Tuesday, April 26, 2005

25 April 2005 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

25 April 2005 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Jeff Hughes, Patrick de Maynadier, Tarry Feiss, Dennis Kraus, Jr., Jane Ohlmansiek, Robert Laws, and Mike Hall. Absent: Nick Held and Arnie McGill, Att’y
Also present: Travis Miller, Planning Director, and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer.

Meeting started late at 7:15 PM.

1. Ag Section Adjoining Highway Interchange on SR1 between Dover and St. Leon Given Favorable Recommendation for Zone Change.
Zone change from A to H-1 (Highway Interchange) for 1.53 acres on SR1 in Kelso Township for a small engine shop. Owner- Anthony Bischoff. Surveyor presenting: Dennis Kraus, Sr.
Dennis Kraus, Jr, and Tarry Feiss stepped down from the board due to conflict of interest on this item.
No public comment. This item was evaluated as a worse case scenario, because no plans for the engine shop were submitted. These will be done at Primary approval per the applicant. Zone change was seen as being compatible with the master plan due to other structures of similar character in the vicinity, adequate infrastructure, encouragement of mixed uses in this area, and encouragement of new business for increased tax base.
Hall motioned and de Maynadier 2nd to pass a Favorable recommendation to the commissioners for a zone change to H-1.

2. Second item removed from agenda.


1. Cul de sacs were further discussed and will be readvertised for a decision at May meeting. Final conclusion is to use the definition as staff recommended.
[NOTE: I left the meeting at this point- the rest of these notes are from info given by the Planning Office.]

2. Traffic Impact Study will be modified to reflect a change that a developer may finance their own study, but they also have to finance the engineering consultant that the county hires to evaluate their study. Pre-ap process for developers will include a need, scope, schedule, and fee for the developer to sign off on- regardless of which route the developer chooses to pursue regarding the study.
This will be readvertised for May meeting for decision.

3. Fee schedule changes show increases across the board. Final decision at May meeting to be effective June 1st. There will be some modification to clear up discrepancies in fees for minor sub’n that require major sub’n review because of a variance, etc.

4. Fiscal model - $500 was approved from master plan budget for Financial services Group of Bloomington to do a workshop possibly in May (at working session May 18th).

Working sessions are typically on the 3rd Wed of each month. If anyone plans to attend- they should call the Planning Office to verify this agenda and date.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Friday, April 22, 2005

20 April 2005 Dearborn County Plan Commission Working Meeting Roadway Standards

20 April 2005 Dearborn County Plan Commission Working Meeting Roadway Standards

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Jeff Hughes, Patrick deMaynadier, Robert Laws, Nick
Held, Jane Ohlmansiek, Mike Hall, and Tarry Feiss.
Also Present: Travis Miller, Planning Director, and Mark McCormack, Enforcement Officer
Public present: Kathy Scott, Mark Neff, Archie Crouch, Nicole Daily, Kim Elam, Tom Kent, Jim Kinnett, Chris Mueller.

The Plan Commission reviewed the current street classifications and
design guidelines. An updated map of collector and arterial street classifications was presented for possible future adoption to become the basis for a County
Thoroughfare Plan.

Travis Miller presented a flow chart and timeline for adoption of a future land use map to be appended to the Master Plan. He emphasized that future land use designation decisions must be coordinated with roadway improvement planning. This process will continue across the summer with a draft plan to be presented to the public for their input in the fall of 2005.
[NOTE: This Future Land Use Map and the above Thoroughfare Plan are an important part of the future plans for the county- public involvement is crucial to this being appropriately adopted to reflect the desires of the entire county. Watch the papers and check with the plan commission site at http://www.dearborncounty.org/planning/ for meetings on these topics.]

Subdivision Control Ordinance Appendix C – Geometric Design Guidelinesfor all roadway classifications and categories were reviewed and the criteria
used to determine the classification of roadways were discussed. (see also Section 24 of Zoning Ordinance)
Staff will prepare a text amendment of the Subdivision Control Ordinance Appendix C including a second design guideline without parking for Curb and Gutter streets for public hearing and final recommendation.

Concerns regarding a conflict between the required driveway spacing
requirements for arterial and collector roads being greater than the required lot
frontage within the Agriculture zone district. This will be addressed by potential text amendment(s) to remedy the lot frontage vs. driveway spacing conflict and present to Plan Commission for further review and discussion.
Eventually these recommend amendments will be added to the Comprehensive Plan so it will have an official Roadway Classification and Thoroughfare Plan.

Cul-de-sac Street
Staff proposed changes to Subdivision Control Ordinance Section 305-N and
Article 6 for review. Clarification suggested by Plan Commission. Staff will modify the definition text and the graphic diagram present revised recommendation to Plan
Commission for final recommendation.

