Tuesday, August 29, 2006

28 August 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

28 August 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Jane Ohlmansiek, Tarry Feiss, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Patrick deMaynadier
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, Mark McCormack, Planning Director, and Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.

1. Maxwell Development Zone Change on Mount Pleasant Remained Tabled Until September

PC Takes 2.5 Hours to Rewrite Written Commitments to Kent’s SR 1 Rezone Request

Tom Kent and Wayne Ferguson’s request to change written commitments attached to their favorable zone change request on SR1 for Perfect View was reviewed.
Kent requested they eliminate turn lanes as they are no longer required if they reduce the homes to 55. They want also to reduce the boulevard length. Traffic study was initially performed for 150 lots. The boulevard style entrance makes the product less like country homes. They also did not want to strip out that many trees from the hillside. It made it harder for them to be creative in their design. They envision the road wrapping around the pond and meandering through the woods to the top. A boulevard is 34-40 ft wide- the road is 26 ft. The extra 10-15 ft require a lot more slop to be cut away to stay at grade requirements.
Turn lanes were estimated to cost $600,000. If they exceeded 65 lots they’d need a booster station for water also.
Without threatening the PC Kent stated that they would have to come back with 150 lots should they have to do all those commitments in order to make the costs up?

Ferguson went through the 5 zone change criteria and how he thought this met them. He thought the low-density high cost homes were smart growth; they didn’t want to cut trees to be environmentally friendly and to stay in character with surroundings. Farming was no longer on this property as the old dairy was not in operation. It conserved property values, as these were not little ¼ acre lots.

Mitter asked- well what about Kent saying you’d change to 150 lots if you ad to? Ferguson disagrees with his partner on this and commented- Don’t you ever disagree with your wife? (Laughter)

Ferguson said this was responsible growth. Mitter noted the potential danger there and wants to minimize that (roadway access issues).

Public input:

Christopher Blaney- thought this property was to stay as is till 2017- he’ll have a street behind his home now and not trees.
Mike Henson- wanted to discuss exact location of entrance and runoff issues onto his property. He wanted that research first before they change zones. He asked about guardrail there and also safety issues with access to SR1.
Mr. Hornsby- concerned that emergency access to Cambridge might mean sewers etc down their road. Was told it was just EMS vehicles.
Mr. Craig- Also concerned with extra traffic and gated entrance to Cambridge.
At 8:10 Public comment ended.

Kent told PC that he had obtained the old Britton property and now has 900 ft of SR1 frontage.
His access will be better than Salt Fork and Georgetown is now. (but these are slated to be improved)

Todd Listerman- County Engineer- explained the grass covered earthen roadway to Cambridge that is stabilized to hold vehicles but doesn’t invite traffic, as it doesn’t look like a road. Mowed 3 times a year by hwy. He does NOT want Cambridge used until Georgetown and Cambridge are upgraded.
There are L and R turn lanes exiting the sub’n.

Feiss asked about busses. She noted people have been killed in that area.

Listerman noted that Salt Fork Bridge would be 4 lanes and have L turn for Salt Fork. He also said boulevard is NOT required if they have emergency access to Cambridge.
A Right turn apron is OK at the entrance. The entrance of sub’n is 900 ft from Salt Fork. The 4 lanes of SR1 will be 1800 ft North of Salt Fork and 600 ft south.

The entire board seemed hung up on the L turn lane and safety issues there. A couple members noted that we are back to negotiating with developers. It was clear that L turn was not negotiable. The question was how to do it effectively with planned improvements at Salt Fork and terrain. Mitter also noted that it’s not just a matter of trips on SR1 – but also the trucks, terrain, busses, and speed issues.

It took 30 more minutes to get a motion from the PC.

Mitter stated: “We know our area better than INDOT does. They brought us US 50!”

Feiss said the state doesn’t know how many people use SR 1 from Dec 1 thru March for ski season. Those people don’t know about our left turns- they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

They talked about extending the 8 ft berm like is done at Nowlin Road for traffic to pass by the L turners. [NOTE: At Nowlin traffic is going slower as they have just come over the bridge or stopped at the stop sign. In this case the traffic will be zipping by as they are on the straight section and it will be even straighter after INDOT fixes it by the Salt Fork bridge area. Will 8 ft wide be enough? Should there be signage there to warn people? Should INDOT participate in this design as it comes so close to their work already?]

Laws- wanted to leave the interior road design to county engineer but have 8 ft paved shoulder on SR 1 for a modified turn lane of sorts.

Laws motioned for written commitments to be changed to: density to be at 55 homes maximum, stabilized road bed for emergency access only at Cambridge, continue 8 ft paved shoulder beyond Salt Fork to the entrance, no excavation on 20% or greater slopes, and allow county engineer to monitor road entrance design. Hughes 2nd. Passed with 5 Ayes – Ohlmansiek, Hughes, Hall, Laws, and Kraus, Jr. 2 Nays were Feiss and Held. Mitter didn’t vote.

McCormack went over written commitments and changes in the signature sections to reflect that the owner had no other adjoining property currently being rezoned. (To avoid tricks being played with the ordinance)

Article 5 section 530 withdrawal procedures were changed so that if they withdraw prior to public notice it’s a minimal cost, if afterwards it’s at full cost. In either case they can still reapply.
They can also withdraw up to the meeting time itself.
It was noted that the opponents will be OK with this- they get what they wanted- a withdraw.

PC was discussing only letting reapplications be submitted 6 month after withdrawal date (in writing) instead of the 90 days currently.
This will stay at 90 days. It was felt that with reapplication at 90 days – it still won’t be heard for another month or 2 dues to tech review etc. [NOTE: It seemed onerous to “punish” the developer for changing his mind, so I spoke up in favor of keeping the 90 days at this point. If we make it too difficult and costly, we may end up with less creativity in design. Sometimes it’s through tech review and neighbor discussions that an idea emerges that should be considered. Change should be encouraged in those cases rather than making it cost excessive time and thus more money.
On the other hand- the developer needs to think things through harder in some cases and not depend on the PC to negotiate very angle of the development issues with him at the hearing.]

Checklist items will be clarified for developments and certificates were fine tuned and combined in some cases.
Property parcel map numbers will be used instead of parent parcel tax numbers.

Zone map changes on conditional uses will be sent back to be revised to allow BZA to still hear the conditional use AFTER the zone change is granted. [NOTE: If the developer is worried about this they could request that the zone change be conditional on the multifamily or other conditional request being granted.]

Land Use Map timeline will be the longer one to finish in March 2007.
Irwin Diehl and Linda Mitchell requested to be on the advisory board.

School Board meets with PC Sept 6 at 6:30 PM at Tate Street Adult Center

Land Use Initial meeting for advisory board is Sept 20- Wed.- at 7 PM- probably at Adult Center at Tate Street.

Nick Held has a video presentation of fiscal impacts of development that will be Sept 14th at the Ext. Office.

Oct 16th Monday- Public Meeting with OKI, Advisory Board, and PC etc on a 45-minute presentation of the effective elements of a comp plan. Questions and answers to follow- allow 1.5 hours.

Mitter announced that in Dec. GIS would have its own office and assistant. Council funded an assistant planner to share with St. Leon and Harrison also. $50K was funded for fiscal impact model of the county.

Stonebrook Estates wants extension of primary plat (old Gabbard estate lands that Fehrman Realty is handling on US 50 between aurora and Dillsboro) Sewer issues exist- need to know when Aurora can add them to their fixed system (when will it be finished?)

West Harrison approved their updated zone map- they are no longer zoned all business.

