October 28, 2013
The Ellettsville, Indiana, Town Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, October 28, 2013, at the Fire Department Training and Conference Room. Scott Oldham called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. Dianna Bastin led the Pledge of Allegiance followed with a prayer by Phillip Smith.
Roll Call: Members present were Scott Oldham, President; Dan Swafford, Vice President; Dianna Bastin, David Drake and Phillip Smith. Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.
Supervisors present were: Mike Cornman, Jim Ragle, Tony Bowlen, Connie Griffin and Jeff Farmer.
Approval of Minutes
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on October 15, 2013. Phillip Smith so moved. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried.
Accounts Payable Vouchers
Scott Oldham entertained a motion for action to pay Accounts Payable Vouchers. Dan Swafford so moved. Phillip Smith seconded. Motion carried.
Resolution 19-2013 Additional Appropriation – Lease Rental Payment Fund
Sandra Hash, Clerk-Treasurer, explained this is due to the refinancing of the bonds which combines the total of the payments. This year’s budget reflected the old payments so she had to ask the state for an additional appropriation in order to pay the combined large payment at the end this year. There should be enough money in the fund. The projected revenue is $143,000 and an additional $129,000.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Resolution 19-2013. David Drake made a motion to adopt Resolution 19-2013. Dan Swafford seconded. Roll Call Vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Ordinances on First Reading
Ordinance 2013-16 to Establish Rate Changes for Water
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) counsel, Pete King, was in the process of preparing the rate change ordinance and it is his opinion they need more guidance from the Town Council as to which direction to go. When Umbaugh gave their presentation they discussed doing away with the out of town rates and if the Town Council is inclined to do so they will prepare the proposed rates. If not, they will go the other direction.
Scott Oldham said the IURC takes a dim view of multiple
rates. Ms. Brown agreed. Under the circumstances the Town may have a
problem justifying it. The IURC would
require a rate study which could be very expensive. Umbaugh thinks the Town should do away with
the out of town rate and consider one rate.
The Town Council doesn’t need to vote on it at this meeting but if they
give her a
Dan Swafford asked why different rates were established in the beginning. Rick Coppock replied there was a discrepancy as to what was out of town versus in town. Years ago the infrastructure wasn’t there. Now, everyone would be put on an equal basis with one rate.
Scott Oldham doesn’t see the Town progressing very far into the
future which means the unfortunate need to raise the rates. The increase will pay for infrastructure
improvements which the Town needs to grow unless the rates between in town and
out of town are
the Town Council in agreement with instructing IURC counsel to move
Dan Swafford asked if the reason the Town hired Umbaugh was to do
a rate study. Mr. Coppock replied they
did a rate study but would have to do a cost of services study to show why it
cost more to service those customers. Dianna
Bastin asked when
irates are going to go
up. Mr. Coppock answered after the rate
ordinance is passed there will be a certain amount of time before it will go
Scott Oldham confirmed the of the Town Council is to move forward. Ms. Brown advised the ordinance will be ready for the next Town Council meeting.
Ordinance 2013-19 to Amend Chapter 94 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Abandoned, Salvaged and Scraped Vehicles
Connie Griffin, Director of Planning, explained the items under Chapter 94 which pertain to the Department of Planning will be moved to §152.062. The Department of Planning will implement a daily fine for a vehicle found to be non-compliant. The code process will hold the property owner responsible for the removal, repairs and storage of the vehicle.
Scott Oldham clarified in Chapter 94 the intent is to eliminate the
Director of Planning, Deputy Planning Director and the ordinanceofficer’s ability under that section.
Ms. Griffin replied that is correct.
Mr. Oldham asked if they really want to do this. There are certain things that are going to
fall more toward planning versus the law enforcement version. There needs to be a conversation with the
Town Marshal and Town Attorney regarding the tow policy they’
re working on to
integrate a lot of this before a mistake is made and there becomes an
issue where they can’t take care of a
problem. There are things planning could
handle and law enforcement could not.
This needs to be streamlined between the Town Marshal, Town Attorney and
the Department of Planning before anything is done with this code
Ordinance 2013-18 to Amend Chapter 96 of the Ellettsville Town Code Concerning Animals
Griffin, Director of Planning,
explained single family districts are the most restrictive in the Town’s zoning
ordinance. Residential areas are
protected from encroachment type uses.
In 1966, the Town of Ellettsville had a municipal zoning ordinance under
§3.2(F) which prohibited the raising of farm animals or poultry. In 2003 and 2004 under §152 livestock was
prohibited by definition. Her research
found that because a conflict with the statues has occurred, livestock was
prohibited in 2003 and 2004 by definition and the more strict code prevails. In the 2004 code changes they weren’t
stricken in §96.01. Her interpretation
and the code research she had done as Director of Planning, found in §152.358,
Conflict with Other Statutes, that “Where
the requirements under this Chapter are in conflict with the requirements of
any other statute or law that is in effect within the Town’s territorial
jurisdiction, the more restrictive requirement shall prevail as well as any
amendments thereto or replacement thereof in §152.357.” She reiterated her
research has found that livestock animals in residential zones
prohibited but §96.01 failed to be stricken at the time the revision
happened. In Chapter 96, there is an
Interlocal Agreement between Monroe County Animal Management and an
understanding with the City of Bloomington.
