May 1, 2014

                                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

 

The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in regular session on Thursday, May 1, 2014, in the Fire Department Training and Conference Room located at 5080 West State Road 46.  Terry Baker called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Terry Baker led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Roll Call:  Members present were:  Terry Baker, President; Russ Ryle, Vice President; Don Calvert, David Drake, Dan Swafford, Pat Wesolowski and Sandra Hash.  Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, and Darla Brown, Town Attorney, were also present.

 

Approval of the Minutes – April 3, 2014

 

Terry Baker entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on March 6, 2014.  Dan Swafford so moved.  David Drake seconded.  Motion carried.

 

New Business

 

Voluntary Annexation Stephen Arbuckle, 5450 N. Thomas Road, Bloomington, IN  47404

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, explained in 1969, Ordinance 158 brought in .76 acres with a home and a total valuation of $66,500.  The fiscal plan for the 2014 annexation consists of a barn and farm on 1.82 acres and the total valuation is $14,800.  The petition was signed on April 3, 2014.  All public hearing notices have been published and the fiscal plan is available for viewing at Monroe County Library.  Notice to adjacent property owners was mailed on March 24, 2014.  The zoning they’re requesting is single family residential.   The total of the two areas brings the annexation to 2.75 acres and the valuation to $81,302.58.  The area of contiguty is .792.  It only makes sense to bring the Arbuckle property into annexation because it is already part of the Town.  It will make it easier should he ever need a building permit.

 

Pat Wesolowski asked if there are two deeds to the property.  Ms. Griffin replied there is one.  Mr. Ryle asked if there are two parcel numbers with one being in the Town and the other in Monroe County.  Ms. Griffin answered yes.  Ms. Hash asked if they wanted to come into the Town to make it unified or is there another purpose.  Stephen Arbuckle replied it is to unify the properties.  Mr. Ryle asked about road access in the future because of a potentially landlocked piece of ground.  Mr. Arbuckle answered they live on Thomas Road.  Mr. Ryle’s concern is bringing a landlocked piece of property with no street access into Town.  Technically, it’s large enough to have other residential units on it in the future.  There’s no good way to have vehicular access unless an easement is allowed that would provide a driveway.  Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Mr. Arbuckle would have to get an easement if he ever wanted to subdivide and sell the landlocked piece.  He would have to make arrangements with the new owners to have access.  Mr. Swafford further explained they would also have to come before the Plan Commission. 

 

Terry Baker entertained a recommendation to forward a positive recommendation to the Town Council.  David Drake made a motion to forward a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission for this annexation and note that the zoning is R-1.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Terry Baker – yes; Russ Ryle – yes; Don Calvert – yes; David Drake – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Pat Wesolowski – yes and Sandra Hash - yes.  Motion carried 7-0.

 

Old Business – Comprehensive Plan Town of Ellettsville, Indiana.  Discussion to Revise and Update

 

Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, presented an update to the history of Ellettsville.  The proposed changes are as follows:

 

·         Entire document:  Changed “State State Road 46” to “West State Road 46”.

·         Page 1, column 2, 1st ¶:  Removed “The limestone building . . . bank in 1927.”  Added “The limestone building on the corner of Sale and Main was built as a bank in 1927 and served as Town Hall from 1963 through 2013.”

·         Page 1, column 2, 2nd ¶:  Added “After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, stone from Bybee Stone Company was used to help rebuild the Pentagon.  A special limestone panel was signed by the workers in Ellettsville with the inscription:  ‘Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America’ President George W. Bush.”

·         Page 2, column 1, 1st ¶:  Added “In 1986, Richland-Bean Blossom Health Center on West State Road 46 was developed and . . .”  Also, added “By 1995 an upgrade to the sewer system was required.  In 1997, the current sewer plant on Red Hill Road was in service.  In 2000, the population of Ellettsville had grown to 5,078.”

·         Page 2, column 1, 2nd ¶:  Deleted and added to the first paragraph.

·         Page 2, column 2, 2nd ¶:  Added “The school system has an elementary school in Stinesville and in 2002 a Primary and Intermediate elementary school opened on Reeves Road.  The middle school and high school completed the school system and were renovated in 2013.”

·         Page 2, column 2, 4th ¶:  Changed “Endwright Center of . . .” to “Endwright Center for . . .”  Added “ . . . Citizens, building in 1997, . . .”  Added “The first Fall Festival was in 1935 held in the downtown area on Sale and Vine Streets.  In 2003, due to the one way pairing of West State Road 46 the Limestone stage on the east corner of Sale and Main Streets was demolished.  The Fall Festival regrouped in 2006 and is now held at the Town parks on Park Street.”

