WARSAW — Although not a part of the regular agenda, a big portion of the regular monthly meeting of the Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission Wednesday, Feb. 7, in Warsaw involved discussion about a possible amendment to the county’s flood control ordinance.
In place since 1987, the ordinance allows homeowners who live in a flood zone to make a one-time improvement to their home without having to raise it out of the flood plain. But Matt Sandy, assistant planning director for the county, noted it is probably a good time to consider amending the ordinance to allow homeowners to make improvements up to 50 percent of their home’s assessed valuation without having to raise their homes out of the flood plain.
He noted other nearby communities have changed their flood control ordinances to the cumulative effect as opposed to a one-time allowance because it gives more flexibility to homeowners, although a permit would likely be required each time an improvement is made. There is also some confusion as to whether or not FEMA, the federal agency requiring flood control ordinances, would interpret maintenance or repairs to a home differently.
There was also discussion about which year would be used as the base year for a home’s assessed valuation since the value of a home can change over time. One option could be to use a sliding scale.
Questions were also raised as to how accurate the cost of improving a home would be reported to the county. It was noted quotes are used and then spreadsheets are used to track costs, but sometimes the quoted price is not what is actually paid when the home improvements are done.
More research will be done on the possible ordinance amendment before any vote is taken.
Regular agenda items included approving a final plat for the replat of lot No. 8 in the Shore Acres at Sechrist Lake subdivision. The lot is being split into two separate lots to accommodate two houses. Robert Winters is the petitioner. Approval was given with the condition a variance is obtained from the county board of zoning appeals to allow one home to be 9.8 feet from a side property line when 10 feet is required by the county ordinance.
Stephen and Josie Mally Ellis were given preliminary plat approval for a residential development on slightly less than 1 acre on Crystal Lake Road, east of CR 400W in Wayne Township. One lot is being split off existing agricultural acreage and a restrictive covenant on the deed says the property won’t be subdivided anymore.
Superior Developing was granted preliminary plat approval to replat two lots and combine them into one in the Shadow Lakes subdivision in Wayne Township. Relocating a drainage and utility easement prompted the replat request.
The same scenario applies to a petition by Oakbrook Homes and they were given preliminary plat approval to replat two lots in the Crestview subdivision in Wayne Township. Once again, a drainage and utility easement is being relocated.
Preliminary plat approval was given to the Haffner family for a residential development on a 5 acre tract of ground in the Southshore Green subdivision on Dog Leg Drive West, west of Birdie Court in Turkey Creek Township. Chuck Haffner, a member of the APC, excused himself from the board long enough to explain his intentions. He said he bought the property several years ago, has made improvements to it and is now ready to sell it. “I am making the lots bigger,” he said.
And the planning commission recommended approval for a roadway vacation off EMS D16A Lane in the Quaker Haven subdivision in Turkey Creek Township. The Hagg family wants to vacate a road literally platted through a house that dates to 1928. The house was built before the subdivision was platted in 1930.
County commissioners will consider the petition at their Tuesday, Feb. 20, meeting.