A Zoninf Q & A

May 8, 2019 John Frey is a Montgomery County Commissioner and can be reached at 5/13/2019 A zoning Q&A | Opinion |

There have been many questions posed about the proposed zoning ordinance for Montgomery County.

What is being proposed? How will it affect how I currently use my property? Who will make decisions about how I can use my property? In order to understand the proposed ordinance, let’s look at these and other questions.

Q. What is being proposed?

A. The proposed ordinance would impose minimal zoning regulations on Montgomery County landowners. The proposed zone map provides that all owners can continue to use their land as they are now as long as the current use is legal. And landowners will be able to continue to do so. The ordinance establishes several regulations for wind farms in order to protect the interests of all affected landowners.

Q.If I own a farm and want to sell an acre of land for residential development, will I be required to obtain a zoning approval? 

A. No. The ordinance would only control land use in the unincorporated areas of the county. Each town board may adopt a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance to regulate land use in the towns.

Q. How can a landowner know what uses are permitted?

A. The ordinance contains a land use table which lists all of the permitted uses for each zoning district.

Q. Does the ordinance establish set-backs for new construction?

A. Yes. Section 2.11 of the ordinance establishes minimum set-backs for yards and minimum lot areas for each district. The ordinance also contains set-backs for wind turbines.

Q. Will the 2-mile Crawfordsville zoning jurisdiction be eliminated by adoption of this ordinance?

A. Yes. Indiana law provides that if the county adopts a zoning ordinance, the city no longer has zoning jurisdiction in the unincorporated area of the county.

Q. How will the administration of the ordinance be paid for?

A. User fees. Persons applying for zoning approvals will pay user fees which will be sufficient to cover the cost of administration.

Q. Will a landowner be notified if a neighbor files for a zoning approval?

A. Yes. Indiana zoning law requires that notices of public hearings be mailed to neighbors. This allows neighbors to attend the hearings and voice their concerns. Notices of public hearings are also required to be published in the newspapers. We have been asked about the home rule option some of the small towns have tried to implement to stop wind energy. In our May 13 Connect with the Commish article, we’ll examine two Indiana county cases where that was not a viable option, so stay tuned

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