Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting 01/14/2019

The Charlestown Planning and Zoning Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting and advertised public hearing on Monday, January 14, 2019. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (35:26) available at the end: 

  1. Call to Order – Pledge of Allegiance 
  2. Determination of Quorum and Attendance – Members present were Tony Jackson, Brian Hester, John Spencer, Ben Ledbetter, John Heal, Darrell Stidham, and Bill Resch. 
  3. Approval of Minutes from prior meeting
    • Motion to approve made by John Spencer
    • Seconded by (unclear)
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval 
  4. Old Business – None
  5. New Business
    • Rezoning (Zoning Map Change) for the property located at 9207 Hwy 403. R-1 (Residential) to B-1 (Business)
      • Tony Jackson opened the public hearing regarding the property in question which contains two lots, one vacant and one including a house, next to the Taco Bell property on 403. 
      • Mr. Andrew Wright, attorney representing the applicant, introduced his client, White Rock Capital, LLC. Attending with him were Bradley Holms (owner), Ted Guessler (sp?), and Shane Spicer and Taylor Friesz from Saegesser Engineering (site planners). Mr. Wright reviewed the application submitted on behalf of his clients, Bradley and Carla Holms. 
      • Mr. Bradley Holms addressed the commission. He explained that he is originally from Nebraska and currently works in the Information Technology industry. He said that he and his wife have decided they want to move back to the mid-west to be close to family. They have decided to invest in an Ace Hardware store. They looked at other cities in the area and investigated 8-10 properties in Charlestown. Mr. Holms said that the location of the property addressed in their application is on a gateway into town and will not require retrofitting into a hardware store since the vacant property will allow them to build a structure specific to their needs. Managers with Ace Hardware have reviewed the location and support the project. Mr. Holms explained that the LLC has no other investors other than he and his wife. He outlined his management experience and team building experience. 
      • Mr. Wright reviewed the application details. He explained that public notice was placed in the News and Tribune and all affected property owners were sent certified mail to notify them of the hearing.
        • He noted that the property comprises 3.978 acres (according to the survey) with 326 feet of road frontage on 403. Presently the property is zoned R-1 residential but is adjacent to the B-1 business zoning by Taco Bell. The property is also adjacent to the property owned by Lonnie and Steven Wright (approximately 70 acres, mostly open field), Z and Z Enterprises, C&M Smith Partnership (Taco Bell), Chris and Karen Gentry (residence), and across the road from Alan Washnock (residence), and Richard and Debra Fehlinger (residence). The property is currently two lots that the owners plan to have merged into one tax parcel.
        • Mr. Wright explained that the preliminary site plan includes a 15,000 sq ft building but they might want to build two structures. The store will employ 12 full and part-time positions and they expect 115-135 vehicles per day in traffic. He noted that highway 403 currently manages approximately 8,500 vehicles per day (according to the city’s comprehensive plan). He anticipates that site planning will involve Saegesser Engineering, Cottongim Construction, and Temple & Temple Excavating.
        • He asked the Commission to review their comprehensive plan which shows the property as business property. He observed that the city’s comprehensive plan calls for the attraction of new businesses and growing the retail sector. He thinks that 403, as an arterial highway, no improvements will need to be made to the road. He pointed out that the legal requirements show that this application is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
      • Darrell Stidham asked if the address is currently on the comprehensive plan. Tony Jackson explained that the city was originally approached by the family who previously owned the land to request that it be zoned as business.
      • Alan Washnock, 9206 Hwy 403, spoke to the commission and expressed concerns about water drainage. The runoff from the property flows under 403 and into a pond on his property. He is concerned about the increase in the volume of water once the property is cleared and paved. He is also worried about mud, sediment, and contaminants flowing into his pond. Mr. Wright said that the detention basin is currently planned for the northwest side and that engineers will work to manage erosion and drainage as required by code. 
      • Karen Gentry, 9205 Hwy 403, spoke to express concerns about what steps the owners will take to help her maintain her privacy since her property adjoins the lot. Bradley Holms explained that, based on ordinance requirements, they will install a 6-ft privacy fence to separate the business from her residence and try to manage light pollution. Mr. Wright explained that those things will be addressed in the site plan review. 
      • Max Zimmerman (Z&Z Enterprises) expressed concerns about the need for acceleration and deceleration lanes being extended down 403 to facilitate traffic going to the business. Ben Ledbetter asked if the entrance could be aligned with Gospel Road. 
      • Debbie Fehlinger, 9210 Hwy 403, expressed concerns about the affect on traffic in front of her home as people stop to turn into the property. She asked if there would be a traffic light. Tony Jackson said no light is planned. Bradley Holms said that he has talked to Shane Spicer about road improvements to manage entry and exit for the property. They are unsure if this property will require one or two entrances at this point. Ms. Fehlinger asked if 403 will be widened and was told that currently there are no plans to do so. 
      • Mr. Stidham asked about signs and Mr. Holm explained he will cooperate with city ordinances on signs. 
      • Bill Resch called for the motion to approve the rezoning application
        • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
        • Seconded by John Spencer
        • No additional discussion
        • Unanimous approval. 
      • Tony Jackson will have this placed on the Common Council agenda
    • Election of officers 
      • Mr. Stidham motioned to maintain the existing officer positions with Bill Resch as President and Ben Ledbetter as Vice President
      • Seconded by John Spencer 
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval 
    • Approval of Scheduled meetings
      • Motion to approve meeting schedule for 2019 made by Ben Ledbetter
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval 
    • Resolution 2019-PC1 – Renaissance Project Economic Development Plan 
      • Motion to approve made by John Spencer
      • Seconded by Darrel Stidham
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
    • Tony Jackson noted that at the next meeting they will have a request for a minor subdivision adjoining Danbury Oaks and Lakeview/Highview. 
  6. Adjournment 
    • Motion to adjourn made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by John Spencer
    • Unanimous approval 


screen shot 2019-01-15 at 9.46.35 am

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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