Tuesday, November 27, 2007

26 November 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

26 November 2007 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Hall, Chairman, Cheek, Nelson, Held, Feiss, Thompson, Laws, Kraus, Jr., and DeMaynadier (arrived at 7:15)
Also Present: McCormack, Plan Director, and McGill, Attorney

Hall announced that an n executive session was held Nov 13 on the status of Sugar Ridge. No action was taken.

Old business to be reopened:

Zone Change for 56 acres from Ag to R for 75 single family lots in Logan Township on Whites Farm. Jeff Tucker and Richard Schmidt were present as was their surveyor- Jeff Stenger. This item has been heard several times with varying changes. It started with 131 lots and has decreased twice to 108, then 94, and now is at 75 lots. The amenities and financial packages have been removed. There is no improvement to county roads, nor curbs and gutters, no landscaping, no buffers, and no financial commitment to parks or schools as in previous presentations. There will be sidewalks on one side of the street. Lot frontages will be 100 ft or greater. Outer perimeter lots are slightly larger than inner lots to serve as self- buffers for adjoining properties. (.53 – 1.1.7 acres)

Two people sent letters- Baer and Hollander. The room was full of neighbors opposed to the proposed density.

PC had said they wanted ¾ - 1-3 acre lot sizes. These lot sizes will be about 2/3 acre. Tucker said they plan $250-300,000 homes (he had pictures of examples) with minimum 1500 sq ft. on lots selling for $50,000 each. That puts the price per acre at $75,000. It would appear that this is a significant profit margin even given the higher price paid for this farm and subtracting the costs for roads, water, sewers, etc. St. Leon expects gravity feed and there will be a lift station with back-up diesel pumps.

Public speakers included: Bill Williams, Steve Kuhn, Tom Gaynor, Glenn Crocker, Bob Gaynor, Richard Jung, Ralph Geis, and Todd Schumate.

Their discussion was similar to previous hearings as nothing has really changed other than the number of lots. Issues brought up centered on the safety of the Short Road- North Dearborn intersection (which will be cut back- but won’t meet total standards for safety there per Listerman, County Engineer) and the overcrowding of the schools. They also touched on the issue of farm work and the incompatibility of these two uses in close proximity.

Cheek and Laws went on at length with residents telling them to get to their school boards. They need to divide SD school district and give some to Batesville and some to Lawrenceburg according to Laws. Cheek referred to the Taj Mahals that are being built in the school districts with sports equipment rooms and facilities.

Pictures were passed out showing land damaged by cars going off the roads and the 90 degree turns on Gaynor Ridge. Anecdotal evidence was given of several cars spinning around as well.

It was mentioned that just because a sewer runs by your property- it doesn’t mean you have to have high density. The open lots stats prepared by the Plan staff for the master plan was also passed out to demonstrate that with the slow housing market and high number of lots still unbuilt, there was no major need for more. Tucker answered this later saying that his sub’n – Brookstone Way- was an error on there- they only have 9 lots left. The typo on the form had the number built out versus the number open. Tucker also knocked down the number of lots available in HVL to about half what was listed saying some were unbuildable or were double lots. In doing so he reduced the nearly 3,000 available by about 600- (assuming he had the facts). [NOTE: This still left 2400 available lots with permits running at 300 a year- a number that has been liberally accurate for the last 10 years. This is 8 years of building.] Tucker claimed that he’d be hard pressed to find 300 available lots in the county to build on right now. [NOTE: The data does not support that statement.]

The lack of landscape, buffers, and road improvements etc were also brought up. Tucker stated that people didn’t think those were good enough so he took them out. [NOTE: Residents were asking for MORE not less. Removing them gave then less.]

Tucker showed a map of development in a 1.1 mile radius of Logan with Whites Farm on the edge. Residents noted that if he’d shown a map of a 1 mile radius around White’s Farm the picture would show all the Ag surrounding it as opposed to the encroaching Bright development coming from the south and east. Residents noted this was a TRANSITION parcel and needed low density to blend the development with the Ag.

They referred to this plan as a negotiation package. They also stated that Nelson had warned members not to start negotiating at their last hearing. Neighbors also noted there were 7 working livestock and 3 horse farms in this area. They were worried about places for these kids to play. Public discussion ended with a comment that PC should give the residents a reason WHY they would deviate from the 1 acre lots they asked for in February (on average).

Tucker rebutted briefly saying he was granting 40 ft ROW along N Dearborn Rd to help take out trees and shave the hill back for site distance. He said this development was similar to Harley Springs across the road. He noted recent densities as 1.33,1.34, 1.34, 1.78, 1.91, 2.27, 2,28, and 3.34 homes per acre.

