Monday, September 26, 2011

26 September 2011 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

26 September 2011 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

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


1. Request to vacate portions of streets and alleys in Hardintown by applicant Dennis Kraus for Owner, Terry Cornett. Site location is West Street in Lawrenceburg Township on 0.24 acres of M-3 zoned land.

Dennis Kraus. Jr. stepped down from the Board and left the room for this item of business.

Mark McCormack summarized:
1) The subject land area—Lawrenceburg Township, Township 5, Range 1, Section 2, identified as an alleyway and a portion of the West Street right-of-way in the Town of Hardinsburgh—is
currently located within a Manufacturing Three (M-3) Zoning District.
2) The Town of Hardinsburgh was platted in 1815; Findlay’s Addition was added in 1817. The
Petitioner’s request is located within the unincorporated area of Dearborn County—
immediately adjacent to the City of Greendale’s jurisdictional limits (separated by the
Lawrenceburg Conservancy District’s levee).
3) The Petitioner is requesting to vacate:
a. An unimproved, unmaintained (150-foot long) portion of the sixty-six-foot (66’)
wide West Street right-of-way—north of Walnut Street—in the Town of
b. Two (2) unnamed 16.5-foot unimproved alleyways—one perpendicular to West
Street, between Lots 50 and 51, the other situated immediately parallel to West
Street (on the west side). The purpose is to clean up some encroachments on some buildings that are there and have been for a long time. The house is next to the Aztec Automotive business, with the alleyway alongside there.
4) According to the documents submitted by the Petitioners’ surveyor, West Street “…is a street
that has been “cut off” by the building of first the canal, then the railroad, and now by the
levee. There cannot be any development served by this street…There currently is no one using
this area for access.”

Oxbow representative is present as they are concerned with any development in their area. The conservancy district has been surveying in the area per McCormack.

Jeff Stenger, surveyor, presented for the applicant. He further described the alleys as ROW for streets. They seek to clean up surveys to correctly describe the plat lines. Mike Hall said he tried to get in contact with eth conservancy district, but has had no reply yet. He assumes there is no problem, or they’d be in contact as they were notified. There were some issues with monuments in the town and Kraus chose to go with the survey lines that match up in the entire town. There are some issues with the levee and there is a 20 ft easement they are to avoid encroaching upon. They want to have it on the survey in case someone buys the land in the future so they KNOW what is expected of them. The board checked to be sure the lots in the area has public access.

John Seymour representing Oxbow, Inc. and they are not here to lay any roadblocks to this. This area is prone to flooding and has been flooded in 1997. They want to go on record that this should not be developed and hope that eventually this area gets returned back to a usage that is NOT manufacturing as it is now. If they ever want to discuss putting a conservation easement on this land we would be willing to talk to you about that. It might be of some economic benefit to you in the future.

Hughes has no problem. Beiersdorfer wanted the easement added to the plat drawings- it’s a 20% easement parallel to the existing slope or boundary. Stenger will check with Richard Butler- the Conservancy District attorney.

Nelson motioned and Beiersdorfer seconded to forward a favorable recommendation to vacate the above alleyways and ROWs to the Commissioners conditioned upon a satisfactory easement for the Conservancy District to be put on the plat and recorded. All ayes.

Dennis Kraus, Jr. returned to the board.

2. Proposed Changes to the Dearborn County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Control Ordinance- McCormack wanted to upgrade our code to match the changes enacted by our legislature.

Section 160 on appeals and waivers is to have a section say: As a condition of granting a waiver under this section, the PC may allow or require a commitment to be made (as outlined in IC36-7-4-1015.) This would allow it to be done as written commitments that are recorded and more accessible. These are optional. Kraus Jr. motioned and Lansing seconded to pass Favorable recommendation to the commissioners. All ayes.

Article 2 is to be subdivided into 2 sections – number 280 and 282. The state code allows the commissioners to do a vacation of ROW without going to the PC. This was confused when they were dealing with Happy Hollow and Langley Heights.

For 280- If all owners are in agreement on a plat vacation they can bypass PC and do so via a written instrument that is recorded. They can also go to the PC if all are not in agreement on the plat vacation. They still record the vacation is approved. They do not have to go to Commissioners for a plat vacation.

For 282- When Vacation is for a public way or place- it goes to the Commissioners. It can only go to the PC IF the commissioners want it to go to PC. If approved by Commissioners it still gets recorded and a copy goes to the auditor
In 280 and 282 there are different processes for appeals of the decisions.

The board wanted to have surveys of these plats or public ways and places- not just a map or line drawing.

Nelson motioned and Hughes seconded to get the tech review committee to look over these ideas before forwarding to the Commissioners . All ayes.

2. Proposed Changes to the fee schedule- had only one change- the waiver fee was $150. The GIS fees are already approved by Commissioners and McCormack just wants the Planning dept fees for the same services to match up. There was a big discussion regarding how expensive it is now for surveyors to get printouts compared to before. Hughes and McCormack suggested they get these issues to Margaret Minzner in GIS Dept. The idea was to charge $2/sq. ft. The surveyors needed more detail than these maps gave them now too. McCormack noted that the realtors and bankers were happy with the GIS information set up. The surveyors actually are paying more now for less information. He suggested the surveyors meet and get their concerns to the Commissioners who oversee GIS.
Nelson raised several issues with the entire fee schedule and wanting some reduced. McCormack said that the remainder of the fees had been in existence since before his tenure as director. He is willing to go over these whenever the board wants- but also noted that there is a significant amount of staff work on some of these requests. The idea was to not have the taxpayers subsidize individual requests.

Hughes motioned and Lansing seconded to accept the nee schedule updates. All ayes


Assistant Planner Ron Ballard was promoted to zoning administrator.

Resumes are coming in already for the position opened for assistant planner.

Old Orchard financial guarantee is due Oct 1. They have not gotten it in yet.

Staff working with OKI with regional planning with HUD for $5million grant. McCormack has been attending meetings on this. They are doing some land use analyses, etc. they will discuss this further if they get the grant.

Grant assistance was provided for Animal Control.

Grant work for phase 1 of a 30 acre park for St, Leon and also one for Manchester.

Ordinances on landscaping and parking lots. Hughes relayed the lack of use of the tree planted area in the middle of a mall area in Florence. He thinks it’s too much regulation. McCormack said he also didn’t think Lawrenceburg had any in their city ordinance. McCormack said the problem is the front yard setbacks are so large that parking ends up there rather than in the side or rear yards. He outlined some of the reasoning on the islands. He thought the landscape needs to be more on the perimeter as buffer. The applicants have been given some flexibility unless there is a variance of more than 25% required.

McCormack said that he’d like to take a couple months to do it right. Hughes wanted to rescind the parking lot interior landscaping for section 2245. He was informed that the PC has to make the recommendation. They also have to advertise this for the Oct meeting. If the Commissioners asked for it- PC would have 60 days to respond. This will be on Oct agenda.

Meeting adjourned at 8: 50 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller
Lawrenceburg Township

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