By Dan Spalding
LEESBURG — Town Council took the final steps toward joining the Area Plan Commission on Monday night, Feb. 8.
The town voted in December to join the county-wide planning department.
On Monday, the council approved one change to its newly established zoning map and then chose to make the transition effective immediately. The votes were unanimous.
The plan commission provides oversight and development guidelines to all unincorporated areas in Kosciusko County as well as towns that opt-in.
Leesburg is one of the last remaining towns in Kosciusko County to join the plan commission.
The move provides residents with an established protocol when it comes to zoning issues and generally how a property can be used.
Council made the move after struggling repeatedly with how to handle disputes over land use issues.
The zoning map, which outlines residential, commercial and other zoning designations, was approved after one revision involving Maple Leaf Farms property, which includes community ball fields. The land had been considered public use but is now commercial (see map below).
Area Plan Director Dan Richard said the impact on residents is pretty simple.
“The main thing is when they want to begin any change in development to their property, we ask they give us a call and see what it takes ,” Richard said after the final vote.
The APC phone number is (574) 372-2327.
The plan office recently introduced online permitting.
The town could have created its own plan commission. One of the benefits of joining the APC is financial. There are no fees to the town for participating in the plan commission.
In another matter, council heard from a man who complained about how the town had plowed in a car along Van Buren Street.
Town officials have had an ongoing and expensive dispute involving the resident’s desire to park along the street overnight.
The town prohibits on-street parking between 3 and 5 a.m. specifically to allow for snow removal.
Recent snowfalls brought it to the forefront again.
The woman did not attend the meeting, but has accrued $1,150 in fines and has had her vehicle towed once after repeated violations and warnings.
The neighbor, who said he dug her car out afterward, argued that plowing in the car seemed vindictive.
Street Commissioner Craig Charlton said the move was not malicious, but added, “the snow’s gotta go somewhere.”
Town Council President Tom Moore said the simple answer is for her not to park there anymore overnight.
No parking on any street between 3-5 a.m.
Please be mindful of what you flush
Speed limits in town are 25 mph
- The next regular meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 8.