Neighborhood Watch Meeting 04/18/2019

56219810_10103601289918413_3848912672904970240_oThe Charlestown Neighborhood Watch met for a planned meeting on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio at the end: 

  1. April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.
    • 1-800-800-5556 – Number to call if you suspect a child is being abused (Statewide anonymous tip line)
  2. Looking for Block Watch Captains in a few areas
    • Captains work as liaisons with the police department
      • Need captains in
      • Council District One
        • Rosewood
        • Creekside
        • Oriole Drive
      • Council District Two
        • April Court
        • Gospel Road
        • Denham Lane
        • Maple Leaf Apartments
        • Pleasant Ridge
      • Council District Three
        • Ashley Springs
        • Highview/Lakeview
      • Council District Four
        • Tunnel Mill
        • Monroe Street
        • Parkside Trace Apartments
  3. Upcoming Events in the Community
    • 5K-9 Memorial run/walk for Sgt. Ben Bertram on Saturday, April 20. The police department hopes to turn this into an annual event. They’ve had over 400 entries and this has helped raise money to send the Bertram family and local officers to Washington, D.C. for a national memorial.
    • New Police Station Update – Will have a community room where they will be able to host Neighborhood Watch meetings. The painters are busy and drywall is nearly complete. The external façade is nearly complete as well. Doors will be delivered next week. Information Technology will follow. Looking at mid-June for the tentative moving-in date.
    • Prescription Drug Take-Back will be April 27 from 10am-2pm at the Jay-C store
    • New Program – Protect Property DNA – Will have kits available to mark valuables with a discrete substance that identifies the property under blue light. People can mark their valuables and register them under a number. Should the property get stolen, when recovered it can be identified easily. Ownership can be transferred if the item is sold. Information kept in a national database. This program will run in coordination with Dale Robinson’s State Farm Insurance company. Hope to launch the program in the first week of May
  4. Statistic Report on Charlestown Police Activity
    • March 1 – April 17 the police department had 1,330 calls for service.
      • 621 of those calls were officer initiated. These calls consisted of:
        • 187 premises checks (vacationing owners, etc.)
        • 522 traffic stops (this number reflects an increase)
          • 137 of those traffic stops resulted in criminal charges (not traffic tickets)
      • 104 of the total calls resulted in criminal cases (non-traffic related including two burglaries (one solved, one in progress on Thompson and Lowell streets)
        • 12 thefts (five shoplifting)
        • 39 Alarm calls
        • 34 vehicle crashes
        • 82 suspicious activity calls (this is up from an average of about 20 per month)
        • 61 disturbances
        • 29 reckless driving complaints
        • 21 warrant service
        • 2 battery calls
  5. Preventing Child abuse
    • Common denominators in child abuse cases
      • When children have a traumatic event occur in their lives they exhibit some notable changes. Among these changes are:
        • Declining academic performance
        • Less sociable – less talkative
        • Change in personality (if extroverted they may become more introverted, if introverted they may become extroverted)
        • Often become more secretive
        • Older children are often better at masking changes
        • Sudden and unexplained reluctance to be around a specific person (family member, friend, teacher, etc)
    • Symptoms of child abuse often mirror those of domestic violence
      • Tips on how to learn more if you notice something different
        • Mention the physical or personality change to the parent or guardian (“I notice that ___ has lost interest in ____…”)
        • If you suspect child abuse is occurring, call the tip line 1-800-800-5556. They will ask questions, but do not feel pressured if you do not have all the information they seek. Give them as much detail as you know.
        • Keep in mind that often abuse involves a relative
    • Benefits of being proactive about noticing child abuse
      • Studies show that the cycle of abuse can be stopped. Prevention programs and educational programs as well as resource management can assist with this.
      • 1 in 5 children receives a form of sexual solicitation via the internet
      • PCAIN – Preventing Child Abuse Indiana is distributing pinwheels for yard display as representation of a happy, healthy childhood. You can show support in the month of April by displaying one in your yard.
  6. Question and Answer session followed presentation

Audio:

 

