February 5, 2009


The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in regular session on Thursday, February 5, 2009 in the Fire Department Training and Conference Room located at 5080 West State Road 46.  Terry Baker called the meeting to order at 6:07 P.M. and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.


Roll Call:   Members present were:  President- Terry Baker, Vice President-Sandra Hash, Dan Swafford, Don Calvert, Ron Wayt, Frank Buczolich, Phil Smith, Connie Griffin, Dexter Luck and Micah Austin. (A few members came in late after roll call)


Members Absent: Director of Planning- Frank Nierzwicki.


Approval of the Minutes- January 8, 2009


Terry Baker- Do I hear a motion?  Don Calvert, I make a motion to approve of the January 8, 2009 Plan Commission meeting, Ron Wayt, seconded the motion.  All in favor-minutes approved. 


Old Business


Proposed changes to the Ellettsville Town Code


Terry Baker- We are going to allow our attending citizen the courtesy to speak before we review the proposed code changes, since his comments have to do with signage.


Frank Terkhorn- True Value Hardware- I want to speak as a small business owner and their importance to the community and the United States.  Small businesses are people who are courageous; they take a lot of risks.  When a person takes on a small business, they have a large capital expenditure to deal with and several management positions.  My business will fluctuate as much as 60 percent from different months like May to April.  We also have to deal with all of the rules and the codes you have to comply with and higher telephone and utility bills as a business.  There are a lot of little things that most people don't realize.


Dexter had called me about an issue, and I'm not trying to persuade the board to do one thing or the other, but I would like us to look at small businesses as an opportunity.  Ellettsville is still one of the only town's in the community where we still have the opportunity to excite small businesses to come to this area.  I want you to think about, when you look at rules and regulations, that small businesses have to deal with all of the different governmental agencies we deal with, so as a small business we have to become experts at a lot of different things.  So, anything you can do to make it easier for small businesses to exist in our community would be really advantageous for us to have that. 


I talk about embracing small business and I've been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for a long time and some of the economic development groups.  There are only a few people in this community that actually do anything.  It's so small and it's somewhat disappointing.  Sandy is on 46 different boards as far as I know.  If you ever want to call me, so I can give you my thoughts on these types of issues, please contact me.  But, please consider what you are doing. 


If a business displays banners that are tacky and not kept up, then that business is probably going to do very poorly.  But a business that keeps a shabby display on the outside of their business they will probably go out of business, because people won't want to shop at that particular business.  This is my pitch, businesses have a lot to do just to survive.  There is a 5% chance to succeed in business.  So, anything I can do to help this board, I'll be happy to help. We are the donators of this community, if a church comes to me, I'll donate, if a school organization comes to me- I'll donate.  Most of us, small businesses will donate.  I would rather give to them than pay taxes; if you will.  Thank you for your time.


Sandra Hash- Frank was the temporary banners something that bothered you? 


Frank Terkhorn-No, when Dexter called me, I said yes, that banner is tacky.  It should have been taken down.  Banners are one way for us to catch driver's attention.  They are critical for businesses, and if they come tattered they should come down. 


Dexter Luck- Could you tell me the life of a banner.


Frank Terkhorn- About 3 months. 


Dexter Luck- I think that has a lot to do with how we look at this ordinance.  I think this ordinance will need fine tuning, on how often we inspect and how we enforce it.  We are proposing to allow businesses to use up to 3 banners per business.  I know suppliers furnish banners.


Do we want to go ahead and address the banners?


Sandra Hash- Is it 3 banners at a time?


Dexter Luck- 3 banners per business, approved banners, with inspections once a month, since we didn't really know how long they last.  We are also looking at a $10.00 fee to cover the inspection cost; $10.00 per business site.  I think this is something we can work with and be somewhat flexible.  If the signs are good for about 90 days, then maybe we could inspect them every 90 days.  I think we have to realize that not everyone will police their own banners.  The permit would be re-issued every 90 days with a $10.00 fee. 


Sandra Hash- How do you feel about the fee?


Micah Austin- According to the proposed code, its $10.00 for each sign permit, with a limit of 3 banners per business site. 


Dan Swafford- I want to add something, this is an issue I've been working on with Connie, because the key to business is advertising.  My feelings on this I think businesses should be allowed on site banners as long as they are in good condition.  I think a fine should be imposed at the time you see a banner that is hand written, or in bad shape, then and not put a fee on putting banners up.  If we warn you once, you need to take it down, then asses a fine.


Sandra Hash- So, you don't think there should be a charge for a banner?


Dan Swafford- No, because it would be excessive, and businesses like to do new things weekly to bring business in, this would be very expensive to a business.