Traffic Impact Study for Zone Changes and Development Proposals
Applicants were concerned with possible time delays in the review process if county approved firms were busy. Funding mechanisms will be defined – e.g. cash, bonding, letter of credit, escrow accounts, etc. Ownership of interest needs to be addressed. Applicant issues were discussed regarding the weight given to the consultants report. Issues regarding the conflict of interest when the applicant hires the consultant and expects it to be accepted without question were also discussed.
Staff will present revised recommendation to Plan Commission for final recommendation.

Possible Fiscal Impact Study and workshop was proposed to be scheduled for the plan commission. This will be of interest to the DCEDI as well. Two companies are being considered so far for this work.

Meeting adjourned at 9 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

19 April 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

19 April 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Benning, President, Fox and Hughes.
Also Present: Pickens, Auditor, Messmore, Administrator, and Ewbank, Attorney.
This meeting was videotaped for Benning, as usual.
One officer from the sheriff’s department was present. [NOTE: Commissioners seem to think they need police protection at meetings when they hold a public hearing. Police presence out in the community might be a better use of their time and taxpayer dollars.]

1. Benning announced that the Trackville Road zone change hearing was tabled again and reset for May 17th.

2. Public hearing for the Dog Ridge Rd.- Maxwell Properties zone change R-DP on 101.28 acres in Sect 15 of Kelso Township.
Travis Miller presented the case with a summary of the plan commission hearing and noted that this was given a Favorable recommendation with 5 ayes and 3 nay votes. There are written commitments for the sewer to be provided by St. Leon and the intersection improvements to be made at SR1 and SR46. Miller also presented the petitions that were turned in at the Plan Commission hearing for the commissioners.

Benning limited the attorney- Joe Calder (sp?- the sound system was really scratchy)- to three minutes just like the citizens, even though he was to be the spokesperson for most of them. Several citizens protested this vehemently. [NOTE: When the citizens try to condense their presentation and also invest a few thousand dollars in attorney fees, it seems unreasonable and shortsighted to limit the attorney to 3 minutes.]
In his comments at the beginning of the meeting, he discussed four main points:
1. This development dramatically changes the balance of development in the area. There are currently 125 homes in the surrounding 8,000 acres. This development puts 198 on 101 acres. [NOTE: If this density is to save land by consolidating homes in one area, as the developer noted in his application, then the argument could be made that the 325 homes in 8,101 acres is a good thing for farmland preservation. As often occurs, however, that save-the-land argument that applicant’s use to get the first development in causes a domino effect. Then the next one notes that this one is here and he should be able to build one just as dense next to it, etc.]
2. This development eats up all the available predicted capacity thru the year 2020 according to master plan calculations.
3. The LOS classifications in the traffic study are misleading. They need a Category 2 road to absorb this traffic. In fact the LOS during peak traffic times around the school is D-F, when the master plan states a level C is to be the standard.
4. The tax rate as published in the paper for Kelso shows a 25% increase from 1.6674 to 2.0574. This development and its impact on schools and services will only increase that further in the long run.
He then urged the commissioners to send it back to the Plan Commission for a more reasonable density.

The issues discussed by citizens included: safety with an already overloaded volunteer fire, and emergency dept. which is covered by out of township personnel, taxes which jumped 25% with reassessment, road shoulders being non-existent, so walking and school children will be at risk with traffic, density out of character to the area, average daily traffic volumes do not address peak traffic issues, people buying into Ag to be able to enjoy peace and quiet and low crime, not high density subdivisions, farms provide food and alternative fuel sources- why destroy them, decisions are already made- only listening to be polite- not really hearing our concerns, farmers in the area were not given a chance to buy this land to keep the community agricultural, road maintenance provided by farmers in winter, construction effects on water, drainage, and erosion in area surrounding the development, balancing rights of the citizens with the developers. It was also mentioned that we live in a world of options- night/day, love/hate, and country life/city life. [NOTE: This comment strikes to the heart of the development issue in this part of the county. Can Dearborn County provide a variety of lifestyles in different communities or are we going to let economics drive development to the cheapest and easiest lands to develop?]

John Maxwell answered several points on how he would catch the drainage and control erosion. He stated that he would try to eliminate some of the drainage issues that currently exist, but made no promises. He stated that they did not come in high and then change it to half that in their second application on the property on purpose as alleged by the attorney as a common ploy of developers. He also stated that when he studied the master plan and looked at the area two things defined the character for him- the sewer lines and East Central HS. [NOTE: How do underground sewer lines define character?]
Fox told Travis Miller that the comp plan goal was to save ground, that they were to try to make development more like a planned community, and that spreading out homes uses more land.
Public hearing was closed at 7:30 PM and Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to approve the zone change. All ayes. It was unclear on the change being R or R-DP. They referenced the 5 points to consider in a zone change, but they did not address how they thought each of them was accomplished.

