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John Hall plans another subdivision near Lanesville

Eastern Harrison County, between the Floyd-Harrison line and Lanesville, could see a lot of development if homebuyers decide to locate there.
The Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission, and later the county’s board of commissioners, approved a major subdivision earlier this year, just east of Tandy Road. John Blocker and Mark Bush will develop 50 lots on 28.65 acres.
Last Thursday, developer John Hall of Lanesville got the OK in the first step for developing 50 to 60 lots on 65 acres further east of Tandy.
The plan commission approved rezoning the property from A-R to R-1. Now the county commissioners will consider the request at their May 19 meeting. If it’s approved, Hall will develop a subdivision plat that will be presented to the plan commission for approval.
Hall said the homes, in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, could hook on to the Lanesville sewer system. He is working with the Edwardsville Water Co. to see if it can provide water to the site.
The entrance to the subdivision, if approved, will be where Hall’s driveway is now. Hall said he would get the proper permits from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation.
Some property owners weren’t pleased to hear that there could be another subdivision in that area.
‘I hope John won’t get mad at me,’ said Maurice Geswein, whose property is directly east of Hall’s. ‘Why right now with two other subdivisions’ being developed?
Geswein was referring to Blocker and Bush’s Sunrise Ridge and a 359-tract, Bittersweet Subdivision, being developed by David Ruckman just inside Floyd County.
‘I don’t question that John doesn’t do nice subdivisions, nice homes,’ Geswein said. ‘I’m a farmer and I’m trying to have a little strength to survive this thing.’

Charles Crawford made the motion to approve the request.
‘According to the (county’s) master plan, that area is planned for residential development,’ he said. ‘It pleases me that somebody has a plan for a quality place.’
The plan commission encouraged Hall to consider ‘cluster’ development for the tract, saving more of the trees on the property and using some smaller lots.
‘I think it would be a great place for cluster development,’ said plan commission member Victor McCauley.
Jerry Dryden voted against approving the rezoning.
‘We have a real jewel there (in Hall’s property) that doesn’t need to be fiddled with,’ he said, calling the area ‘one of the prettiest little valleys I’ve ever seen.’
Dryden said he has ‘tremendous’ respect for Hall and his previous developments, but he believes expansion of the town is ‘leapfrogging’ out.
‘It’s just too much … at this time,’ he said.
Jim Klinstiver agreed with Dryden, that developing the land is ‘a sacrifice. But I’m not the one sacrificing it; John is.’
Crawford’s motion passed 7-1.
Also at last week’s meeting, Robert Walker of R.W. Properties LLC told the plan commission that the Harrison County Board of Commissioners requested that he return to the plan commission to work on his request.
Walker wants to rezone 13.6 acres on the southeast corner of S.R. 135 and Watson Road from A-R to PUD (Planned Unit Development). His initial plan called for up to six lots, with three having road frontage on S.R. 135. The rest would gain access to the lots from Watson Road.
The plan commission voted at its April 5 meeting to forward the request to the county commissioners with an unfavorable recommendation. One concern the plan commission members had was additional driveways along S.R. 135.
Last week, Walker presented two alternatives, including one proposal that would eliminate driveways coming off S.R. 135. While some plan commission members were pleased to see that proposal, which allowed access to all the lots from a cul-de-sac, one member voiced displeasure about that possibility.
‘About one of the last things the county highway needs is another dead-end road,’ said Carl (Buck) Mathes, a county councilman who serves on the plan commission. ‘I prefer two or three drives on 135.’
‘You’re trading safety for convenience,’ said Klinstiver.
Walker will make a formal presentation to the plan commission at a later date.
In other matters, the plan commission:
‘ OK’d county planner Eric Wise to work with the Lanesville Town Council on some zoning concerns the town has. Herb Schneider, Lanesville town council president, who attended last week’s plan commission meeting, said, ‘We’re concerned about the downtown area.’
The plan commission spent considerable time discussing the merits of towns having their own planning and zoning boards. While stating that they often dislike making decisions for the towns, plan commission members said they realize it could be difficult for each town to have their own planning and zoning boards.
‘ Gave a favorable recommendation for a request by Phyllis Ables to amend a special exception that would establish a second dwelling on 39-plus acres near Elizabeth. The Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals will hear the request at its next meeting, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room of the Harrison County Court House.
The BZA will also hear requests that were on the April docket. Due to the lack of a quorum, the BZA did not meet last month.

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