Dexter Luck- I don't think we are talking about every time you put one up, were talking about at least a 30 to 90 day period, and we have put it in the ordinance for the signs to be professionally produced. 


We want to work with businesses.  This is the only area that allows banners for more than two weeks. 


Frank Terkhorn- I understand, I have some problems with Bloomington sign codes, but now in this time and age, we need to reduce fees and fines to businesses. 


Dexter Luck- The reason we determined that 3 banners is enough per site, is from some of the current businesses in town, because certain businesses are hanging more than 3 banners and it seems to us that 3 is enough per business.  Each banner can be 9 square feet. 


Don Calvert- Is 3 banners enough for your business?


Terry Baker- If I had my preferences it would be one banner per site unless they are attached to the fascia of the building, then they can have 3, but if they are free standing one.


Phil Smith- We may change our signs at CVS every week. 


Dexter Luck - The way I understand it, it's 3 banners for a set period of time, if you want to change from Coke to Pepsi, that's still a banner, if you put it in the same place.  You could change it every day.


Dan Swafford- Usually two weeks prior to an event is plenty of time to advertise for a special event with a banner. 


Terry Baker- Yes.


Dan Swafford- Banner advertising at Hoosier Bar we could have banners up two weeks before and after an event. 


Dexter Luck- I think the big question I have is the enforcement and the time.  We have to have an inspection, at least every 90 days, if we don't we'll have tacky banners.


Frank Terkhorn- How many tacky banners do we have in town.


Dan Swafford- I think each business could have 3 banners, and if the code states professionally made, then when we see a banner in bad shape or if it's blocking vision at an intersection, then we should address that problem.  I don't think applying for a permit is really going to work.  I wanted a banner up every Thursday for our chicken advertisement, so does that mean every Thursday, I would have to apply for a permit? 


Dexter Luck- So, do you think it would be a good idea to include 3 banners in the sign permit application. 


Dan Swafford- I think that is a good idea and then stipulate the rules at that time.


Micah Austin- A banner is considered a temporary sign, the way the code is written.  So, we need to separate banner out of temporary sign and say all temporary signs will require a permit. 


A temporary sign is a non-permanent sign or banner that is attached to a structure or anchored into the ground, which describes a one-time or infrequent activity for advertising.


Dan Swafford- I think it should be an annual permit.


Dexter Luck- It could be added into the sign permit fee. 


Sandra Hash- If you think you want to use banners the sign permit fee could be increased, if you don't think you'll use them then it could be the $50.00 fee.  Then you could have a maximum of 3 banners, for 3 months a piece.


Ron Wayt- Why charge at all?


Sandra Hash- Like Dexter said, it would help cover the cost of the inspection. 


Ron Wayt- What does it take?  It doesn't take that much to go through that and do that, why punish a business.


Terry Baker- For the same reason they collect taxes. 


Ron Wayt- I think an ordinance would be better in this case, that way you can fine them afterwards.  If their banner is unsightly that's when you do an ordinance. 


Dexter Luck- It does take time and there is an expense for fuel. 


Ron Wayt- There is an expense with everything, but to add $10.00, if I have to put up a banner for my business and I have 3 of them and it's $10.00 its $30.00 for each 30 days, is it not as proposed, that's too expensive.  I would say do an ordinance that covers it and then fine them if they don't do it.  That's a better approach.  When you get into this, you don't know how many banners you are going to put up. 


Don Calvert- I think we need to consider how much money these businesses put into donations also, and the kids from the school- someone is coming everyday for money.  I think personally, I would be in favor of encouraging business and again, if they don't cooperate then fine them.


Dexter Luck- One thing to consider is that businesses may be inclined to use banners as their primary advertisement and do away with the professional signage. 


We can re-write this and put it before you.


Phil Smith- Is Zig Zag's one big banner? 


Dexter Luck- It is a banner material, he has it on the roof and all along and around the entry way.  This is in violation of the square footage with the signage.


He doesn't have a permanent sign, and he doesn't have a sign permit on file.


Phil Smith- What's the difference between that sign and I think it's the church that has a vinyl sign in a frame?  More businesses are going to this, they'll have a vinyl sign printed and put it in where the permanent sign used to be.  It doesn't have a hard backing. 


Sandra Hash- We passed this years ago, when you change the lettering on a permanent sign you are supposed to pay the $50.00 sign permit fee, so I would think that would apply to that. 


Phil Smith- Is that considered a permanent sign?


Connie Griffin- It's considered non-permanent.  Vee Twin Performance are starting to mount banner signs all along the outside of their building.  So, all of a sudden banners are popping up everywhere.  In order not to spend much more time on this section, you basically would like to see something for banner and temporary signs before the next meeting, something new, and if we submit those to you early enough then you can give us your feedback on the process on no permit fee, and no time restriction?  We'll come back before you……


Sandra Hash- Are you sure that is the consensus from everyone?


