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Beyond Basics: Making Informed Public Decisions Quarterly Land Use Update March 7, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Beyond Basics: Making Informed Public Decisions Quarterly Land Use Update March 7, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beyond Basics: Making Informed Public Decisions Quarterly Land Use Update March 7, 2005

2 Welcome to the Program Mark Spelbring, Extension Educator, Parke County Plan Commission Dave Osborne, Extension Educator, Ripley County Plan Commission Jamie Palmer, A.I.C.P., Policy Analyst Center for Urban Policy & the Environment

3 Video Seminar Series Sponsors Purdue Extension Land Use Team Indiana Land Resources Council Indiana Planning Association Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning

4 Seminar Series Endorsed by Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Association of Indiana Counties Indiana Rural Development Council Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors

5 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Remember that state laws govern how local planning and zoning works Jamie Palmer follows legislation and will report on the current session

6 2005 Indiana Legislation Jamie L. Palmer, AICP Indiana Planning Association

7 Process ~1,500 bills proposed; 150+ have some connection to land development and planning Most die without a hearing Deadline for passing house of origin has passed Germaneness

8 2005 Issues Government restructuring Planning and zoning Annexation Agriculture and forestry protection Other – TIF and tax abatement – Manufactured/mobile homes

9 Keeping Track Indiana General Assembly web site ( Indiana Planning List Serv (requires IPA membership)

10 What is Planning? A “plan” for getting from the present to the desired future Deciding in advance, what to do, how to do it, and especially where to do it Community decisions about where things should be located, instead of everything being decided individually

11 What is Zoning? A tool to implement your plan Zoning without a plan makes no sense, since it is a tool to implement the plan Zoning comes from “Police Powers” of government, and protects all citizens by limiting what citizens can do with land Powers are limited to public purposes

12 Who are the Players? Legislative Bodies County Commissioners City/Town Councils Fiscal Bodies Planning Director and/or Staff Plan Commission Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)

13 Plan Commission Role – Advisory and Law Administration Prepare Comprehensive Plan Prepare Zoning Ordinance Prepare Subdivision Ordinance Approve/Deny Subdivisions Make Recommendations on Proposed Changes to Zone Maps, Ordinance Text, and Comprehensive Plan

14 What is the Plan Commission? Independent commission Mainly private citizens Appointed by elected officials No legislative authority Little administrative authority Advisor to governing body Note – elected officials have final authority

15 Greg Dale’s Decision Checklist Notice Opportunity to be heard Full Disclosure Unbiased Decisions Timely Decisions Complete Records Clear Rules

16 Plan Commission Review 1 Open Door Law Chance meetings, Site visits Executive Sessions Public meetings vs. public hearings Reference – Purdue Extension Publication ID-232, “Plan Commission Public Hearings: A Plan Commissioner’s Guide”

17 Plan Commission Review 2 Motions – taking official action “Positive” motions Approved motions Defeated motions Majority vote of full board 3 choices for recommendations

18 Plan Commission Review 3 Consensus on procedural items Voting processes Secret ballot Paper ballot with decisions announced Roll call – order of vote Voice vote with split decisions followed up with roll call vote

19 Plan Commission Review 4 Rules of Procedure or By-Laws Should spell out these details Attendance of members Conflicts of interest Ex parte communication Behavior of all participants

20 Plan Commission Review 5 You must live by your ordinance BUT You can propose changes if needed! Amendments are not that hard to do Be responsive to changing conditions

21 Mock Meeting Script 1 Rezoning Request from Agriculture to Business Read Script Discuss and Share

22 Mock Meeting Script 2 Planned Unit Development Read Script Discuss and Share

23 Board of Zoning Appeals - BZA Role – Quasi Judicial Hear Appeals of Administrative Decisions Approve/Deny Special Exceptions Approve/Deny Contingent/Conditional Use Approve/Deny Variances Variance of Standards/Use Variance

24 Board of Zoning Appeals 1 NOT same as Plan Commission Shared members enhance communication No members are elected officials Not just recommendations – BZA makes final decisions! Decision appeals go directly to court Ex parte communications illegal

25 Board of Zoning Appeals 2 IC 36-7-4-900 series Why were they created? Hear appeals to administrative decisions Safety value against abuse of power Decisions made by peers

26 Board of Zoning Appeals 3 Ordinance specifies special exceptions Ordinance specifies contingent and/or conditional uses Variance of standards Variance of use – not in Area Plan BZA must decide all such petitions

27 Special Exceptions A use anticipated in a district, but which requires special review before approval Finding of Facts Approval of all points required If all points approved, must be approved Conditions can be added

28 Variance of Standards Physical rules, such as height, setbacks Any BZA can approve variances to standards 3 required criteria to consider Practical difficulties Always discretionary – not automatic, even if all 3 criteria are satisfied

29 Variance of Use Only under Advisory Plan Commissions Some see this as backdoor rezoning 5 required criteria to consider Unnecessary hardship Approve specific use by specific person, so approval expires if either changes

30 BZA Mock Meeting Script City Board of Zoning Appeals Variance of use application

31 Future Program Dates PLEASE COMPLETE EVALUATION Thursday, June 16 Thursday, September 8 Suggestions are welcome! Have a safe trip home

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