Tuesday, April 29, 2014

28 April 2014 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

28 April 2014 Dearborn County Plan Commission Meeting Notes

Present: Mike Hall, Chairman, Dennis Kraus Jr., Russell Beiersdorfer, Mark Lehman, Mike Hornbach, Art Little, Jake Hoog, Dan Lansing.

ABSENT: Jim Thatcher.

Also Present: Mark McCormack, Plan Director, and Arnie McGill, Attorney.

Minutes approved from February meeting.

Arnie McGill was reappointed as board attorney.


Review of the Preliminary Plat for an 8-lot major subdivision- Soap Hill Meadows by A&B quality Homes nka Timberline Homes & Development, LLC on Soap Hill Road in Manchester Township on 29.142 acres on R and Ag land. Mike Hall stepped down and left the room as he was the surveyor on the project. Dennis Kraus, Jr took over the meeting.

This item is no longer being heard as an appeal but as an application for a major subdivision upon the advice of the board attorney per Dennis Kraus, Jr. Soil for septic systems are not officially approved- that is done when the lots are purchased and set for building. They do have preliminary approval. This is a major subdivision because of the street improvement proposed.

Teresa Hall presented for Hall Surveying. She gave an overview of the development plans and how they had decided to upgrade the road. They have to do something about the water heading for the Stafford’s property though there is a swale that exists for that now and it dumps the water beyond their house. They also addressed that aesthetics are not part of septic leach approvals as they are designed to keep water on the owner’s property. Water cannot leave the property any more than it does before development.  The main road stops where it does as that is the maximum length allowed by ordinance for a cul-de-sac street. She said that the suggestion that they do 2 fifteen acre lots to fit in with the current density is not accurate as there are many 1-2 acre lots in the area. Lot density is well below what is allowed. Proposed home size and design is fitting to the area per Hall. She suggests that landscaping will soften the privacy factors. And tagt each neighbor do their own per their preferences. The future homeowner saves money when the developer saves money which makes the county more attractive to business.

Andrew Lohmiller- in full disclosure stated that he is real estate broker who will be helping sell the lots. People need an affordable house. 3 bedroom home for about $200,000 -$250,000. These are not pole barn houses. Going to take this cost down to $150,000-170,000. His parents live 2 miles down on Goose Run Road. He thinks this will increase values in the area- including for his parent’s home.

Cynthia Stafford- called attention to recent annual report by Commissioners  looking for strategic vision and hold ourselves accountable and putting the citizens first. She said also from the website that the planning dept is to radiate development out from existing development. This looks more like it was randomly placed – not radiating out from existing development. Who is doing the overarching plan about where subdivisions should be placed. She also said that item 2a of Mike Hall’s response addressing water runoff and erosion control is not completely accurate. She said it is exactly the point that it already flows to their property. She wants to know how they will measure the current flow and they want to be able to validate that. She does not believe that the problem is easy to solve. She addressed the letter to the PC and got an answer from eth surveyor. They want the answer from the Plan Commission. Are we thoughtfully planning out where these developments should go? She said there are many available lots in existing subdivisions. Do we even need this?

Lance Stafford- Nearly all of the septic systems are draining in the 160 ft draining towards his lot.

Greg Edwards- He doesn’t see that they have brought up any of the water lines etc they are going to bring in. A few years back Elk Run Golf course burned to the ground. He thinks that the developer needs to upgrade the water and have fire hydrants. He also took issue with Mike Hall coming back in after the last meeting saying that it didn’t really matter what was said they were going to put it in. He thinks that is wrong- they should listen to the residents. He talked to a neighbor owning a subdivision across from DC Country Club that hasn’t had anyone want a lot in 3 years. Hillcrest only has 4 lots of 17 sold. All the driveway on the left side of the road is sloped. Are utilities going down the road? ( yes) he thinks the county needs to concentrate more on subdivisions along the main roads- not back on a country lane. Hope you listen and take our concerns into consideration. He thinks the septic evaluation should be up to date- not from 2001. You know you want to get everything dotted and up to date BEFORE they start. Everything here will run off onto my property behind Staffords. How do you keep it all on their land? The property behind me almost lost their house to the last hard rains.