She is proposing to strike §96.01 and §96.02 will contain the Interlocal
Agreement. The Interlocal Agreement is
spelled out within both chapters.
Bastin noted Chapter 96, Animals, states
“The mission of Ellettsville Animal
Control is” but Ellettsville does not have an animal control. Ellettsville contracts with Monroe County and
guidelines. It’s difficult to find
anything in the Town Code unless you’re online.
She understands why the explanation from Animal Control is in the Town
code but is it really necessary? Can
people not research and call Monroe County Animal Control? Can
Monroe County Animal Control guidelines not be referenced? Ms. Griffin replied it has been done with
other code and
asked the Town Attorney if the Interlocal
Scott Oldham asked if the proposed code prohibits chickens. Ms. Griffin replied chickens have been
prohibited since 2003 and 2004. Mr.
Oldham asked if the change would prohibit chickens. Ms. Griffin answered yes, in Chapter
152. It is an encroachment on
residential property in her opinion as Director of Planning. They’ve looked at the recorded plats which
use similar language. The plats state “No animals, livestock or poultry of any
kind shall be raised, bred or kept on any lot except a dog, a cat or recognized
household pet may be kept providing they are not kept, bred or maintained for
any commercial purposes.” It is a
but is on a recorded
plat. Mr. Oldham said if the Town is going to
reference Monroe County the Town has no say in what Monroe County may
eventually do. If Monroe County decides
they’re going to allow chickens in residential areas then wouldn’t that carry
over into the Town? Ms. Griffin answered
if the Town has a higher, more restrictive, code which it does in §152 the
chickens would be prohibited. Mr. Oldham
asked if she is basing §152 on is the restriction of land use as
opposed to possession. Ms. Griffin
replied yes. Mr. Oldham asked the Town
Attorney her thoughts. Ms. Brown replied
she doesn’t have any problems with doing it that way.
Bastin stated the City of Bloomington
allows chickens and in years past they probably did not. However, because of the changing ways and
people wanting to have food chemical free is there no way the Town could not do
something similar to what the City of Bloomington has done and allow people to
have five chickens? They have coops now
that are portable and can be moved around the yard. She doesn’t see a problem with it. They’ve seen a picture of a bad example but
she’s seen a couple of good examples. Is
there not any way the Town could do this?
Ms. Griffin answered the City of Bloomington has two zoning districts in
which chicken flocks are allowed. An
estate residential has
as 108,900 lot size. The Town’s lot sizes are typically 10,000
square feet or less. Bloomington also
allows chickens in single dwelling residential or S classifications that have
8,400 square feet. Ms. Bastin asked if
Ellettsville could not adjust to allow for chickens. Mr. Oldham answered they could but do they
want to. Mr. Swafford said the Town
hires Monroe County to do its animal control.
If the Town changes something will Monroe County not follow it if the
Town is stricter? Ms. Griffin replied
this is a discussion the Monroe County Attorney has asked to have. They are concerned if the Town becomes
stricter with its code will the agreement remain the same or will they revise
it. This is an attorney to attorney
question as to what they will be willing to maintain within the Monroe County
Scott Oldham said with the theory Ms. Griffin and Ms. Brown are
putting forth the Town doesn’t need to concern itself with the animal control
ordinance because it’s more of a planning and zoning problem as opposed to an
animal control problem. Ms. Griffin said
that’s correct, it’s a land usage violation.
Mr. Oldham said they’re two separate issues. The Town would then handle the administration
or fining under §152 as opposed to worrying about violations or potential
violations under the proposed animal control section. Ms. Bastin asked if dogs, cats and domestic
pets fall under that code and animal control comes over and handles those
issues. Mr. Oldham asked if they’re
allowable under planning. Ms. Griffin
answered that is correct unless it gets into a kennel classification and then
it has to be in an agricultural zone. Ms.
Bastin still doesn’t see how it can’t be worked out. It’s obvious there are several in
Ellettsville already. She’s heard the
discussions that no one wants chickens slaughtered in Ellettsville. None of these codes prevent her from buying a
live chicken and taking it home, killing it in the back yard and dressing it
out. Ms. Griffin noted it would have to
be an allowable use and slaughtering is not allowed. Ms. Bastin stated all she would have to do is
slaughter it after she goes home at 4:00 p.m.
Mr. Oldham noted non-enforcement is not the same as not allowing it. Ms.
livestock definitions. Mr. Oldham asked why rabbits are not
considered domestic pets. Ms. Griffin
replied rabbits in the City of Bloomington are not considered domestic
livestock but in Monroe County are considered domestic livestock. The Interlocal Agreement defines rabbits as a
livestock animal. Mr. Oldham asked if
they do this under the ordinance and someone wanted to have a rabbit for an
indoor pet, which a lot of people do, is it not allowed. Ms. Griffin said she doesn’t know how she
would find out about rabbits in a house but if the definition was used to its
strictest terms then yes, it is prohibited in residential. Mr. Oldham said again, non-enforcement does
not mean it is not legal. Why would
rabbits not be allowed? Clearly, there
are a lot of children who have rabbits as pets.