Board of Zoning Appeals 04/15/2019

The Charlestown Board of Zoning Appeals met on April 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Following is a summary and full audio (19:22) of the meeting: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance 
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Darrell Stidham, Danny Oakley, Barry Early, Zach Payne and Paul Collier
  3. Approval of Prior Meeting’s Minutes
    • Motion to Approve made by Barry Early
    • Seconded by John Collier
    • Unanimous approval
  4. New Business
    • ARC – Renaissance Park
      • Jason Sams addressed the Board on behalf of ARC. He is asking for ten variances associated with the development plan.
        • Variance 1 – Requests an allowance for the building to increase in height from 39 feet to 40 feet to allow for mechanicals to fit inside the building on the large three story structure on the corner of Main and Market
        • Variance 2 – Requests an allowance to decrease the road setback from 12 ft to zero so that the building is up against Market street. There will be a sidewalk and the building will come up to the sidewalk.
        • Variance 3 – Requests an allowance for a reduction in the amount of required open space for lot 2 (commercial lot) fro 15% to 0%. 
        • Variance 4 – Requests an allowance for parking on Main and High streets and along Green Ally. This would be perpendicular, nose-in parking.
        • Variance 5 – Requests an allowance for parking along/within the front yard of Main Street.
        • Variance 6 – Requests an allowance for relief on landscaping island requirement – a reduction of the required landscaping for the three story building and on the commercial building
        • Variance 7 – Requests an allowance for relief on required parking spaces and asks that the number be decreased from 103 to 68.
        • Variance 8 – Requests an allowance for relief on required parking spaces and asks that the number be decreased from 43 to 37. 
        • Variance 9 – Requests an allowance to decrease the size of parking spaces from 10×25 to 9×18
        • Variance 10 – Requests an allowance to allow a loading and unloading zone along Green Alley during non-peak visiting times
      • Motion to approve all variances made by Paul Collier
      • Seconded by Barry Early
      • Unanimous approval
    • Sunoco – RobinMart
      • Narayan Guatam, owner of the Sunoco appeared before the board to request a variance for a new building to fit in his lot size. The change will be from a building that faces Market to a building that faces High Street.
        • Variance 1 – The city requires a two-story building and Mr. Guatam wants a single story building. (IDEM does not allow a second story on a gas station.) He wants to add two more pumps for a total of four. Mr. Stidham asked if he needs to add another tank for those pumps and Mr. Guatam said he already has enough tanks.
        • Variance 2 – The design of the lot is small. He requests a variance from the requirement that 70% of the building face Market. He needs a variance from that requirement to have the building face High Street. In the 12-ft setback off of Market he plans to put a bistro seating area there.
        • Danny Oakley asked if the façade on the side of the building facing Market Street will be historic brick look. Mr. Guatam said that the building will be smooth faced concrete block.
        • Motion to approve variances made by Paul Collier
        • Second was made but speaker was unclear
        • Unaimous approval
      • Adjournment
        • Motion to adjourn made by Zach Payne
        • Second was made by speaker was unclear
        • Unanimous approval 

Audio:

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Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting 04/15/2019