·         Page 3, column 1, partial 1st ¶:  Changed “Construction began on new . . .” to “Construction began on the new four-lane . . .  The highway . . . in 2001 leads to the old . . . Two board highway lanes . . . community run one-way west and two lanes on the south side run east.”  Added “The one way pair was completed in 2004.  The year also saw the completion of a Fire Station on the east side of Ellettsville and a Police Station on the west side.”

·         Page 3, column 1, 2nd ¶:  Added “One of the greater issues facing the downtown area is flooding.  There was a substantial flood in 1995 which lead to the relocation of the Fire and Police Departments.  With the completion of the one way pair came hope that the flooding danger had been reduced.  That hope was shattered on May 8, 2012, and again on December 21, 2013.  The December flood forced the Town to relocate the Town Hall to a temporary location in Eagles Landing at 200 E. Association Street.”

·         Page 3, column 2, 1st ¶:  Changed “inspire price” to “inspire pride”.  Added “ . . . residents which has grown to over 6,378 citizens.”

 

Pat Wesolowski asked if the schools and park are in Ellettsville and not in the Township.  Ms. Hash replied no.  The Township owns the park and the Town leases it.  The Town annexed it in in 2000.  The schools voluntarily annexed into the Town when the new schools were built. 

 

Russ Ryle asked when Richland Bean-Blossom Community School Corporation was established.  Ms. Hash replied it was in 1966.  Mr. Ryle noted on page 1, column 1, the third paragraph should state the transportation route was the Bloomington-Spencer Pike established in 1847.  Ms. Hash asked that Mr. Ryle edit the paragraph and email the change to her.  Mr. Ryle thinks Ellettsville was on a map as early as 1850 but will verify it.

 

Don Calvert asked if the new traffic light being installed or the expansion of the Senior Living Center needs to be added.  Mr. Ryle thinks with that much detail they will have a 30 page Town history.  One historical fact is the Town started with 31 lots and what has kept it alive is the fact it has grown.  The road system was surveyed in 1842 and was designed to serve a farming area with eight to sixteen homesteads per square mile.  They had two eight feet buggy lanes which was the basis of the transportation system.  The struggle over almost 200 years of history is putting more population and heavy transportation requirements on an infrastructure designed for horses and buggies.  Ms. Hash noted the history is an overview of the growth of Ellettsville.  The Town has grown since the State Road 46 construction.  Mr. Baker commended Ms. Hash on doing a good job reviewing the history.

 

Russ Ryle asked Ms. Griffin how much ground Ellettsville has annexed in the last 20 years.  Ms. Griffin didn’t have the amount with her but it will appear somewhere in the Comprehensive Plan.  She suggested having three presenters for next month’s meeting.  This would be her on geography, Russ Ryle on framework for the principal policies and Terry Baker for priorities for 2014.  Ms. Hash asked if anyone has any additional facts to add to the history to email them to her.  Mr. Ryle views the Comprehensive Plan as a vision statement looking into the future.  2037 will be the Town’s 200th Anniversary.  What do they envision the Town to be in 2037?  It will be denser, less rural areas and more stormwater problems.  The way the world is changing the Town has to grow physically and economically.  There has to be a minimum economic size to pay the bills because of the need for professionals and staff to manage the Town.  If the Town doesn’t keep growing, at some point it won’t be able to afford what it costs to maintain the services it provides to its citizens.  Ms. Hash noted since she has worked for the Town, it has doubled in population and that is good growth.  Mr. Baker commented the Comprehensive Plan is a living document and is not made in concrete and will change as they go along.  Mr. Ryle reiterated his point is the Town has to cope with growth and increasing the tax base or it won’t be here in 10 years.  He was given a list of 18 objectives to review.  The two most important are the Town has to grow physically and economically.  The 18 points are mute if they fail that mission.