Ms. Griffin said she wanted it known she understands about the codes,
sustainability, not parking in yards and not enough area for people to park but
for her job as the Code Enforcement Officer she has to have consistent
codes. When the codes are contradictory
it ties their hands and brings people before the Town Council who continue to
grind out the same story and same problem.
They’re wanting to clear inconsistencies. Mr. Oldham gets it and doesn’t disagree. He is saying now that they’re changing things
do they want to make some modifications which would mean modifying two
ordinances. But if they’re going to do
it once they don’t want to do it three times.
Ms. Griffin is all for that but she needs to know what rules they want
what Mr. Smith said about 4-H kids. She
knows people who have chickens for health reasons because they know what goes
into the chickens such has no chemicals. They pass rules for people to be greener and
protect the environment but they don’t want to go full blast at it. There is an organization that will bring
goats to your yard and fence them in so they will eat the grass. She thinks it can be worked out. Five chickens is plenty and they don’t need
any roosters. Mr. Oldham said the flip
side of it is enforcement. Either
something is presented that is enforceable or iit
would have to be amended. Mr. Drake said
if it’s treated as a land use violation and Ms. Griffin enforces it what with the chickens and goats.
Mr. Oldham replied if it’s a land use violation they fine the landowner
and it is the ir responsibility to remove them. Ms. Brown if the
landowner won’t take care of it then what do they do. They can keep fining
them. Mr. Oldham said under an animal
control prospective they’ re into search
warrants to enter the property and seize and then tcourt. So, they’re walking a line either way. Which is cleaner – he doesn’t know. Ms. Bastin said they can’t say animal control
follows this to the letter. The Town
just paid for the removal of seven
Tony Bowlen advised after 4:00 p.m.
it’s the Police Department who receives the calls and has to respond because
Animal Control goes home. He’s heard
some valid arguments about allowing poultry in Town. The situation they will have putting five
chickens on postage size lots will cause more neighborhood disturbances. Children will be afraid of chickens or they
will be too close to the fence. They will also be noisy
The Town should take the time to have a work session. This will create a lot of issues they’re not
in a position to deal with as a law enforcement agency. Ms. Bastin asked if they’re having to deal
with them now because there are several chicken coops in Ellettsville. How many calls are you getting? Marshal Bowlen replied they occasionally
receive calls about chickens in the road but by the time they respond they
can’t find them. If they decide to do
this they need to find a way to deal with the problem. Mr. Oldham said there are valid points to
both sides of the issue. Mr. Swafford
asked if they get calls about dogs bothering neighbors. Marshal Bowlen replied they get calls about
barking dogs in the middle of the night and viscous dogs. They respond and if it’s an issue for animal
control they will refer them. Monroe County Animal Control will not come at
2:00 a.m. for a barking dog.
Bastin said if they compromise there
are things that could be done to take care of some of these issues. They sell chicken tractors that are enclosed
and can be moved around. People who want
chickens need to bear some of the responsibility and some expense for keeping
them. Mr. Oldham asked Ms. Griffin if
she has done any research into the communities who allow chickens and how they
enforce them. Ms. Griffin replied it is
usually done by animal management. Mr.
Oldham clarified he wants to know
do they require co ups or
pens. Ms. Griffin replied Monroe County
does not require a co up of any kind. There are many different little devices for
keeping chickens. Mr. Oldham askedthey required. Mr. Smith replied Bloomington does. Ms. Bastin added Bloomington must be kept
securely enclosed on the permit holder’s property. Mr. Smith said they need to be really careful
with this. Back in 2006 he had a pet
shop in Bloomington and they went through this with reptiles. At that time they gave them a list they could
sell which they researched and found two on the endangered species list. This can’t be taken lightly. They need to decide what are pets or
livestock. Mr. Oldham said the rabbit
issue is an example. Is it being kept as
a pet or food? Mr. Smith added the same
applies to chickens. Ms. Griffin
commented this has been on the table a couple of times before. If they could get some direction or time
frame. If they do not act there will be
more and more. Mr. Oldham asked how many
people have chickens. Ms. Griffin
answered she thinks eight to ten. Mr.
Oldham asked if she would be in favor of grandfathering them if they’re
prohibited. Ms. Griffin replied it would
require an inspection and count chickens and when they die off they would not
be able to replace them. She’s okay with
Scott Oldham stated they’re going to have to give Ms. Griffin some
direction and clearly the Council is split as to what they want to do. Mr. Drake’s biggest concern is whatever they
do has to be in line with the
s this? Ms. Bastin asked if the land use ordinance
includes dogs, cats and domestic animals.
Ms. Griffin said it does and the definitions are in the Interlocal
Agreement and §152. Ms. Bastin said she
does not want it to be a land use issue at all.
