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‘Honeysuckle Estates’ approved tentatively

The Corydon Plan Commission gave tentative plat approval last week to Donn and David R. Blank’s proposed ‘Honeysuckle Estates’ subdivision on Corydon Ridge Road east of Corydon. The plat for the 33 lots on 38.4 acres of land was approved providing the Blank brothers meet several conditions.
They must provide the deed (the land is now owned by Joseph and Jeannette Hayden); a letter of credit; infrastructure costs; a performance bond to cover those costs, and a letter from Harrison County Engineer Darin Duncan saying he approves of the plan.
Before Donn Blank and his planning engineer, Jason Copperwaite of Paul Primavera and Associates, got the tentative approval by a 5-0 vote, Copperwaite said the developers had addressed two sticking points the board had asked them to address at the September plan commission meeting: the private driveway on the west side of the property, and the line of sight for drivers on Corydon Ridge Road.
Carl and Barbara Whitman, who live across the road from the development site, had said the entrance as planned would be dangerous because of the hilly road there and because people drive fast there.
Brenda and Mike Haggard wondered what would become of the gravel driveway that runs along the west edge of the proposed subdivision back to their home and the home of another person, James Gurtz. The driveway is owned by Mike’s father, A.B. Haggard, and the Haydens, but Mike and Brenda Haggard have maintained it for decades. However, if the Haydens sell the land to the Blanks, the new homeowners on the west side of the subdivision could drive out their back yard and onto the gravel lane if they wanted.
Copperwaite said the lane issue has been solved through a subdivision covenant. One rule says, ‘No portion of any lot in the subdivision shall be used for ingress or egress to another lot,’ and, ‘All lots having access to Honeysuckle Drive shall be required to use Honeysuckle Drive as their sole means of access, without exception!’ All the lots that back up to the gravel lane will have recorded deed restrictions against using the lane.
Regarding the sight issue, Copperwaite said he and assistant county engineer Kevin Russell inspected the entrance area. Copperwaite said the terrain and a farm fence along Corydon Ridge Road obstruct the view for motorists that would come and go into the subdivision and use the lane.
The developers will remove the fence and add one foot of gravel to elevate the entrance to the gravel lane to provide better visibility.
Brenda Haggard asked what would prevent the gravel from washing away. Copperwaite said it would be compacted. Mike Haggard, who has worked for the Indiana Dept. of Transportation for 30 years, urged the developers to blacktop it. ‘That’ll make it stay. It will be more permanent. That’s all I want.’
A permanent sign proclaiming the Honeysuckle Estates will be about 30 feet back from the road and shouldn’t present a sight problem, Copperwaite said. Brenda Haggard said 30 feet back is about where they start looking for traffic when they come out of their lane.
‘If the sign obstructs our view, what recourse do we have?’ she asked.
‘The fence obstructs the view,’ Copperwaite said.
Copperwaite said the developers will remove the fence and keep the area mowed. ‘The developer will make it much better.’
Blank said, ‘We’re making improvements. If we raise the road one foot and you still have trouble, the group will work with you. ‘
Plan commission chair Len Waite said the future of the woven wire fence that runs alongside the lane isn’t a question for the board to decide. That’s for the future lot owners to decide, but the landowners ‘can’t tear down the fence without your approval,’ Copperwaite told Gurtz. The covenant says nothing will be built until it’s approved in writing by the developers.
Several people who live in the Beechmont Drive area asked what developer Mike Sphire of New Salisbury intends to do with 2.8 acres of land he wants rezoned. Sphire petitioned the board to rezone the land from I1 (industrial) to R3, which allows for multi-family dwellings.
Copperwaite represented Sphire.
He said Sphire has no specific plans, but the area has been logged and cleared. It lies between the Tyson Foods chicken processing plant to the northeast and Indian Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center on the south. The Sphire property is not in the town limits but it’s in the two-mile radius.
Waite told the neighbors that Sphire is not required to tell the board at this point what he wants to do with the property, but he will have to conform to the restrictions of that zone.
Joyce Ladell of Indianapolis, whose parents own property in the Beechmont neighborhood, said, ‘I wouldn’t want an industry to go in there.’ Waite, who also lives nearby, agreed. He sees the possibility of an apartment house there as a benefit.
The board passed Sphire’s zoning change request unanimously.
The board asked executive director Ralph Best to send a letter to the owners of the ‘Rolling Thunder’ used car lot at the old Bill’s Auto Parts location south of the Harrison County Fairgrounds to cease and desist. The area is not zoned for used car sales.
Susan Lewis, representing Commonwealth Sign Co. of Louisville, asked for and got permission to erect a tenant sign for the Medical Office Building at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon. It will be ten by five feet.