Request made, proposed use, location

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Michael & Sandy Bowman

Special Exception

Staff Report

November 29, 2006


Michael & Sandy Bowman

Special Exception

Staff Report

November 29, 2006


Petitioners, represented by attorney Matthew McQueen, are requesting a special exception to legitimize a contracting business (SIC 17) in the A zone on 5 acres located at 6903 S 350 E. The hours of operation are from 7:00AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Saturday. The contracting business is known as Mr. Rooter of Lafayette and Frankfort, and is located in Wea 26(SE) 22-4.

The Zoning Enforcement Officer’s file notes the initial violation was cited on April 7, 2004. Several letters of correspondence between the Zoning Enforcement Officer and petitioners’ attorney have brought us to this point. The final notice of the violation was mailed out on October 17, 2006 with a compliance deadline of November 1, 2006. This petition was filed on November 1, 2006.

The site in this case is zoned Agricultural as is the area surrounding. PDMX zoning associated with Bren Bella Planned Development is to the north and east. Flood Plain along the Wea Creek is across CR 350 to the west.


Petitioners’ property is occupied by their single family home, a large pole barn and a few small outbuildings. Some equipment appears to be stored outdoors behind the large pole building.

Several large lot single family homes are located on CR 350 E and CR 700 S adjacent to this site. Most of the surrounding area is farmed. Bren Bella Planned Development is largely undeveloped and the closest home in this development is located nearly one mile to the east.

Parking requirements for this use are one space per employee on the largest shift, plus one space per 200 sq. ft. of office, sales, or similar floor area. According to the petition, there may be up to 3 employees and the office/sales area occupies 504 sq. ft. of space in the pole building which means six spaces are necessary; the six required parking spaces are shown on the site plan.

CR 350 E is a rural secondary arterial based on the 2025 Transportation Plan. Average daily traffic count taken in summer of 2005 measured 341 vehicles.

Well and septic serve the site in question.


In April 2004, the Zoning Enforcement Officer first contacted petitioners about this zoning violation. That same year, the Area Plan Commission adopted an amendment to the zoning ordinance to permit contracting businesses (SIC 15 and 17) in all rural zones with a special exception. Included in this amendment were the requirements that the operation be on at least 5 acres, have a maximum gross floor area of 5,000 sq. ft. and special setbacks and buffering be met for areas intended for outdoor storage of materials. According to petitioners’ representative, part of the time between the initial letter of violation and now was spent negotiating an agreement with the neighbors to the north to purchase additional ground so the 5 acre requirement could be met. This transfer of 0.1446 acres was recorded in May 2005.

Petitioners have a maximum of three employees (including both petitioners plus one occasional helper) and 504 sq. ft. of office and sales area which requires 6 parking spaces, all of which are shown. There is no outdoor storage of material shown on the site plan, so the special setbacks and buffering are not required at this time. While the site plan shows petitioners’ existing and proposed detached building totaling 6,355 sq. ft., 1395 sq. ft. are used for personal storage, leaving 4,960 sq. ft. for the contracting business. This meets the ordinance maximum of 5,000 square feet.
Noise generation from the operation is minimal. According to the petition, the equipment that will be used is “less intensive than farm equipment and [the employees] will be gone for most [of] the day as the work is off-site.” The lighting on site is motion-activated and is typical of rural areas. The minimal traffic generated by this use and the fact that all equipment will be stored indoors will help this use to be non-intrusive to the adjoining neighbors.
At its meeting on November 15, 2006 the Area Plan Commission voted that granting this request would not substantially adversely affect the Comprehensive Plan.
Regarding the ballot items:

  1. Section 3.1 of the Unified Zoning Ordinance DOES authorize the special exception for SIC 17 Construction - Special Trade Contractors which includes plumbing contractors in the A zoning district including footnote 8 which states “Permitted by Special Exception in A, AA and AW zones on 5 acres or more, with maximum gross floor area of 5000 square feet.”

And it is staff’s opinion that:

  1. The requirements and development standards for the requested use as prescribed by the Unified Zoning Ordinance WILL be met because the site complies with the minimum acreage, building size, and parking requirements;

  2. Granting the special exception WILL NOT subvert the general purposes served by the Ordinance because there will be no outdoor storage of materials.

  3. Granting the special exception WILL NOT materially and permanently injure other property or uses in the same district and vicinity because of:

  1. Traffic generation: CR 350 E is classified a rural secondary arterial and carries on average only 341 vehicles daily. The addition of 1-3 employee trips is not likely to be noticeable.

  2. Placement of outdoor lighting: The security lighting that exists on the pole barn is consistent with similar structures utilized for personal storage or farming operations in the area.

  3. Noise production: Vehicles used in the operation of the business are trucks and no different than personal trucks and farm vehicles commonly found in the county.

  4. Hours of operation: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday. These hours are compatible with the hours of existing residential and farming activity commonly found in the vicinity of petitioner’s property.


Approval, contingent on the following condition:

1. An ILP/Building Permit for the 1,575 sq. ft. building addition must be issued.

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