Tuesday, April 27, 2010

26 April 2010 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

26 April 2010 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mike Hall, Chairman, Dennis Kraus Jr., Russell Beiersdorfer, Mark Lehman, Mike Hornbach, Ralph Thompson, Dan Lansing, Jake Hoog, and Ken Nelson
Also Present: Mark McCormack, Plan Director, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.


1.Sugar Ridge- county att’y checking on whether financial guarantee exists or was destroyed as bank indicated. Witte found that the bank should have kept the document longer than they had indicated they had. Pursuit of legal options didn’t seem to be fruitful. There were over 4.5 million being pursued with Tuke and Macke. We’d be in line behind all of them.

Executive session was held this month with commissioners regarding this. Thompson was limited in what he could say. He said Tuke was suing Macke also for $4-5million also. We don’t see immediate solution – it’s not dead but it’s not moving forward either.

McCormack said there are federal agencies investigating the whole situation. They are meeting with some of them this week. So there are other options maybe.

Barriers to establishing a TIF to help solve this. Only commercial can be captured for the TIF- and all of that was built prior to setting a TIF. Maybe the multifamily. Costs of setting up a redevelopment district and TIF might absorb more costs than the road would cost. Information from the legal people in INDY regarding TIFs ( Barnes and Thornburgh and baker and Daniels ) Bottom line is not enough commercial/residential to make this viable.

We could look into general obligations like bonds. To try impact fees would make a case for unequal enforcement and the commissioners did not want to punish all the people for the sins of this developer. Thompson stated.

Banquet hall/clubhouse- no longer on lot 175- this was approved for residential. We don’t even know if this will ever be built. Non-compliance issues have mostly been addresses and a few a pending still.

Unofficially county has done snow removal and small maintenance type work.
Thompson said we didn’t let the letter of credit lapse- these aren’t enforceable and have no mechanism go after that. Listerman and McCormack would rather have performance bonds as would Thompson.

Nelson- when I used letters of credit- they couldn’t draw against it without the city signing off via the executive officer of the city.

Text that PZ is supposed to get on letters of credit is often not written as we required per McCormack.

Witte said it wasn’t enforceable per Thompson. Nelson said- get the language that MAKES it enforceable. Nelson said – not every developer can get a bond. [NOTE: If they can’t afford one or are not eligible- perhaps they shouldn’t be developing anything that big.]

Nelson said bonds are harder to deal with- because you are dealing with some guy in INDY who writes the bond and there may be disagreement on that.

McCormack would want to strengthen our language on letters of credit if we used them. Nelson said- it became routine in Ohio to use these and call them as necessary.

Nelson said- he suspects the smoke and mirrors went into the banks with letters of credit also.
Replatting was an issue- he’d borrow money on one plat and then replat and borrow again.


Carl Steckle (sp?) – Insurance agent- bonds do not shut out the little guy. Bond is not insurance. With bond- you sign your life away. Bonds require you to sign an indemnity agreement. If the bond pays out on your behalf- you will personally have to pay them back. If you are not financially strong- you won’t get the bond.

The little guy has to pay about $1500 extra money to have his financial records gone into. He still pays the same rates as the big guy. Bonding company- you pay 1-3% depending on how financially strong you are. Bond covers the job- it doesn’t matter how long it takes. You pay the bond.

You got a revocable letter of credit. Get an irrevocable letter of credit. It actually costs MORE for a letter of credit. And you pay it annually.

Jim Espelage- What has PC recommended to Commissioners regarding the repair of the road? Nothing- PC has no jurisdiction to do that- Commissioners decide on accepting the road or not.

Carl Steckle- will the commissioners decide this at their next meeting. Thompson said it was not on agenda- and doesn’t know when the other research will be completed.

McCormack said all the commissioners know about this. If you want to forward something to the commissioners the staff is willing to help with that. Board wanted to have info on what other communities do in this case.

Lehman said there was a big one over in Sycamore Township like that.

McGill noted that PC recommended only taking bonds and commissioners changed it to allow letters of credit. Thompson pushed hard to have bonds.

Chris Mueller talked about the need to protect TAXPAYERS not developers. We should not be on the hook for their lapsed bonds. Historically, this has been an issue for 15 years. The people of Sugar ridge have a problem with road acceptance through no fault of their own. If the road is as good as a typical county secondary road, can it ne accepted on that basis and not as a collector standard.

Todd Listerman- Bases on core data it would pass secondary road status – but it won’t shed water as well and will deteriorate faster than a sealed road. Oakmont does NOT meet spec- only 3 inches and needs another 1.5 inches. Augusta was to collector standard and would get another 1.5 inches. There are several locations needing deep patch. 70 miles of our county are still gravel. Budget is low and we’ll never really be able to maintain it fully at current budget levels. Millings are being used to help keep some of the roads intact. 4 roads closed with bridges out.

