LAPEL PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

JUNE 11, 2020

In attendance in person: Tony Hewitt, Teresa Retherford, Chad Blake

In attendance virtually: Angie Duncan, Dan Paddock, Jeff Keith, Ashley Hopper, Town Attorney and Neil Stephenson, MCCOG

Motion to suspend the regular meeting and open the Public Hearing for Lapel One, LLC made by Hewitt, 2nd by Retherford and all were in favor.  

Lapel One LLC was not present for tonight’s meeting but is in agreement to continue the Public Hearing to June 25th at 6pm at the Lapel Town Hall.

Motion to continue the Public Hearing for Lapel One, LLC on June 25, 2020 at 6pm at the Lapel Town Hall and virtual as well made by Hewitt, 2nd by Retherford and all were in favor.

Motion to close the Public Hearing and reopen the regular meeting made by Hewitt, 2nd by Paddock and all were in favor.

Motion to approve minutes made by Hewitt, 2nd by Paddock and all were in favor.

Paddock had requested mowing letters be sent to Hallmark Homes, property has since been mowed.  Paddock also spoke on drainage issues in the area and would like developer held accountable for drainage issues.  When orders from Governor are lifted letters and fines can be reinstated.  Hobbs has spoken to developer but no progress has been made.

Sam Werth- Drive in movie theater proposal, large 3 screen venue with 900- 1000 car capacity.  Formerly part of Tibbs Drive In in Indianapolis.  Looking for specific lots to be friendly to residents but able to accommodate venue.  Closest drive in is 41 miles from Lapel.  Werth is a member of the United Drive in Owners Association which are supporting his effort.  Area required would be 13-20 acres.  Werth would be asking for support from Planning, Council, and the Police Department in order to make this a reality.  Drive In season would run March thru October weather permitting.  Currently looking at lots where 7th, 6th and 5th Streets dead end to its 14 acres.   Right now we do not have drive in theaters listed in our zoning ordinance as permitted or special use so the Town Council will have to make a decision on.  Stephenson feels it will fit best in C1 district based on its use and suggests to Werth that property will need rezoning to C1 as well as applications for variances due to not doing asphalt or paving.  Werth went on to discuss other variance applications he would need for screens and lighting.  Another possible location would be near the Brookside Park (both of these properties are currently zoned AG).  Werth estimates this will be a 3 million dollar facility that will draw other businesses to the Town.  Mr. Werth will be put on the agenda for the upcoming Town Council meeting.  

Holly Elliott of the Red Barn came before the Planning Commission to inform them that the Lapel Stony Creek Township Fire Territory had done a Fire Prevention Inspection Report on the property.  No violations were found during their inspection.  Building can hold 160 people with tables and chairs, 342 people without tables and chairs and a maximum of 480 standing room only. Ms. Elliott was told to have 4 fire extinguishers and two exits other than the large barn door exits with signs.   Ms. Elliott believed that the report from the Fire Department was her Certificate of Occupancy, however she will need an inspection done by our building inspector to obtain her official COO.  Sign was installed today but no permit was obtained for the sign so Ms. Elliott will need to apply for a building permit for the sign installation.  Ms. Elliott asked the Commission if they were able to open to the public now that they have obtained an inspection from the Fire Department.  Hewitt asked if they were installing a driveway and Elliott said the Fire Department told them they did not need a paved drive.  Stephenson asked if this project had been approved for use as an event center. Elliott said Shuck told her she didn’t need to change the zoning as it is currently zoned AG.  Stephenson asked if an event center was an approved use for AG zoning. Keith reviewed the zoning code online for permitted use under the “Special Use” listing there was a category for “Recreational Use”.  There may need to be a BZA hearing for a Special Use for this district based on the occupancy count however if it’s a Permitted Use a BZA hearing will not be necessary.  Shuck was under the impression this would be a small scale venture and not require a rezone or variance.  Shuck will be present at the next Commission meeting and discussion will be held on the use and occupancy definitions until then opening of event center is on hold.  

Comprehensive Plan-Hewitt was unsure as to why the Planning Commission would deal with the Comprehensive Plan.  Stephenson asked if a third party/consultant had been obtained for the project.  Blake asked that Stephenson explain the plan.  Stephenson explained that a Comprehensive Plan is a long range goal for a community essentially it’s a 20 year vision.  The last plan was done in 2009 you update them every 5 to 10 years to make sure your goals and objectives are still in line with the goals and objectives of the community.  The Planning Commission actually works on the Comprehensive Plan and it can be through a committee or they can hire a consultant and once it’s written it’s given to the Town Council for adoption.  A Comprehensive Plan is what you base your zoning ordinances off of and so your zoning ordinances are what gives the Town the authority to enact regulations that help meet the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan.  Blake added that the reason we need a new Comprehensive Plan is that since the last one was written we have annexed over 6500 acres into the Town and right now there’s no rhyme or reason or goal for anything that would be built out in that area and that’s why we need an updated Comprehensive Plan to prevent things like the concrete plant ended up out there.  We were supposed to have Giving Hope Foundation out there but ended up with a concrete plant the Comprehensive Plan allows us to take things like the drive in theater that was just in here talking about and say if we’re going to have one where do we as a Town want that thing to be built.  The area they were talking about at 5th, 6th, and 7th Street if we’re going to do something out there that probably needs to be residential because I don’t see the people living on 5th, 6th and 7th Street being too happy with 1000 cars a day driving thru their yard.  Stephenson added that part of the process is creating a proposed future land use map and that’s what helps guide those decisions, so in your Plan you will have a proposed land use map with future potential uses for all that land that you annexed and land in town so when someone does come in you’ll have an idea of where is a great place for a new commercial facility like that and you would identify that thru your Comprehensive Planning process.  Hewitt asked if the Planning Commission came up with who was going to take care of this as he was still not understanding the process.  

Blake asked Stephenson to explain who picks the company to handle that.  Stephenson said MCCOG does do Comprehensive Plans it can also be a 3rd party vendor or a consultant.  The Town Council will be the one to sign the contract what typically happens is there will be a steering committee set up and the Planning Commission will be heavily involved in that process.  The consultant will be the one doing all the heavy lifting setting up the public hearings, developing all the materials.  The steering committee will be made up of Planning Commission members, Town Council members, local business owners, and residents of the community 15 people is a good number for a steering committee.  Blake said that the Comprehensive Plan will be on the agenda for the next Town Council meeting and discussion will be held on who to choose for this project.  Stephenson said a good action to take in the interim would be to start working access control ordinance especially along State Road 13 because what we don’t want to see in the future is that turning into Scatterfield Road.  The Planning Commission can write access ordinances, they can be added to the Comprehensive Plan and it will give a little more control over the access drives going in on State Road 13, in the past we’ve tried to prohibit those from going in off of State Road 13 and use some of the existing side roads.  

Motion to continue meeting to June 25th at 6pm at the Lapel Town Hall in person and virtually made by Hewitt, 2nd by Retherford and all were in favor.  


Posted at Thursday, June 11, 2020