Meeting adjourned 11:10 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Riding to Riches on the Backs of the Taxpayers

Riding to Riches on the Backs of the Taxpayers

submitted by Alan S. Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

After reading Mrs. Kremer’s review of the St. Leon Redevelopment Commission meeting of August 09, 2006 it is obvious that the secret meeting between the DCEDI representative and ONE member of the St. Leon Town Council is beginning to bear fruit, and perhaps will be seen in years to come as a bitter fruit.

The movers and shakers of Dearborn County have formed a semisecret organization called the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative. They have hired a man who has no roots in the County, no children in the school system, pays no property taxes to the county but has a paying job to teach the politicians how to get the taxpayers to underwrite his patrons’ desires to ride to greater riches on the backs of the taxpayers of the County.

These schemes are well know through out the country. Books have been written on the subject. There have been some colossal financial disasters for taxpayers resulting from these schemes.

Seemingly it would be important for the Town Council of St. Leon as well as the County Commissioners of Dearborn County to be in contact with the Indiana Policy Review. This is a financially conservative think tank. It is based in Fort Wayne; it has an office in Indianapolis. The organization is funded by subscriptions and funded by a financially conservative Indiana family of impeccable ethical and financial credentials. The organization publishes a quarterly review of financial doings in Indiana. The review can be slower and more complicated reading than the funny paper or the sports page. One hopes that our elected officials would stick it out and finish each edition. The Review frequently discusses various schemes thought up by groups such as the DCEDI.

One would think that our officials would be subscribers to this publication in order to protect their constituents. Had the Town Council of St. Leon been in contact with this organization perhaps they would not have been put on the back of the tiger from which they cannot dismount, namely the cruel Ordinance mandating court enforced connections to their sewer system. They might even be able to be suspicious of the DCEDI’s seductive songs.

THE DCEDI representative, who met with our Mr. Andy Bischoff, knows how to play inside the rules. The only legal way to have a secret meeting to make plans with elected officials is to meet with only one, and of course with the official’s crutch, the attorney. This he did. There is nothing to prevent the elected official to then begin a series of individual phone calls or meeting with the other elected officials. Thus a plan can be formulated in detail and then suddenly sprung upon the public, the folks who are going to pay the bills.

It is now the plan to designate TIFDs, Tax Initiated Financing Districts in St. Leon and it’s surrounding areas. TIFDs are areas in which country taxes are frozen as of the time of such designation. Bonds are usually sold to finance the TIFD projects. These bonds are guaranteed not by the DCEDI, which considers itself to be the embodiment of two-fisted red-blooded America entrepreneurs. No, they are guaranteed by the taxpayers (median income of $43,000 per year) of the county and town. This is shameful- it is actually cowardly. In common rather coarse, street jargon it would be: ”These guys won’t put their money where they mouths are.”

An example of how the taxpayers become involved would be that a project in a TIFD failed to be able to pay the interest due to those who bought the bonds that financed a project in a TIFD. This is not some far off hypothesis. It happens.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was stuck for 70 million dollars worth of bonds because of a TIFD failure on the part of a very blue chip national corporation.

These bonds are guaranteed by the county, city, or town that issued the bonds. The payments to the bondholders would fall to the issuer’s taxpayers. The revenues of the county, city, or town that issued the bonds are taxes. These taxes are by the elected officials signatures mandated to pay the bondholders their guaranteed interest.
If these “entrepreneurs” really believed in their projects they’d use their own money to fund the projects it total. They wouldn’t, in a slack wristed manner, rely on the poor people of the county to support their dreams, and carry the risk of the entrepreneurs’ failures.

Whatever increased tax payments result from one of these schemes - that money beyond the original tax - will be used for future development of more projects and to help pay off the bonds that are issued to support the financing of the intended projects. There is no increase in the amount of money going to the fire department, the police department, or the schools. Yet it is the hope of the project enthusiasts that there will be a population increase of the area.

Obviously more fire protection and police protection will be needed. Of course the schools will need increased funding to educate more children who will fill the housing developments that are planned. However, no money more than the original tax money before the projects were started will go to these three vital services. The redevelopment commission spoke about funding vague “services”. However they will not put in writing and sign the writing to increase the funding of the fire and police departments and the schools in a manner that exactly reflects the increased tax take. Essentially it is as if there were not tax increases even if the assessed value of the projects in the TIFDs is increased.

Parallel to this outrage is the consequences of people whose property is, against their will, included in the TIFD, and those whose property is in close proximity to a TIFD. If the project goes well their properties will be considered more valuable, assessed at a higher amount, and they will have to pay more county taxes. Those within the TIFD, against their wishes, will be paying more taxes to increase these outrages. If such property owners can’t afford the increased taxes on their property they will have to sell or submit to the frightening awful humility of a sheriff’s sale. Who does one think will come along and buy that property for pennies on the dollar, and perhaps include it in a TIFD if it is not already in one? Of course it would be a developer and/or one of our entrepreneurs. This is a known method of driving people off their land for further commercial development.

This all has the odor of the uncontrolled sewer gas that is emanating from a lift station of the St. Leon Sewer system, the system about which we must speak at another time.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr.
Jackson Township

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What I Learned at County Council Budget Hearings on August 21-22, 2006

What I Learned at County Council Budget Hearings on August 21-22, 2006

This is a partial listing of what transpired at Council Hearings this week.

1. All gas usage in the county goes through the Sheriff’s budget. It is then billed back to the individual departments. [NOTE: I thought all reimbursements went back into county general fund. How does the Sheriff’s dept. get this money back then?]

2. It will take $415,000 to replace all the keypad entries in the jail. The current ones are obsolete.

3. Phil Van Natta is retiring in 2007. He stated they have made tremendous strides in the dept. and now it is a professional sheriff’s dept.

4. The jail serves between 600-700 meals a day at a cost of about $350,000 per year for the food.

5. Comparato and Branaman of Vieste gave a presentation concerning their part of a partnership financial and planning package for various projects including the I-74 corridor and St. Leon area. Their presentation was vague with respect to exactly what services they will be providing for their $65,000. Phase 1 would be completed in 90 days. They also stated they will be matching the $65,000 with $65,000 of their own work. This work is apparently the part that DCEDI has already purchased from them. [NOTE: Messmore, County Adm. Followed this up the next day stating it would be $30,000 for 2006 and $30,000 for 2007. He has a contract agreement that Ewbank has gone over. So maybe it’s $60,000.]

Cary Pickens noted that at a dinner in Nov 2005 these people were planning on doing all this for free and would make their money on the investments they bring in. They had just bought out Cogden Engineering (sp?) and Dick Robertson (of the North Dearborn Road projects) was also there. He said he hadn’t heard anything more since Joe Pesch (sp?) up north called with a plan to dedicate COIT money to this project. [NOTE: This is not bringing in financing- this is just moving our own tax dollars around.]

Camparato stated that they were here not just because of Honda but also because of what is here. He went on to tell about the US 31 Corridor in Carmel - having an $80 mil arts center and a world leader in roundabouts. They created an overlay zoning set up 600 ft on either side of the ROW of US 31 for a 5 ½ mile stretch from 465 to 146th street. He talked about service roads and 5-acre minimums with 15,000 sq ft minimum businesses. He said they didn’t want the big boxes [NOTE: It was unclear how they kept that out of the plan.]

