December 1, 2011
The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in
regular session on Thursday, December 1, 2011, in the Fire Department Training
and Conference Room located at
Roll Call: Members present were: Phillip Smith, President; Terry Baker, Vice President, Don Calvert, Dan Swafford and Sandra Hash, Secretary. Phillip Rogers and Ron Wayt were absent. Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo, Town Engineer, were also present.
Approval of the Minutes – November 3, 2011
Phillip Smith entertained a motion for approval of the November 3, 2011 minutes. Dan Swafford so moved. Don Calvert seconded. Roll Call Vote: Phillip Smith – yes; Terry Baker – yes; Don Calvert – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; and Sandra Hash - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Richard’s Small Engines/Alfred Purdie,
8273 West State Road 46, Ellettsville, IN, Petitioners Richard and Jennifer
Gieselman and Kevin Potter Engineer.
Connie Griffin, Director of Planning – This is an annexation of the Richard and Jennifer
Gieselman and Alfred Purdie properties.
There are two lots. The addresses
Kevin Potter, Representing Richard Gieselman and Richard’s Small Engines – Maps showing the existing plan and proposed work were provided. In the near future, Mr. Gieselman wants to add more gravel parking near the west end of his property. As his business continues to grow he needs more room for equipment storage, parking and to get semis in and out. Mr. Gieselman is planning on moving the sign by the entrance. The sign is too close to a power line and Duke wants it moved to the other side of the driveway. When the property was developed in 2006, they applied for a commercial driveway permit with INDOT. This shows he has a permitted commercial drive at the existing location. Copies of the permit were provided to Rick Coppock and Connie Griffin. Richard Gieselman wants to be annexed into the Town and is planning on expanding his parking lot. He will not be adding on to his building in the near future. Mr. Gieselman may move one of the lot lines closer to the house and amend the recorded plat in order to get more room around his building.
Connie Griffin - The petitioner is requesting a Commercial 3 zone. Both she and Rick Coppock did an inspection on the site, looked at the current uses and what their goals are in the future. They found a Commercial 3 to be the correct zoning. In addition, they discussed adding a few more pine trees along the lot line heading east to State Road 46. Mr. Gieselman is agreeable to adding the trees. They discussed secondary storage containment for stormwater goals for the future as part of the annexation. There were no code violations on site. This is a good annexation for consideration.
Sandra Hash – Asked Kevin Potter when he obtained the INDOT
permit for the driveway if there was not a requirement for a turning lane to allow
west bound traffic to go around. Mr.
Potter replied there was no passing blister requirement. There were requirements for tapers coming
into the drive on Mr. Gieselman’s side of the road. Ms. Hash stated you can’t help but notice
when driving past the property that there are quite a few skid marks on the
road. It seems people are having a hard
time stopping when traveling west bound and there is someone waiting to turn
left into Richard’s. Have there been any
accidents at that location? Mr. Potter
stated Mr. Gieselman did talk to him about the skid marks. Mr. Gieselman told him he did notice some
skid marks when they petitioned the Town for annexation. As far as Mr. Gieselman knows, there haven’t
been any collisions. Ms. Hash asked if,
according to INDOT, the site distance is good because it is in a curve. Mr. Potter replied he did the driveway permit
in 2006 for Richard’s before the drive was built. To get a permit you have to provide mapping
and show the road for several hundred feet each way. INDOT goes out and checks it and the traffic
counts. At that time, INDOT did not have
the requirement for a passing blister at that location. Ms. Hash asked what the difference is between
there and the Smithville warehouse which is very close. Mr. Potter responded he thinks it probably
has to do with the amount of traffic going into the Smithville property. Phillip Smith asked if INDOT was worried
about the bigger trucks turning into Smithville. Mr. Potter replied the road was going to have
the same traffic volume on State Road 46.
There are two criteria they base the passing blister on. One is how much traffic is on the main highway. The second is how many left turns are
anticipated into the business. INDOT
anticipated that Smithville was going to have a lot more left turns into the
driveway compared to what they believe would be generated with Richard’s
business. Ms. Hash commented she thinks
Dan Swafford – Asked when looking at Google Map if those are vehicles setting around. Ms. Griffin answered they are bodies of lawnmowers. There is some storage containment in the back area. Photographs showing the property were provided. Mr. Swafford noted it looks like a gated area. Ms. Griffin noted Richard’s uses parts from the gated area.
