New Developments In Fall Creek Township Zoning Battle
After a recent meeting held by the Fall Creek Township (FCT) Board, local residents might be one step closer to seeing zoning regulations and authority shifted back to Noblesville, and away from the Town of Fishers. (See previous story for background) The FCT Board held a meeting June 16 at the Fall Creek Trustees Office, and voted 2-0 in favor of signing an agreement regarding the zoning issues at hand. This Interlocal Agreement, which transfers the Joinder Agreements currently in existence between the City of Noblesville, Delaware Township and Fall Creek Township, will now go to the Fishers Town Council for approval.
In 2005, a document called the Joinder Agreement was drafted, in which a transition of zoning responsibilities were shifted from Noblesville to Fishers. This document allows Fishers to annex land contiguous to its corporate limits within FCT, and to administer building permits and other planning duties once held by Noblesville.
Since that time, Fishers has been in charge of zoning services, even though the Joinder Agreement was never signed. Those residents opposed to the zoning authority transition have expressed concern and dissatisfaction over the last few years with how the zoning regulations have been carried out under Fishers control.
This past month, the FTC Board voted to sign the Interlocal Agreement, which ultimately means that Fishers will give back the zoning control of FCT to Noblesville, if it is approved.
Doug Allman, an unincorporated homeowner in FCT, explains the new developments.
“If all goes as planned, voters will be able to either take legal actions for violations of zoning rights, or vote on a referendum in November to give the control of zoning back to Noblesville, which will be classified as R1,” said Allman.
“In our opinion,” said Allman, “the county has a better comprehensive plan for zoning, which affects Geist residents and unincorporated township residents.” Allman said enough signatures will need to be collected by November in order to request an official referendum and pull out of the current Joinder Agreement.
Terry Michael, FCT Trustee, explained the developments in the following statement:
Under the current Interlocal Agreement, the Town of Fishers is not charging any fees to the Township for it services. The Agreement further provides that the Town will administer zoning in the unincorporated areas based upon the Noblesville R-1 designation existing on January 1, 2005. Any and all uses on the real estate which are subject to the Agreement and that exist as of January 1, 2005 which are legal and permissible uses, or pre-existing non-conforming uses, shall remain legal until such uses are no longer in conformance with current zoning regulations.
As for what’s next, Allman said that signatures will be collected door-to-door in order to put the zoning issue on the ballot for the Fall, and a committee will begin working on referendum verbiage. There will also be efforts made in the upcoming months to help voters better understand the zoning issue, and be prepared to make an informed decision in the next election.