For those of you wondering who these people are, some info is below:
According to the Vieste, LLC company’s website there are two principals. Their website profiles are:
Michael A. Comparato, Sr., President and CEO has extensive experience in corporate mergers, acquisitions and asset management and has planned, financed, developed and managed over $500 million of real estate nationally. He has successfully engineered financial transactions in both for-profit and non-profit communities, utilizing a variety of debt/equity vehicles including closed-end investment funds, real estate investment trusts, equity syndications, tax-exempt bond issues, pension funds and institutional lending sources. Mr. Comparato has served public and private sector clients as owner's representative/program manager on several major projects. The aggregate value of these capital projects exceeds $300 million.
As Senior Vice President, Mark H. Branaman heads up the Technical Services Group for VIESTE, LLC. His responsibilities include working with the Managing Principals of each of the Technical Services Group operating companies to ensure operations occur to meet the needs of VIESTE'S clients, the Management Services Group of VIESTE, the Portfolio Holdings Group of VIESTE, and the investors of VIESTE. Mr. Branaman is responsible for helping VIESTE grow through both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions.
Endangered Species Chocolate Co and The Indianapolis Museum of Art are the company’s 2 projects since formed a little over a year ago.

London Witte’s website states: London Witte Group, LLC (LWG) is a certified public accounting firm that employs professional and support personnel in Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm provides an array of accounting and consulting services to a wide variety of public, private, and governmental clients. Jim Higgins has been a contact here. His profile states:
Jim Higgins, a firm partner, joined London Witte Group in June 1997. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Ball State University and has over twenty (20) years of experience in working with Indiana communities on financial issues. He currently is overseeing the governmental services segment of the practice. This segment provides financial advisory services to political subdivisions throughout the State of Indiana including school corporations, libraries, cities, towns, municipal and not-for-profit utilities, and other special taxing authorities. These services include, but are not limited to, bond and note financings, cash flow and escrow verifications, budget preparation and analysis, revenue requirement studies, property tax impact analysis, bond proceeds investment management, continuing disclosure services and representation before legislative, regulatory and other governing bodies.
Jim's governmental experience is extensive and includes previous employment with both the Indiana Bond Bank and the Indiana State Board of Accounts. He has worked with over 400 political subdivisions and taxing authorities in addressing their financing, budgetary and accounting needs including assisting with the issuance of over $3 billion of bonds and notes. He has prepared and made presentations to local officials and their organizations, community groups, financing professionals, investors, legislators and rating agencies regarding programs offered by the Bond Bank and municipal finance in general.
Jim is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society. Additionally, Jim is affiliated with the following organizations:
Indiana Association of County Commissioners
Association of Indiana Counties
Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers
Indiana School Board Association
Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents
Indiana Association of School Business Officials
Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada
Indiana Government Finance Officers Association
It should be noted that Council might fund this with the stipulation that they can stop it if they don’t like what they see- though there is apparently a 90-day notice, which pretty much means they’ve paid for all of Phase 1 at least.
[NOTE: It should also be noted that there is duplication of some of the services these people are providing. Woolpert’s sewer study and the Comp Plan for example already have some of this info. If they fail to coordinate this with Planning and Zoning and if they continue to operate behind closed doors the chances of PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT are slim. This entire process needs to open up more.]

6. GIS is alive and well in the county. They are starting to outgrow their single person and may need a part or full time helper in the office. So far they are utilizing interns. It was apparent from later discussions that housing GIS in an office with someone who is savvy to the technology is a good idea. It may also be smarter to share personnel with that office so Minzner can be relieved of clerical tasks and concentrate on the tech and coordination of offices.

7. The treasurer’s office and auditor’ s office have not balanced their books since 2003- at least their books don’t match like they should. This is supposedly due to reassessment.

8. The auditor’s software will not generate the reports that the state wants and he will have to ditch his AS400 system and buy a $300,000 one form Lows, one of 3 entities that can do the required work. It is supposedly compatible with Mannitron in the Assessors office. It’s unclear why the state can’t come up with a few vendors that can do it all for all 3 offices. Lansing noted it would take a CPA to fix this mess. Pickens plans to exercise the performance bond on New World for failure to keep the system updated. That will gain $80,000. They still will need an additional $220,000. [NOTE: This old system was fought over at length in the last administration. Pickens said he hated like hell to be back with this news.]

9. The treasurer wants training dollars because some of her staff doesn’t even know Excel yet.

10. Tax payments may go to a lockbox and they are thinking of getting credit card paying ability also.

11. The recorder’s budget is the same as last years.

12. Veteran’s office noted we have a 30% increase in Vets in this county.

13. Planning and Zoning wants full time ass’t planner to be shared with St. Leon and West Harrison picking up the tab for $15,000 of the cost.

14. Planning and Zoning requested $50,000 to seek a fiscal impact study to compare commercial industrial and residential impacts on the county services. The plan commission can base decisions on this data, thus improving the objectivity of decisions. McCormack stated the purpose is not to spend all the money, but to get the project we want.

15. The Council will finish up hearings on Wednesday with Riverboat revenue discussions in the morning starting at 9 AM.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The St. Leon Redevelopment Commission Meeting, August 16, 2006

The St. Leon Redevelopment Commission Meeting, August 16, 2006, 6:30 p.m.,
Members attending: Cliff Bischoff, Terry Boedekker, Vernon Hensley, and John Watson, Attorney

John Watson gave the members a draft of an Interlocal Agreement Between the Town of St. Leon, By and Through Its Redevelopment Commission and the Dearborn County Economic Initiative. (In conjunction with the Dearborn County Redevelopment Commission.)

According to this draft document, the town of St. Leon, “…desires to allow designation of property within the Town boundaries as part of the TIF District, while still protecting the increased tax revenues due the Town.”

If the St. Leon Redevelopment Commission agrees with this draft interlocal agreement, the Town will allow property within the town to be designated as part of the County’s TIF district, subject to approval by individual property owners. The parties will agree that the increased tax revenues captured from the incremental rise in the tax base on all such property within the town’s boundaries, shall be paid to the town of St. Leon, and all such revenue produced in the County shall be paid to the County. The revenue raised in either jurisdiction shall be used for responsible development of the community, including capital projects, redevelopment of blighted areas, maintenance or construction of infrastructure, better or expanded services, or for any similar purpose designed to aid the proper development of commercial and industrial development, or to provide services and infrastructure for a growth in population.

The members attending agreed to look over the proposed Interlocal Agreement.

Cliff Bischoff said St. Leon needed good PR. John Watson inferred that perhaps the people making this agreement could help with the PR.

Issues were discussed concerning some of the information provided at the St. Leon Town Council on Monday, August 14, 2006 (the presentation of a plan for a 25 acre town center which included a town hall, park, etc.), and the St. Leon Sewer Committee’s Tuesday, August 15, 2006, meeting ( Frank Leone (sp.) from EES discussed odor control, liens and sheriff sales, and future hook-ups).

Cliff Bischoff stated his concern about liens/sheriff sales on people’s homes—he did some research and said that he believed Dearborn County was the only place this was happening, it’s never occurred anywhere else.

Terry Boedekker and Vernon Hensley were concerned that people who had the opportunity to get on line for the sewer did not do so for $400—some refused.

A discussion was then held about people who paid their money, and then were told they didn’t have to get on line.

John Watson said Bill Ewan said they got to a point where they didn’t have enough (grant?) money, so they didn’t run a line. Watson continued that this sewer issue will in time take care of itself one way or the other—it will work out—most of the people will be connected ultimately.

The discussion concerning the proposed town hall took place. Vernon Hensley said the town needed somewhere to put salt, and equipment. Cliff Bischoff said if they build the town hall as proposed, it would take all of the boat money to maintain it and pay the utility bills. Cliff Bishoff stated that St. Leon only has 190 homes.

