June 10, 2010
The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in
regular session on Thursday, June 10, 2010 in the Fire Department Training and
Conference Room located at
Roll Call: Members present were:
Approval of the Minutes – May 6, 2010
Monthly Conflict of Interest Statement
Don Calvert announced his addition is adjacent to the Matthew Cascio property. Dan Swafford so noted.
Nierzwicki, resident of the City of
Frank Nierzwicki asked to follow-up. He said one of the Board members asked him to go to that meeting. He clarified he did not ask for the meeting. Dan Swafford acknowledged this and apologized for any lack of communication asking Mr. Nierzwicki if there is anything that needed to be discussed at this time. Dan Swafford then called on Rick Coppock to clarify the issue.
Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo – stated Frank and he met and there was a question about the right of way for the street connection to Autumn Ridge. There was an existing right of way that crossed the property the church owns and connected to the Autumn Ridge property. It also went across the Town’s Fire Station property. In order to make the connection to the street stub in Autumn Ridge, the right of way will have to be revised because they wouldn’t match up. At some point in time, that will come before the Council. The Council will be asked to vacate the existing right of way and then accept dedication of the new right of way to conform with the plans when the road is built. Dan Swafford asked if that will change the plat in any way and Rick Coppock answered it would not. He went on to clarify it is just moving the right of way to accommodate the existing roads. He pointed this out on a displayed map. Phillip Smith asked if they were just going to curve the road a little more to avoid the property. Rick Coppock responded they would curve the right of way more to match up with the existing road so they will meet. The road will be the way the plan was approved. Sandra Hash asked if this would have to come before the Plan Commission or the Town Council. Rick Coppock replied it would go before the Town Council to vacate the existing right of way and accept the dedication of the new right of way.
Autumn Ridge resident – asked what
the process is for the citizens to put a formal plea against that road coming
through Autumn Ridge. Dan Swafford
responded it has already been through this Board and would now have to go
through the Town Council. Sandra Hash
stated the public hearing had already taken place, but he could still voice his
complaint. Mr. Lewis asked through what
group. There was discussion on when and
to whom Mr. Lewis could voice his complain.
Dan Swafford suggested he start at the Council level. Mr. Lewis asked the Commission to explain
their reasoning behind their decision.
Dan Swafford responded the Town supervisors met and wanted that road to
connect because of the thoroughfare plan and safety issues with the fire and
police getting up into that addition.
Sandra Hash added it is in our Town code to interconnect
subdivisions. Mr. Lewis noted he knew of
other, longer roads with only one entrance/exit and asked if there were plans
for all the roads in the area. Dan
Swafford answered, no, there was not, but as this development was built, the
requirement was in place and that’s why the stub was put as the development was
put in. Mr. Lewis expressed his concern
that when the road is put in, it will dramatically increase traffic patterns in
that subdivision. There’s a stop sign at
the corner of Weathers and
Request for Autumn Ridge PUD Amendment – Jason Walls
Jason Walls, Bearcos Construction – stated he was here to present a request for an amendment to the original PUD for the neighborhood for sidewalks in Autumn Ridge. The main concern and reason for the request is the sidewalk engineering that was done for the subdivision currently has quite a bit of issue with slope in the yards. In addition to that, it would be taking up quite a bit of space off of the curb. We have had a number of requests not to put the sidewalks in due to the impact it would have on the front yards of most of the residents. This combined with the fact we do not have current sidewalks on either side of the subdivision, we propose the sidewalk amendment for the future development of the church which would allow access from the neighboring subdivision to the stub street and would go to the church to the south. Phillip Smith asked what the purpose was of the sidewalk on the left side of the street. Mr. Walls responded there is a strip of land, he believed it was 17 feet or so of land, and would not encroach on any of the yards if put over there. It would simply be against that line of trees. Dan Swafford asked if there would be sidewalks along both sides of the new street and Mr. Walls signified in the affirmative. Ron Wayt asked what the current setback was of those sidewalks. Mr. Walls deferred to Rick Coppock, but