2017-08-09 / Front Page

Delphi leaders not rushing to assign zoning designations

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

Delphi City Council members decided Monday night to take some time to investigate and deliberate what zoning designations should be assigned to areas within city limits that are not zoned before making decisions. Mayor Shane Evans said there is no agriculture or Suburban 1 (S-1) zoning allowed in the city but said that does not preclude those designations from becoming part of the Delphi Zoning Ordinance.

Evans suggested zoning designations for non-zoned areas to instigate discussion among City Council members and the public. His suggestion is most of that which is not currently zoned be assigned an Urban 1 (U-1) zoning designation.

Two community members who own property in nonzoned areas spoke to the City leaders. Everett Snoeberger said he owns property on the east side of Main St. which floods every three to five years. He said U-1 is the most restrictive zoning designation available.

Lynn Corson, who owns land east of the Whiteman Addition, indicated he also owns the property directly to the west of the homestead to provide separation from others. He said it is currently zoned agriculture and the land is cash-rented to a local farmer. Corson said it is his desire for the property to remain agriculturally zoned.

Evans advised there are 20 to 25 parcels of land to be zoned. Council member Mike Shockley said he received the meeting packet Sunday and has not had time to review and consider each topic. Council member Dale Seward suggested he also did not have time to give the matter due diligence. He said he wants to explore those zoning designations not currently used in the City.

“I don’t want to overlook anything,” Seward said. “It’s been this way for a lot of years. One more month isn’t going to matter.”

It was noted by both Shockley and Seward, emails from affected residents, as replies to a notice sent by the Mayor about the zoning, were included in the packet of information for the meeting. Shockley said he would like to discuss the matter with some of the respondents, as did Seward.

The matter was unanimously tabled until the Sept. 5 (Tuesday) City Council meeting.

Mayor Evans said he has appointed Delphi resident Mary Ann Burton to serve as his representative on the BZA. He also said he was leaving Kirk Germond as his representative on the Carroll County Area Plan Commission.

Wedding charges

A proposal to begin charging a fee to perform weddings was also tabled until September. Clerk-Treasurer Leanne Aldrich advised people with marriage licenses in their hands walk into her office and want her to marry them immediately. She said it is a disruption of her work. Aldrich recommended there be a fee attached to the service.

Council member Carolyn Pearson said she spoke to Judge Craig Wellnitz who indicated he likes to perform weddings and will not charge for his time. She said the Judge indicated, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Aldrich indicated she could refuse to perform the ceremonies, although there are times it is enjoyable. The Mayor can also perform them.

The decision was made to table the matter to allow for more consideration.

Strategic plan process

Evans suggested the City leaders develop a strategic plan over the course of the next few months to determine Delphi’s priorities. Evans suggested 11 subject areas to be addressed in a written proposal for the strategic plan. The areas include residential development and improvement, commercial recruitment and expansion, industrial recruitment and expansion, beautification and community pride, recreation and tourism, infrastructure, mental and physical health, education, land use, arts and culture and intergovernmental communication and planning.

Evans suggested the City notify the public about the proposal, which can be obtained from the Mayor’s office, and take public input until September. A special October City Council meeting was tentatively discussed.

Other business

The City Council will meet Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 5:30 p.m. to begin to develop the 2018 budget.

The next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will be Sept. 5 (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.

Delphi Board of Works will hold work sessions Aug.17 and 31 at 9 p.m. The Board of Works will meet Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. for a regular business meeting.

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