Mr. Watson discussed the necessity for the steering committee of the Comprehensive Plan to get it done soon. They need to rewrite zoning limits. Dearborn County is proposing to have an I-74 Comprehensive Plan.

Cliff Bischoff said the writing of the (St. Leon) Comprehensive Plan will not be done as soon as John Watson proposed. The Steering Committee is vital, a consensus of what people want to do.

Highway designations were discussed, and the actions taken by other communities like Sunman, to get businesses, etc. The necessity for drawing a zoning map was again mentioned.

As the meeting was about to end, Mr. Watson again asked if the members would look at draft of the interlocal agreement, and the members agreed to do so. The meeting was adjourned.

Helen Kremer
Logan Township

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Elusive Sewer Board Agenda

Just what does it take to get an agenda for the DCRSD?

Tonight at 7 PM the Dearborn County Regional Sewer Board met. I called the county administration building at 4:15 PM to see what was on the agenda. The receptionist checked the front doors to see if one was posted and it was not there. She transferred me to the Health Dept. to check up there.

They told me that Vera Benning had just left to go downstairs with it. (She had the only copy) So I called back downstairs and they couldn't find Ms Benning,who is apparently now serving as the DCRSD secretary as well as being County Commissioner. The commissioner's secretary then called up to the Health Dept. and was told that the agenda was not finished yet. The receptionist called me back with that information. It was 4:32 PM. The staff all finishes their day at 4:30PM.

So at that point I figured I wasn't going to find out what was on the agenda in the normal manner. I placed a call to the County Administrator, Bryan Messmore, on his cell phone and left him a message with my request. Messmore serves as liaison to the sewer board and Woolpert. I asked if Woolpert was planning to be on the agenda.

At 7 PM Bryan Messmore left me a voice message that answered my question and apologized for the delay in getting back to me. He had been in a meeting with Woolpert and they weren't going to be on the agenda.

Now my question is this: What is so hard about getting agendas prepared in a timely manner? Why can't they be put on the county website and avoid all this phone hassle?

I can't wait to see what happens when I request an agenda for the County Council budget hearings that are on Monday thru Wednesday of next week.

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

15 August 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

15 August 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes


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

A uniformed police officer was NOT present.
Ralph Thompson Republican Candidate for D-3 Commissioner was present in the audience.

1. Joan Seitz Assessor gave the commissioners an update on State Dog Tag tax being removed and only county tax remaining. Pickens has the final word on where these monies are kept. They are used also to cover dog kill claims.

2. OKI and ME Company - Bill Miller and Erin Peterson presented the overview of the first US 50 GATEWAY STUDY public meeting and the results of public input, They are continuing to refine the access and egress points along 50 and showed commissioners examples of how medians work, no L turns work, U-turn solutions, and how improved traffic flow results in better business climate along the highway. 50 –60 people attended the first US 50 workshop. Their purpose was to improve safety, mobility and functional development patterns. Recommendations so far include:
*R in and R out access points like at Lowes thus leading to 20% less crashes per research.
*Raised medians in some areas with breaks in the medians to limit access to less points along the roadway. Similar to what’s in Lafayette IN and Colerain Ave.
* Breaks in medians will be full or partial access as required for businesses.
* U-turns will be utilized
* Possibly include streetscapes and median landscapes in old Lawrenceburg.

Whites Farm is 56 acres bounded by Gaynor Ridge, Short, and North Dearborn Roads. The project applicant is Tucker/Schmidt with Bayer Becker.
McCormack showed slides and reported the PC results: This came from the plan commission with an UNFAVORABLE recommendation due to density issues primarily as being out of character with the surrounding area. The only nay at the PC was Hughes.
If R s granted because there are no written commitments from the PC and no concept development plan this land could be developed at it’s full potential of 224 lots. The traffic study was done for 131 lots max. Tucker further changed it for commissioners to 109 lots and talked about placement of larger frontages as buffers, and redoing the roads as specified in tech review and staff recommendations to Cat 3 level just along the project length, etc. This is not binding- just his word.
Fox asked if the biggest snag was density. YES.
Benning quoted tech review members Hall and Kraus Jr as saying they weren’t really concerned with density. [NOTE: Benning read the words out of context. Hall and Kraus were saying that they were looking at the plans for technical issues and density wasn’t a tech issue. Later in the same PC meeting they were concerned with density and voted that way also.]

Jeff Tucker said that they wanted to resubmit to PC but were not sure they had a significant enough change to be reconsidered and so they decided to try commissioners. The PC was down 3 members that night also [NOTE: 3 members plus Hughes =4 and it takes 5 to pass anything. They still wouldn’t have enough votes even if those 3 all agreed with Hughes.]
Tucker said that 45 of the 56 acres were tillable and if it stayed Ag then other Ag uses would possibly interfere with the Residential around it!!! He said B1 or 2 and M1,2, 3 or H-1 would be unsuitable uses also.
He quote the “well –written” article in the Sunday paper about Honda plant spin-off uses in Dearborn County and said R would be good here so people can live where they work. He said this White’s Farm development project will generate $21 million and that $12-14 million will stay here in the county. Tucker said the North Dearborn corridor was for R development in the Master plan because of it’s access to highways and schools etc. [NOTE: I served on the master plan advisory board- I believe that the caveat to North Dearborn being R in discussion was a major reworking of the roadway itself to make it safer and that that should be done before or concurrent to development.]

Public input:
Richard Johnson:
Tucker and Schmidt put a lot of icing on the cake here- but 109 units is still too high. Farmland is buffered, but he’s wiping his dirty shoes on the rest of us. 65 lots would be more like what’s in the area. This land went at public auction by invitation only- only developers invited- not neighbors.
Tom Gaynor- sons and he own land that is grain and livestock farm adjacent to this. Lived here over 60 years. Have difficulty moving farm equipment now. Within ½ mile of this proposal are 4 ninety -degree turns on Gaynor Ridge. Only 33 ft of ROW in parts. It’s hard to fix this so the traffic flow to this is safe. Wants 2 acres per home. Preserve rural life is part of master plan What about costs of services to this? Long time neighbors out here- Johnstons, Backs, Zinsers, Hartmans, etc. Traffic counts done after school was out.
Todd Schumate- purchased 20 acres of grandfathers’ farm- born and raised here. Wants to pass to his kids some day. Roads- In any direction from this plan there are road issues. Many are dangerous in the winter. White’s Hill Sawdon Ridge hill and North Dearborn- curves, hills and deaths on some of these. I don’t believe AT THIS TIME that the infrastructure is here. Is it fair to the taxpayers to absorb the cost for this density?
Character- this is predominantly Ag- even the current land use map shows that. I believe we need to control development the same was as we use dams to control rivers. Guidelines for increased valued homes to get more school taxes. Lots in this area are not in character- Harley Springs is about .94 acres per home and that is the MOST DENSE here. Logan Township has a different character from Bright. No written commitments on this- and even though Tucker and I go to the same church- if something happens to him, would his heirs honor his verbal words here?
Glenn Crocker- Have lived here 36 years- married into the Zinser family and has passed land to his kids too. We have a lot of elbow room out here. I have known Jeff since he was a little pup and Mr. Schmidt on Sawdon ridge produces a nice product also. Crocker asked about clustering and Fox explained how it worked. Crocker went on- I know where you live Mr. Fox and you’d be concerned too if this were by you. Control the growth. Look at Steeplechase and (another dev- couldn’t catch name)- less dense. I’m a Chemistry teacher and we talk about Boyle’s Law- if you have a confined space and jam in a lot of particles the pressure builds up. This is NOT CONDUCIVE to what we want to see here.
Steve Kuhn- lived on farm on Gaynor Ridge his whole life. Showed pictures of the road and dangerous sections. Farms are 10 acres or more here. We are LOGAN TOWNSHIP. And don’t want all the burdens of EMS and Bright etc. “Why should we have to suffer because they paid too much for the property?”
Most traffic is going to Gaynor Ridge, schools are at 30+ per classroom now. Most Tucker homes on their website are smaller- not like what we have here now. Kids drive to fast and thru fences also.
Olivia Schumate- Tucker says this is R but the PZ map shows R. SD schools are already overcrowded. Buffered by Farmland but what about the rest. WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY WE LIVE TO CO-EXIST WITH THIS. We have a responsibility to be more controlled. WE HAVE TO PAY MORE TAXES TO HELP SUPPORT THEM. WHY DO WE HAVE TO BE PUNISHED AND BURDENED?
Bob Gaynor – the senior of Gaynor Ridge road- Schools are the largest employer in the area- they can’t handle more. Few farms carrying much of the tax burden. $40 mil on new EC buildings. We have rights also. Road width by him is 15.5 ft. Gaynor Ridge goes through his farm building set. Look at the whole picture- keep it as is. Benning questioned him about him saying that two of you know how that is. What did he mean by that? Gaynor told her he meant her and Fox. She was OK with that.
Todd Schumate- again- Will there be enough land to fix the curve on North Dearborn that Tucker wants to fix?
Benning cited Dick Robertson in the back of the room to answer that, He’s working on the curve by the Larry Smith property- and that is NOT the area mentioned. [NOTE: Does Benning really know where this all is?]