stated he believed they were seven or nine feet from the curb, then a four foot sidewalk. Ron Wayt asked if they couldn’t move them to the street where you have the curb and then the sidewalk. Rick Coppock responded you could. Sandra Hash asked if he meant everywhere or just on the amended plan. Ron Wayt responded just on the amendment. Mr. Walls stated that was part of the request. Ron Wayt asked why the sidewalks were not put in when the driveways for the condominiums were being poured. Mr. Walls replied it was because they tend to get broken by equipment. Ron Wayt asked when the last unit was completed. Mr. Walls answered it was approximately one and a half to two years ago. Ron Wayt stated it had been two years since these sidewalks should have been put in. He went on to ask Mr. Walls if he was planning on building more condos. Mr. Walls replied he absolutely was. He stated due to the economic downturn, they had not to this point. But, if they have more sales, they intend to build the rest of them out. Dan Swafford expressed his concern that the new sidewalks match up to the existing ones so they look uniform. Rick Coppock added that they would have a tree plat to allow for pedestrian safety. Sandra Hash added it gives the pedestrian a safety net so they’re not right on the road. Ron Wayt added similar to what’s on the highway but the highway has a much smaller plot. Rick Coppock added urban areas many times have a sidewalk up against a curb in the downtown area. Most of the time, the minimum is a five foot separation and then a five foot sidewalk. Sometimes if in a more residential area you have a six foot sidewalk. Generally you have at least a five foot separation from the back of the curb to the face of the sidewalk. That’s the way it is on the First Assembly of God church, there is separation. He added, he’ll need to add sidewalk on the stub road too. The church is building up to the stub. Dan Swafford asked if Mr. Walls would be completing the sidewalk all the way down to his part of the stub. Mr. Walls said that would be acceptable. The area marked (one the map presented) is on a plain where the set-back would be possible. There are no residents living there, so it will be much easier to deal with. Dan Swafford asked if he would amend it to the existing stub as well. Mr. Walls responded in the affirmative. He went on to say they could drop both of those on each side of the street or whatever the Board prefers down to the end of the stub. There’s room in that area to do that with the set-back. Sandra Hash commented she had been involved with the Town for many years and the town has worked so hard to get sidewalks in additions. She personally lives in an addition that doesn’t have sidewalks. They are a great asset. They are attractive and they are safer. Right now we’re doing a Safe Routes to School project to add sidewalks to an existing neighborhood so children can walk to school safely. She added she understood his situation now, after the fact, he doesn’t want them and the property owners don’t want them. But as a Plan Commission member she is very disappointed that, as the condos were finished and the concrete drives were put in, that he did not put the sidewalks in as the Plan Commission had approved in the plat years ago. Ron Wayt asked if there could be one sidewalk on one side of the street; whichever is easiest to build. Mr. Walls asked if he meant throughout the rest of the project. Ron Wayt stated there are lots that don’t have any development on them. So, maybe the sidewalk could go around through one side of the development until it stops. Then, add on as you add new buildings, until this whole exterior circle is completed. He doesn’t think the cul-de-sac necessarily needs one. But, on one side or the other, whichever is easiest to grade, would not be as much destruction. When these were built, the owners knew there were going to be sidewalks. If we keep amending all of these plats we’re going to set precedents. He also lives in a neighborhood with no sidewalks and sees a lot of close calls with kids and people walking. It’s a dangerous situation. An adjustment to the sidewalks so that it works for both the developer and the residents would be the best thing to do. He didn’t understand why the sidewalks weren’t put in two years ago when the homes were finished and the drives were put in. The drives are concrete the same as the sidewalks and when the homes were finished, you should have been able to put in the sidewalks when these people were moving into these homes. Mr. Walls stated the PUD never had sidewalks in the cul-de-sac area. That’s not a discussion to put in or leave out. The rest of it is. It is a safety issue and he would rather walk on a sidewalk. A lot of this is not a through traffic area as of yet. Ron Wayt said we say this is not a through traffic area but, say in the future, there is a development of the property behind or beside Autumn Ridge. There