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City takes emergency step to extend moratorium

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By Steve Doyle

 The Shelbyville City Council took an unusual step Thursday night to maintain its course in revamping the city’s East End.

Council members passed unanimously an emergency ordinance to extend until Sept. 15 its moratorium on development in that part of Shelbyville – which is the area east from 3rd Street to Mount Eden Road – while they continue to develop, polish and pass the formal processes of getting their long-range plan formally in place.

An emergency ordinance is allowed by statute, Mayor Tom Hardesty told the council, and requires only one reading rather than two.

The reason for this quick move: “We’ve already had applications for zoning permits,” Hardesty said.

Because the city is rewriting its long-term plan to change the scope of the East End and create a gateway into downtown, there are several steps in both wording and formal process that that must be completed in conjunction with Triple S Planning & Zoning.

The moratorium covers building permits, zoning map amendments and development plans within the specified area.

In his drafting of the ordinance, City Attorney Frank Chuppe noted the statutory requirements to pass by emergency process because any future development in the prescribed area would be “so detrimental to the City of Shelbyville as to constitute an emergency.”

Hardesty said he couldn’t recall the last time the city took such action. “Not since I’ve been mayor, but we did it when I was on the council for 23 years,” he said. “Not very often.”

He said he took this step after consulting with Chuppe, Triple S Executive Director Ryan Libke and some council members when a request for a building permit “got me to thinking. People might start to run and get building and zoning permits under the wire.

“We’ve done a whole lot of work,” Hardesty said, “and it would all be for naught if someone got a permit for something that would be obnoxious. It would destroy our plans and waste time and money. This [the emergency ordinance] would give us some time.”

The only question from the council was Mike Zoeller, who sought to clarify the terminus of the zoning district at question. The council agreed that it was on the east side of Mount Eden Road and included the property of Hilltop Grocery but nothing east of it.

This moratorium had been in place since this process began in the summer of 2009, and the extension becomes effective with its publishing in The Sentinel-News.

 

Storm water report

City Engineer Jennifer Herrell briefed the council on a written report she had provided about the city’s compliance with a variety of issues relative to storm-water runoff. The city had been cited in May 2003 by the state Division of Water for having not met requirements, and in June 2008 officials presented a plan to address concerns.

The next cycle for approval is this year, and Herrell expects that standards will be even more stringent for the permit period that will run to 2010.

“You have to listen to the Division of Water,” she said, “because it is getting pushed by the EPA. This is a big deal. It’s going to get more stringent, more stringent and more stringent.”

Hardesty pointed out that violations of those requirements could result in fines of up to $25,000 a day.

 

Also at the meeting:

§       Hardesty said he had asked Libke to add Fairway Crossing and Boone Station to the map for the city’s request for an overlay district. He said that those areas had not been specified in an oversight. This district specifies building exterior quality design.

§       The council approved the ubiquitous proclamation naming March as Severe Storms Preparedness Month.

§       Fire Chief Willard Tucker reported that his department was about to begin the roughly 1,600 building inspections that are required this spring.

§       Herrell said the city used about 450 tons of salt to address snowy and icy roads this winter. Hardesty, in his remarks, complimented all city employees for their handling of snow days.