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Developer wants more input

A Corydon developer presented last week revised plans for a project he’s working then asked the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission not to take action on the request.
Robert Walker of R.W. Properties LLC wanted to wait for board action when more members are present. Only five of the nine advisory plan commission members were at Thursday night’s meeting.
‘I would like to hear your thoughts, but I would like to wait until we have more here,’ he said.
Walker first requested a zoning change for 13.6 acres on the southeast corner of S.R. 135 and Watson Road, south of Corydon, in April. He wants the property rezoned from A-R to PUD (Planned Unit Development).
As initially submitted, the PUD called for six lots, with three having frontage on S.R. 135 and the others gaining access from Watson Road.
The request was forwarded to the Harrison County Board of Commissioners with an unfavorable recommendation. Plan commission members were concerned about additional driveways coming onto heavily traveled S.R. 135. Some members expressed concern about making that corner residential rather than commercial.
Despite the unfavorable recommendation, the county commissioners requested that Walker come up with an alternative plan that the plan commission might approve.
Walker informally presented two proposals to the plan commission last month to see if he should pursue either of them.
‘After the last meeting, I drafted a revised layout’ that still included six lots but uses a short access road, complete with a cul-de-sac, from Watson Road, Walker said.
He said the revised plan addressed the safety issue about driveways along S.R. 135. Regarding whether that area should be residential or commercial, Walker said the commission ‘has approved other areas for development,’ even though the area wasn’t designated for that use in the county’s comprehensive plan.
‘I’m in favor of allowing you to resubmit (the request) next month,’ said plan commission member Charles Crawford, ‘but I wouldn’t want to comment (at this time) whether I’m for or against it.’
Roger and Judy Hardin, who own 20 acres next to the property discussed, objected to Walker’s proposal for two reasons: whether the terrain of the site could support six houses and their septic systems, and not requiring each lot to be at least 10 acres.
‘We paid to get out of the city,’ Roger Hardin said. ‘Now we’re getting the city around us.’
Jonathan Coyle asked Walker what type of homes would be allowed in the PUD.
Although he is only developing and selling the lots, Walker said the homes would be single-family dwellings. Modular homes, excluding single-wide trailers, would be permitted, he said.
‘I’ve been mixed on this one since the beginning,’ said plan commission member Jim Klinstiver, adding that the recently adopted master plan for county roads includes major improvements to Watson Road.
The plan commission voted 5-0 to table the request until its next meeting, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room of the Harrison County Court House.
After the vote, Jerry Dryden, who served on the plan commission as part of his duties as the Harrison County Extension agent, excused himself to participate in a videoconference he had scheduled for that evening at 8. He told the board that this was his last meeting ‘ he’s retiring later this month. (See today’s Opinion page.)
Because Dryden’s departure left the board without a quorum, the plan commission adjourned about 7:50 p.m. without conducting any further business.