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No, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are not dodging slow-motion bullets on the streets of Culver ala The Matrix. It’s nothing that exciting. The matrix I’m referring to is the one that appears in Chapter 3, Section 3.0 – Authorized Uses in the Culver Zoning Ordiance. It was the topic of discussion at the last Zoning Ordinance Review Committee Meeting on January 21, 2009.
The Zoning Ordinance matrix specifies the district in which a defined property use is allowed. Just to pick the first one from the list, “Apartment Units” are allowed in the R-2, C-1 & C-2 districts as well as by Special Use in the S-1 and L-1 districts if specifically approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The matrix was set up as the first line of defense against district creep and spot zoning, which are considered bad things in Zoning Ordinances such as ours and the ones ours was patterned after. Under our ordinance, where often R-2 is adjacent to R-1, you can have an apartment building (R-2 use) adjacent to a single family home (R-1 or R-2 use), but if that apartment building would want to expand across that line, they would need to go through public hearings at the Plan Commission and then at the Town Council in order to rezone the property to R-2. This can be a tedious process and with the required advertising and required number of meetings generally takes 4-6 months.
At the Culver BZA meeting on September 18, 2008 there was a variance request for expanding a nonconforming use. The request was to allow an existing two car garage to be expanded to a three car garage. This was an old garage that sat across the setback lines. There was no doubt that the the existing structure should be replaced. The expansion of the nonconforming use in and of itself wasn’t a big deal, but in the overall big picture, it was not only a structure issue, but an impervious surface issue.
Just two days earlier at the Culver Plan Commission meeting, there was discussion regarding the poor condition of the storm sewers in Culver and their inadequacies. That was regarding another section of town that has poor drainage and another project that was adding impervious surface. Even if the solution of adding new and larger storm sewers to correct these issues was economically feasible, it wouldn’t be environmentally appropriate.
On Tuesday, August 19th, Mr. Gary Aker introduced his plans for Maxinkuckee Village to the Culver Plan Commission. He was assisted by Mr. Allen Collins of CMD Construction and his Attorney, Mr. Fred Jones. This was the first trial of Culver’s revised PUD ordinance. The ordinance was revised last year to add a preliminary concept review by the commission to determine if the developer was on the right track or if the commission had fundimental issues with the proposed development. There are still quite a few requirements at this stage including a site plan, topography map, boundary survey and proof of financial capacity. I watched this with interest as it should be a precursor of what happens with the Sand Hill Farm PUD I am considering.
A few months back a group of Culver’s Realtors visited the Plan Commission at a regular meeting. They had concerns regarding the sign section of the Zoning Ordinance and how it was being administered. Most of the administration concerns were that, after years of lax enforcement, our current Building Commissioner has stepped up to the plate and is enforcing the rules that have been on the books for years… as he should. I’m always frustrated that those of us that follow the rules are put at a disadvantage by those that ignore the rules because there are no consequences.
Easterday Construction Co., Inc. has supported little league in Culver for about as long as there has been little league in Culver. We’re proud to do our small part as sponsors of this local endeavor. It’s a wonderful way for kids to learn a skill, learn teamwork and sportsmanship. And this year, we were even able to get the “Easterday Green” as the shirt colors!
Update: I asked Francis Ellert of Coca-Cola, Plymouth if he could get me names of players. Francis is very involved in the Culver Little League program. He gave me the following list of names, though he couched this with, “Some teams made trades and didn’t notify us.” If anyone can give me a line-up in the picture, I’d appreciate it!
Coach: Chris Stevens; Assistant Coach: Tammy Shedrow
Players: Natalie Stevens, Ethan Coyle, Shane Stevens, Madison Shedrow, Oliver Lampton-Adkins, Zachary Culver and Brendan Brown