Board discussion:

Thompson asked Tucker about the type of sewers St Leon wanted (gravity). He asked Listerman about the traffic on these roads and the status of the N Dearborn Road improvements. (County still trying to get N Dearborn back on the INDOT list to get matching funds, as we have the match in the next couple of years.) Listerman also responded that the internal streets of the sub’n were designed to keep traffic from using them as a thru street. [NOTE: So the subdivision will use the county deficient roads, spend no money to help upgrade them in that vicinity, and the county won’t get any benefit from the subdivision road- EVEN THOUGH the county will eventually inherit that road and its maintenance. Sounds fair?]

Listerman also detailed how buses use alternate routes to circumvent the bad part of North Dearborn between this development and the school.

Thompson asked about bonding and lapsed ones. Listerman said Tucker is working to get the ones in Seldom Seen corrected and accepted. Some of these are 7-9 years old. [NOTE: Why is this still going on?]

DeMaynadier- nothing to add.

Cheek- likes home sizes, sewers, and 2 points of entry, plus home prices high enough to pay for the school services. He didn’t like the buffer removal, the site distance issues, or the school bus accessibility.

Nelson- Wouldn’t want anything greater than ¾ acre- he likes high density to get the amenities and buffers. Large houses pay their way and improve property values. Wants site distance improved and a 12-15 ft buffer.

Held- Need buffer- still torn as to if this fits the surroundings.

Feiss- agrees with Held- feels that this is NOT responsible development and growth.

Thompson- Cited section 540 of the ordinance and said the Comp plan shows this as Ag use, but R would be OK with buffers and restrictive covenants. It is largely Ag use on the north so there is a problem with mixing these uses. Transitional area and we have to be careful here in order to conserve property values and rural character. The increased lot sizes and home sizes were OK. For responsible development and the school issues, he stands by his previous thought that these should be 1-3 acre lots. High Density development does NOT save farmland- it just adds more and more high density. Low density locks the land up in greenspace. A development credit system might work here- but in this- high density just gobbles up farmland in chunks.

Laws- Believes in high density and this is the spot for it.

Kraus, Jr.- fits well with other developments in the area, wants written commitment for buffers and site distance at Short Road.

Motion: Nelson motioned, Laws 2nd for a FAVORABLE recommendation for the subdivision as presented with 75 lots and a buffer area on lots that rear up to the existing public streets, and that site distance be addressed at Short and North Dearborn Roads. Findings of fact were that the land use is consistent with adjacent development, the current conditions are similar to those in the district or in some cases an improvement, it conserves or enhances property values, and the sewer and water is there so it is responsible. 4 Ayes (Cheek , Nelson, Laws, and Kraus, Jr.) 4 Nays (Feiss Thompson, Held, and DeMaynadier) Hall thought about it for over 8 minutes and voted AYE- Motion Passed.

New Business:

Changes to the Zoning ordinance- Article 4- assurances for completion and maintenance of improvements regarding bonds and letters of credit, etc. was sent on to Commissioners with Favorable recommendation.

Article 3 – 305 P on private streets was sent on with Favorable recommendation.

Article 25- section 2516 and 22 section 2275 accessory structures and fences were tabled.

Article 7 Certificate B1 was sent on with a favorable recommendation.

Board approved spending $5,000 per year with OKI for fiscal analysis.

Bond status reports are being worked on.
A vehicle needs to be replaced or a new transmission is required.
Dillsboro and St. Leon plans continue.

Comp Plan was tabled by commissioners. McCormack will notify board when it will be decided and on Commissioners agenda again.

Problem with press release faxed to radio was discussed- McCormack wants it read as sent- changing it apparently confused citizens.

Meeting adjourned at 10:55 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township


Anonymous said...

A lot of people are concerned about sewers in Dearborn County. Many have been participating in, or watching, the county's comprehensive planning process. There are complaints that deals apparently are still being done (by public officials) behind closed doors and / or under the table--many of which are discussed on the public forum website. That being said, it seems (to at least this interested member of the public) that there is an increasing need to find intelligent and fair ctizens to participate in the leadership structure of the county.

One of the real problems in this county is that for all of the discontent, distrust, and dislike of the public officials, there are few who are willing--or more importantly competent enough--to expose themselves to the rigors of public service. Instead of being upset or unhappy to the point that we simply check the other box on our ballots, the voters (the citizens) need to actively solicit our friends and neighbors to run against those who have drawn our ire--THE COMMISSIONERS and their many appointed board members among the Regional Sewer District, Redevelopment Commission, etc.

There are some who cannot and / or will not make a major commitment of their time and effort for the greater good; however, there is more than a small handful of viable candidates among the 50,000 (or so) people in the county. Let's find some for 2008! You know what the alternatives are like...

Anonymous said...

This White's farm situation...since both sides seem somewhat unhappy with the outcome...probably worked out the way it should!

With out taking sides...it seems...the process...as far as "processes" go...functioned properly here!

While, obviously, "legitmate" political machinations (Ewbank, and your temporary Republican Leadership Legions, I am looking right at you referencing "legitmate") may change future votes, I am content, not tickled, but content, as to these results!

Anonymous said...