End Public and Tucker response
Auction was by invitation- some didn’t show. Actuaries fix up the road data to reflect what happens with school in session he BELIEVES.
When they upgrade to Cat 3 road- things will change dramatically. Appreciated people not getting personal- known you people all my life. There are issues with commissioners putting out commitments. We can’t have low-end houses on these expensive lots. These will be about $300K like Old orchard and Steeplechase.
Don’t know if we want to cluster and cram them in the middle. We are not .2 acres like Fairfield and Mason. Noted A LOT of yellow and orange on the land use map for R uses. Taking out poplar trees to improve visibility. Will put larger deep lots on perimeter to buffer. Will require front yard trees on Gaynor Ridge. County has to allow reasonable density to be afforded. This area has all kinds of amenities even cable. Tucker showed the St. Leon sewer map of pipes and the amenities available in the area. WHERE THERE IS SEWER THERE IS ALSO WATER ELECTRIC, ETC. USUALLY.
Tucker said there is no public outcry when commissioners turn down a zone change and ignore the PC recommendations- which happened 2 times in the past. Tucker did not say which two times that was. “PC only serves as an advisory function.” I tell my kids not to use the F word- and the F word is FAIR. Life isn’t always fair.
Get the highest and best use- make it residential.
Several members of the audience wanted to respond to Tucker’s comments but were told public comment was over.

Fox- It would have been nice to go back to PC- a shame- they couldn’t make a decision on one and then they were quick to slap one on this.
Benning- thinks it’s a great development – it will do a great thing by doing Category 2 (corrected by staff to category 3) for all the roads in area surrounding it. It will save the county money by doing this.
Hughes asked what constituted a significant revision (so they could go back to PC)
McCormack- The decision wasn’t really made by the PC as to whether they should rehear this or not.
Benning- We don’t have R subdivided to R1,2,3.
McCormack- That is being researched already and will meet with master plan and PC – to be done by late 2006 or early 2007.
Hughes asked for motion. No motions made. Started to end the hearing.
McCormack explained to them that if they do nothing it adds another 90 days in addition to the original 90 days for Tucker to bring it back if allowed.
Benning- send it back to the PC and tell them to do their job! [NOTE: They did- if Tucker would have asked the PC to be tabled he could have brought those revisions to them and gotten the written commitments possibly. He chose to let it get the unfavorable.]
weighed in at this point and explained the legalities of not having written commitments. He said if it is denied they can go back to PC and the PC can put restrictions on this. The law does NOT allow commissioners to do this.
Fox motioned to reject it and send back to the PC again in 90 days.
Ewbank again explained that max density can go in if the do R and the commissioners cannot enforce 109 lots as promised tonight. Only the PC is allowed to get written commitments.
Benning would not second. Hughes seconded. Benning voted Nay. Zone change

4. Todd Listerman- Transportation Director- quickly summarized road issues:
Inspections to be done on Jerry Martin’s Woods edge sub’n. He has installed stone and moved rip-rap
Striping starts Monday to be finished in about 3 weeks.
O’Mara Paving awarded and they toured cty to get project in line with Council budget. Contract was changed and Ewbank will review before signing- but Stewart St. and Voltz Road are eliminated for this year. Stewart St sewers are still not started and so they won’t be ready in time. Voltz Rd – they want to do the whole thing at once rather than piecemeal- so will do later.

5. Ewbank – told SBOA that claims usually covered by insurance. Had commissioners ratify the Building ordinance that homeland security signed off on. He will have it published in paper.

6. Hughes By Aug 20th wants Council to have Messmore’s evaluation system for staff so that raises are based on evaluations. Benning to get a copy- she hadn’t seen it yet. Dept. heads will do the evaluations. This will be presented at Council budget hearings next week.

Meeting adjourned at 9 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Board of Health Meets - No Decision on Maxwell Barber Road Development

The Dearborn County Board of Health Meeting, August 9, 2006, 7:30 p.m.

Board Members in attendance: Mike Hankins, Don Rechtin, Marlene (?), Dennerline, Gerold Miller, Steve Hubbard, and Dr. Gill

Mr. Dennerline opened the meeting and wanted the minutes to reflect they had a quorum.
They approved the minutes for previous meeting.

Hankins reported the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District opened bids for the Stewart St. and Cole Lane project. Hankins reported the Dearborn County Regional Sewer District opened bids for the Stewart St. and Cole Lane Project. Hankins also said the County Sewer District, with Pernod-Ricard, are presently talking with the County to acquire their capacity at SDRSD. County Council has made 4.5 million in funding available to DCRSD. Congressman Sodrel acquired $600,000 in Federal funding from a Congressional bill for the west side of Aurora.

Dennerline spoke to Gerold Miller about a project in Moores Hill, the cost analysis was 6.5 million for 200 people.

The new owners of the Chateau Pomije winery, Avenski, seem to be doing well with the business. Inspectors (?) Mary and Bob went out late Friday, August 4, 2006. They were very busy—the kitchen was “up to snuff”. They are supposed to be starting updating the sewage system by now, they do not know if they have a letter from the State—need to get a hold of Doug to find out what is going on, to see if a permit can be issued. Dennerline said the sewage is a very expensive deal. Dennerline is dissatisfied they didn’t get a line out there. They didn’t strike an agreement with St. Leon.

Hankins brought up the old business of rodeos (in Aurora?), and holding tanks. The permit expires 9/3/2006. Do we issue that permit? Dennerline said no. Dan Rechtin asked if they should send them a notice or talk to them first. Dennerline said no, it’s over, they have carried them too long. Dennerline motioned a permit not be given. All Ayes.

At that point, Randy Lyness, stated he was there to talk about Maxwell’s Development -Whitewater Point, he was a partner (also Maxwell’s brother-in-law). Lyness continued that he got a call about 3:30 p.m. to come down here (the meeting). There are 5-6 lots on Barber Rd. they need septic systems for—in their haste to make a proposal they forgot to mention it (also forgot to tell it to the Plan Commission.)