Dan Neff- asked about the accuracy of the property lines. Runoff is an issue for him also. His kids play in the creek. I bought the property to have clean water for kids to play. Health dept can’t approve the system until they know how many bedrooms are planned per Kraus, Jr. There is no date on the hea;th dept letter he said. He doesn’t know if they are bringing water to the development but a 6 “ line is planned inside the development per Kraus, Jr.- answering Neff’s questions. He is also concerned about the intersection being to narrow for trailers to get in.

Greg Hogston-Dennerline at the Sewer Board said that we have problems with septic systems failing, So why are we building more of them?

Emmert Leffler- Lives about a mile from the development- originally proposed 32 homes here and dropped to 11 eventually. It was turned down every time for Rollander.

Brian Riddle- This is country- it is not a place for another subdivision. The time to stop this is now- before is goes further. Concern for reduced water pressure. Who deals with that? What about noise? How does this affect the country setting.

Teresa Hall- there are calculations that are done for pre and post run off. It determines if there are rock dams and detention ponds. These septic systems are not discharge systems. This was previously proposed by Rollander Enterprises. He had a larger septic treatment proposed.

Greg Edwards- Knew Rodney Dennerline quite well and when we were fighting the old subdivision proposed here he said that 90% of the homes would be condemned because of septic systems today. Is there any plan for running any public sewer up 148? What would it cost us to fix this if the septic systems fail? Also concerned for the road conditions. Goose run is 3 miles to Aurora and SR 148 takes 5 miles. People take a shortcut. And it’s a bad road on Goose Run. Especially when school lets out.


Lansing asked- what has changed in infrastructure since 2002 to allow this? Lehman said that this is different as it is smaller. They may have to combine lots too. Beiersdorfer said that we have no control over the water pressure and fire hydrants. He said it is tough to turn semis and trailers but you get used to it. Beiersdorfer said they have to approve it as it meets all the standards. Or we will get sued. He motioned to approve and Lehman seconded. All ayes except Lansing. Passed.

[NOTE: The Plan Commission may have no control over what utility companies do, but they DO have control over whether or not they should allow development where the utilities are inadequate or not even planned for the near future.  If the ordinance is written so loosely that they fear lawsuits, perhaps they need to look at what they have written in their ordinance. This is an example of the PC working at cross purposes with the stated goals of ALL government- to ensure the HEALTH, SAFETY, and WELFARE of their citizens.  It is also disingenuous to have developers think they have a green light, when in fact they may lose some lots due to no septic permit. That affects their bottom line also. It also affects the quality of their product and their reputation in the end.]

8:22 PM


Proposed changes to the DC Zoning Ordinance related to animal allowances in residential districts, definitions of large and small animals, and storage of certain types of vehicular units. This was being discussed again as the county attorney is redoing the animal control ordinance. Beekeeping was also addressed. Set back issues were discussed. Kennels were also brought up. They want to get this language in concert with the animal control ordinance. He will let the board submit their comments to him in writing and he will redo some of the language. The current ordinance in the planning ordinance is largely unenforceable.

Vehicular unit storage in article 2558 in residential areas. Storage of boats, RVs etc. are becoming an issue. Angela and Steve Callahan (County Coroner) came to talk about this. They showed evidence of how their camping vehicle was screened even though out of compliance and a neighbor complained apparently. This was an example of how they might want to reword the ordinance. Callahans bought a lot in a campground for $1800 for this now. They came to stop this from happening to someone else. They have already fixed their problem. 

There may be no May meeting as there is no applicant yet. They can get some write-up for June for them to consider on vehicular storage rules.


Tucker development bringing new set of engineer plans for their subdivision with an engineer stamped set for them to consider per Mike Hall. Jeff tucker was not there- Jay was for that discussion.

Issues with Harvest ridge intersection.

Vinnie Fazzino moving back here from Wash DC area- is 6’7” tall – new planner he hired. (joked about a PC basketball team)

Regional trails plan was attended by Mark McCormack. He said it was a good learning place. He brought brochures for the PC members too. He keeps the Facebook page updated. 

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township


No comments: