The Board of Zoning Appeals met on Monday, November 15, 2004 at
7:30 p.m. In attendance were Mr. Haase, Mr. Monnett, Mr. Cavanaugh, Mr. Blevins and Mr. Matrana.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci administered the roll call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Blevins made a motion to approve the October 18, 2004 minutes of the Plainfield Board of Zoning appeals as submitted. Second by Mr.
Monnett. Motion carried.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Carlucci administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Matrana reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. The first item before the BZA tonight is BZA-04-027 concerning Andy Mohr.
Mr. Higbee said this is a Variance of Use request for a five-acre lot to the east of the Clover Drive Subdivision, about one lot over from there. You might have noticed sort of a low-lying site on the south side of U.S. 40 with a couple of mobile homes on it there. That is the site that we are talking about and just to the north of Airtech Business Park. The variance is requested because they would like to
store automobiles on the site. This site is zoned commercial, which
would permit an automobile dealership but would not permit solely the
storage of automobiles in the absence of a dealership or some kind of
retail use being located there. In fact, a storage related use would
be permitted in an Industrial District, I-3 or I-4 Industrial District in Plainfield. So, that is why in my report I raise questions for you about the land use where storage would normally be anticipated in an Industrial District such as farther down and maybe in the interior of one of our industrial zoned areas. This is right up on Main Street. I wanted to point out the sensitivity as far as visibility from Main Street. The fact that Main Street is a special corridor with an ongoing streetscape project being planned by the Town. It has been named as an all American road by the federal government, which qualifies it for some grants, etc. That’s just a refresher of some things that I mention in my Staff Report.
Aside from the land use issue I pointed out that the Transportation Director did not have any issues with the proposed access to the site. They did provide a preliminary plan that is in your packet that gives kind of a conceptual layout. The Town Engineer said because it is a low-lying site that drainage is a concern so they would definitely need to do some drainage plans here and work with the Town
Engineer. If you feel like the land use is appropriate here, I wanted
to point out the aesthetic issue that will come up if it gets approved here because it would then have to go to the Plan Commission for an Architectural Review. So, if you approve the use here tonight, they are not finished. They would have to come back to the Plan Commission and at that time I’m sure we will be discussing the location of loading areas, screening and other issues with how the site would be utilized. That is all that I have.
Mr. Roger Kilmer with Baker and Daniels said I’m representing the
petitioner, Andy Mohr Automotive. With me this evening is Andy Mohr
and Chip Walker and also Joe Scimia of Baker and Daniels. There are
two aspects of the petition that I would like to elaborate on a little further on that Mr. Higbee has brought up, that being the use
characteristics and site characteristics. Just to make clear the
permitted uses in the GC district in which this site is zoned it does
permit by right automobile dealerships and parking lots. The proposed
use by ordinance is defined as outside storage because it is simply not associated with a dealership on the site. If we were to have sales presented out of the proposed building, this would be a permitted use at this location. The requested use in our opinion is a less intense use than what is permitted simply for the fact that we will not be directing or encouraging customer traffic onto the site. It will simply be a location where the transports will come in and unload the new vehicles that are arriving for both the Andy Mohr Ford Dealership and the Andy Mohr Chevy Dealership. What actually brings us here tonight is the success that those two dealerships have achieved. It has actually exceeded what was originally planned to the point where customer demand is requiring more vehicles on the lots than what was originally planned. Therefore, they are having trouble when transports come in to deliver vehicles and are having trouble locating space for those to be unloaded and stored until they are ready for sale.
The site characteristics I would like to elaborate on deal first of all the majority of the site sits approximately 10-15 feet below the road surface of U.S. 40. This alone is going to provide some amount of screening for the site simply because people, as they drive by, will be looking over the site. Second of all in consideration of this site for other commercial uses any retailer that is banking on a highly visible site is not going to see this as a desirable or prime location simply because of the elevation involved. It is going to be difficult to look down and see into the site if you are counting on drive-by traffic.
Touching on some of the Staff’s Comments Questions and Concerns the first one is is this use appropriate for the Main Street Corridor? As I mentioned earlier, we believe that it is simply because there will be very little difference between what this use is and what would be
permitted there by right. Again, by right we could have an automobile
dealership there and operating. We are just choosing to use this site
as a holding location for new automobiles rather than actually selling them from this site.
One of the other Staff concerns deals with setbacks and screening. The setbacks and screening will comply with the Gateway Corridor development standards. As he mentioned, we will need to come back before the Plan Commission for Architectural Review. We may even
request, in an effort to increase or enhance the perimeter buffering of the site, we may choose, should the design warrant it, to come back before you for a variance to relocate the required interior landscaping plantings to the perimeter. It would be very similar to a variance that was granted to ADESA, again, just to increase the number of plantings on the perimeter of the site. That decision has not yet been made. We are still quite honestly in the early stages of design and development.
The location of the unloading of new vehicles in the schematic that has been presented to you in the packet right now the primary
unloading area would be in the middle of the site. But again we still
have quite a bit of work to do. We needed to present something for you and Staff to kind of get a feel of what we are looking at. But the final design has not yet been done. As I mentioned before, we are here because of the success of the two dealerships. We do not want to have the trucks come in and unload while customers are on the site just because of the danger that can be incurred. We know and you know that the Town is not thrilled with the idea of unloading the cars out on U.S. 40. We are looking to solve that problem with this use variance should it be granted.
In closing we would like to request the approval of the Variance
of Use and again acknowledging that we would need to come back before
the Plan Commission for Development Plan Approval/Architectural Review. We have submitted finding of facts and we would ask that those be incorporated into the record. We would be glad to answer any questions at this time.
Mr. Carlucci said other than normal grading you are not planning
bringing fill in and raising the site up.
Mr. Kilmer said that is correct. We will obviously have to deal with the drainage concerns but the Town Engineer has already expressed. We have shown on the conceptual site plan a retention area. Obviously, we will have to do a drainage study when we go for Architectural
Mr. Carlucci asked, do you normally know when these trucks are coming in approximately?
Mr. Kilmer said we do not. That is one of the problems that arises at the current dealership. They could show up on the middle of a Saturday afternoon at the peak of people walking through the lot. What is being considered, again there is a building proposed on the site plan, it would mainly be there for security purposes and also just the administration involved of processing paperwork as new automobiles come onto the lot from the transports and then are moved over to the dealerships. One thing that is being considered right now is because we don’t know when transports will be arriving there might be some type of an intercom system or some type of relay between this location and the dealerships. So, that when a transport does arrive, they can simply notify someone whichever office applies, either the Chevrolet Dealership or the Ford. That way staff would know to come down and process the incoming vehicles at that time.
Mr. Carlucci said I guess what I’m trying to get at is are they going to pull off and park in the turn lane and hit the intercom or do they have a place to pull off and get off the road?
Mr. Kilmer said there would be plenty of room onto the site where they would be completely off U.S. 40 down into the site.
Mr. Carlucci asked, is this going to be fenced?
Mr. Kilmer said quite honestly right now we haven’t gotten that far. If you mean gated, we do not anticipate that.
Mr. Carlucci said they can just pull into the site and not worry about knocking on the gate then to get somebody to come out.
Mr. Kilmer said they would be completely removed out of the
right-of-way of U.S. 40.
Mr. Haase said all of those issues will be handled at the Plan
Commission through TAC and DRC.
Mr. Carlucci said just the mechanics of making sure. It is still a use variance. You are not going to deal with landscaping and stuff
like that because that is a Gateway Corridor. But how the mechanics of this works is important. You don’t gain much if you just pull off the road and do the same thing that they were doing on the other side.
Mr. Haase asked, but the questions that you are asking will be handled at DRC, TAC and the Plan Commission won’t they?
Mr. Matrana said if they got that far.
Mr. Carlucci said I think it is like a church that has a Special Use Variance you have the right to ask the question. I’m not trying to create a problem but it has to be at least usable. If they can’t say that they are at least going to be able to pull on the site, then you gain nothing by doing it.
Mr. Haase said the only thing that I’m questioning is the Town still has control of all of those issues beyond tonight’s vote.
Mr. Carlucci said I think we have the right to ask the question here too but in terms of landscaping you don’t want to get into that because that is a development plan approval issue and signage and all
of that other stuff. To make this useable he has to have some ability
to say yes they are going to be off the road, which was all that I was getting at. They are going to be off the road and he said yes so I think we solved that problem.
Mr. Kilmer said yes they will be completely off the right-of-way of U.S. 40.
Mr. Matrana asked, is there anyone in the audience that has anything to say about this Variance of Use proposal by Andy Mohr?
Ms. Debbie Teague said I own the two parcels down from Mr. and Mrs. Guinn in front of ADESA. Two questions that I’m really concerned with is the drainage issue because we are in a low area. And also they are talking about access and the main access of old U.S. 40 was taken
away when they put the new stoplight in in front of ADESA. So, all we
have is access into the current businesses. My concern is if all the
extra semis and stuff are coming in, I was wondering if they were going to start having a problem using that access road as far as parking because we don’t need the extra traffic there. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Mr. Matrana said yes I do.
Ms. Teague said the two parcels that I’m talking about are we are
under Herb and Joyce Scott. Those are both my parents. They have since deceased and the properties have been switched over to me.
Mr. Matrana said with no one else coming forward I would like to close the public portion of the meeting and open this matter up to the board for discussion.
Mr. Haase said this is a variance and I’m expecting to make an
approval but this variance can run either with the land or with the
landowner is that correct?
Mr. Carlucci said yes.
Mr. Haase said I would like the petitioner to understand that I want this to run with the landowner. So, I would make the motion for Andy Mohr Automotive as opposed to Andy Mohr personally.
Mr. Joe Scimia said I’m here on behalf of Andy Mohr too. We don’t
have any problem with the concept but I want to make sure that the
property will probably be owned by a separate entity because we have
one dealership that owns the Chevy site and one ownership entity, which owns the Ford site. As long as we tie it to the operation of those and by Mr. Mohr’s entity I don’t have a problem with that. We will just have to figure out how that works because we have two different ownerships for these lands and this will be a third one. We have no problem with the concept and would be glad to however you would like to word it.
Mr. Haase asked, so what is the entity? Do we have a name?
Mr. Scimia said we haven’t yet. We are obviously waiting to see if the variance was going to go through. We could probably pick one pretty quick, if need be.
Mr. Haase said we will just put in there to be named.
Mr. Scimia said to be named, whoever takes title to the property
because we haven’t closed on it yet and we have no problem with that
Mr. Haase made a motion to approve BZA-04-027 subject to the following conditions:
Substantial compliance with the preliminary plan file dated
The variance would run with a business-operating name to be
determined at a later date within 30 days of the date of this hearing and turned into Staff for their approval. That the variance runs with the business and not with the land.
Second by Mr. Monnett. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Monnett – yes
Mr. Blevins – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh – abstained
Mr. Haase – yes
Mr. Matrana –yes
4-ayes, 1-abstension, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Matrana said the next matter before the BZA concerns the
Plainfield Bible Church and it is BZA-04-029.
Mr. Higbee said this is a Special Exception Use request for a church, what our Zoning Ordinance calls a religious use. Like most religious uses in Plainfield it happens to be in a Residential Zoning District, the R-2 District in this case. It is located off of CR300S and Dan Jones Road. You know the church, it is Plainfield Bible Church. It has been there for a number of years and you have plans in your packet showing a pretty substantial expansion of the church being proposed. I think that there may be another expansion after that. I can let them speak to the future expansion but what is before you tonight is the one that is in your packets.
Also, this would include with it a waiver request for a development standard because if all of the building additions shown on your plans, as well as the parking areas are added, they will exceed 25% lot coverage, which is a standard that is for the R-2 Residential Zoning District. Obviously, the site is a lot bigger than a typical R-2 lot, which is 15,000 square feet. So, that development standard really wasn’t created to anticipate a church and it is kind of a technical issue that they require a waiver. But you can see there is also substantial open areas on the site plan that you have at least until such time they do another expansion in the future.
I mentioned the Comprehensive Plan just because any time you either do a Variance of Use or Special Exception you should know what the plan recommends, which is low-density in this general area. And that is the new comp plan that we are going to adopt in maybe one to three weeks here.
You probably know that adjacent to this we have the Oak Park
Subdivision starting to develop, which is a low-density subdivision.
And then the Blackthorne condominium complex, which is now developing
near Carr Road and hasn’t reached the abutting part yet but it is
eventually going to abut this site as well.
Some of the issues that I mention under the Comments, Questions and Concerns had to do with making sure that we had the adequate right-of-way dedication. We do this every time we have a development plan going on along a right-of-way where we think we might need more. In this case I talked to the Transportation Director and a 50-foot one-half right-of-way is what is being required for all other developments along that right-of-way. The petitioner’s representative mentioned to me over the phone that there had been right-of-way granted under the previous subdivision plan, which was called Green Acres. I don’t have that information but one thing that I suggested in my report is we need to find out what that right-of-way was that was granted with Green Acres. If it is 50 feet or more, we are good. If it is less than 50 feet, then we would need at least to recommend an additional right-of-way dedication.
The amount of parking that they already have for this expansion that is shown on your site plan is already sufficient to serve the expansion. They want to add additional parking and you see those
parking areas on your plan. They do not plan to add any additional
You might also recall that we have had a policy of requesting that an Office District Gateway Corridor standard be met for religious uses or other Special Exception uses in a Residential District. That is not an actual requirement of the ordinance because the only ordinance requirements that are in effect are the R-2 development standards, which would anticipate a single-family house being put there. But that is what has been required for other churches on the same corridor and other corridors. That means landscaping standards would match and have a little bit higher level of landscaping on the interior and on the perimeters because it is treated essentially the
equivalent as an office would have to do. It also means that the
building materials should meet the minimum standards of the ordinance, which on a Gateway Corridor for an office would be 50% brick or dryvit as a primary material. I mentioned in my packet that at the last minute I did get a revised elevation of the building that labeled those building materials and actually had a little spreadsheet in it that showed you the percentage of those materials. You will see that there is a lot of brick or dryvit on each of the facades for the addition. The existing building has brick on the front as the primary material and then it has metal on the other sides but where this addition bumps out I believe it meets the intent as far as building materials on the plan that you have. I’m not sure whether there might be a possibility that could change because it was mentioned to me that at least early in the process that it could change. So, you may want to get some elaboration from the petitioner.
On the landscaping there were a couple of issues that I thought again you are essentially looking at treating this like an office next to a residential subdivision. So, I mentioned the Plant Unit Value of 2, which is the typical requirement for perimeter areas. That wasn’t quite met in some areas. I think overall it was met if you look at the total amount of plantings provided on the site but it was a little bit deficient in some specific areas on the south property line and on the west property line. On the west property line it appears to be an existing tree line and our ordinance would let you receive credit for existing trees, however, none of that information was provided with the plan. So, we really tell whether it would comply or exceed complying with the ordinance. So, the bottom line we are requesting more information on landscaping if you should consider approving this. And then there was one other, what I call, a more minor issue with a deficient condition with the width of the landscape bed along the westbuilding facade. They indicated that they would correct that but I do not have that corrected landscape plan at this point and time. I would suggest when you make a motion, that you consider requiring a revised landscape plan that would meet these kind of conditions or any other conditions that you would deem necessary.
And then I had mentioned one other factor and that was just there
was no sidewalk coming up from the interior of the site to CR300S. In
our recent amendments that we passed a few months ago in our Zoning
Ordinance we actually formulized that it and required it for Gateway
Corridor projects where we had been doing it sort of by policy for
quite awhile trying to encourage sites to connect to sidewalk systems
and pathways. So, I did let the petitioner’s representative know that
would be something I think the Town would normally prefer and I wanted to bring that to your attention. There is a little right-of-way area that is located west of that line of houses. In that little finger of right-of-way coming down adjacent to the residential lots that go along CR300S would provide another access into the site. As of right now, they come in from Dan Jones Road. With this plan they have places they can come in. What I’m saying is at least the plan that I had at the time I wrote this report did not show any kind of pedestrian connectivity going out to the street. The ordinance says front entries or major building entries should be connected to access points. So, you may want to ignore the Dan Jones Road side since this expansion is all coming out to the west and then the new entrance is coming in from CR300. We typically don’t require an existing part of a site that is not being touched by the site plan to come up to code. But we require when there is an expansion, that the expansion area or anything in it would come up to code.
Mr. Doug Elmore with Elmore Commercial Construction, 6675 Meadowview Ct., Avon, Indiana said I’m here as the owner’s representative of the Plainfield Bible Church. Also, with me this evening is Ben Dykeman with Roger Ward Engineering, the civil site design on the project and Janice Scandlin with Robert E. Curry and Associates in Danville, Indiana, the project architect.
We come before you this evening on a Special Exception case. Mr.
Higbee has done a good job of outlining where we are. Since we have
the site plan up here in front of you I will show you real quickly what we are proposing and what is existing. Currently on the site plan we have two accesses off of Dan Jones Road. We have a dry detention facility located in this area in front of the facilities. This detention facility has been sized from the beginning to handle
expansions and will continue to service this site even through this
expansion. They did a good job of master planning.
We currently have parking located here and here that is existing. We are proposing a third entrance off of Township Line Road through
right-of-way that was platted with the Green Acres Subdivision. There
is some right-of-way here that has never been used and then this right-of-way that in our meeting with Plainfield at the roundtable Mr. McGillem, your new traffic engineer, strongly recommended and said this was an excellent access route to help relieve some strain here at the new intersection. With having three churches, Plainfield Bible is here, you have the Living Word Church here and then Plainfield Christian here. There are three churches meeting at an intersection and it is quite congested. So, this entrance to us is not going to be considered our main entrance. This will be more of an ancillary entrance to facilitate the movement of people that want to go west or coming from the west to get into the church. Our front door is Dan Jones Road. With all of the homes located in the Green Acres Subdivision there is not much visibility to the church down through here. There is already existing trees that screen that as well as the homes. So, our front door is Dan Jones Road and we know that most of the visitors will always come from that direction as they visit the church and are looking for churches. Over time we know members will migrate this way to become a main entrance by the way the facility will be expanded. We are showing proposed parking for future expansions that has been calculated into this, not only in landscaping, but also in drainage and everything else because the final phase of the proposed master plan for Plainfield Bible will be a new sanctuary right here. This is their existing sanctuary today right here as well as education. What we are proposing right now is a new education wing as well as a multi-purpose room that will serve as an interim sanctuary while they grow a little bit more and then they can finally put a new sanctuary here. This parking will be necessary to accommodate that as well as to facilitate better flow of pedestrians to the building because we will shift some of the entrance for the attendees into this direction.
Landscaping wise to address a couple of issues that Mr. Higbee brought up our landscape architect is wanting to establish as much as
possible a planting schedule that looks a little more natural than man made and installed. So, he has done a little bit more groupings of trees, which will occasionally leave a whole, which might fall below the plant unit value of two. It gives it a little more natural look than very rigid plantings, which can sometimes actually attract your eyes and ask why are the trees all in a row? If it looks a little more in clumps as we find the woods, your eyes tend to blend right through it and move on.
We have up on the screen here just a couple of quick things to help the people in the audience as well as you to see our project. As Mr. Higbee pointed out, we are located on Dan Jones Road and Township
Line Road is right here and our new access would be coming into here.
The Oak Park Subdivision will be along our western boundary. The new
Blackthorne condominiums will be here and our detention facilities are located here. We are expanding back in this area right here. This
existing tree stays. That is the light green area located inside the
exercise path. We are not going that far back. We are stopping probably about 50-60 feet away from that tree.
The current building, which many of you are familiar with, that
drives up and down Dan Jones Road. This is the east elevation or the
elevation from Dan Jones Road. It’s ninety-five percent brick. The
only portions are now the eaves and, of course, the shingled roof.
It’s a nice earth tone brick and a very attractive building. As we
start shifting around to the different sides, the north elevation, is
the original construction of the building back in the early 90s. As
Mr. Higbee said, once you turn the corner it is just a metal siding
very familiar on those types of building. With the expansion this is an expansion wall. This is where the new sanctuary will come out. It will come out of this side of the building and go to the north. So, you are looking right now at this elevation that will continue to expand several years down the road.
The final elevation is really the west elevation and it shows a little bit of the south. The west elevation is, of course, this
elevation, again, metal siding. The back of the current sanctuary will be coming out with a new proposed expansion. This is the existing education wing. There are normal height eaves, etc. The building material there is not as prominent with all of the windows and access points through the wall.
The south elevation is just an entry door, a fire exit door and it is also metal siding and will be the facade facing the Blackthorne
development. There are no improvements occurring there. The only thing that will occur is improved landscaping by this proposed plan.
To address a couple of the quick issues that Mr. Higbee brought up the sidewalks we are showing in our master plan, which is before you today and the landscape plan an exercise trail back in a lot of the green area that we left. The church is staying very compact with its growth and wanting to maintain a lot of this ground for the natural beauty and the youth to play in and give them areas to utilize their land. I don’t know if a sidewalk going this direction is the best use or one going back out to Dan Jones since that is really the main entrance to the facility. I think that is something that we probably just need to get your feelings on as to which one would be the better direction to tie that church to the public walk system. There was already a sidewalk been in place when the church was constructed along Dan Jones Road until about a week ago and it is gone now. I’m sure it will be reconstructed here in the near future.
Other than that as Mr. Higbee said, we haven’t proposed any new
lighting because we are not building the new parking lots at this point and time. The existing parking lot is already lit. This parking lot when it was built, has been wired for lighting and it even has the bases in place. They just haven’t had the need to put it in yet, the need is not there yet.
Signage wise they currently have a sign located on Dan Jones Road. That sign might need some improvement over time just for the needs for what they might have. There is a small island proposed here
at the new entrance drive. We may be back before this board if that is deemed necessary, for a sign larger than what is allowed by your
ordinances. That is all that I have and I would entertain any
Mr. Haase asked, is the walking path going in now or at a later
Mr. Elmore said at a later date. There is a swale that we will have to construct that already starts here. We will construct a swale on around here to catch the drainage and it comes back in here to catch all of the surface water and then that continues to tie into the existing system that comes down into the dry detention basin. That is about the perimeter of our proposed works.
Mr. Matrana asked, is there anyone in the audience who has any
comments about the Plainfield Bible Church?
Mr. Joe Beason said I have a question on the right-of-way road that goes through the area. I live in the west house of the line of houses and it is my understanding that road will be going right next to my property. Is that true?
Mr. Matrana said I don’t know if the right-of-way road is going to be there.
Mr. Beason said there is a line of houses right there and right there, my house is right next to that so you are going to be coming
right next to my property with the road. I have a road coming toward
my house when the Township Line Road is going to grow, which I have
been hearing and you are going to put a road next to me around the
back. My neighbors have kids and I have friends with small kids. Will
this put them in jeopardy? How safe is it going to be for my family
and for my neighbors? My other question is with the road being on
three sides possibly what is that going to do to the value of my
Mr. Matrana asked, how close will it be to his property?
Mr. Higbee said he was just looking at the aerial map with Mr. Elmore and it appears that this access coming in off of CR300 would be right next to his property. It’s not a road. It’s an access point or a drive coming into the site. It’s a pretty substantial interior drive
as you see running back parallel to the residential lots that run along CR300 but it appears that there is also a pretty good setback and landscape buffer between that interior access drive on the north. On the west side of the interior access drive where it comes right off the road from that landscape plan I really can’t tell if there is anything that might already be existing there on the west side of where that drive would come in. So, I would have to defer to the petitioners on that as far as the landscape plan.
Mr. Carlucci said I’m assuming this access point has been there for quite awhile.
Mr. Higbee said it is right-of-way as I understand it. It has existed as right-of-way in the past.
Mr. Carlucci said as far as anybody knows here tonight it has not
been vacated. I’ve been here for 17 years and the Town hasn’t vacated
Mr. Higbee said right. As far as I know that is true.
Mr. Carlucci said it doesn’t mean that it might not be vacated but that would show up on a plat pretty readily.
Mr. Higbee said I guess you could call that a road technically because of that. It looks more like an access drive to me.
Mr. Carlucci said that was probably done with the Green Acres Subdivision, that access point was put in for some reason. I don’t
believe it is under the ownership of the church is it?
Mr. Elmore said no.
Mr. Carlucci said it is just an access point that was put in there. We have those around Town. We have unimproved alleys and roadways that connect one subdivision to another. So, you have a 50-foot right-of-way there that basically is unimproved but can be improved to give access to the property. I will let the petitioner comment.
Mr. Higbee said I probably should tell you one more thing before he comments and that is the Transportation Director and the Town Engineer reviewed that and actually encouraged that additional access
to the site. I think they felt like it would be appropriate for two
accesses and not be limited to just that access on Dan Jones Road.
Mr. Matrana asked, is it going to be more like a driveway?
Mr. Higbee said if you look at it. I don’t know how wide the
measurement of that is but to me it looks like what we would normally
characterize as an access drive. It happens to lie within a right-of-way so you could look at it as a road I suppose because of that.
Mr. Beason asked, will there be cars coming up and down it?
Mr. Higbee said yes.
Mr. Beason said and you don’t know how far it is going to be along the south side of the property right?
Mr. Higbee said that can be scaled very easily from that plan. Can you tell us Mr. Elmore?
Mr. Elmore said you are looking at approximately 40 feet.
Mr. Beason asked, how far is going to be from here to here?
Mr. Elmore said we are centering it on the right-of-way.
Mr. Beason said so it is going to be around six feet from property or 10.
Mr. Elmore said that is a 24-foot wide access drive located in a
50-foot right-of-way. As Mr. Dykeman pointed out, the initial reason
that was platted with Green Acres is the church property is comprised
of three pieces that have been purchased over time. They had an
initial piece up front here that was a minor plat and then there were
two parcels of land that made up the back half that I think you see on your exhibit. That was put in place because at that point you had a landlocked piece of land so the standard procedure is to not landlock any parcel of ground. So, I’m sure that is why that was put in place at the time Green Acres was done. This is another one right here, another 50-foot that has been platted with Green Acres at the time probably again to make sure the access was brought to this piece if something was subdivided off of it down here. Of course, the church purchased this in one fail swoop so they didn’t need to use that 50-foot. The purposes of this is to strictly for traffic relieve and a secondary entrance. Mr. Belcher and Mr. McGillem, as well as the church, want to figure out ways whether it is speed bumps that this doesn’t become a cut through. It’s not a public road. It’s not a way for traffic to skedaddle the intersection at Dan Jones Road. It is strictly for the church people, if they are leaving and heading
westbound they don’t have to come up through the intersection and turn left in an intersection that is already congested as we well know many times of the day and night. I think that will be greatly improved here with the improvements that you are doing to Dan Jones Road. But it just gives another access point out, another ingress/egress for emergency vehicles. I noticed the other day I was trapped here in the church parking lot for a better part of 30 minutes down taking these pictures and the work that you guys were doing they had the road open cut here and an open cut here and I was there for 30 minutes. No emergency vehicles could get in or out. The road was cut wide opened. I think when you have a facility this large, that it is always good to have another point of ingress/egress.
Mr. Haase said Mr. Beason I understand your concern and appreciate it and not to lessen that concern with this statement but that right-of-way that exists there could have been used to put a
subdivision of homes back in where your walking path is going to be,
isn’t that correct?
Mr. Carlucci said yes.
Mr. Haase said so it could have been a true roadway with families
living in behind there and that would not have been an unusual
happening with the development of the Town of Plainfield. So, rather
than it being a road it is just going to be a driveway to a church,
which would be greatly less traffic than if it was a road into a
subdivision of 20-30 houses or 10-12 houses.
Mr. Beason said I know what you are saying and I can appreciate that but being realistic I don’t have anything against churches or anything but my concern is for me what is that going to do to my
property? I know they are saying there won’t be much traffic but I’ve
heard stories like this before and you guys have too but how many
times, I’m not going to say they are lying, but who knows when it is
all done and over with but what is this going to do to me? We are
widening Dan Jones Road isn’t that supposed to help the problem?
Mr. Matrana said it will help the problem.
Mr. Beason said, of course, it is congested but we have to do the work there first don’t we to make it better? So, is there another
access or something like that without affecting people’s homes?
Mr. Matrana said this access already exists. It’s already a right-of-way. It’s the way that it is.
Mr. William Harmon said I live on Lot 10 in Green Acres. I came to Plainfield in 1954, that’s some 50 years ago. At that time we were
told that this was dedicated to an alley and if you are familiar with
the plotting of Green Acres, you will see the 50-foot wide lot at each end of the subdivision. They were planning another row of houses behind ours. That was the original intent. Over the 50 years we were invited after being told this they showed us the 50-foot wide lot at each end of the subdivision and then invited us to farm that ground. For many years I had gardens out there and in that time since the church built the parking lot it became too wet, no more gardens but I continue to mow out there as have five other people mowing that back there. The first thing that you are going to do is flood all of the septic systems. The 15 years we have been in Plainfield we are still on septic. That is going to be remedied for me real soon because they are going to run the sewer beside my house and eliminate the lift station across the road. This big part of the problem for me is access. I would like access onto this road that they are putting in. Are they running the road in the middle of the subdivision? If they would like run it from end to end along the back of our property, all of us would have access to that road. There are two lots in particular that the former Bible Church owned and they sold to another church. Those people have the turn lane from the Driggers’ project, a turn lane going across in front of their property. They have two accesses into their two lots off of the turn lane. They have nothing at the back to get out. Now if you are going to leave on a turn lane, I think it is a problem especially if you want to go west. I don’t know how you are going to go west off of there. In addition, after several years people built fences and out of nine fenced lots in the subdivision nine of them have gates expecting to get out onto that easement or dedicated alley. I would see that they could run the road down along the back of the property and out to that end and not put the road across the west end but put it across the bottom end. That would be my suggestion to correct the situation.
Mr. Matrana said Mr. Harmon would you go to the map and point out
your property and how close you are to the access road.
Mr. Harmon said I’m 10 and the road is coming in. I’m not close to that road but even the road that this gentleman is talking about he won’t have access to that. I’m telling you that there are nine gates that are expecting access out onto something. In the near future you are going to take part of the front out, as you know, and we would be getting it front and back. Do you see what I’m saying?
Mr. Haase said I see this on the west edge and then there is this one, which is what he talked about.
Mr. Harmon said no he’s talking about this one. I’m saying they could come out here and come into there. I live across from the Christian Church and they run through that parking lot especially now that everything is torn up. They will run around the other way the same thing. There is a 50-foot easement at the west end and the north end.
Mr. Haase said and there are 17 lots altogether.
Mr. Harmon said another thing I would like to say is the Town’s
regulations on additional parking requires them to put in more parking lot and also Town regulations require them to put in the shrubs. I expect these shrubs to be planted in front of my gate out so they spoke of isolated land and landlocked land I think you are making us landlocked. We don’t have any way out the back and it’s more and more difficult to get out front. I have no objection to the church and what they are wanting to do but we do have the water situation and this access is a problem for me personally. I have used this easement over the years.
Mr. Cavanaugh said Mr. Harmon on your drawing it appears there are two access easements, one on the west end, Township Line Road, and one on the east side from Dan Jones Road to perhaps create a loop road across the south side of the second area of lots that you spoke about, was the original concept for the Green Acres area.
Mr. Harmon said I believe that is Green Acres Section one. I really think they anticipated a similar row of houses behind that with the alley in between.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I don’t see anything noted but it doesn’t
particularly matter right now I don’t think.
Mr. Harmon said I don’t know. I would like to see this come along a month from now when some of the roadwork is done and we can see
better what the water situation is. Right now I waded water this
afternoon. I walked down and watched the construction and I waded
water in my ditch at the back of my property and it is saturated now
and now we have the grass area. When you put it under roof and under
pavement, it will be worsened.
Mr. Cavanaugh said actually when it goes under development, standards for development now are somewhat different than when that was initially done.
Mr. Harmon said there has to be a lot of drainage put in there if you are going to do it.
Mr. Cavanaugh said the standards, I can’t say will improve it, but the standards are built to address the issues that you are talking
about. In most cases when you have to deal with this type of concern,
you find that it actually makes it better. I would like to think that
would happen in your case. If they put the roadway in and any
additional hard surface of parking, the Town standards will calculate
what happens with the water.
Mr. Harmon said the present parking lot they have…………
[Tape one concluded at this point and time and resumed as follows
with Mr. Carlucci speaking:]
…………we had to close that road for a day and a half or longer, more than two days because we were putting in storm sewer pipes that were so large to specifically help drain that area better and to drain that roadway. So, we are spending a substantial amount of money to improve the drainage on that road and in that area to begin with.
When we do these federal projects, we try to fix every problem we think is out there and the State as long as they don’t say anything, we keep adding that stuff in. We have put a lot of cost into that especially as you go up toward the intersection there will be all new drainage along that intersection at Dan Jones and Township Line Road. So, I’m hoping it is a lot better.
Mr. Harmon said that is why I would like to see you defer your
decision until we see how that water is.
Mr. Carlucci said the only thing that we are going to get done this year is the two south lanes and I’ve got my fingers crossed on that. Because when I was out there today, the two south lanes looked pretty good to be paved south of the railroad but north of that old railroad right-of-way I had some doubt when I saw it today. So, I’m not sure what you gain by a month. You would have to wait until next year when the whole project is done to find out.
Mr. Harmon said they are going between my house and my neighbor’s
house with that big equipment and put a sewer through there and I fear for my house. I have taken pictures of my walls because I look for them to come down and you may hear from me again.
Mr. Carlucci said I’m hoping everything works out. We are making
substantial improvements with the storm water in that area as part of
that project but that project is not supposed to be finished until July of next year. So, a month really won’t show us a lot.
Mr. Elmore said to give Mr. Harmon a little bit of relief the
additional parking is not even needed at this point and time. We comply wholeheartedly with your ordinances by the existing parking that we have with the number of seats that we will be adding here. In fact, really the church’s desire, as expressed early in their master plan, even the new sanctuary will come close to meeting the parking
requirements that currently exist. It is just in today’s world we all
know, when we go to church, if you are like my family, every car we
have in our garage ends up in church on Sunday because we all go at
different times. And that is what is driving this future need for
parking. The church wants to get it approved to make sure it works as
far as drainage is concerned and all designed in the master plan but it probably really won’t go in for at least several years. We just don’t need it yet. With the new additions coming forth the hope is we will have to put it in a little sooner because of the growth.
Mr. Matrana said with no one else coming forward at this time I’m
going to close the public portion of this meeting and open this
proposal up to the board for discussion and a possible motion
concerning the Plainfield Bible Church expansion.
Mr. Haase said the only question I had was the facade treatment. Is the EFIS and brick is that determined what it will look like?
Mr. Elmore said yes We have elevations here we can put up for you now that we are kind of talking about that. What we are proposing in
working with Mr. Higbee and his Staff in compliance with your OD
district is brick wrapping the entire new facility and then the other
areas we are showing as EFIS right now. One of the things that Mr.
Higbee said we might speak a little bit about is possibility to have
that as an alternate to possibly like a wood siding as we go forward
due to the potential cost as well as the growth capabilities there.
What you are seeing here is we colored up one rendition trying to mimic the existing colors of the church, which is very hard to do when you are working with the markers and stuff. This is what will be the new north elevation. This will be a new entrance. This is the existing sanctuary, metal siding. We would begin with brick all the way across to the eave height and then when we get into the multi-purpose room where the eave is at 16-foot, we keep the brick at the eave height and give it a little bit of a treatment here to add some architectural elements, windows in the multi-purpose room to shed some natural light in. Right now we are showing the stucco. There are different forms of it out there that is available to be used on the building. Of course, you are all probably aware of the foam technique. In these preengineered steel buildings, which is what will be the core of this building to get the spans, etc., there are now panels out there that have the stucco associated with it. You can actually put the panels right up and from two foot away you wouldn’t be able to discern whether it was foam stucco, block stucco or a panel. We are looking at various options there but we want to keep cost in mind because we are doing a significant expansion and also complying with the landscaping trying to make the landscaping comply 100% with your ordinance. In this sense we are 100% in compliance because we meet 100% coverage by your ordinance. Your ordinance either allows EFIS or brick. We are both as proposed right here. We want to keep the masonry as shown all the way wrapped. We just like the ability to maybe change that and have an option when we are bidding this to maybe wood and see what the cost difference is. Stucco would give a very nice look, a very neat look there but we will have a standing seam architectural metal roof on the new portions of the facility. The existing facility is a shingled roof and is performing fine as it stands right now.
Mr. Haase asked, Mr. Higbee will this come before the Plan Commission or DRC?
Mr. Higbee said no because it is zoned R-2 and only commercial Gateway Corridor type requests would go to the Plan Commission.
Mr. Haase said so the commitments we have here tonight are what goes with this variance.
Mr. Higbee said right.
Mr. Elmore said one of the things that I would like to point out as you are taking the time to look at the elevations is this the existing east elevation that we have on the screen there. This is the
new facility sticking out and what you would see from Dan Jones Road.
You will see just a little bit of a new facade sticking out here to
what will be the north. If you will notice, roofline wise the rooflines are at the same height so proportionally this building will fit within the existing facilities that are there. It is not going to be this massive box sitting behind the current facilities. It is being brought in with the roof height and everything so that it will fit the integrity of what is already there and look proportionally correct and not like an addition. It should look like a natural progression of the building instead of an addition.
Mr. Haase said the walking path that you talked about would that be put in when the next sanctuary area is put in or we don’t know? Is
that just a conceptual thing?
Mr. Elmore said it is the way the site would like to be finished
out in that back area. Honestly it comes down to a money issue. If
that is deemed appropriate at the time, as they are doing some site
work and they can shed a couple of dollars then, it might go in
immediately. But more than likely you are correct it will probably go
in during the very last phase with the fact that there are still farm
fields to the south they might get a little bit of benefit of seeing
that farmed for awhile. We don’t have the site plan up there any more
but leaving that area just to be farmed for a little while verses being turned into a grass area to maintain and mow right now.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I have a couple of questions for Mr. Higbee,
landscaping and sidewalks. Landscaping requirements between the
proposed driveway and the south property line of the residential area
up there is an Office District requirement.
Mr. Higbee said right.
Mr. Cavanaugh asked, have we had a chance to look at that?
Mr. Higbee said I had mentioned earlier that I have the original
submittal plan. It hasn’t been revised since I have had more discussions with Mr. Elmore. He talked about possibly revising it after this hearing. On the west I mentioned there appears to be an existing tree line they could use as a portion or maybe all credit, depending on what is there. In the essence of that it appears to be deficient on the west and then on the south he gave you an explanation earlier that because they preferred some clustering is why there were a few holes here and there. I felt like the overall landscaping for the entire site was commensurate with the minimum standard for Office District. But it was weak in those areas or we needed more information in those areas.
Mr. Cavanaugh said so the final landscape approval is still pending your final review.
Mr. Higbee said yes. My suggestion was if you make an approval motion, that you have it be subject to a landscape review for the
requirements that were suggested in the Staff Comments, Questions and
Concerns section of the report. And then the walkway could be the same thing. If that is a concern to you, that it meet the standards that we recently adopted with our amendments to the Zoning Ordinance that requires a connection into the main entry area of the building. You could consider adding that condition. If it is not a concern, because this is a Special Exception, and the true standards are the R-2 Residential zoning standards, you don’t have to require that. But that is normally what we ask for with an office building.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I believe that the Blackthorne addition is taking the sidewalk probably to the west property line of the right-of-way area that goes out to CR300.
Mr. Higbee said the Oak Park will come along that area. I don’t
recall if there is a string of lots between Oak Park. I think Oak Park goes all the way to CR300S to my recollection, therefore, there would be a sidewalk coming along there.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I have a couple of things I’m going to ask the
petitioner to consider in light of some of the comments that we have
heard in the Staff review. I think it would be reasonable to ask for a sidewalk to be extended in what would be a relatively small area on the western property line adjacent to your new access road to the access road. And really I shouldn’t even call it an access road but an access drive. I think it is reasonable to expect a pedestrian or bike connection in that driveway, which is a private drive but I don’t know if it is reasonable to expect a sidewalk connection all away around the main building. But if we were able to get that little strip bridged, then we would have a walkway or a bicycle way basically across the north part of Oak Park through that drive and then if another development or City improvements were to take place from that drive farther to the east, then that would be the time to pick up additional sidewalk through there, which would be, of course, right across in front of all of these folk’s houses. But I think I would ask the petitioner for a commitment to that sidewalk extension.
Then also I would like to talk about the landscaping that would be between that part of the access drive and Mr. Beason’s lot to the
very west. If that is a 50-foot easement, which is what it scales out
to and a 24-foot road, that leaves about 26 feet left on either side.
Split that in the middle, it is about 13 feet each side. On the
landscape plan was there much landscape provided there?
Mr. Higbee said if you look at the drive, this was the comment that I was making earlier about the tree line along the west property line. It appears to extend most of the way up along the drive but we don’t know it is in there. So, I was requesting more information.
Mr. Cavanaugh said on the drawing it looks like that driveway is
offset a little bit to the east. It appears that way on my site plan
Mr. Elmore said I think we have no problem centering that. It
probably was shifted a little bit, if anything, as much as possible to preserve that tree row at the time looking at the fact that usually when you have a survey, what has been picked up, has tried to be the canopy of the trees. I think we can shift that over as close as possible due to preserve this as well as to give some room here for some additional landscaping.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I would ask also that you consider a commitment to meet the Office District requirements in that strip, the 13-foot area between the roadway and the west property line of Mr. Beason’s property. With that being a dedicated right-of-way at this time this is open for development. Whether there was a church use there or any other type of use that exist there or would move there would have the opportunity to use that right-of-way to develop a roadway out to CR300. Whether they were asking for a variance or not if it came in as a R-2 residential development, at this time we wouldn’t be at this meeting having this discussion. They would put it in the development plan, they would put the roadway in and there it would be. The same would be true for the extension of the drive to the south of the residential area. There could be a drive there without any other
additional review whatsoever other than development plan review. The
reason that we are here is it is an expansion of an existing use and is in character of the other churches that are in the area. So, I think all of the requirements are reasonable but I do think there are some things that can be done to mitigate some of the impact, at least
visually, against those residential lots there. I would appreciate your consideration of those requests.
