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Expansion of Midway Estate on hold for legal advice

A request that would expand Midway Estates was tabled earlier this month by the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission to give the board time to consult its attorney regarding a ‘stub’ road in the existing subdivision located on the north side of S.R. 62 about halfway between Corydon and Lanesville.
The applicant, B & T Equity Ventures LLC, outlined its plans on July 3 as desiring to develop 16 lots by gaining access for the majority of the lots from Alexus Avenue in the current subdivision that was developed by David Kaufer. Three lots would enter directly onto S.R. 62. The new lots would be between 1 and 1-1/2 acres in size.
After plan commission member Charlie Crawford said his biggest concern with the proposed subdivision is that two driveways enter S.R. 62 between two county roads, the applicant indicated a willingness to have those lots share a driveway.
Following the plan commission’s questions about such things as blister lanes along S.R. 62, water drainage, fencing and buffers, a major concern was raised when Gordon Ingle, an attorney who was representing all but one lot owner in the existing Midway Estates, said the stub road cannot be used as proposed by B & T.
Ingle said the intentions were not ‘to have someone else come in and build houses’ that cost less than the existing homes and lower property values. Rather, the stub right-of-way was designed for use by the people in Midway Estates, he said.
While referring to notes from the planning and zoning staff, Crawford said the plan commission, when it approved Midway Estates several years ago, asked for a stub so ‘Section 2’ could be developed without another road coming out onto S.R. 62.
Ingle contends that the minutes from past plan commission meetings does not reflect that nor does the county’s subdivision ordinance require that.
‘I disagree with most of what you’re saying,’ plan commission member Victor McCauley told Ingle. ‘Once it’s dedicated, it becomes public and county property.’
He added that the statute Ingle had cited ‘pertains more to grants and dedications.’
Matt Toole, of B & T Equity, offered to use the same restrictive covenants Kaufer uses for Midway Estates.
‘He’s done a beautiful job with the subdivision,’ said Toole, who indicated he plans to build a house for himself in the new addition.
Jim Klinstiver, who chairs the plan commission, recommended tabling the request, which was made into a motion, seconded and carried 5-0.
Also at the meeting, Steve Bruner withdrew his request to rezone 3.997 acres south of New Salisbury, on the northeast corner of where Lost Creek and Corydon Junction roads meet S.R. 135, from A-R to B-1, after the plan commission recommended he ask for a special exception instead.
Bruner started a business on the property that once housed Miller Kitchen Distributors last year.
‘I’ve done some upkeep on the building,’ Bruner said, and has plans to rent out the house which sits on the property.
Miller said the site was developed prior to zoning but because it has been vacant more than a year, it is now considered a non-conforming use and has to be re-approved.
‘Obviously, the building is a good location for us,’ Bruner said. ‘The house is secondary. I have no plans for the acreage behind it.’
A resident near the property expressed his concern about traffic on S.R. 135 and Lost Creek Road.
In other matters, the plan commission:
‘ Approved a zoning ordinance amendment that creates a new zoning district called ‘SF Single Family Overlay.’
County administrator Terry Smith said the Town of Lanesville would gain the most from it, and it was at the town’s urging that the plan commission came up with the idea of the overlay.
‘ Agreed, by a 5-0 vote, to give Maurice Roby one more month to show progress on clearing his property in Laconia of vehicles and other scrap material. Roby said he was delayed in the process after breaking his kneecap.
‘ Listened to residents who live near Indian Creek Campground, which is located near the intersection of state roads 335 and 135. Mamie Burnside was the spokesperson for the group, who complained about the noise, traffic, lights and hours of the campground, which was approved by the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals as a special exception last fall. Kirby LeMond, who owns the camp, will be requested to attend the BZA meeting on July 24.

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