Connie Griffin- I'm basing this on some of the opinions we've heard and maybe giving you a couple of options and then you could report back on those options. 


Dan Swafford- This is a touch one guys, we want our town to look nice but we don't want to hinder businesses and making a profit, it will be a give and take.


Phil Smith- I like the fine part at the end, instead of paying a permit fee. 


Sandra Hash- Do we all agree on that?


Terry Baker- No.  I think banners should have to be attached to the building itself and not free standing, because you will have them lined up one, two, three, 9 square feet each.  We're going to have a whole line of banners along the highway.  I don't want to see that.  If you have to attach them to a building that will keep them off the road. 


Phil Smith- You would have the problem of how the business is positioned and the visibility of the road.


Ron Wayt- I think if it's attached to the building that would be a option or to an already existing sign, something like that might work better.


Terry Baker- That would keep from having free standing signs out along the edge of the highway. 


Frank Buczolich- How does Eagle's Landing handle their signs.


Terry Baker- They have a big wall there.


Ron Wayt- And, they have a big sign.


Connie Griffin- The big tall sign doesn't have enough place markers for all of the businesses inside the building.  That's one reason why Melendorf put up a sign that sits underneath the large sign.  It was professionally made, but it's sticking right under the big sign.


Dan Swafford- What's the new YMCA going to do down there.


Connie Griffin- I don't know just yet, they haven't filed out a sign permit.


Dan Swafford- No one takes care of the Richland Plaza sign, some of the business have come and gone.


Sandra Hash- That is a land lord issue, I don't see how we can force them to keep them updated. 

I still think 30 days is enough for a banner to be displayed, not to be displayed for more than four times per year.  So, they couldn't put one up and take one down and put up another one.  Only four out of 12 months could they have a banner.


Terry Baker- Well, that's a special promotion sign, not a banner sign.  I can halfway agree on not charging for the permit, and fine them on the end if the sign is in bad shape.  As long as they know up front that if they let their signs get that way, they'll be paying a fine. 


Dexer Luck- I still think we have to have a maximum number that we allow for banners.


Terry Baker- Definitely. 


Ron Wayt- Are special promotion signs not considered banners?


Terry Baker- No. 


Connie Griffin- A special promotion sign is a free standing sign, where a banner has to be attached to something.  A special promotion is like a sandwich board in itself or like a yard sign.  It sounds like we need to do some more work on some of these codes.


Terry Baker- What does free standing mean?


Connie Griffin- In my opinion is like a sandwich board, it doesn't require posts.  It's on its own. 


Can I make a suggestion- I think our economic times, have made us have to pay more attention to this code, but if it's alright can we re-submit this instead of spending more time on this.


Phil Smith- But, we are having so much fun.


Connie Griffin- There's a lot more fun to be had.


We need to go back to page 6, we've been going over signs.  At the last meeting we were discussing rutting and parking on the grass. The Street Department often get assigned the task of cleaning up violations.  Sandra asked me, at the last meeting, if I had talked to the Street Department about working on the ruts and repair in the yards that have been damaged by parking.  I talked with Jim Ragle, and he does not want to be responsible for going into the yards and dealing with these issues.  And we agreed to that, so if you would like to read through the proposed code. 


It would be a fining system and if the fines are not paid it goes to a lien.  The violation would continue to be fined until they fix it, with the appropriate time frame, based on the season, as situational.  We will deal with each one separately. 


Sandra Hash- You clarified this is something we can file a lien on.


Connie Griffin- Yes.


Let's go ahead and move forward to page 9.  Under 152.255 we decided to add professionally produced for signs.  Every sign needs to be professionally produced. 


Sandra Hash- I like that.


Connie Griffin- We will work with banners, now the non-commercial opinion signs, I didn't receive any comments.  On page 10, you will see the new definition, taken from Indianapolis code.  This has been brought up because of the stated time restriction.  If these signs become unsightly, they can be classified as litter and removed by the Planning Department. 


Please go to page 14, Political Signs, I did the research as requested, we looked at Indianapolis code and Bloomington code.  Bloomington code still has a political sign code with time restrictions and Indianapolis as stated earlier does not have a political sign code, they have the non-commercial opinion sign code. 


It will become an issue with the ACLU, they will go one at a time, but everything I submitted to you tells me, especially with Indianapolis, that we need to strike the political sign code and really work with the political parties and make a suggestion or request that they please remove them after a short time after the election.


Sandra Hash- And they do.


Ron Wayt- With the political signs, once they become tattered and torn, then we can take them out, I like that, but can we not put it in the code that they have to be removed after the election. 