Mr. Elmore said the two requests that you have, which is the sidewalk across here, across the 50-foot that is no problem whatsoever. We will be having ramps put in anyway with the construction of that, all of the turnouts and everything ready for handicaps so that would not be an issue to do that. And I think we can work with our landscape architect to come up with a reasonable landscaping plan here along the western edge of Mr. Beason’s property that would meet the OD
requirement. As Mr. Higbee as spoken regarding the landscaping, we
would like to address that very quickly. We had not resubmitted a plan yet waiting to hear your comments tonight. Our landscape architect has planned on the western tree row helping, if not completely covering, the requirements there. We are fully satisfactory with Mr. Higbee’s request to do a 20x20 sampling in there to verify that will occur. It is a pretty good tree line and I think the aerial photographs show that and we will be able to utilize a lot of that so we may be able to free some of this anyway to move up there.
Mr. Cavanaugh said Mr. Higbee I’m reading comments but I’m not quite sure I’m understanding your question.
Mr. Higbee said it was just a reminder that since it appeared that you were developing conditions to perhaps consider making a motion I mentioned earlier in the meeting the right-of-way along CR300 and how we weren’t clear about it. I hadn’t seen the Green Acres plat before the hearing tonight and I haven’t had a chance to look at it closely, how much right-of-way had been granted in that plat. The Transportation Director recommended a minimum 50-foot half right-of-way.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I don’t believe the petitioner has any control
over that portion of the Green Acres plat that is right along CR300.
Mr. Higbee asked, do you have any control over that?
Mr. Elmore said no.
Mr. Higbee asked, who does? Is it the Town’s ownership?
Mr. Elmore said yes.
Mr. Higbee said if that land is under the Town’s ownership, then
that is a non-issue. I know the Transportation Director told me we need a 50-foot half right-of-way there but he may not have continued the conversation enough to tell me that we already have that land under our ownership. So, I see what you are saying.
Mr. Cavanaugh said they are not in the position to grant additional right-of-way along CR300 across the rest of the residences there between their access drive and the intersection.
Mr. Higbee said right. I was only talking about that part that is on this plan where they were showing coming out to CR300 so it sounds
like it is a non-issue.
Mr. Elmore said just to make sure and cover all of our basis the
Green Acres Subdivision was old enough, it’s either in Mr. Higbee’s
file or Mr. McGillem’s file, a letter from John Ayers at the County
relinquishing any rights they had when that was originally platted. I
don’t think that was originally done. I think the plat shows it went to Hendricks County initially maybe even giving up all right-of-way to the Town of Plainfield saying anything that was platted at that time they forego. We just wanted to double check and put that in the file also.
Mr. Joe Beason asked, who owns the tree line?
Mr. Matrana asked, on the public right-of-way?
Mr. Beason said it is west of the right-of-way. It could be on the right-of-way. I’m just curious.
Mr. Matrana said I think they preserved that tree line as part of
the right-of-way roadway.
Mr. Beason said I didn’t know with the new houses they are building there. They are cleaning up the tree line, which is a good thing and I didn’t know if that went with the property with the people that are building the houses.
Mr. Haase said this right-of-way, this access follows this line here so it almost goes right down the center of the tree line. So, where the tree trunks exist, from the information that we have, we couldn’t tell.
Mr. Beason said the reason that I was asking they are saying they are wanting to use the tree line but the people building the new houses they are cleaning it up like it is part of their property. I didn’t know. I was just curious since I live right there. So, that is part of the right-of-way.
Mr. Cavanaugh said I can’t remember the plan on that well enough when that came through the Plan Commission but it seems to me that they also desired to use some of that existing tree line as a buffer. That is just my memory and is nothing official by any stretch of the
imagination. But the right-of-way Mr. Beason just goes to the south,
the depth of your property, and then it stops being right-of-way and
actually turns into the church’s property. So, that tree line along the western property line, south of the distance of your property, actually belongs to the church. So, if it’s on their side of the property line from where the new residential development is being done, it is probably going to stay there.
If there are no further questions, I would be prepared to make a
motion. I would move to approve BZA-04-029 subject to the following
Subject to substantial compliance with the site plan, landscape plan file dated 10/15/04 and the building elevations file dated 11/10/04.
Landscape plan is pending final review and approval by the Director of Planning.
The petitioner has committed to install sidewalks to Town standards adjacent to CR300 in the right-of-way access area for the new access road.
The petitioner has also committed to install landscape between the east side of the new access road and the residential property adjacent to it to an Office District level.
Mr. Haase said I have a slight concern on the covering where this
EFIS is. Do you have any concern about that? Do you want to tie in any commitments to bring it back to Staff?
Mr. Cavanaugh said I will put my motion on hold and be willing to
consider that for discussion to go before the board.
Mr. Haase said I want to make sure we get a good product in there
and right at the moment we are thinking it is an EFIS type product.
They have mentioned wood and I don’t know what kind of wood although
wood is a good product too. I didn’t know if we wanted to have the
final say over the choices of one, two or three.
Mr. Cavanaugh asked, can we hold on that for a minute for further
discussion? What are you thinking Mr. Haase?
Mr. Haase said I think it just needs final review and approval.
Mr. Cavanaugh asked, do you want to defer that to DRC?
Mr. Haase said I don’t want them to get them involved. I would just make it with the Director of Planning.
Mr. Cavanaugh said the final condition would be:
Submittal of final determination of EFIS materials to the Director of Planning for review and approval.
Second by Mr. Haase. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Monnett – yes
Mr. Blevins – yes
Mr. Cavanaugh – yes
Mr. Haase – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
5-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase made a motion to adjourn. Second by Mr. Monnett. Motion
Mr. Rick Matrana, President