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Planning and Zoning. Strategies for Protecting Indiana’s Farmland. Local Planning. Brad Buening Planning degree—BSU 15 years—local government Land Use Specialist, IFB Bridge gap between political/ag. Local Planning. Initial charge Work with ISDA Research existing ag ordinances

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Planning and Zoning


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    1. Planning and Zoning Strategies for Protecting Indiana’s Farmland

    2. Local Planning • Brad Buening • Planning degree—BSU • 15 years—local government • Land Use Specialist, IFB • Bridge gap between political/ag

    3. Local Planning • Initial charge • Work with ISDA • Research existing ag ordinances • Compile list • Create model zoning ordinances • Allow locals to pick and choose

    4. Local Planning • Not self-proclaimed expert • Work experience in planning/local gov’t • Agriculture background • Opportunity to visit and review local ord

    5. Local Planning • Visited ½ counties with P & Z • Reviewed approx. 30 proposed ordinances • Have seen the good, bad, and ugly of zoning

    6. Local Planning • The counties that are proactive are working • 70% of job has been reactive, but effective

    7. Local Planning Quick refresher course on Indiana Zoning

    8. Local Planning • Types of Plan Commissions • Metro (1) • Area (32) • Advisory (46) • None (13)

    9. Local Planning • Zoning Ordinance • Actual law/enforceable • Various zoning districts (ag, res, com,ind) • Permitted by right—No public hearings • Special exception—meet specific criteria • Developmental standards (setbacks, coverage, density, height, or area)

    10. Local Planning • Local Government Process • Zoning districts are created • Residential • Commercial • Agricultural • Industrial • Open space

    11. Local Planning • Local Government Process • Uses are pigeon-holed in districts • K.I.S.S. may not apply • Ethanol plant • Bio-diesel plant • Better separation needed • Need sub-districts • Residential is good example

    12. Local Planning • Local Government Process • Special exceptions are created • Unique uses • Not needed if sub-districts are created

    13. Local Planning • Local Government Process • Developmental Standards established • Setbacks (front, side, rear) • Height • Area • Density

    14. Local Planning • Local Government Process • Public Hearings • Petition • Advertise • Notify • Hearing • Adopt • Record

    15. Local Planning • Planning and Zoning Issues (that I see) • Farm vs. Non-farm conflicts • Burden on farmer vs. residents • SE for farmer (backwards) • Agricultural clause—for homes in ag area • Livelihood vs. recreational (choice)

    16. Local Planning • I want to keep ag uses from SE (BZA) • Emotional • Time consuming • Expensive • Based on subjective criteria • Noise, odor, property values, water usage • Hard to measure, expensive, staff, time • Ag zones should allow Ag uses

    17. Local Planning • What is AG land? • Anything Goes • Agriculture

    18. Local Planning • Model Zoning Ordinance • Not one size fits all concept • Sliding-scale development (2 versions) • Multiple agricultural districts • Farm preservation • Other methods being used

    19. Local Planning • Researched several zoning concepts • Reviewed pros and cons • Created hybrids by combining concepts

    20. Local Planning • Sliding-scale (version I) • Larger lots are allowed more development • Larger remainder for viable farmland • Residential (2ac max) • Ag clause • Contiguous to one another

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    27. Local Planning If you add language that say contiguous…

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    29. Local Planning • Sliding-scale (version II) • Target smaller tracts • Under 20 acres (already ruined) • These tracts can be subdivided aggressively • Residential (2ac max) • Ag clause • Contiguous to one another

    30. Local Planning • These lots were created by earlier methods • Counties thought 15-20 ac would preserve • It only converted faster

    31. Local Planning • 20-acre minimum • Does not work • Drives price/acre up • Takes land out of production faster • Leaves weeds and mess • Farmer won’t come in for 10-12 acres • Max acreage works better

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    33. Local Planning • 3 highlighted lots could net 9-10 lots • Reduced pressure from viable farmland • Allowed housing in country setting • Made the best of a “bad” situation

    34. Local Planning • Another hybrid would be a flat rate • Allow “X” # of splits for each parent tract • Can incorporate ag clause/contiguous • Can control amount of growth

    35. Local Planning • Multiple agricultural districts • Row crop farming (A-1) • CAFO/CFO (A-2) • Agri-business (A-3) • Residential-ag (A-4) • Ag park (A-5)

    36. Local Planning • Reduce land use conflicts; • Maintain property rights; • Efficient use of infrastructure

    37. Local Planning • Another simple variation is an A-2 • Housing only on small lot (2ac max) • Need rezone/SE • Prove to APC/BZA won’t harm A-1 • Personally did this last week • Point system • Land use, density, soil types, etc.

    38. Local Planning • Farm preservation • PDR/TDR/LDR • Infill incentives • Mitigation (developers 2:1) • Cluster development • Conservation easements (vol) • Bargain Sale

    39. Local Planning • PDR/TDR/LDR • Great theory • Farmer gets 401K • Young farmer able to purchase at farm rate • Infrastructure not taxed • Control growth areas • Hard to track administratively • GIS makes it easier

    40. Local Planning • Infill incentive • Tax abatement on skipped over land • Higher densities • Adjacent to infrastructure • Lessen pressure on farm land

    41. Local Planning • Developer mitigation • Incentivizing development near city • Penalize for hop-scotching around • Trip-generation causing pollution • Closer, less pollution • Put a monetary figure to it

    42. Local Planning • Cluster development (Open Space) • Keeping adjacent/contiguous • Not hop-scotching • Higher density • Preserve farm land • Sensitive area

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    46. Local Planning • Conservation easements • Voluntary action by land owner • Preserves in perpetuity • Tax incentive • Young farmer encouragement • Long run—create larger tracts

    47. Local Planning • Bargain sales • Selling land below fair market value • Difference is charitable contribution • Great way to initiate a land trust

    48. Local Planning • Other options • Ag clause • BMP/additional DS • Point system • Fences, septics, wells, mailboxes, driveways,

    49. Local Planning • Most of these options are still just band-aids • Multiple zones & TDR/PDR are broader • Separate land uses • Longevity (create trends) • Others will face again with more houses/CAFO

    50. Local Planning • Local flavor and politics will determine: • What to use • When to use it • Where to use it • How to use it