screen shot 2019-01-15 at 9.46.35 amThe Charlestown Planning and Zoning Commission held a meeting and public hearing on Monday, April 15 at 7:00 pm. Following is a summary with full audio (28:42) of the meeting: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance (Recording started after pledge)
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Bill Resch, Darrell Stidham, Zach Payne, Ben Ledbetter, Brian Hester, and John Spencer. Also in attendance was Building Commissioner Tony Jackson
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s Minutes
    • Motion to approve made by John Spencer
    • Second was made but speaker was unclear
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. New Business
    • ARC – Renaissance Project – Jason Sams representing ARC
      • Mr. Sams presented the project proposal for the Renaissance Project. He asked the commission for approval of the project development plan. His presentation showed a visual representation of the project site.
      • Lot One of the development is a three story structure that will house 40 apartments spread across each level. It will include a coffee shop on the Market and Main corner. The building is U-shaped with breezeways and includes a courtyard for use by apartment residents.
      • Lot Two consists of three commercial buildings
      • The site lighting plan will have acorn-style historic replica lights.
      • The external façade will have a brick-like material designed to look historic, and hardy siding, a zero-maintenance product.
      • Green Alley will separate Lot One and Lot Two. Building materials will match across both lots.
      • Mr. Sams requested approval of the development plan and offered to answer questions. Variances will be needed for the project.
        • Darrell Stidham asked how large the green space for the apartments will be. Mr. Sams said about 30-40 feet wide and will include landscaping and brick pavers.
        • Zach Payne asked how many parking spaces. Mr. Sams said there will be 68 for Lot 1 and 37 for Lot 2
          • Mr. Payne asked what type of businesses will be in Lot 2. Mr. Sams said there has been some interest by small sandwich shops, different restaurant type users.
          • Mr. Payne asked about the process. Mr. Sams said that he’s under a purchase agreement with the City, but before he completes that agreement he wants to secure final building plans. John Spencer clarified that once they get through this process ARC will pursue agreements with tenants. Mr. Sams said that this is a two phase development and Lot One will be first. He hopes that bringing the 40 people into the apartments will spur the next phase.
        • John Spencer asked about the variances that ARC will request following this meeting. Mr. Sams said they include parking, setback, green space and some other things. He said he’s asking for relief to develop the property to fit the “downtown” mode.
        • Brian Hester asked about the time frame between Lots one and two. Mr. Sams said he could possibly begin work on Lot two within 60-90 days. The site has some environmental remediation issues.
        • Mr. Stidham asked if they anticipated any environmental delays and Mr. Sams said no.
        • Mr. Spencer said that he has looked through the variance requests that the BZA will look at in their meeting following this one and he said he thinks the project fits the plan. He said he sees no reason not to approve it.
        • Motion to Approve made by Darrell Stidham
        • Second was made but speaker was unclear.
        • Public Comment
          • Jarred Dunn – owner of the barber shop. He said he is concerned about the parking lot in phase one because it borders his shop. Mr. Sams said that there will still be a full drive lane on Main. Mr. Dunn asked about a drain that has been broken for a while and he’s asking if that drain will be repaired in this project. John Spencer said that’s a Board of Public Works question. Ben Ledbetter said he’s not familiar with the issue but said he will go look at it.
        • Call for vote – unanimous approval
    • Sunoco – RobinMart
      • Narayan Guatam from Sunoco appeared before the commission. He said he serves 250-300 customers per day and wants to enlarge the store. Mr. Guatam wants to demolish the present building and install two new pumps. He wants to construct a 2,000 sq ft building on the side of the property facing High Street, rather than Market.
      • John Spencer asked how many gas pumps this new project will offer. It will allow for two more pumps for a total of four. Mr. Guatam will need to build the new store, move, then demolish the other.
      • Darrell Stidham asked how long the project will take. Mr. Guatam said that he hopes to start in July. Mr. Guatam said that he plans to offer a café style food mart with outdoor patio seating facing Market Street as well.
      • Tony Jackson noted that this is an existing property and presents no change in use.
      • Mr. Spencer asked what kind of variances he’s seeking. Tony Jackson said that the lot size prevents him from following existing code so he needs the variance.
      • Ben Ledbetter asked about the building material. Mr. Gautam said that he must have the building match the Sunoco brand so it will be concrete block and painted.
      • John Spencer said he looked through it and sees no reason that the BZA will not approve it.
      • Motion to approve plan contingent on BZA approval made by John Spencer
      • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
      • Unanimous approval
  5.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by John Spencer
    • Seconded by Darrell Stidham
    • Unanimous approval

Audio:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redevelopment Commission – SPECIAL MEETING 04/15/2019

web1_special-called-meetingThe Charlestown Redevelopment Commission held a special meeting on Monday, April 15 at 10:00am to address an item improperly managed in the previous meeting. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (1:24): 

  1. Call to Order
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Mayor Bob Hall, Ted Little, Eric Vaughn, and George Roberts. Pat Glotzbach was absent. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  3. Amendment to Renaissance Contract with ARC
    • As noted in the previous meeting on April 11, 2019, (Available here: Redevelopment 04/11/2019) ARC has requested an amendment to their development agreement on the Renaissance Project. This amendment extends the due date for a site plan from April 15 to April 30.
    • Motion to approve the amendment made by George Roberts
    • Seconded by Ted little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous Approval

Audio (1:24) :

Board of Public Works 04/15/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Public Works met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 15 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (6:58) at the end. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by Donna Coomer
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Mayor Bob Hall and Ben Ledbetter. Ted Little arrived late. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  3. Prior meeting’s Minutes, Current Claims, and Payroll Allowance Docket from 03/31/2019 to 04/14/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Mayor Bob Hall
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Business Items
    • Eric Vaughn – Director of Economic Development
      • Mr. Vaughn discussed properties for pocket parks in the Ashley Springs subdivision. Since the last meeting, he learned that the lot approved in that meeting was sold. They have identified a new lot. The new lot, Lot 55, requires purchase approval at a cost of $15,000.
        • Motion to approve purchase of Lot 55 made by Ben Ledbetter
        • Seconded by Ted Little
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous Approval
      • Woodford Farms Park Update – Mr. Vaughn said he is working on a deal for a park in the subdivision. He has discussed lot options with the developer. The developer has two lots, both of which are larger lots. The developer wants to split one of those large lots into two for building, then negotiate a price on the second larger lot for a park. This park would be bigger than most other neighborhood parks. Mayor Hall said they anticipate having more details on this park at the next meeting.
    • Community Crossings Grant for Paving
      • Mayor Hall introduced a list of streets to be bid out for paving using $941,000 in grant funds. He explained that the list provided to the board will be paved this year. Mr. Ledbetter mentioned that these include “Old Town” and Glendale streets. 
        • Motion to approve bid process for the paving jobs made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous Approval
      • Mayor Hall asked the board to approve a sign on the streets to show which will be paved
        • Motion made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous Approval
  5.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous Approval