Dennerline interrupted and said they can’t discuss it. They did not have an attorney, and there were calls to the Health Dept. about the meeting.

Lyness said it was just a few lots, they had a super duper pump, and a quarter mile or more system there. It was approved—the whole subdivision. The lots down there (Barber Rd.), they had a guy test it for them.

Helen Kremer then spoke to the Board, and stated that many folks would have attended the meeting regarding this topic, but were told it would not be discussed tonight. Also, she stated discussion of this topic was premature--the geotech for the road for the Whitewater Point subdivision has not been submitted for approval to-date for the Technical Review Committee.

Dennerline said they are not discussing this, they do not have a lawyer.

Steve Hubbard asked if we could give variances—St. Leon was in charge of hook-ups.

Dennerline said he didn’t have a clue—then said Mary and I have two more items.

They brought up Starlight Reception Hall—decided not to discuss it.
Mary said there were flu-like illness cases—isolated—most related to outdoor activities.

Mr. Dennerline said they have a budget—3% increase, to maintain this year, and as operating funds next year. They were offered Chamber of Commerce space ( for DCRSD), but they turned it down. They will renovate area in the building--needed approval for budget et al. All Ayes.

A report was given concerning Dr. Scudder—he fractured his elbow falling 15 ft out of a tree, but he is going to be ok.

The next meeting will be October 25, 2006

Helen Kremer
Logan Township

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

St. Leon Council Cancels Meeting

St Leon Town Council Cancels Regular Meeting Without Notice to Newspaper or Citizens

Five citizens and a reporter attended what they thought was a monthly meeting of the St. Leon Town Council. But there was no meeting. It was not published on the facility door as cancelled or when the group would meet in the future. Did not see notice in the newspaper.

Kathy Scott
Logan Township

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

1 August 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes

1 August 2006 Dearborn County Commissioner Meeting Notes
Present: Hughes, President, Benning, and Fox
Also present: Pickens, Auditor, Ewbank, Attorney, and Messmore, Administrator.

No uniformed police officer was present.

Register Publications did not cover this meeting.
Ralph Thompson, Republican Candidate for D-3 Commissioner was present.

Planning and Zoning- Mark McCormack, Director, presented four changed to the zoning ordinance books.

1. Article 2 Section 200 Subdivision Control Ordinance and Article 27 Definition of parent tract were approved with the commissioners deciding to ignore the 2 year negotiated recommendation of the PC and have 1 year as the time limit.
2. Article 25 Table 25.1 and 2512 of the zoning ordinance was approved. Clarifications of setback lines.
3. Article 23 Section 2310 Zoning Ordinance was approved for Site Plan Review
4. Article 20 –Section 2015 and Article 27 sign ordinance was approved using more liberal language prepared by Bob Ewbank for settlement of the Dorothy White lawsuit. The language chosen was what was prepared from the settlement with the attorneys for White.

McCormack also advised the commissioners of problems with the tape system in that room and asked them to have it fixed or replaced at budget time. Messmore to add to budget by Aug 21st. [NOTE: Perhaps the microphones and sound system will be fixed as a result also. That has been erratic for years now.]

EMA- Bill Black – gave a report on the mitigation plan for homeland security. They are seeking grants to get software to help predict costs and damage areas for disasters etc. GIS will tie into the system. NIMS classes have been completed and commissioners state they have their certifications.
Aug 8 10-1 or 2 the State Million dollar Mobile Command Center will be in the county to be viewed.

Transportation Director- Todd Listerman- presented paving contracts- $837,667.91 for O’Mara and $854,295.50 for Rohe. O’Mara was awarded the contract by Commissioners. Other money in the account will cover the $60,000 they were above estimate. They are also using county workers to do some of the wedging and leveling on roads to make up the difference.

Striping contract proceeding soon.

Met Monday in Seymour with INDOT on Triple Whipple. Ewbank getting ROW work done. Letting should be Aug 2007.

Meeting with INDOT on Bells Branch/Laughery Creek Bridge #15. Getting Ohio County to do their 20% of the 20% fees.

Met with Bruce Keller- HVL Mgr- went over getting permission for right of entry to do portions of Stateline Stephens intersection and will also get a dedicated R turn lane out of HVL. Meeting with REMC to relocate electric pole by HVL entrance.

Sawdon Ridge Road- Ed Chapdelaine, Sr. – a resident and engineer- brought pictures of Sawdon Ridge Hill showing its need for repair. Guardrail to be considered. 7-inch ruts and foot deep hole in side. Curves with only 16 ft of pavement. Presented letter he sent to Nugent and letters from neighbors also. Noted that White’s Hill was redone after Lyness’s son was killed in an accident there. Wants something similar on Sawdon Ridge.
Commissioners noted no money appropriated for it yet. Listerman said maintenance would be done on the slips as needed. Major work being put off until priority lists done. Commissioners suggested having a hill list separately prioritized.

Mike Brunner- Civil Engineer- introduced himself and his one- man engineering company with low overheard as a potential contractor for the county. No decision.


Mike Mulcahey thanked commissioners for help in getting some progress on Woods Edge Sub’n Road. Developer- Martin- is moving rocks into ditches for erosion control and also fixing road channels. Listerman wanted to know how many extensions on road bonds were appropriate. Normally 2-3 years and of not done they call in the bond. Ewbank said they did an inventory on all the bonds to see if they were up to date. Said years ago they had many lapsed. People buying lots are promised a road- it should be done. This bond is 5 years old… They intend to notify the bond company.
Bonds are set at 120% of cost to do roads. They are not taken down to anything below 25% per Listerman- until road is accepted. Ewbank noted that the developer is the primary obligor and the surety company is secondary. Even if bond fails the developer is still legally responsible. (But you’d have to pursue them in court with associated legal fees.)

Pickens- Auditor- got SRI approved for $5,000 to do excise taxes for 10 cents per license.
Also wants to have meeting with Auditor, treasurer, and Finance Committee, as their numbers do not agree as to how much money the county has. Meeting Thurs Aug 10th at 4 PM, if Pennington is available.
Payroll will be direct deposit as of Jan 2007. UCB will be bank used for those who don’t have one.
GIS will make excise tax apportionments more appropriate for the townships per Pickens. Now everyone says they are Lawrenceburg Township. [NOTE: There are maps of the county showing township lines- why not just post those at BMV?]

Messmore- Administrator- put down the magazine he was reading throughout the meeting and got IN Lobbyist registration signed.

Ewbank- Attorney- one new lawsuit to PC on civil rights violation pending.

Vera Benning- gave the social secretary report on NACO Convention Aug 4-9 noting they could meet Jim Hughes of SRI and Ice Miller and there are a lot of really good things planned there.
Sodrel will be speaking on meth lab eradication in Columbus IN Aug 4 at 9 AM and rides can be gotten thru Mr. Thompson in Versailles.
OKI sent a thank you letter to commissioners for turning out at the US 50 meeting last week.

Animal Control budget item looks too large. Fox said it’s a non-issue- they are using volunteers and still have to come up with money to match L-bg for grant. They know they won’t get what they are asking for in the budget.

Meeting adjourned 7:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

31 July 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

31 July 2006 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Has Plan Commission Reached Development Saturation Limit?

Present: Mark Mitter, Chairman, Patrick deMaynadier, Jane Ohlmansiek, Nick Held, Mike Hall, Jeff Hughes, Robert Laws, and Dennis Kraus, Jr.
Absent: Tarry Feiss
Also Present: Arnie McGill, Attorney, Mark McCormack, Planning Director, and Kate Rademacher, Enforcement Officer.