Mr. Oldham agrees. Mr. Swafford
noted before he makes a decision he would like to hear from the public. MOldham noted they don’t normally hear from the public
on first reading so maybe they can contact individual council members. The reason he brought up rabbits was because
he heard from someone who asked what about children with allergies to cats and
dogs but can have rabbits.
Bastin said if they make it a land
use issue and Planning decides that, using herself as an example, her Yorkies
have violated something then she calls animal control and she gets two
fines. This is why she doesn’t want it
to be a land use issue. Ms. Griffin said
she doesn’t understand that logic. Ms.
Bastin clarified she doesn’t want it enforceable by Monroe County Animal Control and the
Town under land
use. Ms. Griffin said she never knows
when Monroe County Animal Control is in Town.
Ms. Bastin added she doesn’t want to answer to two different
departments. She follows all animal
. doesn’t want land usage and
animal control. Mr. Oldham asked if they
want more research or abandon the land usage issue. They need to give Ms. Griffin some
direction. Mr. Smith said this is the
first reading. They need to set back a questions and email them to the
Planning Director and Town Attorney. Ms.
Griffin asked if they’re telling her not to enforce the current code which is
chickens are prohibited. Mr. Oldham
replied they never said that. They’re
debating changing the ordinance. Ms.
Griffin reiterated they’re prohibited right now and she could be enforcing on
the chickens she knows of right now. Ms.
Bastin Ms. Griffin said she hasn’t
been enforcing up to this meeting. Ms.
Griffin said she’s asking for clarification.
Ms. Bastin said maybe they need to leave it as is. Mr. Oldham asked if the complaints are healthsafety related or nuisance
related. Ms. Griffin said they’re health
and safety. Ms. Hash added when they
looked at the codes at Plan Commission they didn’t look at changing them to
allow chickens. They were just trying to
move some codes around. As far as Plan
Commission is concerned they didn’t address this at all because they didn’t
look at it the same way as the Town Council. It’s a total different direction then what
she thought would be presented to the Town Council. Mr. Oldham
Dan Swafford said Ms. Hash made a valid point. When they sent the proposed code from Plan Commission it was one thing but now they’re talking about redoing the ordinance. Should it not go back to the Plan Commission? Ms. Brown said if they’re making changes in §152 it has to originate with the Plan Commission. Mr. Oldham asked if that would be only if they’re deeming it a land use violation. Ms. Brown said that’s correct. Mr. Oldham added if it’s deemed an animal control issue then it has to stay at Town Council. This was advertised as a public hearing so they will have a short discussion with the public if anyone wants to talk about is.
Daniels lives on Hanover Glen next to
a property on Briarwood Lane which has recently been turned into a residential
farm. A video of a duck pond, chickens,
ducks, rooster and rabbits was shown.
Chickens and rabbits escape from that property onto his. He and his wife are getting tired of
this. The stench from the pond during
the summertime can get pretty bad. The
rooster crows constantly and the ducks quack all the time. The rabbits have escaped and are populating
the neighborhood. When the rabbits were
small they went through the chain link fence.
t ingly, he
has tried to keep the animals in with fenc e and i. Mr.
Daniels answered yes, it has been going on for two to three years. Ms. Bastin said she has a family member who
lives in the neighborhood and told her she ha d a domestic rabbit
in her yard.
Gus lives on Paul Street behind a shelter house at the park. He showed a photograph of his back yard including a chicken house and a 12’ x 12’ pen with a complete roof. It is completely enclosed and the chickens do not escape. His wife has lived there for 24 years and he has lived there for 19 years. There is a lot of noise at the park. His wife raises irises and they use what they get from the chickens to supply those irises. He has Silkies and chickens which are domesticated. When they started having chickens they looked at the ordinance in §96 to make certain they were in compliance. He’s invested approximately $2,000 on the project. It upsets him to think they could potentially be shut down for no other reason than someone wants to do so. Their neighbors don’t care.
Lowers lives on Main Street. Chickens roost at night so they don’t have to
worry about them making noise. Chickens
have to be protected because they are prey to skunks and raccoons. They looked up the code and the Director of
Planning had something a few weeks before that said they’re following Monroe
County’s rules which says they can have five chickens. Dogs can use
d the bathroom
in their own yard but if they go anywhere else and do it it is against the rules. They need to quit worrying if there are
chickens living in someone’s back yard and figure out how to live with each
other. The Ellettsville web site says “This is a place where neighbors help
neighbors.” If we’re not going to
help each other then remove it from the web site.
Scott Oldham asked what direction
do they want
to give Ms. Griffin. Ms. Bastin thinks
they need to leave it under §96 and take it out of land usage and look at
allowing chickens under §96. If it’s
moved to land usage then it is double jeopardy for the person who gets into
trouble with an animal. There will be
fees for the Board of Zoning Appeals and a fine from animal control. It’s a lot of government over an animal. Mr. Smith thinks they need to wait until the
next meeting. Mr. Swafford thinks Ms.