White's Farm worked out without the manipulations of a Jeff Hughes "fluffing" for his masters or a DCRSD Board Member or Attorney comically "straight-faced," making it up as they go, that the public health requires that White's Farm be built and subsidized by the taxpayer or adjoining landowners!

Anonymous said...

White farm could have turned out better or worse for both sides. I would call it a draw.

Anonymous said...

"...a DCRSD Board Member or Attorney comically "straight-faced," making it up as they go..."

The DCRSD, a joke, that keeps on providing punch lines!

Imagine how “humorless” the DCRSD would be, if honest, adults, took over its functions!

Anonymous said...

(Ewbank, and your temporary Republican Leadership Legions, I am looking right at you referencing "legitmate")

Three things you can count on Ewbank and his Republican Leadership ass-kissers of doing come next election:

1) Denouncing negative campaigning.

2) Accusing development opponents of negative campaigning, whether they are or not.

3) Running a negative campaign.

Anonymous said...

What are the qualifications for county administrator? How is Bryan Moremess qualified?

Anonymous said...

As to Messmore's qualifications, it would depend entirely on who is vetting candidates.

If the Ewbank faction of this county were doing the vetting, one could imagine their hiring criteria would have more to do with the distribution of taxpayer dollars to the "right" people and less to do with the best interests of the self-same taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Ewbank and the rest of development interests of this county so want to "expand" our tax base, they are willing to raise our taxes to pay for all the infrastructure needed to "expand" our tax base.

Ewbank and the rest of development interests of this county so want to "expand" our tax base, they are willing to give our tax base away through abatements and other "sweet heart deals."

Ewbank and the rest of development interests of this county so want to "expand" our tax base, they are forever coming up with ways to enable those of us surrounding their tax base "expansions" projects to help us get loans to help subsidize such projects' sewers and other amenities.

Thanks Bob!!!

Anonymous said...

Ewbank has made the local republican leadership full-time proponents of the "Big Tent" concept of party politics!

If the republican primary voter does not vote for the "right" candidate, he simply widens the tent and brings in democrats, independants or national socialists until he gets the proper "cocktail" of develoment voters to keep him in as county attorney to further his business and professional interests!

Anonymous said...

Last night at the council meeting the dcrsd emphatically got their direction from the council leaders. FIX THE SEWAGE POLLUTION PROBLEM IN DEARBORN COUNTY before wandering off to build an empire in St Leon.
Hopfully the dcrsd will get the message or close the doors!

Anonymous said...

"Hopfully the dcrsd will get the message or close the doors!"

Either choice would be beneficial for Dearborn County.

Anonymous said...

Brett's response:

"Well you do know, that the Gabbard property currenty has all sorts of wildlife on the premises, continually leaving "droppings" Helter Skelter around, poisoning our waterways!

The first order of business of the DCRSD should be to cover such property with homes and asphalt, complete with sewers, to stop the flow of raw "droppings" into our watershed!"

Anonymous said...


The DCRSD is getting some direction as to its very reason for existing!

The main concern of the DCRSD should be the public health!

Not the fiscal health of its board members!

Anonymous said...

I bet JOHN If somebody wants a fight, I can punch them in the mouth or I can walk MAXWELL did not take too kindly as to the Council telling him what to do with HIS sewer district!!!

Maybe he can privately fund Frank Kramer to sue the Council, L. Parvin Price style???

Anonymous said...

The dcrsd is a regional sewer district on "paper only". They have NO infrastructure. It's all a dream conjured up by lawyers through their IDEM connections. Dcrsd doesn't need to be regional to fix the sewage problems authorized by the County Commissioner. The regional "paper only" portion just gives the dcrsd a license to fleece taxpayers as was observed last night at the Council meeting.
Slay the dragon before it multiplies.

Anonymous said...

Maxwell and Fehrman must be walking around in a fog of disbelief this morning!

They had so many plans of using our tax dollars and forcing many of us to subsidize THEIR subdivisions' sewers!

Sometimes "Public Service" just does not pay the dividends expected!

Anonymous said...

"Maxwell and Fehrman must be walking around in a fog of disbelief this morning!"

More FOG.
The other Fehrman... Charlie couldn't deliver those Council $'s as he promised at a previous meeting of the dcrsd.

Working for Maxwell this morning must be tough!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if secretary Benning immediately got on the phone after the meeting to encourage a whole slew of democrats to run against the "do-nothing" and "anti-everything" republicans currently on Council?

Anonymous said...

More FOG.
The other Fehrman... Charlie couldn't deliver those Council $'s as he promised at a previous meeting of the dcrsd.

Did Charlie the "Tax-Dollar Fairy" get his little "Fairy" wings clipped?

Maybe Charlie, Brett and John can now get together and look for "private" funding for their "private" business interests?

How novel would that be?

Anonymous said...

"How novel would that be?"

Once you get a taste for taxpayer money it's hard to break the habit!

Anonymous said...

Without our financing, how is Brett going to build his subdivisions that would in large part help pay for our new jail?

I guess the council cut our noses off to spite our faces!