During the other business portion of the regular monthly meeting of the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission Wednesday, July 2, in Warsaw, the APC heard a request for a county building inspector.
Joni Truex with the Builders Association Kosciusko Fulton Counties appeared before the APC and asked the planning commission to use funds generated from building permits issued to be earmarked for a county building inspector. During the June 4 APC meeting, James Moyer of the APC asked fellow members to consider charging building permit fees due to the county’s weak financial situation. Kosciusko County presently does not charge for building permits to be issued.
Though Moyer noted the funds generated from permits should go into the general fund and not for a building inspector, Truex said the residents of the county need an inspector for protection. She said when a new home is built, “it is buyer beware” because essentially no inspections are done with the exception of sewer systems.
“There is no double checking,” Truex said about the home building process and “everything is on the honor system.” She noted in Kosciusko County the person having the home built can sign the paperwork stating they are the builder even if they are not.
Truex said Kosciusko is one of the few counties in the state without a building inspector, though the towns of Warsaw, Syracuse and Winona Lake each have an inspector. She also noted state legislation was signed into law this year stating revenue generated from building permits can’t go into the general fund, though there have been questions raised about the interpretation of the law and the builders association is having it checked.
Matt Sandy, assistant planning director for the county, provided the APC with information obtained from similar Indiana counties in size to Kosciusko. Elkhart County, for example, has a building inspector but the inspector is supplemented by a building department.
No vote was taken and the APC will review the information provided by Sandy before any decision is made.
Also on the agenda, the APC recommended approval for S & L Builders to have eight-tenths of an acre rezoned from agricultural to residential on CR 1150 North, east of Old SR 15 in Van Buren Township. An Amish family is living in a residence on the property, but multi-family use is not permitted on property zoned agricultural. County commissioners will consider the petition at their July 15 meeting.
The APC also recommended approval for Michael and Pamela Hamman to have 1 acre rezoned from agricultural to industrial II on CR 200 North, west of Cessna Road in Plain Township. The tract is in the Warsaw Airport Industrial Park. Dan Richard, area planning director, noted there is a residence on the property that may be part of an old farmstead. The property is surrounded by I-2 zoning, he added.
A petition by George Buckingham for preliminary plat approval for a residential development on Forest Glen Road, east of Cripplegate in Plain Township, was tabled until the Aug. 6 meeting. Drainage requirements have not been completed and soil borings still need to be taken, too.
David and Teresa Kotterman’s petition for preliminary plat approval for residential development on Blue Spruce Court, east of Ferguson Road in Wayne Township, was also tabled until the Aug. 6 meeting. The petitioner was not present. Richard noted it is actually a re-plat of lot number four and would reduce a 20-foot easement originally designed for utilities and drainage, but building has since taken place upon.
The APC also heard a brief report from Jim Walmer, Pierceton town attorney, who noted the tax increment financing district was expanded in Pierceton to include the northwest corner of SR 13 and US 30 where Speedway is having a truck stop built. The APC approved a resolution saying the expansion of the TIF is consistent with the comprehensive zoning plan for the county, but expansion of the TIF still must be approved by the Pierceton Town Board.