 

Pat Wesoloski went up and down State Road 46.  People think that Ellettsville has a lot in it which it does.  There is a lot of economic development that is not in Ellettsville.  For example, McDonald’s, Arby’s and Member’s Choice Credit Union are not in Ellettsville but people think they are.  There are dollars there that can be used for the Town of Ellettsville.  Mr. Ryle noted the businesses are using Ellettsville services.  Ms. Hash commented the Town annexed CVS this year and can annex other businesses.  A member of St. John’s Church came into her office and asked questions about voluntarily annexing.  It’s a non-profit but it would expand the Town’s territory.  Mr. Wesoloski asked what happens if they decide to move.  There’s 30 acres that could be expanded into housing or businesses. The Town has to look down the road, not at yesterday or today.  For the Town to get revenue, it should get what is here now into the Town.  There is money sitting there and the Town isn’t getting any of it.  Now, the Town has bought land, will have a Town Manager and is looking at the Heritage Trail which are all expenditures.  Where will the revenue come from?  They have to insure that the Town is looking to that point.  He agrees with Mr. Ryle.  There is a lot of open land from Ellettsville past Richard’s on State Road 46.  That’s where the Town’s growth will be coming from.  Mr. Ryle thinks the expansion will be east toward I-69.  The long term survivability is going to depend on bringing development spurred by I-69 into the Town’s tax base.  The other thing to look at are the transportation requirements for the State of Indiana.  At some point there will be a four lane highway between Bloomington and Terre Haute.  There is already a traffic nightmare through downtown Ellettsville.  Ninety-percent of the people that travel daily on State Road 46 daily want to go through Ellettsville.  In the last ten days there have been at least six serious accidents on State Road 46 between the Arlington light and the west side of Ellettsville. Eventually, there will be a bypass to the south.  Ellettsville is sitting on the best, flat unused land in Monroe County.  I-69 will increase the pressure of people wanting flat, usable land.  This needs to be factored into the planning process. 

 

Planning Department Updates

 

Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, explained code enforcement is having a problem with 2’ x 2’ signs.  They’re off premise advertising and a lot of them are non-profit.  They have a temporary sign permit for a banner but not 2’ x 2’ signs.  They’re looking at revising §152 for a non-profit blanket policy.  They continually go to Town Council at different times for non-profits.  When they’re in the right-of-way and considered a compliancy issue they can seize them.  First, they give them a call and tell them to come get their signs.  She’ll draft a change to the code.  They’ve discussed visual clutter.  This is a code enforcement issue.  Mr. Baker commented non-profits will still have to get a permit and if they don’t the signs would be picked up.  Ms. Hash asked about commercial properties who put signs between the sidewalk and the street is it considered a public right-of-way.  Ms. Griffin replied yes, it’s a public right-of-way.  Ms. Hash noted Big Foot has a sign and it blocks the line of sight when pulling out.  Ms. Griffin said that gets into the sight triangle and is a code enforcement issue.  When they see something like that it’s a safety issue.  They pick up the signs and keep them at the Planning Department.  Mr. Swafford noted the Big Foot sign is in the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) right-of-way.  Ms. Griffin said INDOT clears the right-of-way two or three times a year. 

 

Connie Griffin advised there is a Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) application that will be turned in on May 12, 2014 and will be on the agenda for the June meeting.  They can familiarize themselves with the PUD application on the Planning Department’s web site.  It is Cedar Bluff gardens and the developers are Rubicon Investments and Smith Brehob and Associates.  They are looking at mixed uses such as a bank with a drive-thru, a restaurant with a drive-thru and, possibly, a sit down restaurant.  The site is over five acres so they qualify to apply for a PUD.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if the parcel is five acres or more.  Ms. Griffin replied it’s a little more than eight acres.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if they’re taking all of it.  Ms. Griffin answered they’re developing all of it.  Mr. Ryle commented putting more density along the State Road 46 corridor is a traffic nightmare and accidents have increased.  Ms. Griffin asked them to put their comments in emails and she will pass them along to the developers. 

 

Dan Swafford asked the status of the flood cleanup.  Ms. Griffin replied they have only enforced on something recently which got resolved.  The other issues are with homes and outdoor storage.  She thinks they’re still actively working with their wares.  They’re still compromising on a few issues.  Ms. Hash commented on the first week of every month they can take big items to the solid waste station.

 

Evelyn Ryle found out when going to the local dumpster site for the count that they don’t always have the pickup on the first week of the month.  Ms. Hash noted it is close but it is posted.  Ms. Ryle said sometimes the rain washes off the postings.  Solid waste recommends if someone wants to drop off something large to stop and ask them when they know they’re going to have their dumpster available.  Mr. Swafford is on the board of the Solid Waste District and bulky items are scheduled for the first week of the month starting on Monday in Ellettsville.  They will have a telephone number on the website for people to call and find out if the dumpsters still have room for bulky items.

 

Pat Wesolowski asked how the poultry code is going.  Ms. Griffin replied they sent letters to let chicken owners know about the new changes.

 

Adjournment

 

Terry Baker entertained a motion to adjourn.  Dan Swafford made a motion to adjourn.  Pat Wesolowski seconded.