Griffin and Ms. Brown need to get together on this and
work out some of the kinks that have been brought up. It’s under first reading anyway and they weren’t going to make
any kind of motions. Both options need
to be looked at. Ms. Brown said someone
had mentioned earlier to have Town Council members and members of the public
email Ms. Griffin or her. Her suggestion
is to go ahead and do this and she and Ms. Griffin can compile the comments and
return to the Town Council with some choices.
They can cross reference §96 and §152 and see what they can do about
it. Mr. Oldham agrees with this and
thinks Ms. Bastin brings up a valid point about double penalties. Ms. Brown confirmed everyone is in agreement
to limit the number of chickens and rabbits and keep them in a pen. Mr. Drake said if chickens are allowed they
need to be limited. Ms. Bastin agrees
the y should be a limit
and covered. Ms. Griffin asked if the
inspection process is to stay with animal management. Mr. Oldham replied it depends on how they go
with it. Ms. Griffin’s email address can
be found at ellettsvilleplanning.org.
Ordinance 2013-17 to Amend Chapter 152 of the Ellettsville Town Concerning Planning and Zoning Regulations
Griffin, Director of Planning, began
by explaining this is broke
n down by code sections.
David Drake noticed §152.062(C) states
,people can’t park any
motor vehicle on a lot, lawn or green space for more than three hours in a 24
hour period. Section E states people
can’t park on a lot, lawn or green space in a residential district not to
exceed one hour. Why is there a
difference? Ms. Griffin replied it’s for
unloading and loading. They didn’t put
any reason why they would be parking in the yard for three hours. She can change Section E to three hours.
Connie Griffin explained there is contradiction in old code that prohibits parking on the grass in §152 because there wanting to change it to three hours in length. Mr. Smith thought hree or four years ago they got rid of the ordinance and said people could park in their yard as long as it didn’t cause ruts. Mr. Swafford and Ms. Bastin concurred. Ms. Griffin stated it was never stricken from the code. Mr. Drake thought they didn’t make any decision to delete it.
Bastin noted according to the
proposed code, she can’t pull her car out of the garage and into the yard and
clean the garage out unless it takes three hours. Otherwise she is in violation of the code. Ms. Griffin advised they discussed this at
the Plan Commission, and the Town Attorney agreed, a time frame was
needed. Ms. Bastin understands she ran
it through the Town Attorney this is her lot, her yard and there are
no ruts but there is grass. Is the Town
going to over govern? She can’t park it
in her own side yard while she cleans out her garage? Mr. Swafford thinks there needs to be
something in place people who constantly pull their vehicle
in the yard and leave it there. Do you
want their neighbors to leave their cars in the yard even though it’s not
rutting it? Ms. Bastin answered they do
and nobody does anything about it. Mr.
Swafford asked if it aggravates her. Ms.
Bastin answered no, it’s their yard and there
’s not ruts. She thought they got rid of that code. There comes a time when towns and cities
start to over govern
Scott Oldham asked if this
e yard. Ms. Griffin said
they are fairly reasonable about things of this nature. Their concern is multiple people or 5:00 a.m. then it
was overnight. Ms. Hash advised when
this was discussed at Plan Commission she brought up the fact that she and her
husband remodeled their home. During
that time, they parked on the grass for a couple of weeks. There are no signs of it and the end reward
was her house looks a whole lot better than before the remodel. There are certain circumstances when there is
no choice. They tore out their driveway
and had no place to park but the yard.
Mr. Oldham asked how attempt to control the person who
decides to park 14 cars in their side yard.
Mr. Drake stated there needs to be a section that states it’s allowed
for temporary exceptional circumstances and they can apply for a waiver from
the Director of Planning. If they don’t
like what the Director of Planning says they can appeal it to the Town
Council. Ms. Brown thought there was
something included for remodeling and parking on the lawn. Ms. Bastin asked if she had to call a
Planning Commissioner to clean out her garage or to remodel her home. Ms. Brown replied no , if the car is going
to be parked on the grass for any length of time then yes. Ms. Bastin asked if she’s remodeling isn’t
there already a permit on file. Mr.
Oldham understands and would rather evolve it to Ms. Griffin’s level. Ms. Brown thinks the idea was to keep track of
those vehicles and distinguish between those vehicles that were temporarily on
the grass because somebody was cleaning out a garage or remodeling versus the
non-operable car that sets for some length of time. Ms. Bastin thinks you can tell the difference
and knows the examples she’s talking about it.
She’s trying to prevent over governing.
Why would someone have to call to ask permission to spend money to
better her home and have to park in her yard?
Phillip Smith asked if there isn’t something in place at this time. For example, his neighbor’s husband passed away a couple of weeks ago and they probably had 15 cars parked in their yard. He suggested she call the Police Department and tell them what’s going on in case they get a complaint. If someone knows they’re going to be remodeling, call the Plan Commission and let them know what you’re going to be doing. Mr. Swafford stated if the codes and regulations aren’t in the books then nothing can be done about the people who are abusing it. They’re trying to stop the people who abuse the system. Mr. Oldham sees both sides of the issue. Are people free to do what they want on their own private property? When does what someone does with their property affect his private property rights? There has to be a middle ground. He does want the Director of Planning to have the ability to waive it for whatever they choose. Mr. Swafford said they have done a waiver before. A gentleman wassick and they gave him a six month waiver. Ms. Griffin said they also have the ability for someone to put in for accessory parking. It is a $25 fee.