Connie Griffin- That's correct.  We cannot put any time frame on them, no display time frame, it's against the freedom of speech act.  We added if it becomes unsightly it becomes litter to try to help us with this issue.


Dan Swafford- And those signs don't last long.


Ron Wayt- That's fine then. 


Connie Griffin- Page 22, #14, We are still having difficulty with comments on interior signs, scrolling interior signs, behind interior glass, and they can't exceed 9 by 32 inches in size.  This would allow the current scrolling signs, they fall into this category.  We are trying to help businesses.  If you feel this isn't worded correctly, we would like to have your suggestions. 


Frank Buczolich- I think the concern she raised was among the one or two that if they just enclose them behind glass, is that they are inside a window, whereas if they are enclosed in glass that can mean where ever they are they can be enclosed in glass. 


Phil Smith- I think that's fair.  What did we ever decide about strobe lights?


Connie Griffin- I think those are a visual impairment in town.


Phil Smith- One is at the video store by the church- Video to Go, and I think Zig Zag's has a blue flashing light or red, like on the top of police cars.


Sandra Hash- We used to say no flashing lights what so ever. 


Terry Baker- Somewhere in the code it says something about distracting, causing a distraction, this would be considered a distraction, and you can go after it like that.


Connie Griffin- Our new code enforcement officer, Dexter Luck, Dexter has been with us for about 3 weeks, he's been an incredible addition to the department.  He's helping review the codes and he's come up with a new code he would like to bring before you.


Dexter Luck- Abandoned Vehicles.  Under Chapter 94, it states abandoned vehicles- we would like to change this and bring it in line with state law-Abandoned Salvage and Scrap vehicles.


Phil Smith- What do you consider abandoned?


Dexter Luck- I do not have that definition with me, but basically it's a vehicle IC 9  13 2 1.  It's a vehicle parked on a street, public or private property that is not being used, and it starts to become deteriorated.


Phil Smith- So, it's dependent on the condition of the vehicle. 


Dexter Luck- If it's not being used and it just sits there for a period of time.  Then it can be considered abandoned and then if it starts having parts removed from it or taken apart and parts are piled up in the drive way, then that becomes a salvage or scrap vehicle. 


We need to bring this part of the ordinance in line with the state statute.  We operate from the state statute, except for these few modifications. 


Phil Smith- Are you going to use the IC code in the ordinance.


Dexter Luck- We have adopted the entire state code  by ordinance.  The definition is a one paragraph statement, and it's in my desk at work.


Sandra Hash- Is this only on public right of ways?


Dexter Luck- No, abandoned vehicles falls under public and private property, if it may be seen from public property that's the key.  State code was supplied to Dexter and he read the code for the Plan Commissioners.


Dan Swafford- I know there was a car left at Richland Plaza for a year and a half. It was in the parking lot.


Dexter Luck- Under IC 9 22 1 2, officer definition was read.  The Planning Department or Code Enforcement Officer would be responsible for the removal and towing from private property.  We have to go out and document, photograph the vehicle, and notify the owner and before it's towed it has to have a 72 hour notice posted.


I have talked to Tony Bolin and he may choose to issue a portable radio and he's in favor to the change of this ordinance.  I counted 19 in one addition.


Ron Wayt- Does this include RV's and Boat's?


Dexter Luck- It could.  We have adopted state statutes as ordinances, except for two pages, where we specifically tuned to Ellettsville's needs. 


Sandra Hash- We don't want to hold this up, while we do the rest.


Dexter Luck- You also want to address section 94.04 Towing Removal and Storage Charges.  This was adopted in 1986.  It sets towing fees at $40.00 for towing and removal and $5.00 for storage.  We would like to add that the Town of Ellettsville does not set the fees for towing and removal or storage fees, fees are assessed by local towing companies. 


Terry Baker- I like that.


Sandra Hash- Our code is on line and people read it.  I make a motion to act now on the suggestions for vehicles and get that put in ordinance form and forwarded to the Town Council as soon as possible. 


Ron Wayt- Are towing companies restricted on fees is there a state limit?


Dexter Luck- The Town can actually take bids from towing companies.  I discussed this with Scott Oldham and he has some ideas.  It's a competitive market in pricing. 


You can include all of these changes in one motion.


Sandra Hash- I make a motion to approve of all of the Chapter 94 code changes.


Dan Swafford- I'll second the motion.


Terry Baker- A motion has been made and seconded to approve of all proposed changes to Chapter 94 Ellettsville Town Code.  Roll Call


Terry Baker- Yes

Sandra Hash- Yes

Ron Wayt- Yes

Don Calvert- Yes

Frank Buczolich- Yes

Dan Swafford- Yes

Phil Smith-Yes


Motion carries, unanimously. 