McCormack- Review letter of credit language and process and see how others are doing this. Take what we get to our legal rep and see what they recommend. Hoog suggested checking out in Indy rather than Ohio- as laws are different. Referring people to commissioners to get this worked out- acceptance and maintenance goes to highway and to commissioners to get that done.

Nelson asked – if we put it on subdivision agenda to grant a waiver for accepting a lower standard on the road. Would that help move this along?? Discussion was that the people want their road finished properly- patched and top coated.

Commissioners will have it on Wed May 5 Commissioners meeting. They can ask to approach Council for funding also.

Carl Steckle- In the event that this comes back onto the people in the development- how will it be paid for! Will you be able to explain those options to us. Lansing- could it be done like the sewers are being done. Thompson noted the various ways the High Ridge Sewers are being paid for.

May Harmer (sp?) asked what exactly they should do. Doesn’t consider clearing the road as a favor. Others also asked about future development. Thompson noted that maybe they could capture some of the money out of the future sale of lots perhaps. Can’t seem to find a legal mechanism to do this. Seems the fairest way to do this.

Robert Irwin- owns Villages of Sugarglen- are there a typical type of multifamily that work for TIFS? It has to be considered commercial- as for example apartments might be per McCormack. Irwin said these would be about 20 million dollars in improvements. The point would be to get all the people to build them in a way to qualify. McCormack doesn’t have a more specific answer to this. That might be a mechanism, Irwin thought. Others wouldn’t really want rentals out there. Plus it would have a lot of hoops to go through with redevelopment commission etc.

Sugar Ridge is coming to May 5 Commissioners meeting and will be on the agenda. They will present their petition and perhaps ask to go to Council May 25th for funding.

2. Listerman presented road bonds:

Tucker Road issues- Phase 2 Old Orchard Subdivision- Listerman said he had a bond for $125,000 set to expire in Sept 2010. No changes made since 2008 as requested. Sent certified mail to him to explain how he was to fix this. Listerman said he has no jurisdiction to enforce it- but to make recommendations to this board. Main deficiency is Beehive Court is built with no grade for water shedding. No 2% grade. Some catch basins and stations not built to plan. Cider Circle not built out but Beehive Court has most built. PC told him you do NOT wait till the bond expires to pull it- notify them now. Recalculations of storm water will need to be redone as it was not done to spec. 290 feet of road done incorrectly. Kraus Jr. said we will need money and perhaps engineering to be sure we know if we can cover it with $125,000 bond. Tucker historically brings info in late and they have been notified of this in other circumstances. Listerman said he was hoping Tucker would come in as requested by their letter to explain what he was going to do to fix this. [NOTE: That’s not the Tucker way.] Our enforcement is that 90% of our developers want to do it right so it gets accepted.

Nelson- MOTION- Old Orchard Phase 2 is not constructed per plans so the Commissioners should proceed to call the bond by notifying the developer and the bonding company. Beiersdorfer said Tucker has the option to redo bond again and fix. Yes- but the commissioners are requested to pull the bond.
Board voted to approve Nelson’s motion

Listerman noted Seldom Seen phases 1,2, and 3 and Laurel Valley. Roads have not been accepted into county and no bonds.

Harvest Ridge bond being reduced as some is finished. Maxwell wants to come in to make a change in Phase 2’s improvement plan. Bonds are still active on this.

Old Orchard Ph 1 and 3 coming due in Oct. Ph 1 is done- but not accepted as trucks use it to get to 2 and 3 and it might get damaged. Keeping bond on that active is necessary.

Chapel Thorne- Tom Kent wants to finish in fall and get top coat. 4 houses built and 4 to be done this summer out of 23 total. Wants to get road accepted.

Trying to get roads accepted earlier and builders have to fix any damages after that.
Hill Spring is in court between developer and builder- have till Feb 2011 on that bond. (Rollander and O’Mara)

3. Potential staff projects were presented by McCormack.

There were problems with some flood maps- so that may take some time.
Working on grants, financial guarantees, changing zoning ordinance, thoroughfare plan, permitting, etc. H e wants some direction on what to work on- perhaps prioritize it.

Nelson thinks the permitting process needs to be refined. It scares him when he hears the things he heard tonight.

Chris Mueller asked if there were things there that should be accomplished during a slow development time so that they are ready when development comes up again.

The issues related to zoning ordinance changes such as break down of Ag or Res zones would be better during our economic slowdown time. Board discussed how this would be beneficial.PC said they should have working meeting before we invite Advisory subcommittee to meet on this.

Meeting adjourned 9:45PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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