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Conrad Farm stays as is ‘ for now

The request to rezone 93 acres east of Corydon was denied last week by the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission but will be decided by the county board of commissioners on Oct. 22.
Robin Ipsan made the request Thursday night, saying he has ‘no plans currently or in the near future to develop’ the tract that is located on the south side of Corydon Ridge Road between Sherwood Drive and Pfrimmer’s Chapel Road.
‘Why wouldn’t you change the zoning at a later date then?’ asked plan commission member Larry Ott.
Ipsan replied that he doesn’t want to wait since it’s a ‘sizable purchase’ he is prepared to make. The property is owned by Floyd Conrad.
Several property owners ‘ some with the last name of Conrad ‘ who live near the farm in question spoke in opposition to the request, citing how unsafe Corydon Ridge Road is and the number of subdivisions ‘ with numerous unsold lots ‘ already in the area. Many also said they don’t want more than a couple of houses to be built on the property because they moved here to get away from subdivisions.
Darrell Conrad, who is administrator of the Floyd Conrad estate, spoke to clarify comments made by the opposition, such as the property hasn’t been tilled as farm land for many years and that the increase in traffic isn’t coming just from subdivisions but from ‘all the houses’ popping up along the road.
Plan commission member J.R. Eckart, who also is the county commissioner that represents the district where the Conrad farm is located, said there are ‘more hazardous roads in the county than Corydon Ridge Road.’
Harrison County Planner Eric Wise reminded the audience that Ipsan couldn’t subdivide the property even if it was rezoned until he met all the requirements, which would include having a public hearing on the request. Also, Wise said, under its current zoning, the property could be divided into 10-acre lots with a private road providing access to them.
Plan commission members were not inclined to approve the zoning change at this time since Ipsan wasn’t planning to do anything with the property, but they weren’t necessarily opposed to another subdivision in that area, which is close to Corydon.
‘This one is really a hard one for me,’ Ott said. ‘There is a lot of development already in this area … ‘
‘I’m like Larry,’ said Jim Klinstiver. ‘I see subdivisions in the area, within the two-mile fringe (of Corydon) or very close to it.’
Klinstiver also reminded opponents that they live in the A-R, which includes residential not just agriculture.
‘We’re talking about a property owner who wants to change the zoning on his property, not yours,’ he told them.
After much discussion, Carl (Buck) Mathes moved to deny the request because of the sight distance in either direction on Corydon Ridge Road from that property, which has 400 feet of road frontage. The motion passed 6-0-2, with chairman Victor McCauley and Eckart abstaining. (Member Tom Bube was absent.) As chair, McCauley didn’t have to vote, and Eckart said he abstained because he would hear the request again when it came before the commissioners later this month.
The first phase of a subdivision on the south side of Flatwood Road north of New Salisbury was approved Thursday night. The applicants, Frank Fey Sr. and his son, Frank Jr., had requested the docket item be tabled at the September meeting because only five of the nine board members were in attendance.
The plan commission had approved rezoning the 26 acres between Crawford and Church roads from A-R to R-1 in February.
Jason Copperwaite, who represented the Feys, said 14 lots are proposed in the first phase. Houses built there must be at least 1,300 square feet and have a two-car attached garage.
In response to the complaints at last month’s meeting and the hearing in February about the safety of Flatwood Road, Copperwaite said last week that the county highway department is progressing in making improvements.
‘It’s not just pie in the sky,’ he said, adding that it’s not the responsibility of the property owner to make improvements to county roads.
County Commissioner James Goldman, who represents the district where the subdivision will be developed, said relocating utility lines is underway and has delayed resurfacing the road.
‘But it will be the first in line to be bid next year’ for blacktop, Goldman said.
Besides relocating utility lines, some hills will be cut down on the road to improve sight distance and buffers will be put on each side of the road, he said.
About restrictions that were placed on Gil Bezy Jr. when he developed Moor’s Landing, which is located near the Fey property, Goldman said, ‘We’ve been in contact with him. If he doesn’t do what he’s suppose to do, we’ll do it for him and bill him for it.’
Two neighboring property owners expressed concern about what the subdivision could do to the wells they rely on for water to their residences.
According to Copperwaite, at least one of those property owners would be eligible to hook on to the Palmyra Water Co., which will supply the Fey subdivision.
The motion to approve the preliminary plat was approved 6-1-1 with Charlie Crawford voting against and McCauley abstaining. Crawford had voted against the zoning change earlier in the year, too, citing hazardous road conditions.
Also last week, a special exception request for a temporary mobile home was given a favorable recommendation. Caryn Skelly’s request will now be heard by the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals at its next meeting, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room of the courthouse.
A public hearing was set for Nov. 3 to address a zoning change for Owens Machinery Inc. Wise said wrong information has been recorded twice and needs to be corrected.