Sandra Hash - Asked if the speed limit is 55 mph. Terry Baker replied it is 40 mph. Mr. Potter stated he thinks the speed limit
changed and goes up to 55 mph as you’re traveling out of town. A few hundred feet before Smithville’s drive
the speed limit changes to 55 mph. Ms. Hash commented this is a good reason to
have a blister. If you’re traveling
around the corner and going 55 mph, and there’s someone waiting to turn left,
instead of slamming the breaks and sliding sideways it would be nice to slow
down and go around. It would be nice to
make sure a blister isn’t required because it has been five years since the
permit was issued. Ms. Griffin asked
about talking to Mr. Gieselman about contacting INDOT for an updated
count. She can get some figures and
present them to the Plan Commissioners.
Mr. Potter asked if she meant having INDOT review it again or do a field
check. Ms. Griffin replied that was
correct. Mr. Potter stated there would
be no cost for Mr. Gieselman to do that unless he would have to get another
drive permit. Ms. Hash asked if the
permit cost $5,000. Mr. Potter replied
that’s the cost for the bond. Ms. Hash
asked if the permit is $150. Mr. Potter
answered that was correct. Ms. Griffin
stated she doesn’t have any traffic counts for outside of Town. Mr. Coppock suggested she contact Tony Moore
of INDOT. Mr. Potter stated Mr. Gieselman
did say his busiest time is Saturday mornings during the mowing season. Traffic counts may be a little less on State
Road 46 on a Saturday morning. Mr.
Coppock noted INDOT will not look at traffic counts on a Saturday or Sunday
because they do not work on those dates.
Mr. Potter stated as far as traffic coming in and out of his business,
Mr. Gieselman told him Saturday mornings during the spring and summer are his
busy time. Ms. Hash asked what
Dan Swafford – Asked if the driveway is concrete or black top. Ms. Griffin replied the driveway is gravel. Mr. Potter replied there is asphalt by the highway and back approximately 50 feet. This was put in with the driveway permit as it was required by INDOT. Everything from the black top back is crushed stone. Mr. Gieselman is planning on putting asphalt all the way back to the business. The first section on the east side of the building will be asphalt as well. Mr. Swafford confirmed they’re going to add trees. Ms. Griffin responded they have discussed adding some pine trees and replacing trees that died from the drought the past two years. Dan Swafford commented they keep the proposed annexation with the Plan Commission until it’s ready to be sent to the Town Council. It should be tabled until next month after the study has been completed. Ms. Griffin commented at that time conditions could be issued for the asphalting and trees.
Phillip Smith entertained a motion to table the annexation until the January meeting. Terry Baker made a motion to table it until next month. Don Calvert seconded. Roll Call Vote: Phillip Smith – yes; Terry Baker – yes; Don Calvert – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; and Sandra Hash - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
2012 Plan Commission Schedule
Connie Griffin – Has selected the first Thursday of each month and those dates were provided at the last meeting. She checked with Donya for scheduling the conference room and there are no conflicts for the year. The proposed meeting dates are as follows:
Dan Swafford – Asked if there was any way they could move the start time of the meetings to at least 6:30 p.m. He has a conflict and has to rush to get to the meetings by 6:00 p.m. Phillip Smith asked if anyone knew why it was changed to 6:00 p.m. Sandra Hash replied she believes she was the one who suggested it because the Planner has such a long drive home and it would be nice to get an earlier start. Mr. Calvert commented at that time there wasn’t a cap on the meetings and sometimes they were there until 10:00 p.m. People thought, and he agreed, that perhaps an earlier starting time and a cap on the amount of time they can meet might help out.
Phillip Smith entertained a motion to change the meeting time from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dan Swafford so moved. The motion died for a lack of a second.
