Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

April 16, 2010

Resident speaks out against code

BATESVILLE — Dear Editor, On Wednesday April 21, at 7 p.m., there will be a public hearing at the government center, 1010 Franklin Ave., Brookville, to discuss sweeping zoning changes proposed by a group of private citizens in Brookville. Their code virtually does away with meaningful regulations for residential growth in rural Franklin County. Up to five homes can be built on a private lane. The minimum distance between lanes is only 50 feet. Multiple lanes can be built on a piece of property, with no road frontage requirement. The minimum lot size is one acre, or “enough for two septic systems.” However, there is no requirement for soil testing for suitability for septic systems prior to sale. This would allow small-lot development without the oversight provided by any subdivision ordinance. No permit required, no regard to infrastructure, roads or traffic, no notification of neighbors. Any landowner will be able to bring a mobile home onto any lot simply by stating that it is intended for an infirm or elderly relative. No permit is required, no doctor’s statement, no time limit. Billboards of 900 square feet (20 by 45 feet) would be permitted on any road within sight of a state highway. Billboards of 600 square feet would be allowed anywhere. These changes, and others, will reduce property values by destroying the rural character that people cherish, and by providing a glut of small lots. Acreage prices will spiral down as more small lots become available, and as cheaper homes are built on those less expensive lots. In addition, taxes will rise and services will decline as a result of unrestricted population growth. The group that wrote this code claims it is “the will of the people.” Attend the public hearing or write to the Franklin County Area Plan Commission. Speak out in defense of Franklin County. Ruthie Mannix, Batesville

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