2011-03-02 / Front Page

Overview of new zoning ordinance for APC

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

It was determined by the Carroll County Area Plan Commission in 2008 that the current zoning ordinance is out of date because it does not adequately address contemporary land use and expected future land use. APC formed a committee of community members to develop a revised zoning ordinance. After two years of work, it is expected that the county zoning ordinance will change significantly if the committee recommendations are adopted by county leaders. The document has been expanded from 56 pages to 172 pages of content.

The final draft of the new ordinance was unveiled at the Feb. 22 APC meeting by committee representative Miriam Robeson. Each APC member was given a copy of the draft document along with a written introduction and overview. Robeson explained that the purpose of the new ordinance was to update the current ordinance which was adopted in the 1970s and to align land use regulation with the 2008 Carroll County Comprehensive Plan using five general categories.

Those categories are: land use management, economic development, transportation, environment and public infrastructure and services.

Robeson said that new language in the proposed ordinance was designed to bring the county into compliance with contemporary land use needs. Five new zoning areas have been added to the ordinance including “rural residential,” “historic overlay district,” “Hoosier Heartland Corridor overlay,” “airport overlay district” and “flood hazard overlay district.” The rural residential and historic overlay districts will only be established and defined by landowner requests, she explained.

Robeson said that as housing needs change, as infrastructure regulations and demand changes, and as business, industrial and agricultural practices change, land use regulation needs to be updated. Regulations need to protect the health and safety of the general population while encouraging beneficial and compatible economic and residential growth. She emphasized that the new ordinance does not affect existing land use. Any land use that is legal before the new ordinance is adopted will either be designated as “legal” or “legal non-conforming” after adoption.

The draft ordinance explains county-wide standards for amateur radio antennas, communications towers, satellite dishes and microwave dishes, well head protection and wind energy and meteorological towers. It defines zoning districts and supplemental requirements. The draft ordinance also describes the permits needed for each land use, the ordinance administration as well as enforcement. Term definitions are found in two areas of the ordinance.

APC members scheduled one public information session for April 12, to allow county residents and land owners an opportunity to ask questions and make comments about the proposed document. The meeting location will be determined at a later date.

It was decided by consensus that a probable first adoption hearing by APC will be at its April 26 regularly scheduled monthly meeting. After APC preliminarily adopts the ordinance, it will be presented to the county commissioners for approval and then it will be brought before APC again for final adoption. All meetings will be open to the public.

A copy of the draft can be found at www.carrollcountyzoning.wordpress.com, at each library in the county and in the area plan office on the second floor of the courthouse. Copies can also be viewed at the Flora and Delphi Comet offices. A copy of the draft is available to copy off-site at the Comet office in Delphi.

2011 officers

Delphi mayor appointment to APC, Kirk Germond, was elected 2011 president. Former president Bob McCain was chosen as vice president and zoning administrator Kathy Mylet was appointed as the group’s secretary. Germond was appointed to serve on the Area Plan Commission Board of Zoning Appeals as well. It was announced that another member will be added to the APC from either Burlington or Yeoman to adhere to the representative members as directed by the state statute.

Other business

Mylet reported that the 2010 Census indicates that the county population has decreased by one percent.

The next meeting will be March 22 at 7 p.m.

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