3. Cliff Eibeck- asked the commissioners to fix the sound system and also to use the microphones and not mumble. Dale Wendelman stated that he’d worked on the system, but without any schematics he couldn’t fix it all. [NOTE: Perhaps they need a 2nd opinion?]

4. Kathy Scott- presented several questions on planning ordinance changes-
1. Can we expect that people will be closed out of public hearings, like the first one this year? She noted that tonight’s was better.
2. Why is it so important to quickly approve a zone change if you have 90 days to think about it? Travis Miller explained that they PC had to certify them within 10 days, but beyond that there was no hurry. [NOTE: The developer is often in a hurry to get started- time is money to their plans]
Fox also gave an overview of how he does his homework on issues by visiting the site, reading the PC minutes, asking PC board members questions, and generally knowing some of these areas from his school board tenure.
3. Does “recommend” mean “needs to be done”? Miller explained that the staff recommendations are put out for the PC to consider. Mitter explained that the board usually adopts those recommendations, that the one for geotech studies on Barber Rd. development was rare. It will get done per the ordinance, but they felt that it didn’t have to be done in advance as the staff recommended. [NOTE: If the county does not find some way to increase the duration of the bond on that road design, the county will be taking a huge risk. Hillside roads, even well-engineered ones, do not always fail in the first year.]
4. Why does it appear we are changing ordinances whenever a developer asks? She noted a large number of variance requests also. The ordinance was a good standard- why change?

5. Migrant housing on Beiersdorfer Orchard property- Craig Beckley- was probably coming in mid May per Jeff Hughes- they cancelled tonight.

6. Pickens presented the Manchester EMS contract for signing. Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd. Approved.
Claims and minutes of previous meetings approved.
Pickens noted there is a special meeting at 5:30 PM Wed Apr 20 for the Council for tax penalty waiver. Commissioners were invited.

7. Ewbank- Att’y- stated he was working on an ordinance to relieve the penalty on the payable 04 taxes. SBOA has to review it also. The Auditor and Treasurer petitioned this.
He also stated that he responded to the Public Access Counselor on a formal complaint about their previous executive session being improperly advertised.

8. Benning noted that a plaque was being made for Al Werner- “our first building inspector” and was paid for by public donations. They will have a reception and present it at a later date.
She announced that Travis Miller will be given an outstanding public service award on Fountain Square May 4th. Jeff Hughes recommended him for this through OKI.

9. Travis Miller reported that the GIS demonstrations in the building went well and personnel recommended a task force on GIS be formed. They are presenting to Soil and Water also.

Meeting adjourned 8:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

12 April 2005 Dearborn County BZA Meeting Highlights

12 April 2005 Dearborn County BZA Meeting Highlights

Present: Chairman Deaton, Baker, Ohlmansiek, and Hoog. 5th member absent.
Also present: Travis Miller, Planning Director, Mark McCormack, Enf. Officer, and Arnie McGill, Att’y

1. Stephanie McCurry’s request for a 110 ft. side lot variance on her 30- unit kennel in an Ag district in Logan Township on Peppertown Rd. was DENIED.
Issues brought up by the neighbors included sanitation and flow to Johnson Fork Creek, Road safety, noise, security from more strangers on the road as well as dogs getting loose. 52 signatures on a petition were delivered to the board.
[NOTE: There were several people who spoke about having quiet and peace in the country and the noise potential. Though enclosed there was clearly no assurance that the building was insulated enough to keep the noise level down. There were no references among the board members to the ordinance sections 2528 and 2532 and any attempt to see if the construction could meet those guidelines on noise abatement.]
Baker’s motion to deny died for lack of a second.
Hoog motioned to approve the variance with a change in hours of operation from 8-6PM and a max of 30 dogs per 30 units. He also referenced the points of law to be satisfied in granting a variance. Ohlmansiek 2nded with 2 Ayes and 2 Nays. With no further motions the application for a variance was denied.