Scott Oldham had a question about §152.062, possession of inoperable vehicles or vehicles with expired plates or tags stored on residential property. Does this not allow someone to have an old car stuck in the garage to work on? He doesn’t see where having it in the garage is an issue. Ms. Griffin said she didn’t have a problem with that. Mr. Oldham said it states “Possession of a non-operable vehicle or vehicles with expired license plates or tags stored on residential property for more than 30 days is in violation of this.” There is another area where he did see a provision for storing a vehicle such as an antique car. This sets up another contradiction within the code. Mr. Drake thinks it applies to parking. Mr. Oldham asked if under “Recreational vehicles, motor vehicles, campers and boats shall be parked on an approved hard surface, framed by landscaping timbers or approved materials and shall not obstruct the sidewalk or public right-of-way” hard surface refers to concrete, asphalt or gravel. Hard surface is not defined. Ms. Griffin replied it can be a couple of different things. In Paddington Park they do not allow the use of gravel for an extra parking area. This is why she didn’t define it. Gravel is an approved accessory hard parking surface.
Dianna Bastin mentioned under the definition for Accessory Structure, it mentions a cabana and on page 5 under Accessory Use it states it’s only for the owners. So if she has a cabana her friends can’t sit in it. Ms. Griffin said this was part of the old original code and she didn’t think it was necessary. Ms. Bastin asked if it could be left in. Ms. Griffin replied it can be left in.
The meeting was recessed.
The meeting was called back to order after a five minute break.
Bastin is trying to understand the
sight triangle under §152.055 in the original packet. She lives on a corner lot. Does this mean she’s not
s. The snow plow was also driving across the
edge of her yard. What she has planted
is low and is not a sight barrier for any vehicle. Ms. Griffin stated by code there isto
between 2’ to 10’. Ms. Bastin said hers
are not over 2½ ’. Ms. Griffin replied
then it’s not a violation. Ms. Bastin
said then the code is not saying it cannot be done at all but that it can in that
the plantings have to be low. Ms.
Griffin said you cannot have anything in the public right-of-way, easements and
areas the Town has. Ms. Hash added only
between 2½’ and
Bastin asked what natural landscaping
is. Ms. Griffin replied it’s wildflowers
and native plants. It’s to help with the
natural landscape plan. There is a
management plan and a permitting process.
Ms. Bastin asked if she landscapes her yard, naturally, then she has to
This is a different
type of landscape permit and not regular landscaping. Mr. Oldham added this is for the people who
want an urban forest in their front yard rather than grass. Ms. Bastin asked if it’s not for a small
garden area. Ms. Griffin answered there
is a natural landscape plan in which people have to tell where they’re wanting
to put plants in the yard, the size and how it will be maintained. They’ve had a couple of attempts at natural
landscaping and it didn’t go over so well.
These codes clear those issues up and
prohibits someone putting in poisonous or invasive plants.
Ms. Bastin asked if the Town is charging people to landscape their
yards. Ms. Griffin replied it is a
permitting process and, therefore, they would have to inspect it and keep a
database. Mr. Drake clarified people
only have to do this if it’s going to be natural landscaping or those things
not normally used in landscaping such as grasses that exceed 9” in height. If they’re going to do landscaping in their
yard that doesn’t violate any other part of the ordinance you don’t have to
apply for the permit. Ms. Bastin is
concerned with §152.065, Trash Dumpsters and Outdoor Storage, and thinks it’s
too strict to say you have to put the trash can in the side or back yards. She
has an elderly neighbor and brings her trash can down on trash day
and pushes it back up to the front of the garage. So, we’re going to make her put it in the
side or back yards. Ms. Griffin replied
this helps with situations where someone is obstinate with following any type
of code and leaves it in the street. She
has a situation where they never move it off the street. Ms. Bastin asked if it wouldn’t be easier to
say it can’t be left on the street and go after the people who are guilty. Mr. Oldham suggested stated it needs to be
brought back to the cartilage of the house.
Ms. Bastin asked if off street parking and loading and truck turning
facilities in §152.220(C)(1), General Requirements, is for businesses or
residential. Ms. Griffin replied that’s
existing and isn’t in her code changes.
Ms. Bastin understands it isn’t up for change but has a question. Is this for businesses or residential? Ms. Griffin he’s only started to
put them into residential classifications but it would cover residential,
agricultural and commercial.
Dianna Bastin asked if someone wants to put in a rain garden do
they have to have the design approved by the Town. Ms. Griffin said rain gardens are very
specific and has to be approved by the Town.
It is a stormwater outreach program.
Mr. Oldham asked what the danger is in not permit
t. Ms. Griffin answered nothing. It would be nice to know where they are so
they can also highlight them as part of stormwater outreach. It’s a best management practice and people
should receive kudos for putting in something like that. Ms. Bastin agrees but thinks if someone wants
to go to that expense, research and do it right she doesn’t think they need to
pay an extra $25. Also, their design
doesn’t necessarily need to be approved and what if
don’t like the
plants? Ms. Hash commended Ms. Bastin on
being a very, caring and proud property owner.
