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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Plan Commission members say land use plan is needed

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Greene County Advisory Plan Commission has been working on a draft of a land-use planning/zoning ordinance since 2010.

As to what kind of language the proposed ordinance contains, that's still a mystery.

A draft document was completed in August 2012, however, it's still not ready to be viewed by the public because it hasn't gone through a legal review. That's what Greene County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Joan Bethell said at Wednesday afternoon's meeting of the Greene County Plan Commission.

The document has been disseminated to Plan Commission members and two new Greene County Commissioners -- Ed Michael and Nathan Abrams -- received their copies at Wednesday's meeting.

Both commissioners said they would hold off judgment on the document and comment until they've had a chance to read through it.

Commissioner's President Rick Graves served on the Plan Commission until Dec. 31, 2012 when Abrams replaced him.

The three-member County Commissioners will make the decision on whether a land-use-plan document is adopted.

The Plan Commission also had a rather embarrassing moment to start it's meeting Wednesday.

Plan Commission member Rob Kendall, from Linton, was seated at the board table waiting for the meeting to start when he was informed by board secretary Brianne Jerrells that his term had ended Dec. 31. The commissioners had replaced him in early January with Beech Creek Township Trustee and Greene County Republican Party Chairman Otto Prow.

Kendall had not been notified of the change, but he gracefully said, "Excuse me, I'll be happy to leave. I thought I was supposed to be here. I got an email (from Jerrells) that said to be here."

He added, "Nobody told me my term was up. I'm OK with it either way."

Kendall, who served about two years, decided to stay at the meeting and contributed his thoughts on the importance of passing the land use planning ordinance.

He was blunt in his remarks about the future of the Plan Commission, if the County Commissioners opt not to adopt the recommended land use planning ordinance.

"If you (the commissioners) are against it, we are wasting our time," Kendall said. "There is no reason to beat a dead horse."

He believes enforcement of zoning/land use regulation needs to be supported by the commissioners and funded by the county council.

Kendall called the proposed ordinance "a starting point" and it can be amended as time goes on.

He said adoption of the ordinance will get taxpayers the services they deserve and will get property owners and developers to follow some standards or they won't be issued a building permit.

Plan Commission President Garry Heshelman says having an ordinance is important to help control what kind of businesses might locate along the I-69 corridor, to ensure that subdivisions are properly designed and built with roads that meet county standards, to help police and make sure septic system were installed properly and safely; to establish a system of issuing building permits so county officials can track new structures and get them on the tax rolls.

"This protects homeowners and landowners," he said. "We've tried to work out something that is good for everybody."

Plan Commission member Chris Cornelius, a farmer from rural Switz City, says he's been vocal in his opposition to land-use planning since he was first appointed as an original member about three years ago.

"As a landowner, I'm against any kind of land-use planning," Cornelius said.

Cornelius also pointed out that he doesn't feel pressured to adopt a land-use plan just because Greene County is among only eight in the state that has not adopted an ordinance.

"I don't care what the other 92 counties are doing," he stated.

Jackson Township Trustee Paul Trampke replied by saying, "This plan, by God, protects agriculture. If we don't regulate it we are going to be the slum capitol of Indiana or we are going to be Monroe County."

Trampke said for him passing a land-use plan makes sense, especially when you consider the various subdivisions that are spring up -- many that are not following any kind of guidelines.

"The eastern part of the county is going crazy and we have to do something," he said.

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We do not need zoning. Listen to the people and you will get the answer on the issue.

-- Posted by Matt W Hockman on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 11:15 PM

Do we really want to be like Monroe county? You can't scratch without asking permission from someone (and paying a fee).

-- Posted by Thought 4 today on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 5:15 AM

I went to the link listed above by John Paul.

I called the contact phone number listed on the page.

The person who I spoke with indicated that the page was created in January 2007 & the information it contained was considered out of date.

-- Posted by pitdude on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 12:35 PM

zoning is not good for greene county...greene county needs to stay greene county...if its not broke?it dont need fixed...

-- Posted by willam* on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 3:09 AM

School board members need to represent the public who placed them in office or be prepared to be replaced.

-- Posted by 0123 on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 4:00 PM

Give them hell Johnpaulcoleman...I agree 100% with you on this one. No zoning in greene county.

-- Posted by cmfceo on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:57 PM

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