The Marshall County Plan Commission held its January meeting on Thursday with seven of its nine members present. The commission voted to keep the same officers with David Hostetler as President, Matt Miller as Vice President, and Craig Cultice as Secretary.  The commission also removed Bob Yoder from the Technical Review Committee (TRC) and replaced him with Brieanna Slonaker who is a Purdue Extension Educator and modified the alternates for the Marshall County BZA to have Slonaker replace Yoder.  Derek Jones was retained as their legal counsel.
The only agenda item was a request to rezone a parcel split of 3.6 acres at 4860 North Underwood Road in Walkerton.  The property is currently zoned A-1 and they would like to change it to A-3 agricultural residential to allow for the construction of another home.

Plan Director Ty Adley said the A-1 zoning has a lot size requirement of 5 acres while the A-3 zoning has a 1-acre lot size requirement. The A-3 zoning district has a much smaller listing of permitted use than the A-1 zoning District with more restrictions.

The Plan Commission will make a recommendation to the commissioners.    

It was mentioned that the John Glenn Building Trades Association would be constructing the home.   

During the public hearing, James Rippy spoke in favor.  He told the commission he and his wife have a large log home on the adjacent lot, and they plan to build a retirement home and his son plans to purchase their home. 

The Marshall County Plan Commission unanimously approved the request.

Brad Stackhouse 9B Road in Plymouth addressed the board with concerns about tree buffers.

Adley said in A-1, A-2, and A-3 zoning districts the county requires a 30 feet buffer setback.  If the adjoining property is 5 acres or less the buffer is not required. 

This winter Stackhouse cleaned a fencerow but not back to the fence.  The four neighbors who have homes there were upset and contacted a lawyer and now he has his lawyer involved.  He said the tree line needed to be cleaned up because when you drive a $100,000 combine down along the row you don’t want low-hanging branches getting into your expensive equipment.

Stackhouse questioned why the standard was set at 5 acres and said, “I don’t want to cause my neighbors any problems. I want them to be happy and live in the country.  That’s their choice, I don’t mind but I want to have my right to quietly enjoy my farm as well.” 

He asked the County Plan Commission to look at that standard in the county’s zoning ordinance. 

A second issue Mr. Stackhouse brought up was a neighbor separated off a 2 to 3-acre lot for a residential homestead and the owners placed their well closer than 50 feet to the property line. He said there is a federal law that restricts farming within 50 feet of a well so the location of that well negatively impacts his farm.   He suggested limiting residential wells to 49 feet from a property line and suggested the county plan commission look at this issue too.