Rezoning a property and updating fixed capital assets were two items Oldenburg Town Council members discussed Feb. 3.
Mark Lanning, who owns a building at 22134 Main St., said, “For the last 15 years, my wife ran her accounting firm there, and we rented the upstairs offices. My wife merged her practice with another one ... (and) Dylan Walmsley is interested in leasing and then buying the building.”
The property is zoned residential, but Lanning received a special exemption 15 years ago to operate the business there. “However, that won’t cover the shop Dylan wants to run there.”
Rather than getting another exemption, Lanning asked members if they would give their permission to rezone it permanently from residential to local business. The Franklin County Area Plan Commission already gave a favorable recommendation for the change, but OTC members also have to agree. The property “is in an area with the post office and other small businesses ... so it’s almost natural for it to go to business rather than residential.”
Walmsley revealed, “My intention is to have my construction business office and the Golden Turtle Trading Center (which is currently located at 22163 Main St.) on the first floor and continue to rent out the upstairs offices.”
Council President Dennis Moeller asked, “If we go to permanent zoning on this rather than a special exemption, would that allow anything to go in without coming back to us for permission?”
“Yes,” pointed out town attorney John Kellerman, “but all these local businesses are the basic type of stuff, offices and shops. It’s not ... factories.”
“I don’t see a problem with it,” noted member Greg Struewing. “I don’t think much will change.”
Moeller added, “I’m not too concerned about what Dylan is doing. What concerns me is what’s down the road.”
Kellerman emphasized, “Once someone is in there legally, you can’t zone them out .... (but) if someone is creating an uproar preventing the neighbors from using their properties ... you can use the nuisance law.”
Members unanimously agreed to allow the permanent zoning for local business.
Walmsley also wanted to get approval for a new sign on the property near the corner of Main and Washington streets. “What’s existing is a 4-feet-by-6-feet sign ... with placards for the businesses.” He wanted to add an oval sign for the retail shop, which will make the total dimensions about 5 feet by 8 feet.
“I needed to stay within the regulations (FCAPC executive director) Cindy Orshell gave me and needed to have you approve the size and shape of the sign.”
Members OK’d the request.
David Kieser, Kieser Consulting Group LLC, Indianapolis, principal/owner, presented a proposal to the council to provide professional services to update the town’s fixed capital assets of streets and roads; parks; wastewater and drinking water utilities; police department; and other general town assets in order to help them comply with Indiana State Board of Accounts requirements.
“We’re working with the towns of Brookville and Laurel to help them with this, too .... What we would do is take a look at each asset and then estimate what it cost when it was built or bought. Then we can tell you what it costs today.”
The information that is gathered “is not only for compliance ... but will also provide a better tracking system for the town. The departments will have a record of when they purchased new pieces of equipment.”
Clerk-Treasurer Cindy Laker said the town has records of its assets, but they’re in one lump sum and ISBOA wants it itemized.
Members agreed to hire the consultant for $3,200.