September 6, 2007




The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in regular session on Thursday, September 6, 2007, in the Fire Department Training and Conference Room located at 5080 West State Road 46.  Frank Buczolich called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. leading the Pledge of Allegiance.


Roll Call:   Members present were Frank Buczolich, President; Terry Baker, Dianna Bastin, Don Calvert and Dan Swafford.  Sandra Hash, Secretary and Frank Nierzwicki, Director of Planning Services was also present.  Ed Bitner was on vacation. 


Town Officials in Attendance:  Rick Coppock, Town Engineer; Phillip Rogers, Council Member and Mike Farmer.


Approval of the Minutes


Don Calvert recommended on page 8; 2nd paragraph to say “City of Bloomington”.  The next to the last page; under “resume decision on parking ordinance” 2nd paragraph should define effective date of spring 2008.


Dianna Bastin made a motion for the approval of the minutes of the August 2007 meeting with the two changes.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.


New Business


Request for voluntary annexation of approximately 10 acres at 4125 W. State Road 46 and 3824 W. Forrest Park Drive


Frank Nierzwicki stated the presentation of this annexation will be explained on Power Point.  He reviewed the staff report.  The property is known as Richland Square II located at Smith Pike and State Road 46 including the Haley parcel on Smith Pike.  The staff recommends approval of the voluntary annexation petition of the Cowden parcel (007-10161-01) as a C-3 being consistent with the rest of Richland Square and the Haley parcel (007-01090-00) as a C-2.  The C-2 zoning is lighter commercial use which is consistent with the child care center at that location.  Water and sewer is available at the site.  The area is already developed with water retention areas in place.  There would be no added financial cost for the Town.  Fire already services the area.  It would be additional area for the Police to patrol. The total assessed valuation is approximately $1.6 million in these two parcels. 


Dan Swafford asked about the zoning.  Frank Nierzwicki reiterated the smaller parcel (half an acre) is presently a C-2 and will stay that way.  He explained all the different zonings categories in Ellettsville. 


Don Calvert asked which “required services” were not already available to Richland Square II annexation area.  Frank Nierzwicki said this would be an extra area for the Police Department to service. 


Dan asked if the Haley parcel will stay a day care.  There was an answer from the audience stating “as far as we know; it is leased out right now unless Don Cowden wants to buy it”. 


Terry Baker made a motion that we approve the voluntary annexation at 4125 W. State Road 46 and the other property of Brett and Barbara Haley.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Roll call vote:  Frank Buczolich – yes; Terry Baker – yes, Dianna Bastin – yes; Don Calvert – yes; Dan Swafford – yes; Sandra Hash – yes.  Motion carried 6-0.


Plan Commission Meeting Format Change


Frank Nierzwicki presented a draft for meeting and operational procedures of how the Plan Commission meetings could run.  He went over the different sections:

  • Section I – Election of Officers, Duties of the President and Secretary, Regular and Special Meeting (how they can be called)
  • Section II – Agenda Procedures
  • Section III – Discussion of Agenda Items
  • Section IV – Amendment and suspension of rules
  • Section V – Privilege of the Floor
  • Section VI – Quorum
  • Section VII – Minimum Vote Requirements
  • Section VIII – Proceedings and Motions


He went on to explain these procedures are mostly for having a limit on discussion and allowing the Plan Commission to extend time limits if they so agree.  He is proposing three minutes for speaker per item with the Commission allowing an extension of three minutes.  These procedures will call for “End Point – You can not start a new item on the agenda three hours into the meeting”.   Dan Swafford recommended shortening that time limit; take a vote two hours into a meeting to see if there needs to be a continuation or not.  Frank Nierzwicki wants to be fair to all of those on the agenda.  He gave the example; if a person is eighth on the agenda, this new procedure will make sure that person will speak before 9 p.m.  Frank Buczolich suggested everyone review the procedures and e-mail all changes to Frank Nierzwicki before the next meeting.  Dianna Bastin clarified that under “Discussion of Agenda Items”; a two thirds Board vote will be needed to increase a person’s time limit.   Don Calvert stated the Commission should take in to consideration the people on the agenda who are waiting to speak before ending the meeting at 9 p.m.  Terry Baker asked about “Discussion of Agenda Items” Section B stating “The item is presented by its sponsor or representative (no time limit)”.  There have been people in the past talk for 45 minutes on one item.  Frank Nierzwicki explained the intent for this was to allow a petitioner to present agenda items without a time limit.  Sandra recommended a 15 minute time limit for a preliminary plat presentation.  Dianna feels since we are able to access Power Point; presentations should go quicker.  There was discussion on time limits.  It was also recommended conversations between the audience and Commission should not take place. 


Rick Coppock outlined some of Monroe County’s rules.  The petitioner has ten minutes and can ask for an extension before they start their presentation.  Comments are allowed for fifteen minutes; if there are a lot of people, they find out how many are going to speak.  The petitioner has another five minutes at the end to give a rebuttal.  The whole time limit runs about a half hour per petition.  After the petitioners ten minutes, the petitioner takes questions from the Commission.  Dan Swafford recommended if there is a large group wanting to speak on the same subject then they should appoint a spokesperson and allow them extra time to speak.  He also suggested everyone read over the procedures and converse changes and suggestions through e-mail.  Sandra said a citizen suggested petitions be sent to the Plan Commission members ten days before the meeting so they will have time to view the area.  She outlined the way petitions used to be handled.  Frank Nierzwicki is presently sending petition packets out two days before the meeting.  Ideally he would like to get them sent out the weekend before the meeting. 


Dianna Bastin would like to add under “Discussion of Agenda Items” something to stop name calling or being disrespectful.  Don Calvert applauded Frank Nierzwicki for putting this procedure guideline together. 


Frank Buczolich clarified all thoughts and suggestions be forwarded by e-mail to each other. 


Privilege of the Floor – non Agenda Items


Frank Nierzwicki introduced his new intern, Micah Austin.  Micah will be working with Frank this academic year and hopefully longer.  They are looking at office space and other items with budget issues.  Micah is assisting with the decorating of the bench for the Fall Festival. 


Micah Austin is originally from Utah.  Before coming to Indiana, he spent a couple of years in Moscow, Russia as a humanitarian volunteer disbursing food and clothing to the impoverished areas.  He spent time in South America volunteering with the Peace Corps.  He has worked on some documentary films in the British Isles.  He has been in Bloomington a year pursuing a Master’s Degree.  He started his Master’s program this year at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.  He lives in Ellettsville and jumped at the chance to work as the intern because he has wanted to be involved in the Town affairs.  He is presently planning on staying here for two academic years and possibly one summer. 


Dianna Bastin just came from the Fall Festival meeting and announced they are right on target.  There is a friendly competition going on between all the departments; each department is building a bench that will be donated to the festival. 




Terry Baker made a motion for the meeting to be adjourned.  Dan Swafford seconded.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned 7:33 p.m.  Next meeting will be October 4, 2007.