Others present included Richard Schmidt, Developer, Nicole Daily of Bayer Becker Eng, Jeff Stenger, Surveyor, Ralph Thompson, Republican candidate for Commissioner- D-3, and a room full of citizens. Register Publications was not present at this meeting.


The PC approved meeting Wed. Sept 6 from 6-8 PM with school corporations’ representatives.

DCRSD presented Woolpert Consultant’s Map of development areas to be considered for sewage. The staff reviewed it and found it to be SIMILAR to the Master Plan Land use maps with larger transition zones. Mitter wanted to know why they were proceeding without Master Plan or Plan Commission input. McCormack said Messmore indicated this was the process they were going through. Mitter asked: What process? No real answer to this. [NOTE: There certainly seems to be a lack of PUBLIC process or input on this.]There is also a push to get the sewer certification paperwork as part of the ordinance.

McCormack was told by the board consensus to get started on developing standards for the different R zones. They will have focus groups, advisory board again, and public input. Later in the meeting Kathy Scott requested that they put public input FIRST t help direct the process to the public’s desires. All advisory meetings are open to the public. The focus groups were not really. The issue with focus groups is that they seemed to be solely made up of development interests – much to the public’s dismay.

New Business:

1. Primary approval for 295-lot subdivision- Hidden Acres owned by Grubbs and Alexander and applicant is Maxwell Development. Location One Mile and Sneakville Roads in Logan and Miller Townships on 156.298 acres. This was rezoned as R-DP (with a concept development plan as part of the rezone approval.

Randy Maxwell presented after Mark McCormack reviewed the staff recommendations, comments, and slides. Maxwell described the knuckle areas on the map- essentially depicted as a cul de sac street with a 90-degree turn and a wide opening at that turn.
He discussed the different “neighborhoods” within the development for different types and spacing of homes. Frontages were 70-80 ft on smaller lots to 100 ft on larger ones.
LMH utilities had already planned an upgrade of 180,000 gpd. This sub’n will take about 91,000 gpd estimated using average home use of 310 gpd of sewage. Buildout estimated to be 10 years. They average 20 lots per year in the Bright area.

Public speakers were: Paul Vogel, Alan Freemond, Terry Evans, Norm Andrews, Dan Johnson, Ken Humbert, Betsy Sahlen, and Linda Mitchell.

Their comments included:

Access Road issues, Renck Road emergency only.
Could the board give 2-3 advantages that will occur for DC with this development?
LMH utilities current status with IDEM including capacity being exceeded 11 times in the last 42 months, “aromatic fragrances” which hopefully will decrease from the LMH plant, concerns for health issues with a lot of development going into this plant, detention ponds and West Nile, management of the ponds.
Potentially hoping they’d reduce the density to a more manageable level, character of the surrounding neighborhoods that weren’t subdivisions. R is worst investment for the county- heavy Industry is best investment, needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.
Schools, roads, and sewage can’t keep up with this pace, tax issues; this ultimately affects how others view our county.
PC matters- your words will decide what the future of our county will be. Listen to us! Deep respect for the neighbors selling the property and also for Maxwells.- but don’t see how this development does anything good for the community.
Big issues with road safety- width, non-existent berms, foot traffic, farms on both sides of roads with livestock and horseback training.
Schools built with bonds but TAXES pay for maintenance and staffing.
Fire and EMS – county has NO MONEY to pay for it.
Bright is the most populated area in the county! [NOTE: Just where exactly are the boundaries of “Bright”?]Bright lacks parks and greenspace- it needs more facilities- not more people!
Here as concerned property owners and concerned citizens of the county. Involved citizens all across DC are becoming part of this process to get you to listen to us! “Do not ignore our concerns, our issues, and our voices. To do so is a terrible travesty of grass roots level democracy. Listen to us.” (Dan Johnson)
Subdivision is out of character with adjoiners- a chart was given to PC to show lot sizes surrounding the development.

Dan Johnson ended with: “We are all asking you to listen to us to fulfill your responsibility to preserve and maintain Dearborn County’s atmosphere, its balance of farm/rural and residential acreage, to live up to the commitments made by you and your predecessors. Please do not let unrestricted, overdeveloped subdivisions destroy out quality of life here in Dearborn County. Listen to us.”
[NOTE: The PC noted that this argument belonged more to a zone change- however, it should be noted that density issues speak to the infrastructure. And infrastructure is definitely part of the process on Primary plat approval. If it weren’t, then there would be no need for a PC board.]

Safety issues on One Mile Road and adt volumes were discussed. Currently at 2,000 adt and is designed for 400. Who will pay for all this improvement- builder or taxpayer?
May 2006 SD schools long-term facility needs study was released. This study should be PART OF YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS!
Average lot size surrounding this is 2.84 acres. This is not fitting in with the character.
Even reducing it to 1.5 acres would be a big help.
Public discussion ended at 8:45PM

Board discussions:

Todd Listerman gave then the traffic study info on One-Mile Road and also the thought that no improvements were in the works yet for this road as the point system has not been implemented. He said he basically has to redrive the roads to see what’s really meant by “paved” in the study and also to see what the condition ratings meant. [NOTE: It might be useful to talk to Erin Peterson of ME (formerly of Parsons Brinkerhoff) as she did the transportation study.]

Mitter noted no impact fees in the county and unless there are written commitments the taxpayers pay for improvements. [NOTE: Maxwell is known for levying his own “impact fee” of sorts by volunteering to do the improvements needed. The PC has on occasion added to those requests to be sure it is really safe to the intersection with the next main street.]John Maxwell detailed the detention ponds structure and the under drain system they will install under these ponds. They are designed to be dry within hours of a heavy rain and to be mowed and walked upon.
Maxwell also thinks a 3-way stop would be a good idea at the intersection of Grubbs and One- Mile to help manage the traffic there. They are willing to install it.
They want to develop from S end first as sewer line is there.
Public noted they were still waiting on an answer to Alan Freemond’s question as to 2-3 advantages to the community from this development. Mitter’s response was that the advantages would be more appropriate at a zone change. [NOTE: Mitter missed the boat here. If you can’t come up with 2-3 community advantages after all this discussion, then why was this approved for rezone in the first place? Maxwell could have come up with 2 just from this previous discussion.]

Kraus, Jr. said there are 15 points that a primary plat has to satisfy and that’s all they have to consider.

I asked then at this point to look at p13- section 100 of the Subdivision Ordinance and the 9 reasons for even going through a sub’n approval process. Esp # 5 and 7. [NOTE: This was to get them to step back and look at density as it relates to how many services exist and how much strain this would or wouldn’t put on the community systems.]

Board comments:
Jane Ohlmansiek and Mike Hall- Grubbs Road needs to be finished at the beginning during Phase 1 so there is 2-way access. It falls into current zone- though dense.
Nick Held- Road extension of Grubbs to One Mile is definitely an amenity [NOTE: There’s ONE ADVANTAGE.] Agrees with Mike and Jane on density and Grubbs Road done at Phase 1.

Patrick deMaynadier- Has density concerns. Section 216 Subsection 11 and roadway requirement and Section 135 says that if there is a conflict between the subdivision control ordinance and other laws the higher standards prevail. The comp plan is a higher standard. He is concerned with the tax base issue. Item #3 in the comp plan dovetails with 216 subsection 11 and adequate utilities. We are to put development where high level of infrastructure exists- where there is roadway, sewer, and the least strain on services. Schools concern also. Pace and Place development!

Kraus Jr. asked about commitments on vegetation and buffers. None were placed on this.

Jane Ohlmansiek said tat planting a few trees can help avoid conflict of uses- we should do it.

