WARSAW — Most of the regular monthly meeting of the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission Wednesday afternoon Dec. 6, in Warsaw, was spent discussing a new floodplain level improvement permit the county will likely eventually begin to issue.
Matt Sandy, assistant planning director for the county, said he designed the permit in order for the county to be more compliant with an ordinance already in place governing those who seek to build new houses or improve existing ones in a floodplain. He noted in the past, the county’s improvement location permits had focused mainly on new construction or substantial improvements, but more scrutiny is needed to comply with the ordinance. The county is audited by both DNR and FEMA, he noted, and they will be looking to see if permits have been issued for any development in floodplains.
Presently homeowners are allowed a one-time exemption from having to raise their homes up to the proper elevation if they seek to improve or rebuild their homes. But after the one time, any building requires an elevation of the home. However, as noted by Mike Kissinger of the APC, also the county surveyor, “lifting a home does not get it out of the floodplain; you still must pay for flood insurance.”
It was stressed the floodplain level permit is not an ordinance amendment, but rather an effort to be more compliant with an existing ordinance. No motion was made for a vote to approve the new permit because it was decided an informal discussion with a representative from DNR present would be a good idea before voting.
In other business, the planning commission approved a preliminary plat petition by Mike Jefferson. It will be a single family residence on a one-acre lot separated from a larger parcel also owned by Jefferson on CR 500E, south of Wooster Road in Washington Township. He said he is converting a storage building to a residence and plans to eventually sell it.
An adjacent property owner, Lyle Long, expressed concern an existing septic system would be “cut in two” if the plat is approved. Jefferson was advised to talk to the county health department to see if the septic system needs to be redesigned or if an easement needs to be granted, which would mean Jefferson would be granting it to himself since he owns both properties.
Approval for the preliminary plat was given contingent upon the septic system question being answered before the final plat is ready to be voted on.
Also on the agenda, a petition by Bob Winters for a preliminary plat for a residential development on EMS B60D Lane in Tippecanoe Township was tabled until the Jan. 3 meeting. Winters was a no-show and there was also no affidavit on file showing adjacent property owners had been notified.
APC meetings are held at 1 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the commissioners room of the county courthouse in Warsaw. Meetings are open to the public.