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Friday, Apr. 18, 2014

Zoning: It's time to make a decision

Posted Friday, December 10, 2010, at 3:01 PM

Well, for those of you in the county expecting to hear more about land use management or zoning in a public forum meeting before the end of this year, listen up.

There will not be a second public meeting to discuss the controversial topic before the year 2010 ends.

As you remember, the Greene County Commissioners issued a directive in August to the Greene County Plan Commission to conduct at least two public meetings before Dec. 31 to discuss the need for zoning, land use management or whatever you want to call it.

The action came after representatives from the WestGate Authority, Hoosier Energy, Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., and the Greene County Economic Development Corporation asked the commissioners to move the process forward in some fashion.

The first meeting was Sept. 21 at the Greene County Cooperative Extension Service's community room at the fairgrounds.

A date for the second meeting has not been scheduled and I was told on Thursday morning not to expect any kind of zoning meeting any time soon.

I understand some of the organizers were less than thrilled with how the first meeting turned out and have been unable to decide if and when the next meeting will take place.

The first meeting saw about 100 folks turn out for a forum that evolved into a pep rally for those around the county who are less than thrilled with the idea of land use management.

The pro-zoning proponents did a less-than-convincing job of pleading their case about the benefits that even restrained or limited land use management will afford this county.

The basic proposal that was presented at the forum showed the only areas that are being targeted for land use or zoning restrictions -- of either business, agriculture, residential or industrial-- include:

* Near Scotland to the WestGate Tech Park and along U.S. 231 north for a few miles from the State Road 58/U.S. 231 junction.

* Near State Road 45, State 445 and State Road 54 to Monroe County line -- from near the proposed S.R. 45 interchange for I-69 is planned north almost to Greene County Chapel Road.

There are no areas in the western part of the county or around the cities of Linton and Jasonville or close to the towns of Bloomfield, Lyons, Switz City or Newberry that are currently tabbed to be under zoning restrictions.

To me it looks like a reasonable proposal that most of the people could live with and economic development could still be protected and enhanced.

The way it is written now certainly isn't anything that resembles the much more restrictive zoning plan that our neighbors in Monroe County have passed and imposed on its residents.

Let's hope this issue doesn't just die on the vine from inaction by our local officials, but I have my doubts.

In my humble opinion, the people who want zoning need to do a better selling job to the folks who are in the so-called trenches.

These are the hard-working folks who are trying to earn a living and raise their families. These are the people who want their personal freedoms and rights preserved and not trampled on by what they view is the "government."

County residents have to be convinced that without zoning this county will suffer economic losses.

Looking at the recent successes and growth at the WestGate at Crane Technology Park, that have been accomplished without zoning, I'm not sold on the idea that this county will lag behind if land use management controls are not implemented.

I can tell you few in the crowd at the September meeting had any qualms that Greene County is one of only about 10 counties in the state without some form of land use management.

I've learned that the Plan Commission -- the group that will be charged with making a recommendation on zoning to the county commissioners -- has apparently had trouble fielding a quorum of members for meetings in recent months and that is part of the reason why the zoning topic has been put on the back-burner since the September public meeting.

A simple solution would be to re-organize and get some people who are committed and will attend the required meetings.

The Plan Commission does have some final tweaking to do on the zoning proposal before making a recommendation to the county commissioners.

I do know from talking with District 3 Commissioner-elect Rick Graves that the topic will certainly be addressed during one of the early meetings in January.

You now, District 1 County Commissioner Kermit Holtsclaw may have been on target when he stated a couple months back, "We've talked a lot about land use. Would we actually have to put the name zoning on it? That would help us if we couldn't. I think the people would accept it better."

It's time to put this issue to a up or down vote and let this two-headed zoning monster either sink or swim.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/page...

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I moved from an area where zoning required a blueprint of a drain field for house downspouts or permission to cut a tree down in order to build a car port. Zoning required tax payers to fund an office, commissoner, inspectors etc. This is a loss of freedom which we tax payers will be required to pay for. Have you noticed Eastern Greene county has a lot of people moveing in from Monroe county to live, I think this is one of the reasons. Government programs always start small and end up taking over the peoples lives and tax money.

-- Posted by Freedom Lover on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 6:45 AM

The USA, State of Indiana, and Greene County, for all practical purposes, are broke. Why would anybody of rational mind, seek to expand the bureaucratic system that got us all into this mess. Our government at every level is inefficient, ineffective and incompetent. We should be ridding ourselves of government intrusions, not looking to expand them. We can't afford what we have in place now. Those who want more of the same are rubber room candidates.

-- Posted by Globe&Anchor on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 8:25 AM

Maybe if they stopped handing out papers that made the opposing side's point it would help. At the Zoning meeting, they handed out a map of the state of Indiana showing which counties had no Zoning. That made made it clear that Zoning is not needed. If you just looked at THEIR map. You would see that the largest influx of jobs to Indiana in the last 20 years came to a county with no Zoning. The Toyota Plant. Sometimes they make it to easy to prove that Zoning is not needed.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 9:24 AM

Zoning requires personel and bureaucracy to maintain it. It will ultimately cost taxpayers of Greene County more money. Then, as the system is in place, more and more of the county will be added to the county zoning map finally culminating in a zoned county.

No to zoning!!!!!

-- Posted by cow rancher on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 5:22 PM

This is the first topic I can truly say that I understand and agree with every respondent.

-- Posted by dorindaJ on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 12:09 AM

how about the fact of the new carwash being built on highway in linton, in a residential area. what do you think the house values are on the homes next to it that were pre existing to the new carwash? i'm gonna bet they would sell for lots less now than they would have. zoning can limit what is built next to you. nothing wrong with some limits on residential, agricultural or industrial use.

i dont think the people in green acres would appreciate a hog farm going in to the farm field behind cvs. out of city limits, so it can happen easily if wanted because there is no control on what can or cant be built.

-- Posted by minerpride on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 3:43 PM


"Residential area"? Exactly when did Indiana State Highway frontage become zoned as "residential"? From the East city boundary to the West city boundary traveling SR 54, how many businesses are located on the frontage of that highway? "Residential"? Not a chance! And, the hog farm argument is worn out. You bureaucracy beneficiaries need a new line. Green Acres was indeed a farm at one time. It would still be a hog farm if we had waited on a bunch of brain dead bureaucrats to develop it.

-- Posted by Globe&Anchor on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 4:28 PM

The people next to the new car wash had the same chance to buy that property as the car wash owners did. I didn't hear you saying anything when the orange car wash was built next to a nursing home. I wonder if they mind lights and the noise? What about McDonald's next to the trailer park? What about WalMart across the street from the houses on lone tree road (I bet that really helped their property value!)? Let's stop the madness! No more building or prosperity anywhere!

This is a tired old argument used by the left to control other people's money. "Oh no, not a hog farm!" Don't say that as you wolf down your Christmas ham this year!

I've got news for you, I am glad the car wash is there. The old car wash needed some competition and has miraculously cleaned up their act because of it. I believe I even saw some Christmas wreaths on the ugly orange building the other day. Maybe the prices will come down as well.

-- Posted by cow rancher on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 4:29 PM

Minerpride if you don't like the hog farmer's who provide food for you, then maybe I should build a strip club for everyones entertainment. Neither one of these things are going to happen in downtown Linton. Get over it, and stop trying to scare everyone!

-- Posted by doodlebug on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 5:20 PM

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