Dennis Kraus Jr. – has no issues with this.

Bob Laws- Grubbs Drive – finish early on. Not here to look at FD and schools tonight. [NOTE: Audience replied- who does?]Jeff Hughes – no problems with this development.

Mitter- Concerns with schools, One Mile Road. Schools not defensible in court. Density is an issue. This is an R-DP request- it was approved for rezone at this density.

Ohlmansiek motioned to grant primary approval stipulating that Grubbs Road be completed at Phase 1.
(Couldn’t add 3-way stop as it was not in their jurisdiction to require that- per Listerman)
Laws 2nd.
5 Ayes. 2 Nays- Hall and deMaynadier.

Recess- resumed at 9:45 PM

2. Zone change from Ag to R for 124.81 acres on Mt. Pleasant Road Logan Township. Owner- Lonnie and Sally Steele (the farm golf course) and applicant Maxwell Development. Plan says a max of 200 homes.

Robert Laws stepped down. Conflict of Interest.

McCormack noted in his report that St. Leon sewer line extends down the road to the Golf Course and Rohe’s Condo development site. They will service the subdivision.
Randy Maxwell presented. They will incur costs to upgrade REMC’s feeder line to this development. They worked with Steele’s for 3 years on this and the golf business hasn’t been that good. They are leaving the 5 acres of B zone out of the request. Steele’s still own that.
In 1876 his 4x great grandfather came up Mt. Pleasant and settled there. John Maxwell lives there and Randy grew up there. Excellent I-74 access down the improved Whites hill road. Logan someday will be like Bright. This is phase 1 of a 4-5 phase MASTER PLAN THAT THEY HAVE FOR LOGAN! [NOTE: YIKES! Does the Maxwell “master plan” get submitted to the public for discussion and possible approval? Or is this their private development plan?]Across the street the PC approved a density of 3/acre – condos.

WE DON’THAVE A DCRSD LETTER AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY. [NOTE: DCRSD has not announced anything regarding their change of attorney, Lisa Lehner.]
We are in St. Leon CTA here. We will widen Mt. Pleasant to 22 ft along the property- though harder as the electric poles are here. Most traffic will head North on Mt. Pleasant. Sewer will be mostly gravity with lift stations to be given to St. Leon after warranty period. They are feeding to a 6 “ forced main – which “is a lot of sewer.”

Public comment:
Sandra Weisgerber wanted to know if she could access the subdivision road as a way out of her property. Yes.
Wanted to know about drainage also and design was explained.

Randy Maxwell doesn’t like the term “worst case” scenario when discussing density. Thinks that it’s a good thing to be dense with respect to smart growth.

Cliff Eibeck wanted to know the answer to Freemond’s questions on this zone change. Can they name 2-3 advantages for the community? You danced around it at that last application. The benefit I see is that he’s relieving Lonnie and Sally of that white elephant of a golf course. Mt. Pleasant is on the 30-year plan but it has more hills than Vail Colorado!

Ralph Thompson- in more general terms is anyone looking at the aggregate effects of this on schools. By state law they have to provide schools, but bond issues are paid back with taxes. Utilities and infrastructure- hard surfaces increasing run-off. Our zone changes should allow for various levels of R development.

Irwin Diehl- observed a lot of meetings- interesting contrast here. Road improvements are happening here- but not required in the previous case, which was higher density. Mr. Maxwell LIVES in this neighborhood- and this density is less and has more improvements proposed. Cart before horse- infrastructure improved BEFORE development. Sewer systems are in violation all over the county. (VRUC, Aurora, LMH,) Developers are waiting in line to do development in Dearborn County. The amount of applications in process is unprecedented. Character should fit the existing community.

10:30 PM Public discussion ended.

Todd Listerman- County Engineer- show all proposed accesses to this and also accesses to other properties!
In this rezone Listerman wants to know the # of houses accessed off a dead-end street. He came up with Residential streets booklet endorsed by the Urban Land Institute, Home Builders Ass’n, Civil Engineers, and Transportation Engineers. They say 200 vpd for single point access- That’s 20- max 25 homes.
[NOTE: Well that fits into our old cul de sac discussions!]
Listerman noted traffic will take Mt. Pleasant to a Category 3 collector so they have to upgrade to North Dearborn t this level. That intersection is also deficient. Turn lane needed.

Board discussion:
In a nutshell- several think the density is an issue here as three sides are Ag uses. They want to see connectivity to all properties. They are concerned with Mt. Pleasant upgrades including hill and width. They wonder what the cumulative effect of all this development is going to do to the services in the area.

Randy Maxwell passed out his master plan for Logan at this point, including patio homes to the north. Thinks we will never get a magic answer to impact questions, as it is development specific. Thinks the higher end of this development will balance out some of the tax issues. They will connect roads in this development. Had separated them to neighborhoods, but can fix that. Wanted accident report on Mt. Pleasant to indicate safety. Mitter noted vertical and width issues concerns.

De Maynadier motioned to give an unfavorable recommendation based on 540 #2 current character and conditions not being consistent, specifically density. Held 2nd. 4 Ayes, 3 Nays (Hughes, Kraus, Jr, and Mitter)

Randy Maxwell asked why condos density across the street was OK.
Hall said CUMULATIVE EFFECTS- the golf course helped balance it. Pace is too fast. Look what all is going on around here on these roads!

Randy Maxwell said the market determines the pace.
DeMaynadier said that will determine the rate of demand- but we can determine the rate of supply.

Do we need to call a time out on subdivisions? Kraus, Jr.- Even though I didn’t vote for unfavorable- the cumulative effect schools is a concern.

Randy Maxwell cited 1-2% growth rate in current school study- other school districts thinks that’s great- not John Roeder though. [NOTE: Percentages are funny statistics. Example 2% of about 1500 students is 30. 2% of 4500 is 90. SD Schools are about 3 times the size of L-bg’s for example.]

More discussion on needing to see a picture of lots and where the e big one and small ones are in relation to the Ag side of the community. Also noted the confusing message we are sending to developers.

Jane Ohlmansiek noted that an architect shows on drawings how to fit 350 people comfortably into a room. In a plan- drawing lot lines shows the space used and how it can “comfortable” fit in.

De Maynadier tried to get the board to decide something with an unfavorable motion under 540 with no specifics, which died for lack of a 2nd.

John Maxwell spoke saying- If we draw lot lines this will probably have 175 homes. We don’t want an unfavorable. We want to do business here with you (the PC).
We’d like to fix the road all the way to North Dearborn intersection and chop the hills off to make it safer. Would like to fix intersection, but there is a stone wall there, etc.
Would like to table this!

Randy Maxwell- can we come back in 60 days?

DeMaynadier motioned to table for up to 90 days. Hall 2nd. All ayes.


McCormack reported:
Tom Kent wants to withdraw his written commitments and wants to come back to the PC before it goes to the commissioners. Wants to eliminate turn lanes and the long boulevard entrance. He talked to some PC members about this. Mitter advised the board that it is UNETHICAL to discuss an application with the applicant. Hall said- it was only to tell him who he needed to talk to about it.

Tucker and Schmidt wanted to go down to 109 homes from 131- didn’t know if this was a substantial change and could it be reheard.

Also noted problems with the tape have been on-going and other boards have issues with it too. Bring it to budget hearings to see if they can get it resolved and paid for.
He’s talked to Cary Pickens also.[NOTE: Just FIX IT!]

Scheduled working sessions for Aug 21 7-9 PM for discussion of issues and concept development plans.

Meeting adjourned at 12:15 AM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township