could be a lot of what ifs. There should be sidewalks in that neighborhood if that’s the way it was planned. He feels there should be some adjustments to it, but there should be sidewalks in that neighborhood. Dan Swafford asked Mr. Walls how he felt about adjusting the original plat to accommodate sidewalks throughout the development. Is that something you think you could do or is it something you would like to come back next month. Mr. Walls asked for clarification that it was on one side as Ron Wayt was suggesting. Dan Swafford clarified, if he understood correctly, Ron Wayt is asking for just around the inner ring or the outer ring – whichever would be easiest. Ron Wayt added the outer ring would serve more people once all of these homes are built. Mr. Walls responded it was certainly something they could look at and return and speak about with the Commission. He reiterated a lot of the reason, besides the slope of the neighborhood, was resident driven for the request. But, if that’s what the Commission wants him to look at, he will be happy to look at and see what’s feasible to do construction-wise. Sandra Hash stated there was a comment by the residents at a Town Council meeting and she told the residents at that time it might be good to bring some signatures stating their wishes. She added she thought they ought to consider the homeowner’s request. She hates this has happened but now people are living there and have established yards and some of them in the front are quite small. Dan Swafford asked Mr. Walls how he wanted to proceed. Did he want them to table the matter so he could come back before them with an amended request or did he want them to vote on the amendment as presented to them now? Mr. Walls stated he would like it to remain the way it is now because, after speaking with the residents, this is how they want it and how he wants to do it. If the Commission decides that’s unacceptable, then obviously we need to find a way to work together to make something work in there. Dan Swafford noted they would proceed with comments from the residents at this time. He asked they limit their comments to three minutes and if you need additional minutes, they could ask for them.
Max Dixon, resident – asked why the sidewalks didn’t go around the street and go down the street. Sandra Hash responded they were going to.
Bruce Frey, resident and reporter for the Homeowner’s Association – stated he had the written responses to their poll. It indicates 24 homeowners are in agreement they don’t have to have the sidewalks, there’s one homeowner indicated they do want sidewalks, and there were four or five who were not available to respond. The poll was then given to Sandra Hash who read the petition. It is as follows:
The Town Council of Ellettsville has requested that a survey be taken of the residents in Autumn Ridge regarding the placement of sidewalks in our neighborhood. Sidewalks are on the original plat filed with the city. If the residents desire to not have a sidewalk, the Council needs to have a 75% majority before taking under consideration the removal of the sidewalks from the plat.
Sandra Hash then
indicated there was a place for a signature and there is a yes and a no box to
indicate your choice. The form was then
passed to all the Commissioners.
Willis Zeese, Autumn Ridge resident – stated he wanted to comment on Ron Wayt’s statement that other subdivisions would want access to their street. It would not be possible because of the spacing between the condos. There is no room for any other street to come in from any other direction. Plus, there is a creek that bypasses on the north side and he thinks that would be inaccessible in addition to the slope in that area.
Max Dixon, Autumn Ridge resident – When you approved this road here, you opened up
Autumn Ridge to through traffic. The
traffic is going to increase tremendously when that becomes a three-way on over
Russ Ryle, Reeves Road resident – stated in a technical sense, regardless of the merits of the question at hand specifically for sidewalks, its inappropriate to pick apart a plan unit development piece by piece that’s already been a less than sterling track record. It’s a developer that’s already gotten mutual concessions from everybody. It you can’t even get your equipment in to grade somebody’s backyard, God help you if you get a fire on a windy night the way those things are packed together. If this were an R1 development, or an R2, you would not have near the density you have on that piece of ground. The homeowners have already paid for amenities they may or may not get. The last thing we need to see is the Planning Commission set the precedent of, well, we’ll give you a PUD if you can promise and sell anything. But, in the final result, we may take that back – sorry. There should be no modifications of this PUD and the developer should have to develop this property as promised. The precedent you are setting is disastrous.