Audio:

Redevelopment Commission 04/11/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, April 11 at 9:00am. Following is a summary of the meeting with audio at the end. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Shane Spicer
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Ted Little, Eric Vaughn, George Roberts, and Mayor Bob Hall. Pat Glotzbach was absent. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  3. Prior meeting’s minutes, Current Claims, and Payroll Allowance Docket 03/25/2019 to 04/07/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by George Roberts
    • Seconded by Eric Vaughn
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Approval of Contracts
    • Paul Wheatley presented two contracts related to the Renaissance Project required for issuing the debt to allow the construction to move forward.
      • Frost Brown Todd – Engagement Letter – Bond Council 
      • Reedy Financial Group P.C. – Engagement Letter – financial advisory services
    • Mr. Gillenwater said he believes these companies are reputable and supports approval of the contracts.
    • Motion to approve contracts made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  5. Old Business
    • Renaissance
      • Jason Sams from ARC presented an amendment to the redevelopment agreement to extend the initial timeline for planning from April 15 to April 30 with an anticipated closing date of May 24. ARC will appear on Monday the 15th for zoning variances. He requested that the Commission allow Mayor Hall to execute this amendment to the agreement. 
      • Mr. Gillenwater said that the developer wants to ensure that he will have the zoning variances required to complete the project. He said he has reviewed the amendment and sees no issues. 
      • Mayor Hall confirmed that ARC is asking to amend the initial due date from April 15 to April 30 and ARC agreed. 
      • Mayor Hall asked for a quick project update. ARC has been working with utility companies to move poles and lines to facilitate construction of the project. They are committed to beginning the project in the summer and completing within 11-12 months.
      • No motion was taken on this request during this meeting. *At the end of the meeting and prior to adjournment I asked to be recognized to clarify whether a motion was needed on this item and I was told that I could ask that question after the meeting. Following the meeting, after the recorder was turned off Mayor Hall told me it was not appropriate for me to ask questions in the meeting. I asked my question again and was told that the commission passed a motion on this issue at the previous meeting (03/28/2019). At that meeting, however, the motion that was passed extended the agreement from April 1 to April 15 and Mayor Hall mentioned at that time that if a further extension was needed they could address it at today’s meeting (prior meeting summary here: 03/28/2019 Redevelopment Meeting)
  6. New Business
    • Susan Riley appeared before the commission to seek an exception for a Springville Manor home. She explained that she has a client who purchased her Pleasant Ridge property October 21, 2015. The Springville Manor property agreement dictates that residents from Pleasant Ridge must have a “long term” residency in PR. This resident qualifies in all other ways.
      • Motion to approve this exception made by Eric Vaughn
      • Seconded by George Roberts
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Update on the properties – Ms. Riley said that four of six properties have contracts with two having contingency contracts. Two additional properties have recently been listed. A property just sold, lot 23, for $104,950 another lot is selling for $105,000.
    • Mayor Hall said the value is a good thing and discussed the instant equity ($70,000) the owners have. He reviewed the mortgage amounts for Springville Manor homes. He said that he has been campaigning in the area and people like the houses better than the old trailer court that was there.
    • Susan Riley said that some of the people purchasing the houses in Springville have come from other cities. She said she has a new mailer targeting Pleasant Ridge homeowners that will go out soon. 
    • Mayor Hall said that people have told him they are moving to Charlestown for the family friendly atmosphere, schools, and Christmas lights. He said 20% of new residents are from Oldham County (in Kentucky) and that 90-95% of people moving in are families with children. 
  7. Mayor Hall mentioned that the police station is on schedule
  8. Mayor Hall said that they are moving forward on the LM Bag Company building. When the company took possession of the property there was a strip of land that they did not obtain a deed for. The owner has agreed to release the deed.
  9. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • Unanimous approval

Audio: