No business in the are to offset tax increases. Don’t want to see affordable homes with transient homeowners. Don’t make the same mistakes that the Lakota Schools did. “Developers make a profit by buying cheaper land in rural areas. Realtors make a profit on estates where they seek out developers first to get the highest price.” Land doesn’t get on the market even. Build roads first- then develop.
John Maxwell thanked the public for the reasonable amount of respectful discussion. He said all rules to slow down water shed issues will be met. The ROW is still available at the intersections with the hwys. "We don’t like eminent domain either." The roads to other farms were required by our ordinance, that’s why they were drawn.
The Board discussion followed:
Mike Hall- This is not connected to a R area, density is an issue. Roads are as good as they get in DC. Sewer and water is there. Fire dept. is an issue, but hydrants will be provided. Nobody wants development in his or her backyard. Comp plan wants this to happen where this is.
Nick Held – I see access to interstate and 2 state roads with Residential to the south. Density like this will help preserve farmland.
Patrick de Maynadier – the comp plan uses the idea of “pace and place” for development. We also say that infrastructure should precede development. Main issue is density. Road infrastructure etc. is not ready to support this high a density yet. Cat I Local street has <400>We represent the comprehensive plan and the zoning ordinances as they are written.” There is some room for interpretation, but I have issues with the density.
Jane Ohlmansiek – I drove out through the area. Infrastructure looks sufficient. Roads are as good as they are anywhere. Development is coming and we need good development. Increased density would preserve the land. The greenspace counters some of those issues.
Tarry Feiss – It is compliant with the comp plan. Who is going to buy these farms? It costs money to build parks. People who moved here also moved to a subdivision.
Robert Laws – Infrastructure will support it. Increased density will preserve Ag.
Dennis Kraus – Dog Ridge is a dead end. Comp plan targets some development around infrastructure. The interstate is here.
Mark Mitter – Infrastructure is in place. Water retention can be controlled. Concern is with the rural character. What balance can be struck with density to make it compatible with the area? This general area was talked about for development. What about the internal circulation of this development and the cul de sacs. ( Maxwell explained that this was to eliminate more curb cuts on the main road as an artery thru the development.)
Jane Ohlmansiek motioned to give a FAVORABLE recommendation because this complies with the comprehensive plan, is compatible with current conditions in the area, is the most desirable use for the land, and will preserve property with cluster development that satisfies the need for responsible development.
Tarry Feiss 2nded the motion.
Amendments attached to this were that this is an R-DP (Residential with development plan) with a cap on the density at 1.96 lots /acre, public sewers have to be provided, and the turn lanes at Trojan Rd and SR46 and Schuman and SR1 have to be constructed.
Vote was 5 Ayes and 3 Nays (Nays were Mitter, deMaynadier, and Kraus, Jr.)

BREAK- 10 minutes- resumed at 9:40 PM

Trackville Rd. Development Gets UNANIMOUS Unfavorable Recommendation Due to Road Issues.
2. Zone change from Ag to R for the county portion of a three area (St. Leon and Franklin Cty have parts of this) development on 34.887 acres in the county along Trackville and North County Line Rd. in Jackson Township. Southwest Ohio General Contractors are the applicants for Equestrian Estates represented by Joe Gillespie, a surveyor from Brookville. Mike Hall stepped down for this.
Travis Miller
presented pictures and the specifics of the site plan. Density is .77 units/acre with 27 lots on 34 acres. (More in St. Leon and Franklin Cty) This is surrounded by Ag land and low to moderate Residential uses. Trackville Rd averages 16.5-17.5 ft width (narrower at culverts). North County Line Rd. is severely deficient at 12.5 ft width and mostly gravel. Proposed concrete roads were asked to be downgraded to asphalt so that the county can maintain them at our level. Feller rd. has no shoulders either and is 16.5 –17.6 ft wide.
Joe Gillespie presented that there was sewer from St. Leon and a traffic study from Bayer-Becker. Franklin Cty was OK with concrete road along the property edge and double chip and seal on the rest of County Line Rd.
Kim Dietrich (Bayer Becker) – said they were NOT recommending any further road improvements- these were adequate. All intersections were a level A use. [NOTE: This seems outrageous in light of the widths and deficiencies described.]
Mitter questioned this and she stated that though the roads are lane deficient, the amount of trips didn’t warrant additional lanes. [NOTE: There aren’t even two lanes on these roads, never mind the shoulders!]

Public discussion: (20 minutes and 11 individuals)

Bill Werner, Robert Hurth, Jake Hoog, Arlene Hoog, Alan Freemond, Mrs. Eckstein, Robert Hilvert II, Ernest Goodpaster, Barb Kurtz, and Gloria Hoog spoke. Petitions were presented also.
A video and pictures of the flooding of the roadway in the last 2 years was shown- an impressive amount of water was evident during heavy rains.

