2017-08-09 / Front Page

Commissioners table Zoning Ordinance revisions/updates

Burlington chicken re-zone request denied in split vote
By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

Carroll County Commissioners Steve Pearson, Bill Brown and John Brown were assured by Carroll County Area Plan Commission (APC) Zoning Administrator Doug Wagner Monday morning the deadline for them to take action on the proposed zoning ordinance updates and revisions is not until sometime in September. Commissioners have 90 days from the time the document is “certified” by the APC, however Wagner indicated it is 90 days from the date he presented it to the county leaders.

However, according to IC 36-7-4-607/605, “if the proposal is to amend or partially repeal the text of the ordinance, it may be certified with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation from the commission (APC).”

Although there was no deciding vote, two community members took the podium to speak against adoption. Tippecanoe Township resident Pat Robertson stated the “revised” document does not resemble the zoning law Commissioners adopted. She told Commissioners the document given to them to adopt has not been proven to be the correct document and requested the county leaders reject it.

Galen Perry clarified with Commissioners the county is not legally obligated by statute to have a zoning ordinance. He said what was presented to Commissioners “deserves to be turned down.”

“APC is but a mask behind which lurks an agenda of protection for a handful of Carroll County landowners and CAFO operations at the greater expense of disregard for the far greater majority of Carroll County citizen home owners and taxpayers,” he said following a written statement.

Commissioners, upon a guarantee the 90 days did not expire until September from Wagner, voted to make a decision about the matter at the Aug. 21 meeting.

Burlington re-zone request

Commissioner Bill Brown voiced support to re-zone nearly three-acres on the east edge of Burlington to allow property owner Karina Fauble to raise and maintain some chickens, which is not permitted in the current Urban-1 (U-1) zoning designation. He said the property is contiguous with an agriculture district and Kokomo Grain is across the road from the petitioner’s property. Brown’s fellow commissioners did not agree with him.

Fauble said she thought it is more appropriate for the situation to be handled by amending the zoning ordinance to make the activity allowed by special exception. She advised no agricultural activity, such as a garden or a greenhouse, is allowed in U-1 however some neighbors have both.

Commissioner John Brown, who said his grandchildren live in Indianapolis and have chickens, provided a motion to deny the re-zone, which was seconded by Pearson. Bill Brown voted against the motion. A formal recommendation to the APC to provide language for which to amend the current U-1 designation in the ordinance to allow hobby farms, which are noted in the county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan as potential activities in low density residential areas, as permitted with a special exception, was approved.

Pearson asked Wagner about the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and how it is used. He said he has recently learned about the document. Wagner stated all APC members have a copy of the document and APC members are aware of the document when they make decisions at meetings.

Ordinances

Commissioners passed two county ordinances on first reading Monday morning. Ordinance 2017-02 amends the County Personnel Policy to ensure Commissioners have a means to enforce the policies and employment procedures and to establish the procedure for creation of new positions or proposed combinations of the duties of two or more existing positions. Pearson asked how the proposed ordinance was initiated, to which Bill Brown said it was his idea. When asked by a community member why he thought it was necessary, Brown stated he was concerned the County Council was planning to hire an administrative assistant. Johnson advised it is the Council’s duty to describe job duties before a job description is created. He said this will allow Commissioners to comment on the contents.

The second ordinance establishes a non-reverting fund to capture drainage fees assessed by the County Surveyor’s office. The fund, which will be separate from the General Fund, will be used to purchase vehicles for the exclusive use of the Surveyor, purchase field equipment for the exclusive use of the surveyor and to pay for contractual services for remediation or abatement of violations and conditions under the jurisdiction of the Drainage Board. The captured funds can also be used to purchase surveying and engineering services.

Both ordinances will be read for the second time at the Aug. 21 meeting.

Other business

Payroll claims for $500, for $625, for $192,978.52 and for $202,567.89 were approved. Early claims for $48,221.68, County General claims for $121,919.48, Highway claims for $1,512,396.39 and claims against funds which have a separate tax rate from the General Fund for $119,770.89 were also approved.

The next meeting will be Aug. 21 at 9 a.m.

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