2. Conditional use for Rohe Development represented by Bayer/Becker engineers for the location of condos on Mt. Pleasant Rd. in Logan Township was APPROVED.
Only one member of the public (Karen Wolff) spoke at this, citing issues with numerous condo and apt. approvals in the area, school overflow, safety issues with Harrison covering fire and ems services, possible overextension of St. Leon Sewer capacity, and road issues with the narrowness of Mt. Pleasant and the North Dearborn intersection deficiencies. She ended with: “On behalf of the rural community, please do not approve this.”
Bayer Becker noted that the Plan Commission and Commissioners unanimously approved the plans, with changes that the developer had signed off on. They did not have their covenants drawn up, they did not have their plans redrawn to reflect those changes, and they did not have the HOA terms defined yet. They stated that the roads IN the development were private and so no county expense on maintenance etc. They did not offer to do anything extra to Mt. Pleasant other than the area in front of their development.
[NOTE: What’s the hurry? It seems that the BZA should have tabled this item to get accurate drawings, definitive plans particularly regarding the ownership and duration of the greenspace, and perhaps some funding to share in the county’s expense in improving the intersection at North Dearborn, because of the increased stress on the road and intersection that this density will cause. Other developers are stepping up to the plate and providing this as an incentive to getting their developments accepted, when they are proposed in an area ahead of the planned road improvements.]
Ohlmansiek motioned to grant the conditional use to reflect the site plan and written commitments to the Plan Commission, Commissioners, and Rohe Development. Hoog 2nd. All ayes. Passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned after some administrative issues at approximately 9 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

5 April 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

5 April 2005 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

Present: Benning, President, Hughes, and Fox
Also Present: Ewbank, Attorney, Pickens, Auditor, and Messmore, Administrator

The meeting was preceded by an executive session on personnel issues. No announcement was made of any decision resulting from that meeting.

1. Mike Hall- surveyor requested the Trackville Rd subdivision be tabled until April 19th due to a scheduling conflict. The developer had a meeting in Franklin County tonight. Commissioners agreed.

2. Bill Black- EMA Director – still couldn’t get commissioners to sign off on the county plan because they couldn’t get their disks of information to work on their computers. Benning requested that he present the disk info to them at the next meeting.
The 800 MgHz system that the surrounding counties are either on or are in the process of adopting has yet to be adopted by the county. They are still waiting to see if they can finance it completely through the bond bank and how much of that loan will be absorbed or forgiven by L-bg. The state pays for the tower sites and our radio service is “free”. Black has purchased many of the radios already with grant money.
Fox motioned and Hughes 2nd to allow Black to accept a surplus computer. Resolution to accept signed.

3. Catherine Deyer- DIRECTIONS- presented the background, the programs they run under the CMHC, and resolution to declare April Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Of interest- there are currently 111 convicted sex offenders in Dearborn County.

4. Ellen Davis of Lifetime Resources presented a sub-recipient agreement to be signed so they can pursue grants for homeowner rehab funds. The match needed is $30,000, but they intend to get it through other sources and grants – not the county. Pickens told then there were no available appropriations for this.

5. Claims and Minutes were approved and the Sparta EMS unit standard contract was signed. Bryan Messmore to check to be sure insurance is in place and the county is held harmless.

6. Bryan Messmore- Administrator- brought up the issue of notification for zone change hearings and what the commissioners would like to do regarding setting a policy or ordinance on that. Ewbank and he will review it and present options regarding certified mailings, regular mailings, newspaper notices, or combinations of these. [NOTE: The Planning Office also posts a sign on the property so neighbors beyond just the adjoining ones have some notice.] Ewbank noted that he wanted any possible court decisions to be substantive rather than just technicalities of notifications should a writ of certiorari be filed, for example. He also thought that they should make every attempt to insure due process for the affected citizens. [NOTE: That’s a step in the right direction.]

7. Bob Ewbank- Attorney- wants to work on ordinance review to clarify council and commissioner duties and powers so that they are not overlapping. He referenced a recent Council issue where they wanted to make a salary ordinance without Commissioners requesting it on a former commissioner employee.
He also wanted to clarify how wide a county road should be. He referenced The Apparent Right of Way Statute. He briefly discussed the option of declaring all county roads to be possibly 40 ft. Or 50 ft. [NOTE: There is a Transportation Assessment that would be helpful to start with for this information. It is part of the master plan and includes this data. Mandating all county roads to be a certain width would end up with the county owning property inside some people’s houses and barns. A more comprehensive solution would be to first- get a county engineer hired and second- continue on with more of the Transportation study and updates as well as creating the 4 year road plan doe prioritizing maintenance and improvements to county roads.]

8. Jeff Hughes- Asked several questions regarding the possibility of a light at Stateline and Stephens Rd. paid for by Macke as part of the Sugar Ridge Planned Unit Development and attached Transportation assessment. Apparently the bond for this will lapse in May and he wants the county to either renew that bond or decide to get the light installed. Engineering to set it up would cost $35,000 – 50,000 and the light would be about $10,000.
He asked about who did the study on the 4 way intersection in Bright. (Beam Longest and Neff) and what the status was there. (Study done and ROW acquisitions became issues.)
Hughes also asked about getting a building and or trailer with a bathroom for the District 1 crew. They have nothing and the other two districts do have facilities. [NOTE: It seems pretty bizarre that there is no office for D-1 highway crew.]

9. Rick Fox had no further comments and Benning added the news that IDEM had finally officially released the county from the environmental violation on the buried tanks that they had already cleaned.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township