If she does it she wants to do it right.
They have had instances come before the Town Council and Plan Commission
of what was considered a natural habitat and that’s when they were introduced
to a rain garden. It was very
unappealing and has a lot of invasive species.
The owner claims it’s a natural landscape area and is registered with
the state. If they are going to have it goes against
the Town Code that says grass isn’t to be over 9”. They have to have some way to regulate that for those people
who are not as conscientious. Ms. Bastin
just wants those people who are extreme examples dealt with. She doesn’t want everyone punished and
doesn’t want the person who is conscientious to have to pay $25 because Joe
Smith down the road didn’t. Mr. Oldham
asked how the regulations for this would be any different than what was
discussed under the natural habitat. Is
it one is dry and one is wet? Ms.
Griffin replied yes. Mr. Oldham asked if
it couldn’t be controlled under the previous ordinance. Ms. Griffin answered it is within the same
ordinance. If a rain garden isn’t
maintained it can be a mess. They don’t
have to have a $25 permit fee for it.
Right now the Town doesn’t have any rain gardens. Ms. Hash noted what may be a rain garden to
one person can be a weed patch to another.
In Plan Commission she spoke against this. It’s another layer for the Planning Director
to have to manage, permit and watch over.
The one violation they have had , the Town has
never cut the grass. Whatever is growing
there is well over 9”. It’s a fine line
between weeds and natural habitat. If
it’s allowed it will definitely have to be managed. Does the Town have the manpower to manage it
efficiently? Ms. Bastin advised it is
something she looked into but it didn’t fit
Terry Baker, President of the Plan Commission, thinks one of the reasons they were looking at doing a rain garden permit was to make sure it drained at a good rate so it didn’t become a detention pond and childrenin them. If not done right itould drain out and hold water a lot longer.
Bastin thinks the Town has to be
careful not to manage too much of people’s landscaping and their land use. She knows the Plan Commission works hard.
There are places in Ellettsville that are less than
perfect. She thinks they should go after
those people and look into that. They
have to careful they don’t over govern this stuff. She understands the issues of parking on the
grass and she is not trying to be obstinate.
She will still put her car in the side yard when she cleans out her
garage. It’s her property and it is
maintained. It irritates her that they keep putting more and more
into it. Sometimes you just have to take
the government out of it. Ms. Griffin
e had to
stay out of the public right-of-way. She
was on the sidewalk. Ms. Bastin said a
citizen complained to her and called her to come look at it. She gets it but Ms. Griffin dealt with the
property that was a problem. The Town
doesn’t need nine ordinances to tell the woman she can’t do that. There are so many things she questioned
but didn’t address during the meeting.
Town Attorney, advised this is an
amendment to the zoning text and it comes to the Town Council with a favorable
recommendation from the Plan Commission.
If the Town Council is not inclined to adopt this tonight she is
requesting a formal motion to further consider the propos
al at the
next meeting. This has to be done within
90 days or the Plan Commission’s recommendation holds. Mr. Oldham asked if it was for all three
ordinances. Ms. Brown replied only on
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to continue to consider further consider Ordinance 2013-17 at the next meeting. Dianna Bastin made a motion to continue to consider further consider Ordinance 2013-17 at the next meeting. Dan Swafford seconded. Roll Call Vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Ordinances on Second Reading
Ordinance 2013-15 to Amend Ordinance 2013-15 Concerning the Salary for the Deputy Fire Chief
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained this is to amend the Salary Ordinance for Deputy Chief Kevin Patton. The additional pay he receives for communication is not in line with the current salary ordinance for Deputy Chief.
Dan Swafford asked if the technical pay was removed from the salary of the person who is taking Deputy Chief Patton’s position. Chief Cornman said it will be removed but the position hasn’t been posted yet.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-15. David Drake made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2013-15. Dianna Bastin seconded.
Sandra Hash asked if it will be retroactive from the time Kevin Patton was appointed to Deputy Chief. Mr. Drake replied yes.
Roll Call Vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Fire Service Agreement Between the Town of Ellettsville and Richland Township
Fire Chief Mike Cornman explained it is unchanged with the exception of the actual amounts to reflect the fire truck purchase and a 2½% increase for next year. It was reviewed and approved by the Town Attorney.
Dan Swafford clarified when the Town purchased the new truck it
was his understanding they were going to pay a percentage of it. Is the percentage they were to pay for the
fire truck deducted from what they’re to pay?
Chief Cornman replied that is correct.
Mr. Swafford asked if they didn’t actually pay for the
truck. Chief Cornman answered yes,
they’re making actual payments. Mr.
Swafford commented the Town is reimbursing the Township. Chief Cornman said that’s to make sure the
Town has ownership of the truck. The
Township does not want to own any fire equipment. Ms. Hash noted in the contract they’re adding
together the fire contract and the payment on the truck. The Fire Agreement only
ised 2½% but the fire truck payment is
the agreed amount from the original agreement.
