Area Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. You Are a Neighbor Notified of A Public Hearing

You have been notified of a public hearing because you are most likely a neighbor within 660 feet of a subject parcel. You and others interested in a proposal have three options for voicing your concerns: you can speak in person at the meeting, submit your written concerns to the petition's file, or submit your written concerns for discussion in the Staff Report and reviewed prior to the hearing by the Board/Commission members.

Speaking in Person. Persons who wish to voice their concerns need to appear at the meeting. You may wish to contact staff and/or review the proposal at the Area Plan Commission office before outlining your concerns.

Documents Submitted to the File. Written concerns regarding a proposal will be accepted into the file up to five days prior to the hearing. However, documents that are more than 2 pages long must be submitted 10 days prior to the hearing. This enables staff, members, the applicant, and other members of the public time to review these concerns prior to the hearing if they choose.

Documents Submitted for Staff & Member Review. Persons who wish to have their concerns considered in the Staff Report, and mailed to members for review prior to the hearing must submit their written concerns no less than 15 days prior to the hearing. This enables staff time to discuss your information in the Staff Report, as well as mail your information to the members well in advance of the hearing.

 

Q2. What are Rules of Procedure for the Public Hearing?

All public hearings are directed by the Chairman of the Commission or Board that is hearing the proposal.

Usually a public hearing will open with the Chairman reading the rules of procedure. The Staff Report is then presented which is prepared by the APC staff and thoroughly analyzes the proposed project, how it complies with the current standards of the Zoning and/or Subdivision Control Ordinance, and discusses pertinent issues and public comment submitted to the file.

The applicant, or his representative, is then given time to present his proposal and in detail.

The Chairman will then open the floor to anyone in the public wishing to speak in favor of or against the proposal. The applicant takes down all the questions and concerns from the public and is then allowed time to answer all of the questions raised. If the applicant has not addressed all of the public's concerns, the Chairman can request that the question be repeated for the applicant to answer.

 

Once the Chairman is satisfied that all issues have been addressed, he then closes the hearing and allows the Commission or Board members to ask questions of the applicant. The Board/Commission will then make a motion for a vote.

Q3. What Happens Next?

Rezoning. If a recommendation has been made by the Area Plan Commission regarding a zoning amendment, the proposal is then forwarded to the County Commissioners or appropriate legislative body who then make the final decision at their public hearing.

Subdivisions. Decisions made by the Area Plan Commission regarding subdivisions are final unless an appeal is filed.

Variance or Special Exception. Decisions made by the Area Board of Zoning Appeals regarding a variance or special exception are final unless an appeal is filed.

 

If a Project is Tabled. A proposal's hearing may be tabled at the request of the applicant, the public, or by the Board/Commission if additional information is needed before a decision can be made. If the project is tabled, it will be heard at the next month's regularly scheduled meeting unless otherwise announced at the initial meeting. Area neighbors are not re-notifiedof a tabled hearing since the next hearing date was announced at the initially scheduled public hearing.

Q4. Definitions and Jurisdictions

Rezoning - to change the zoning of property from one District to another.

  • The case is first heard before the Area Plan Commission who makes only a recommendation to the County Commissioners or appropriate legislative body.
  • The appropriate legislative body makes the final decision.

Subdivision - the division of a lot, parcel, or tract of land into two or more lots, tracts, parcels, or other division of land for sale, development, or lease.

  • Subdivisions are heard before the Area Plan Commission, who makes the final decision. All subdivisions must have primary and secondary review.

Special Exception - the authorization of a use, that is permitted in the district as long as it meets special conditions, and upon application, is specifically authorized by the Board.

  • Case is heard by the Area Board of Zoning Appeals, who makes the final decision.

Variance - a modification of the specific requirements of this ordinance for the purpose of assuring that no property, because of special circumstances applicable to it, shall be deprived of privileges commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same vicinity and district.

 

  • Case is heard by the Area Board of Zoning Appeals, who makes the final decision.
Q5. When is a Public Hearing Required?
  • Rezonings
  • Subdivisions
  • Planned Unit Developments
  • Amendments to Development Plans
  • Amendments to Maps and Ordinances

Area Board of Zoning Appeals

 

  • Special Exceptions
  • Variances
  • Use Classifications
  • Appeal of the Director's Decision
Q6. What if I am building a new home in an agricultural district?