Connie Griffin- I sent to you the sanitary vault privy code research, the definition was read. 


Sandra Hash- So, we are going to remove the word vault and add sanitary vault privy and this would be that definition. 


Connie Griffin- Yes,  it was referring to this, so this just clears up the statement/definition.


Let's go to the satellite dish.  We made the following changes- the changes were read; business media outlets was added, and the size of the satellite dish was changed from 2 meters for residential and 4 meters for business media outlets and that will include our newest member to the community.     


Dan Swafford- So, how big is a 4 meter dish?


Connie Griffin- It will cover the one for Mid America Radio Station.  It's around 12 feet.


Dan Swafford- Why are we changing this?


Terry Baker- Because we didn't have anything in place to cover commercial properties.


Dan Swafford- So, by old code that dish should have never been put up?  Is that what you are saying.


Terry Baker- There was nothing keeping from putting it up.  We didn't have anything for dish antennas at all for commercial.  We have to be careful on trying to regulate something that is regulated by the federal government, like amateur radio. 


Ron Wayt- Any television, radio station, or newspaper office won't use the same residential size satellite dish.  If any other radio station wants to come in, they will be covered by the new code. 


Dan Swafford- So, 4 meters is approximately 12 foot.  What is the size of the one up there now?


Ron Wayt- It's 12 feet.


Dan Swafford- How many can they have, a thousand up there, were going to let them stick them up there?  This is exactly why I raised a stink when this came in, in the first place. 


Connie Griffin- We could add one as the total amount on property.


Ron Wayt- You can't do that with a television station, or a media outlet, it would have to be done when they come in. They aren't going to have 10.


Dan Swafford- Why weren't we told that this one was going to be there?  When they came in front of us?  They said they were going to put one in on top of the tower.  This is not on the top of the tower, this is in front of the building on the highway, on the ground on a pole.


Sandra Hash-Do you remember them talking about this at the meeting- asking Connie Griffin.


Connie Griffin- I don't remember it being mentioned. 


Dan Swafford- That was my exact comment- I don't want to see our highway littered with all of these dishes and boom here they came.


Terry Baker- Are you going to grandfather my dish.


Sandra Hash- Your dish is concealed.


Ron Wayt- Are you residential?


Terry Baker- Yes.


Ron Wayt- There you go.


Terry Baker- But, it's a commercial dish, I receive down feeds from satellite.


Ron Wayt- I think the problem is with WCLS, that's who it is.  They have run into so many problems coming into this community, that enough is enough.  They are not feeling welcome, they've contacted me and have talked about this.  I've explained to Tony that there are certain rules and regulations that you have to go through, no matter what community you go into.  But, they feel it has been excessive.  I proposed this.  I sent this out to all of the Plan Commission e-mails, so Dan you should have received a copy.  Anyone that deals with broadcast companies should know they are going to need satellite dishes to receive their feeds, it's not done with the Internet.  That's not reliable communication for a radio or TV station.  In order for WCLS to have ABC news that is required for them to have a dish of that size.  ABC news requires this of them.


Dan Swafford- But, that may all be fine and well, but this was a residential place that was in a residential area that we rezoned.


Ron Wayt- It was rezoned to commercial before they started their process, right?  So, this would be a commercial satellite dish. 


Dan Swafford- I don't even remember how it went down, because it was so screwed up in the first place. 


What I'm saying this went into a residential area in the first place.


Sandra Hash- Can I run through the chain of events:


First they came to Frank Nierzwicki, they wanted to come into the Town of Ellettsville and open a radio station.  Frank looked at the map and misinterpreted the map.  He read it incorrectly, he told them the zoning was correct, but they had to go before the BZA for a tower.  So, they did their own legal notice, and waited 10 days and sent their own letters out to tell their neighbors that they wanted to put up an antenna and that was approved by the BZA.  Well, then they came to the Plan Commission and in the mean time we realized that that was not zoned commercial.  Frank had made a mistake. 


So, in a good will gesture we said we realize that is our mistake, we informed you correctly, so we are going to do the public  notice, we are going to send your neighbors the certified letters.  We will have another public meeting to do your zoning change and then we did all of that and yes, there was controversy during the change and discussion.  It passed and then it went to the Town Council and they passed that.  The issue that upset them was that they had been delayed because had they realized the zoning change, they could have done that along with the BZA and been a little more ahead with a shorter time frame.  It was an inconvenience for them, but we did try to compensate for our error.


Ron Wayt- There has been mis-communication between all of the departments involved with that radio station and they were flooded out of Spencer and Martinsville and now they are on a high enough area that they shouldn't have any problems.  We need to make it pleasant for them, they will do a lot for the community.  I'm not saying give them special treatment, but this will cover any radio or television company that wants to come in, so they won't have to go through this process. 


