This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A couple days late

The bombshell news today was that the South Shore Air Show scheduled for Fair Oaks Farms in less than two weeks has been canceled. We have gotten too much water and there is more in the forecast, so parking on wet fields would have been a nightmare.

Weston Lake has reappeared and there is water in many fields, though it is often hard to see because the corn is big enough now to hide it. It may not be good for the corn, but it is good for the goose and the gander.
 Water has crept up a bit in the quarry since the last time I was by.
 I was surprised to see two large semis being loaded with stone. They did not look very big next to the big loader.
On Monday the City Council had its biweekly meeting. Not a lot happened. The solar panel farm is now producing electricity for the grid. It is not owned by the city--it is owned by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency. There was supposed to be a discussion of the Rock the Arts event scheduled for mid to late July, apparently involving the selling of alcohol in the park, but the representative who was supposed to explain things did not show up. The council was willing to trust the judgement of the chief of police in the matter.

After the meeting I went next door to the court house for a couple meetings. The first was the Board of Zoning Appeals. It had only three members in attendance, and the chair had to vote to make a quorum. They had two cases. The first involved an estate that was selling off land. A change in zoning rules had made one of the plots that they were trying to sell out of compliance, and the executors of the estate wanted a variance. The two neighbors on either side were very opposed, arguing that the plot was not a buildable plot and that if anyone should try to build there, it would harm them and lower their property values. However, when the BZA voted on finding of fact, they voted that the variance would not have  adverse effects on neighbors and would not affect property values. I found it a rather surreal moment, but I suspect similar surreal moments are very common in government.

The other case was for a man who has been mining clay and wanted to continue mining clay, but on an adjacent piece of land that he owns.

The third meeting was of the Planning and Development Commission, and they had a very similar case. A man who owned a ten acre plot in Walker township wanted to subdivide it to a two acre and an eight acre plot. He would build his house on the eight plot and his father-in-law would build a house on the two acre plot. Neighbors attended who were concerned with what exactly he planned to do and were upset with some burning he had been doing to clear some of the land. (It apparently is sand hill with trees.) His request was approved.

A lot of the property issues that come before these boards and commissions are for things happening in the northern part of the county. On Tuesday I briefly stopped in the Business After Hours event at Farm Credit (the attendance was poor) and listened to a discussion of people borrowing money to purchase not houses, but lots. I had a hard time understanding how someone who had to borrow 80% of the money to purchase the lot would ever be able to finance the house, but they do.

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