The Ordinances

On December 21, 1998 the Boone County Commissioners adopted the 1998 Zoning Ordinance and 1998 Subdivision Control Ordinance. These ordinances were the result of more than five years of research and groundwork with the prime goal of preserving the agricultural ground and protecting the agricultural uses of Boone County. This ordinance went into effect on December 31, 1998.

The Regulations on Lots and Land Use

In order to protect the agricultural resources of Boone County, the public and the legislative bodies have determined that residential development in the Agricultural Zoning Districts is no longer acceptable because the two uses have proven to not be compatible with each other.

As a result, residential land use in the Agricultural District requires Special Exception approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals and new lots created after December 31, 1998 require Minor Residential Subdivision approval by the Area Plan Commission. These procedures are done to ensure that residential development in the rural areas of the county does not become a detriment to the agricultural resources of Boone County.

Delayed Building Permit Issuance

 

Please understand that before a building permit for a new home in the Agricultural District is issued, the Special Exception procedure and the Subdivision procedure must be completed. This is a new law that must be followed and there will be some delays involved that were not encountered in the past. Staff will make every effort possible to expedite your given situation.

Q7. What's new for subdivisions?

In order to protect the agricultural resources of Boone County, the public and the legislative bodies have determined that development in the Agricultural Zoning Districts should be limited because many land uses are not compatible with farming activities. As a result, the following changes and new procedures have been incorporated into the 1998 Zoning Ordinance and 1998 Subdivision Control Ordinance that affect subdivisions. 

  1. The Definition of Subdivision

    To ensure that the right property owners are going through the proper procedures, the definition of "subdivision" has been changed to fit two different processes.

    1. MINOR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION. The division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two to four residential lots, tracts, parcels, or other divisions of land for sale, development, or lease.
    2. MAJOR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION. The division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into five or more residential lots, tracts, parcels, or other divisions of land for sale, development, or lease.

     

Q8. What are the Two Types of Subdivisions

 MINOR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION.

    1. INTENT: The Minor Residential Subdivision was designed specifically with the farmer and large property owner in mind.The advantages to this new process is that...
      • It creates a speedy process by which the property owner can sell off tracts of land to either generate revenue or give to their children.
      • Lots can be as small as one (1) acre
      • It allows a private driveway to serve up to four lots that is built to specifications set by the land owner.
      • It requires a bufferyard between the residential and agricultural uses to protect each from each other.
      • Open space is required to maintain the rural density and character of the countryside.
      Unfortunately, with all new procedures, there are some disadvantages...
      • In the Agricultural District, the property owner must now receive Special Exception from the BZA to allow a residential use in this district. This was done to not only ensure that development occurs in the best manner possible, but if Variances are required from the Development Standards, they can be requested at this time.
       
    2. DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS: In order to encourage clustered homesites in all zoning districts, road frontage requirements have dropped to 45 feet and maximum density and minimum open space standards have been established for each zoning district. In the Agricultural District, this has been taken one step further. The minimum distance between newly established driveway cuts is 1,000 feet (existing driveways are excluded). While this may seem extreme, it is one of the only ways that we can encourage the concept of shared driveways and to drastically limit strip-lot development along the roadways.
     
  1. MAJOR RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION.
    1. INTENT: The Major Residential Subdivision was designed specifically with the developer in mind.The advantages to this new process is that...
      • A Concept Plan review has been added to the process which allows the developer to bring their project before the APC for discussion and comment. No decision will be made at this meeting, however the APC can mandate certain impact assessments be done prior to filing for Primary Plat approval.
      The disadvantages are minimal, but are for the public welfare...
      • Roads must be public and built to county specifications.
      • Required impact assessments must be done prior to applying for Primary Plat approval, which will lengthen the time period required for subdivision approval.
       
    2. DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS: Just as in Minor Residential Subdivisions, road frontage requirements have dropped to 45 feet and maximum density and minimum open space standards have been established for each zoning district in order to encourage clustering. In addition, these density and open space requirements have the potential to be increased and reduced respectively depending on the proximity of the development to various infrastructure and safety services.

Rachel Cardis

Area Plan Director

116 W Washington St. Suite 101

Lebanon, IN 46052

765-482-3821rcardis@co.boone.in.us

Office Hours

Monday - Friday

8am - 4pm

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