Planning Department Updates by Connie Griffin, Director of Planning
The First Assembly of God Church Erosion Issues – She was directed by the Town Council to notify the church that if they had not established measures to control the erosion by November 28, 2011, then fines would begin. An inspection is scheduled for Monday, December 5, 2011. They will be looking at the erosion control issues and the tree area that has been backfilled. She received some information from one of the members, Steve Bruns, who attends the church and is also a Monroe County Building Department inspector. He explained why the area had been backfilled because there had been a hole established by the road. Rather than having pooling water, mosquitoes, west nile virus or someone slipping and falling in to the hole, they went ahead and backfilled it. The church is entertaining the idea that if any of the trees were to die an evergreen tree row would be established. The church’s pastor has requested a second opinion from a landscaping professional. The pastor was also on vacation and family leave. Mr. Bruns does not know if the pastor has received the second opinion.
Miscellaneous - There are some code changes that need to be prepared but the Planning Department has been pretty busy the last few months. The Planning Department is getting ready to start the ADA Transition Plan and there is some mapping that needs to get done. This is another large project.
They are going to write the annual report and the department’s goals will be stated. The goals will be prioritized as to which codes are the most important. Mr. Baker asked if one of those projects was the Mr. Lower’s property on State Road 46. Ms. Griffin replied Robert Lowers removed the vegetation as requested. They have not been in contact with one another.
Lenzy Hayes – Has been inspected by her and the State. There was a demolished trailer they were taking too long to get cleaned up. They have talked to Lenzy Hayes about the demolished trailer. There are other areas being cleaned up so they are making an effort. There will still be some time involved in this case to get it where the Town wants it. The trash area looks much better than it did before. It’s too late in the year to deal with the pot hole issues. There are still some cats running around but most of the dogs have been secured. They are definitely making an effort and there is still room to improve. Phillip Smith stated he drives through Lenzy Hayes about once a week. There is one trailer he thought they were tearing down but he thinks they may be fixing up. It has no siding on it and is on the back side. Are they working on it? Ms. Griffin replied yes they are repairing the trailer.
Privilege of the Floor – Non Agenda Items
Has been a resident of Ellettsville for 4˝ years. Last month he addressed the Plan Commission
regarding the situation with the First Assembly of God’s erosion problems and
the tree line. The tree line was “extra-excavated”. Has anyone had an opportunity to talk with
Kenny Underwood, the construction contractor at the site? Last month it was requested by the Plan
Commission for them to get a professional opinion on the grading of the
trees. According to Rob Abell, owner and
landscaper at Abell Nursery, these trees are not dead. They will die in three to four years because
when you get six inches or more of dirt above grade of the existing tree that
soil causes decay above the original grade line. The cells die and suffocate the root system
over a period of time. Those trees will
die if they are left with the six inches to two feet of dirt that was pushed on
them. Bill provided a photograph showing
the swell that was referred to. It is 15
to 20 yards away from the trees he’s discussing. Dan, an equipment operator, told him they
needed to fill in one area because it was lower. There was a big beehive that was dangerous
and one of the trees was dying anyway.
They did knock down three to four trees.
Kenny Underwood told him when Dan was grading and pushing the dirt up
hill he pushed it further north than he needed to for aesthetic reasons. It was not intentional and it was an
accident. Those trees have been in that
gully for 30 to 40 years. There are
white maples, walnut and hickory trees. When they started the project the trees were
to be removed. Dan, Rick and Connie came
out and stopped the removal of the trees.
They literally moved the retaining wall 20 feet further south which
Kenny Underwood said saved them money.
On September 21, 2011, Pastor Carter told him he was interested in
saving the tree line. A month ago they
got one landscaper’s opinion and Ron Wayt had talked to Pastor Carter. Pastor Carter told Mr. Wayt that he would
look into it and get an arborist or landscaper’s opinion. At that time Pastor Carter did not have the
opinion from Abell Nursery. He went to
Ryle – Thanked
the Plan Commission for another year of service. The Plan Commission has tackled a number of
very emotional and sticky issues over the last year. For the most part, it has been done in a very
professional manner and it has helped to move the community along. The Town is finishing another year where by
looking at the planning ordinances and requirements compared to
Asked if they have voted on the chicken ordinance. Connie Griffin introduced him as the gentleman
that submitted the letter about the chickens to the Plan Commission last
month. He has a small area and wants to
have chickens for the eggs. The
ordinance was not prepared for this meeting.
This will be one of the first ordinances they will be looking at in
2012. The Plan Commission is aware of
Dan Swafford made a motion to adjourn. Don Calvert seconded. Phillip Smith adjourned the meeting at 7:02 p.m.