Discussion included the following comments and issues:
“We should have been here when the comp plan was being done.” Where is the limit for sewers, water, and schools? There are 2 blind curves on Trackville Rd. When are we going to look ahead and see where all this development is going? We would buy the property if it would come up for sale! It goes straight to developers. “I won’t beat a dead horse – don’t know about the gorilla, though.” (Laughter) Trackville residents don’t think this is in the best interests of the community. Comp plan study shows this at <400 kids =" 135">We are far from the desired ratio of 70% Residential to 30% Commercial/Industrial. This area has tremendous serenity and an Elysian atmosphere. The tranquility is enviable. Feller Rd. has blind curves and hills, deep ditches and no shoulders. IRS data on taxes and homes and wages was presented for Dearborn County. Video of floods was presented. Wildlife will be invading suburbia even more if you take away all the rural area. Safety issues for kids on this road. Impact fees need to be considered so developers pay for all these improvements and maintenance. Where is the industry? Is there room for school busses on this road?
Joe Gillespie stated that there was a storm water plan designed by Bayer Becker also.

Board Discussion:
Dennis Kraus- we need to consider what St. Leon is going to do.
Mark MitterThis is a huge mistake to rezone this with the roads in this condition! This is a no-brainer.
Robert Laws – Which lots are in our jurisdiction? (Kraus showed him)
Dennis Kraus- They are proposing to improve Cty Line Rd. The Trackville flooding poses a serious problem.
Robert Laws – I think it’s too much for the existing infrastructure.
Tarry Feiss – I agree- when is St. Leon meeting? With the concrete road and Franklin Cty etc. I have road issues.
Jane Ohlmansiek - Concerned with the road. I don’t believe the subdivision fits there, there is no housing like that in the area.
Patrick deMaynadier- Roads are the issue.
Nick Held – Agree- roads are the issue.
Nick Held motioned to pass an UNFAVORABLE recommendation to the commissioners due to inadequate road infrastructure and the fact that it doesn’t fit the current character of the area.
Jane Ohlmansiek 2nd. All Ayes. Unanimous for UNFAVORABLE.

10:55 PM started the 3rd request.

The Farm Golf Course Gets Tabled for B-1 Zone Change Due to Violation Issues and Lack of Plan
3. Zone change from Ag to B-1 for Golf Course and restaurant (banquet area) for 2 acres on Mt. Pleasant Rd. in Logan Township.
Jeff Stenger presented for owner Lonnie Steele.
Travis Miller presented the case with the hours of operation going beyond normal business hours in an Ag Zone. The accessory use is no longer just a clubhouse. There is no on-site sewage and St. Leon sewers are not on the road yet. They use a holding tank and haul sewage off site. More parking space is required.
Jeff Stenger said they weren’t going to survey the boundaries until they would know how much parking is needed. They want to remove the bufferyard from the golf side of the facility to preserve view of the golf course. They are working on the sewers with the potential condos across the street. They want to be able to drain the parking lot water to the course itself.
Public Discussion:
One woman spoke at this meeting for public discussion. She took issue with how someone was being rewarded with a zone change after being in violation for two years. How did the building inspector not notice permit issues? How did the Health Dept. not shut down the business, when the temp. permit kept getting extended. Who protects us?
Stenger noted that neighbors purchased St. Leon sewer taps but have yet to receive their sewers.
With all these issues and a lack of concrete plan, the board decided to table this for one month with the understanding that fines start at $300/day if this is not settled then.
Kraus motioned and deMaynadier 2nd to Table. All Ayes.

12:10 AM- Administrative issues
Flood Plain Ordinance will be gone over and revised per FEMA boilerplate version for adoption in March or April.

Due to Rick Pope’s removal, a new VP and BZA member had to be selected.
Hall motioned and Ohlmansiek 2nd for Patrick deMaynadier to be VP of the Plan Commission. All Ayes.
Hall motioned and Kraus 2nd for Patrick de Maynadier to be BZA rep also. All ayes.

Travis Miller
Minute takers are not lasting at $10/hr. Currently using Wullenweber Transcription to get caught up. (though more expensive and a verbatim transcription)
Meeting with St. Leon to further the discussion on their adoption of ordinances similar to ours.
Meeting 3/19 Sat at LHS for US 50 Stakeholders and businesses.
Anyone interested in a seminar on planning perspectives on community with Purdue on 3/30 should contact Nick Held.
April 20th Working session on schools or roads to be decided.
Mitter informed the board that the state is going after the wagering tax, which would deplete the county of about $4million in revenue.
March 16th working session is the OKI meeting at PNS from 7-9 PM.

Meeting adjourned at 12:45 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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