Dan Swafford- The question was asked specifically what you were going to put up there, and they didn't mention this dish.  So, I'm not happy, they lied to us.


Ron Wayt- Have you had any complaints?


Dan Swafford- Yes.


Ron Wayt- From whom? 


Dan Swafford- Several different residents.


Ron Wayt- Several different people.  I haven't heard anything.


Dan Swafford- I think it's unsightly. 


Connie Griffin- I think the placement could have been approached maybe a little bit differently.


Ron Wayt- The placement of a satellite dish has to within a certain trajectory for the satellite.  That's the way that one is.  They could paint it to make it fit in a little better, which I 'm sure they would do, if someone asked them.  But, you are going to end up chasing  out a radio station out of the community, if this continues, to keep harassing them. 


Phil Smith- They aren't being harassed. 


Dan Swafford- This is far from being harassed. 


Ron Wayt- Every little thing, according to Frank, Frank has been in the middle between Town Council members and this and the radio station.  There have been several things going on.  And Scott Oldham is looking into it.  There have been some things that have been pushed for Frank to go look at to pick on the radio station.  And I think Tony Kail has talked to me, and he's talked to several other members of the community and I've not heard of any complaints about the satellite dish. 


Phil Smith- I've had probably six complaints.


Ron Wayt- It's a satellite dish, it's a radio station.  The two are going to be right there together.\


Dan Swafford-  When you say there's complaint, you mean they were in violation of ordinances and he went to check on, or


Ron Wayt- You would have to ask him that. 


Sandra Hash- I think I remember them saying they were going to put a small satellite on the tower.


Phil Smith- There wasn't anything said about them putting in a dish in the front of the building, because I wouldn't have passed it. 


Terry Baker- We should have probably figured it out, because……


Dan Swafford- I hate to say it Terry, but I did.  But, I was a lone soldier up here. 


Phil Smith- I still don't understand why it couldn't have been put behind the building. 


Dexter Luck- I looked at it and agreeing with what you said, that dish could have been moved backed at least 30 to 40 feet from where it is right now.


Sandra Hash-  To the side of the building.


Dexter Luck- It still would have been able to pick up the satellite feed.  It's all underground wire and it's mounted in, so it would be expensive at this point to move.


Phil Smith- Yes it would.


Ron Wayt- It was mis-communication between the Planning Department and on their part.  I think it's 50/50.


Dexter Luck- I think future installations the best site needs to be selected, instead of that close to the road. 


Dan Swafford- That's why we go through all of these things.  We had plans, we looked at their plans, the whole bit and nothing was mentioned of it, and I even asked them.


Phil Smith- So, did I.


Dan Swafford- I don't want this code to allow other places to come into our town and stick these dishes along our highway and junk up our town.  These are no different than signs being stuck right out there on the highway.  I don't care who they are, radio station, TV, they are ugly and unsightly.


Ron Wayt- But, that is where the Planning Dept. comes in to tell them where they can and cannot put them.  Their engineers tell them where that satellite dish goes. 


Phil Smith- But, did they ask.


Sandra Hash- But, surely something that large they would have thought they would need a permit to do that.  If you have to have a permit for a sign, a huge satellite dish…The people that install them know they types of permits that are necessary.  I don't want to be unfriendly to them, and I see your side.  At the same time, they should have come to and maybe they did, and that's part of the mis-communication you are talking about.  Maybe they went to Frank and asked about the tower…..


Micah Austin- I remember Frank coming in to work and stating "Where did that satellite dish come from".  It was the first time he had seen it. 


Terry Baker- Frank called me and asked about it, I said it just popped up.  I don't know anything about it.


Dan Swafford- I asked them, in there, this is the only thing going on this, you aren't going to allow any other one else to hook up to your tower or anything like that.  No.  That was it and then boom here we get this great big ugly 12 foot dish right on the highway. 


If we are going to pass this ordinance and allow other businesses to do it, I'm not for that. 


Micah Austin- I believe the excuse they gave us that the ordinance didn't cover commercial satellites. 


Ron Wayt- So, that's the problem, that's why passing this will alleviate this from happening in the future. 


Phil Smith- No, it doesn't eliminate the problem. 


Dan Swafford- It will open it up for everyone else………..


Ron Wayt- What other communication company/business in the Town of Ellettsville is going to want a commercial satellite dish to do their business?