Mr. Swafford said it states the Township will receive a credit of
$57,228 for assisting. Ms. Hash
explained that’s for their portion of the contract that will go toward the
payment of the truck. Ms. Brown added
they get a credit toward this contract for that. Chief Cornman commented this is a similar
format they’ve done off and on since 1992.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to approve the Fire Service Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Richland Township. David Drake made a motion to approve the Fire Service Agreement between the Town of Ellettsville and Richland Township. Dianna Bastin seconded. Roll Call Vote: Scott Oldham – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Dianna Bastin – yes; David Drake – yes and Phillip Smith - yes. Motion carried 5-0.
Establishing the Position of Town Manager
Scott Oldham explained this is something he initiated to establish the position of the Town Manager. At this meeting, he wanted to introduce the idea. The Town Attorney has a template of the beginnings of a discussion along with copies of the law with regards to the Town potentially investigating the position of a Town Manager. There have been several questions and concerns raised by other Council members. However, there needs to be an open discussion in public about what they are or are not going to do. Essentially, the reason why he wanted to bring it to the forefront and discuss it is because of a lot of things that happened during this meeting. They talked about things getting waived of decisions being made that aren’t capable of waiting two weeks or a month. While it’s up to the Council to structure whatever a Town Manager would do or not do they need to have the discussion. It is now time for Ellettsville to go back to when they had an assistant to the Town Council.
Darla Brown, Town Attorney, explained this is not the first reading of a proposed ordinance. She drafted the ordinance as a discussion point for the Town Council and suggested it be under New Business on the Agenda so she could get direction from the Council on how they want to proceed if they’re so inclined to do so. It won’t be a second reading at the next meeting. She talked to the Town Manager for Bargersville and he volunteered to talk to the Town Council if they’re interested.
Bastin explained it is not that she
doesn’t want any codes or ordinances on land use. She thinks they need to be careful. The more they pass the more th
ey need to be
governed. It takes people to enforce
it. She doesn’t know why some of the
things can’t be condensed. They’re
repeated and it’s difficult to get through.
If there’s a problem they can find a way to take care of it. They don’t have to punish the people who do
the right thing and care with heavy fines and double jeopardy with animal
control and planning. There has to be
another way and a simpler way to do it.
She cautions the Council that they need to be careful with this stuff.
Phillip Smith acknowledge Boy Scout Troop 119 was present. Attending a community meeting is part of the work needed to obtain a badge.
Edgewood Band and Color Guard are going to state on November 2, 2013, at Lucas Oil Stadium. They would appreciate everyone’s support when they return home. They did when on semi-sate.
Town Marshal Tony Bowlen explained the two part-time officers he hired four months ago have obtained full time employment at other police departments. He will be looking for new office and part-time help. He will be advertising for the positions. Matthew Lewis will be starting at the Indiana University Police Department. Bennett Anthony Dillon will be leaving to go full time to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. Ms. Bastin congratulated both officers on their full time employment. Mr. Drake commented the Town didn’t lose anything by hiring those people. They got a lot of good use out of them for the time they were there. The officers were already trained and certified when they started at Ellettsville.
Town Marshal Tony Bowlen asked if the Town is going to establish Trick-or-Treat hours. Ms. Hash noted when Pat Stouffers was President of the Town Council he said Trick-or-Treat hours will be permanently set from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ms. Bastin reminded people to be careful and to go to houses where the porch light is on. Marshal Bowlen will have extra officers patrolling on Halloween.
Privilege of the Floor
Tom Mathison is interested in water and sewer issues. He is concerned with the way the Town Council
has been handling the agenda and ordinances.
On the last agenda there was no reference on the Umbaugh water report
but it was introduced anyway. According
to the Indiana Open Door Law, the agenda is to list the items to be
discussed. According to the Town’s
Resolution 09-2012, “The Town Council
shall maintain an agenda which shall list items to be discussed at Town Council
meetings.” It does not say it may
list or that other things not on the agenda can be discussed. He is disturbed this came up at the previous
meeting without being on the agenda.
tonight’s agenda which was
circulated at the appropriate time, it lists all
the resolutions and ordinances but none were available for the public to look
at. When he went to the website they
weren’t there. He asked the
Clerk-Treasurer and was told she didn’t have them. How is the public o comment
on the ordinances coming before the Town Council if they’re not available . They weren’t available at the meeting for
people to pick up and read on the spot.
The way the Town Council has recently been conducting business does not
fit with its own resolution and does not fit with the Indiana Open Door Law
because you’re not giving the public the information it needs. In addition, you’re not giving them the
information they need to be able to comment.
The Town Council is effectively circumventing what is the public’s right
to know what will be discussed and to have access to what will be discussed so
they can comment on it. He hopes in the
future they will do better.
Scott Oldham entertained a motion to adjourn. Dianna Bastin made a motion to adjourn. Dan Swafford seconded. Motion carried. Scott Oldham adjourned the meeting at 8:54 p.m.