Myron Lewis, resident in Autumn Ridge – stated he heard some good points tonight and he appreciated hearing them as they were diverse. He said he couldn’t agree more with Ron Wayt when something is put forward, you should really follow through. Obviously, it doesn’t always occur that way. The majority of the residents are in agreement, but they’ve also had some changes in there they hadn’t planned like Smithville putting boxes where the sidewalks were supposed to go. The sidewalks won’t even be able to go through there in a logical manner. They’re going to have to go around everything that wasn’t in existence before. It alters the sidewalk pattern. The residents would probably agree they would like to see some of the other things done that will probably be mentioned later. He went on to say his goal is to get that stop sign there to slow things down. The sidewalk up there is fine. He added he didn’t really understand the sidewalk to the left of the new road. Traffic is not really going to go that way. He can understand the sidewalks to the right even though they will be dead-ending into a dead pathway. He went on to say, he can’t speak for the other residents, but the sidewalk around the area was never an interest. It was one of those things you had to accept. Maybe, this is going to come and it’s nice to have the opportunity to say, actually, I really don’t want it. He remarked he has small children and they ride their bikes in the neighborhood and feel quite safe. He added, statistically, there are more accidents on sidewalks with children crossing driveways because people don’t look when backing out. He feels this plan is reasonable and tolerable.
Ray Nelson, Autumn Ridge resident - commented he and his wife would prefer they have no sidewalks. According to the poll before the Council, that is the desire of most of the residents. He thinks the Council should take into account their wishes in this matter.
Phillip Smith, Council member - stated every resident he has spoken to does not want sidewalks. Ellettsville is a small town and we ought to be able to sit and listen to what the residents want.
Connie Schneider, Autumn Ridge resident - asked if anyone knew the reason for the counters across the streets in the neighborhood. Dan Swafford responded he didn't think it had anything to do with the sidewalks. Mrs. Schneider went on to ask if the residents of Autumn Hills were aware of the possibility of increased traffic in the neighborhood. Dan Swafford responded they were on the sidewalk issue at present. He said in earlier days, additions didn't put in sidewalks like they do now, so you will see many additions without them next to newer additions which have them. As people become more health conscious and walk more, you will see more sidewalks in neighborhoods. That was part of your addition, when it was put in, to have sidewalks. This is what they are here to decide on tonight; whether or not to go with what they have in decided to do in this town - to go with sidewalks - or to amend this plat to go with no sidewalks. Mrs. Schneider added that she was a walker and walks six to ten miles per day. When she crosses over to Woodgate, which has sidewalks, she walks in the street. She says she actually finds it safer. She added the last time she walked on a sidewalk, she fell and broke her wrist.
Bruce Frey, Autumn Ridge resident - reiterated he wanted to make it clear if you were to
vote to do away with the sidewalks, at this point, it would be premature to do that
until everything else that was on the plat has been completed. Dan Swafford stated he understood and was
Ray Nelson, Autumn Ridge resident - stated the sidewalks may raise some safety issues
also. It's already been mentioned that
the Smithville Telephone boxes are probably in the spot where the sidewalks
would be put in. You build sidewalks; you
create the need for snow removal every winter.
That has to be done at a certain cost which has to be borne by the
homeowner. If, in the future, repairs
have to be made to the sidewalks, those repairs will be assessed to the
homeowners. Those are two issues which
figure into his reasoning why he doesn't want sidewalks. Ron Wayt asked if the sidewalks wouldn't be
the responsibility of the Town.
Ron Wayt made a motion to table the PUD discussion. Phillip Smith seconded. Roll Call Vote: Dan Swafford - yes; Ron Wayt - yes; Don Calvert - yes; Phillip Smith - no; Phillip Rogers - yes; Sandra Hash - no. Motion carried 4-2. The PUD discussion was tabled until the July 1 meeting.
Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation Development, Petitioner - Bledsoe Riggert Guerrettaz, BRG Project No. 6940
Derek Marshal, Bledsoe Riggert and Guerrettaz, presented a map of the proposed improvements to
Dan Swafford entertained a motion. Phillip Smith made a motion to approve the request of Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation Development, Petitioner - Bledsoe Riggert Guerrettaz, Project No. 6940 for Phase I. Don Calvert seconded. Roll Call Vote: Dan Swafford - yes; Ron Wayt - yes; Don Calvert - yes; Phillip Smith - yes; Phillip Rogers - yes; Sandra Hash - yes. Motion carried 6-0.
Matthew Cascio - Administrative
· 152.257 (E) Condition of Signage - Maintenance and Removal. All signs shall be maintained in a readable state of repair. Signs which do not display an advertising or other message for a period of six months, or which are in a state of dilapidation, shall be removed within 30 days following notification. The 30 day time frame on that is June 18, 2010.
· 93.16 Public Health Nuisances; Abatement - June 7, 2010 was the clean-up date for this.
· 93.15 - Public Health Nuisances; Definitions for the purpose of 93.16 of this code.
Putrescible substances - substances which are subject to organic decomposition
Refuse - all putrescible and non-putrescible wastes, including animal wastes, garbage, rubbish, and dead animals
Rubbish - non-putrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and non-combustible wastes, such as paper, cardboard, tin cans, wood, glass, bedding, crockery, construction debris, and similar materials
· 93.17 Removal of Excessive Weeds and Vegetation - June 7, 2010
· The ceiling is of the main building is falling in. The roof opening shows insulation damage and mold. There is broken glass showing an unsecured building.
· There is an open water area not secured and in close proximity to residential land uses. There are fish in the pond. There are children going into this area.
· 93.01 Disease Control - mosquitoes breeding in the water area.
· 152.355 Maintaining a Common Nuisance area. Any structure erected, raised, or converted, or land or premises used, in violation of this chapter or an ordinance or regulation made under this chapter, is a common nuisance and the owner or possessor of the structure, land, or premises is liable for maintaining a common nuisance.
Matthew Cascio, owner former
After returning from recess, Dan Swafford asked Mr. Cascio if he had anything to add briefly before they took a vote. Mr. Cascio answered he did not. Dan Swafford stated he would like to break this down into three different votes on the three different issues presented in the letter.
Dan Swafford made a motion to grant the appeal by Mr. Cascio on code violation 152.257 (E), removal of signage. Phillip Smith seconded. Roll Call Vote: Dan Swafford - no; Ron Wayt - no; Phillip Smith - no; Phillip Rogers - no; Sandra Hash - no. Motion denied 5-0. Dan Swafford informed Mr. Cascio the appeal is denied and he must follow the code.
Phillip Smith made a motion to grant the appeal by Mr. Cascio on code violation 93.16, Public Health Nuisance. Dan Swafford seconded. Roll Call Vote: Dan Swafford - no; Ron Wayt - no; Phillip Smith - no; Phillip Rogers - no; Sandra Hash - no. Motion denied 5-0. Dan Swafford stated the violation stands.
Dan Swafford made a motion to grant the appeal by Mr. Cascio on code violation 93.17, tall vegetation. Phillip Rogers seconded. Roll Call Vote: Dan Swafford - no; Ron Wayt - no; Phillip Smith - no; Phillip Rogers - no; Sandra Hash - no. Motion denied 5-0.
Landscape Ordinance, Chapter 97, New Code - Discussion
Planning Department Updates
I-69 Grant Updates
Ron Wayt stated the July meeting is the Thursday before a
holiday and did the Commission want to keep that date or move it to the
8th. Dan Swafford asked to move it to
the 8th of July.
Dan Swafford entertained a motion to adjourn. Phillip Rogers made the motion to adjourn. Ron Wayt seconded. Dan Swafford adjourned the meeting at 8:41 p.m. The next meeting will be July 8, 2010 at