Sandra Hash- This whole wireless communication facility was done because the town was contacted and they wanted to put in a tower for cell phones.  The Town Council at the time immediately put a moratorium on that, to freeze that possibility, because they didn't want it just off the highway, they wanted it to be around Long John Silver's, right by the highway.  And, then the council worked intently to get this wireless communication up, so it is difficult to put these kind of things up and it has to be scrutinized and require engineering and lots of detail and it amazes me that this dish wasn't covered.  


Dan Swafford- If we pass this here you are going to open the door for another business to come in and do the same thing.  Whereas, other businesses come to us, they have plans, blue prints for us to see for us to approve and they aren't hiding anything from us. 


Ron Wayt- Can it not be written in there that it requires approval.  Does it not.


Dan Swafford- Well, you would have thought it had approval before they stuck it up the first time.  But they obviously didn't ask for our approval. 


Sandra Hash- Are we sure that they didn't have to apply for a permit or ask for permission? 


Ron Wayt- It states there conditional use approval shall be required for the following, and it gives placement of a WCF in the following zoning districts and provides that their shall be set backs from the property lines and so on……..does that not cover that it requires…..I would think a planning engineer, like Frank, would know that this will require a satellite dish for a radio station or a tower or something like that.


Phil Smith- The trouble is, we were told the only thing they were going to have was a tower with a dish on top of it.


Dan Swafford- And we approved the tower. 


Ron Wayt- I'm not saying it's all Frank's fault, it's between the two of them.  So, yes, they are partially at fault and the Planning Department is partially at fault.  But, let's make it work for them or any other media outlet that we have.  Are you going to tell me you don't want another radio station coming into town?


Dan Swafford- I don't want another dish on my highway.


Ron Wayt- Well, it's not your highway. 


Dan Swafford- My personal feeling is no.  They can do that where it looks nice, and they can put set backs on that and like I said they could have set that back 40 feet more from the highway. 


Ron Wayt- Maybe they could not have.  We're not engineers.


Dan Swafford- That's why they have to come to us for approval and that's why we cannot pass this here to allow them to do it, just because in it's our code.  They have to come before this board.


Sandra Hash- The only other option would be to go to the BZA. 


Ron Wayt- If they go to the BZA and possibly get turned down just like Dexter said, it would be very expensive to move the dish.  You are going to ask them to jump through another hurdle and it's going to make the Town of Ellettsville very unfriendly looking.


Sandra Hash- But, if we have codes and we don't enforce that code….


Ron Wayt- That's why we are changing this code. 


Too many talking- couldn't take it down.


Ron Wayt- This code was not in place, was it, so you can't say that Dan.  Now we need to word it where an engineer or someone needs to look over for the placement of the satellite dish on future….


Too many talking- couldn't take it down.


Terry Baker- ……..it needs to worded like Smithville.  So, they have to have a certified FCC engineer come in and state this is where it has to go. 


Ron Wayt- Exactly, so in the future we won't have this problem.


Dexter Luck- You might want to require a site plan.


Terry Baker- I feel like they took advantage of us, they stuck the thing out there, knowing full well that it shouldn't be that way.  We've been as friendly as we can, we've bent over backwards to try to get everything done for them and then they stick this big dish out there.


Dan Swafford- We were threatened publicly by them.


Sandra Hash- Not by them, by their realtor. 


Phil Smith- By the owner too.  He said…


Ron Wayt- But you all passed it, if you had reservations you shouldn't have passed it.


Sandra Hash-But we……..it's in the minutes that they said they would only put in a small dish on the antenna.


Dan Swafford- I fought it.


Ron Wayt- But, there's no code for commercial satellite dishes. 


Dan Swafford- Where does the 2 meter, I don't see it?


Sandra Hash- It's right here in the exceptions Dan, on column C.


Micah Austin- Read the original code.


Sandra Hash- But, does that not say that the only exception is police, fire and ambulance?


Terry Baker- So, they violated the code.


Micah Austin- It specifies residential. 


Terry Baker- Right.


Dan Swafford- They didn't follow the exemptions, which they may fall under emergency dispatch.  I don't know.


So, really I think if I were reading this code and I was putting this in, I would have asked for clarification before I put the dish up, if this was going to violate code. 


Micah Austin- Do you remember when Smithville was going to put in the wireless tower, they Photoshoped in the dishes, we didn't get that, we got something else, but I think right now what we need from you are suggestions on how we need to change the code.  And we'll bring this before the board next time.  There are some discussion on this, and that's great, but it's going back and forth on the same thing.  So, I just suggest we put together some ideas and let the Planning Department hash out the new code.


Terry Baker- Sounds good.


Dan Swafford- But, it has to be approved by Planning.  I want to know where the dish is going to be before I approve anything. 


Micah Austin- So, you take issue with the exemption?


Dan Swafford- Right.  But, that exemption needs to be taken out. 


