Saturday, November 28th, 2020

March 27, 2008 meeting minutes

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Report 4 of OC,CIC Meeting March 27, 2008
This meeting, conducted by Chairman Dave White was again an
educational meeting. With an audience of at least 60 citizens Mr.
Mike Hall, surveyor and president of the Dearborn County Area
Planning commission and Mr. Mark McCormick, director of the
Dearborn Co. zoning who has a background in planning, gave us
almost 2 full hours of explaining the workings of Dearborn Co.’s
area planning & zoning.
Dave White started their discussion by asking the question “ If you
had a blank slate, what would you address?” Mr. Hall responded
with these suggestions: what to regulate or not; know the purpose of
your zoning; the comprehensive plan must be done before any zoning
ordinances are formed; the comprehensive plan directs you in the
purpose of a property being changed; if an issue goes to court, the
comprehensive plan is essential for defending a decision by the
zoning board; a comprehensive plan gives new people in the
community an idea of what they can do in your county.
Dearborn Co. also used the HMTB Company to write their zoning
text and as here in Franklin Co. they didn’t listen to the people and
their plan was rejected and Dearborn Co. opted to write their own
by hiring planners on their staff to assist them.
As in previous meetings subdivisions were discussed and Mr. Hall
stated that the reason for a more dense (more houses) subdivision
was to preserve farmground. Dearborn Co. does not use but ag1 in
their description of agricultural land. We have ag 1 & ag 2. The
ground dictates what you can do with it. The buyer of land must use
due diligence and seek a rezone prior to buying the property. If an
industry they must do impact studies.
Instead of a score sheet like in Decatur Co., Dearborn Co. uses a
technical review . Septic systems require two sites per tract in case of
failure of the system there is room to do another one.

The public must be made to understand that when building on a
hilltop, the slope of the road cannot be over 15% or the county would
never take it over. If they choose to build a private road, if it fails as
in water erosion it is their responsibility.
Questions were answered regarding home businesses, pets which are
restricted only in residential areas. That state & local health
departments weigh in on pet issues also both state & local.
Distinction between small & large animals is based on a weight of
150 lbs. Large is being 150 or over.
On the issue of protecting existing agricultural uses, Mr. Hall
responded that disclosure should be sufficient. It is very difficult to
balance the rights of the farm owners and their neighbors.
Adult entertainment is allowed in very limited areas. Zoning
violation fines are from 10-300 dollars per day and a judge
determines the amount.
The bottom line of all discussion about zoning is that the ordinances
be written concisely and as simply as possible. Staff members
change over the years and continuity of enforcement &
interpretation is more consistent when ordinances are written as
stated above.
A copy of the Dearborn County zoning was given to Chairman White
by Mark McCormick and he gave the website on which their zoning
is published. www.dearborncounty.org/planning.comrehensiveplan.
At the April 3 meeting Mr. Greg Sleipher of the Indiana Farm
Bureau is expected to speak and possibly Mr. John Ertel.
Larry Franzman is hopefully scheduled for April 10.

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