Terry Baker- And I think the wording needs to go back to the same wording we used on Smithville, where they had to have a certified engineer say here is what it's going to be by FCC definition.


Sandra Hash- Does the saucer not fall in a WCF?  To me that is yes, because it receives radio waves that are wireless.  Any of that requires all of our codes, the engineering, the only exception to that rule is residential satellite dishes that are 2 meters.  So, to me, it may not spell it out here, but it is a WCF device.


Ron Wayt- So you are saying that the placement of a WCF in the following zoning districts A-1, I-1 and I-2, so what are those?  So that radio station is still not zoned properly.  It should have been zoned industrial.


Terry Baker- We were not asked to zone it industrial.


Ron Wayt- But, someone should have brought that up.


Dan Swafford- We didn't know this was coming Ron. 


Ron Wayt- It's a WCF, so it's considered a radio station, wouldn't that be part of it?


Dan Swafford- So, your saying it should have been industrial zoned?

Ron Wayt- We would have to read through this a little bit.


Terry Baker- It's up to the property owners to request what type of zoning they want, it's not up to us to tell them this is what you really need. 


Ron Wayt- So, you were not informed by the realtor that WCLS was coming in to town and that's what that building was going to be used for? 


Sandra Hash- Yes, we were and they had been to the BZA.


Dan Swafford- Ron let me ask you this……..as the land owner wouldn't you know what the land is zoned as when you own that land?


Ron Wayt- If you aren't familiar with the town you may not.


Dexter Luck- One thing you might consider, is that they came from Martinsville, to Spencer to Ellettsville and I doubt that they dealt with any zoning requirements in the other two communities. 


Dan Swafford- Shouldn't the owner of the property know what the property is zoned?  The realtor called the Planning Dept. and the Planning Dept. gave him the wrong zoning.  It was zoned residential.  He told them C-3.


Sandra Hash- I think the conditional uses outlines this, it doesn't state that you can't put it in commercial, but there are conditional uses, as defined in A-1.  She read from the code.  We don't even know if the dish has been authorized or meets the FCC regulations. 


Dexter Luck- The satellite would have to work or it wouldn't receive.


Ron Wayt- Do we really want to shut them down?


Don Calvert- Do any of us intend to shut them down, or force them to move their dish?


Dan Swafford- I don’t want to force them…..


Don Calvert- I'm just asking do any of us intend to shut them down, or force them to move their dish? Ok then, we don't have to discuss this then.  We need to look at a site plan and specifics.


Sandra Hash- So, you are saying because they broke our rules, we need to cater to them now, and say you are exempt from the rules because we want your business?


Don Calvert- No, what I said was, if you have no intention of forcing them to move the dish, then we don't even need to discuss this.  What we need to do now, is being specific and have a site plan where we know where something is going to go specifically. 


Dan Swafford- The fact is they did do it……….

Ron Wayt- Then shut them down. 


Too many talking can't understand.


Ron Wayt- If you are going to enforce this satellite dish, that there are so many complaints on, then you need to shut them down.  Then let's see how the town will get sued. 


There are lots of codes that aren't enforced.  It's code.


Dexter Luck- The proper thing to do is to cover it by ordinance, obviously we are going to have to address future ordinances, then BZA would be the next step. 


Ron Wayt- Ask them to go to the BZA for a variance. 


Dan Swafford- That's what they need to do.


Ron Wayt- Then make them do that.


Terry Baker- And what if they say no?


Ron Wayt- The radio station is done.


Terry Baker- They are going to re-write this, so let's just move on.


Connie Griffin- Some new codes we are looking at is removing snow from the side walk.  I'm also working on the rental codes, abandoned structures, rental code, and fire codes.  I'll also be looking at mobile homes, this will be coming your way soon.


Dan Swafford- Change the one about fowl.


Phil Smith- Connie, give me a call and we'll re-write that whole thing. 


Connie Griffin- I have a feeling no one wants to hear about storm water now, so if you agree let's move it to March 5th.  It wasn't on the agenda.  Let's start it at 6:00 P.M.


New Business


Redevelopment goals were listed, the packet was delivered to you late, so you may need more time to review the information. 


Connie Griffin- Please review the document, because there is a March 5th date for approval.  It's a lot of information for  me to give you.  You have your Plan Commission legislative procedures.  Terry wanted the 3 minute rule noted and if there is a conflict of interest. 


If you have a conflict of interest you should leave your chair and go into the audience.   


Non Agenda Items




Terry Baker- I would entertain a motion. 


Phil Smith- I make a motion we adjourn.


Dan Swafford- I second.


Terry Baker- All in favor say aye.  Adjourned.  Meeting time ended: 8:13 P.M.  Next meeting will be March 5, 2009.