Extra Territorial Boundary Update (cont.)

Pitchforks and Torches were out at the Council Meeting

The Culver Town Council held a public hearing on the new building permit fees Tuesday evening. As expected, someone had rallied the troops, and there were quite a few people there to protest. The room wasn’t quite filled to capacity, but it was close. There were quite a few contractors present as well as residents living in the extra territorial boundary. Kevin Overmyer, Marshall County Commissioner, was there as well as Chuck DeWitt, Marshall County Building Inspector. Al Eisenhour was there speaking on behalf of the Marshall County Home Builders Association as well. For the most part they echoed the concerns I expressed in my previous post here. Where it took a wild bounce though was when they started comparing permit fees between those proposed in Culver and those proposed in the county. They were listing comparisons where the fees would be double or sometimes quadruple or more for a permit for the same building in the county as opposed to within Culver’s jurisdiction. This appeared to resonate with Commissioner Overmyer. It was fairly clear that he was there to support those in the audience not the Town of Culver. This concerns me because it is my understanding that Culver’s extra territorial boundary is administered by Culver at the discretion of Marshall County.  It could be rescinded. It appears that instead of taking steps to expand our extra territorial boundary for which I have lobbied, Culver is now in a position of potentially losing what they have.

The crowd last night was mainly from the farm community. Understandably, their concerns will resonate with the county commissioners. At this point I think it’s time for the lake community to step up. In my opinion this is an issue that the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Fund should weigh in on. LMEF/C has worked for years to strengthen the Culver Zoning Ordinance to assure protection of the lake. More than half of the lake is outside of town, thus within the extra territorial boundary. If this area reverts to county control it will be subject to the county ordinance not Culver’s. The county’s ordinance is much weaker on lake protection.  Many of the battles over lake protection that have been won in Culver would have to be refought at the county level. It is unclear whether the other lake communities in Marshall County would want to follow Lake Maxinkuckee’s lead in this, so just asking for the additional protections doesn’t mean they would be forthcoming.

In regards to the lake residents, they have often complained about dealing with permitting, zoning, and BZA requirements in Culver, but at least they have some local representation in Culver. It is likely that any representation at the county level would be reduced to one representative from the township. In my opinion it is unlikely that a county wide board would give them anything approaching the consideration that the local boards have provided in the past.

As the Chinese Curse(?) goes, “may you live in interesting times”. It would appear that we are in for some interesting times revolving around this issue…

Comic Source:  kristanhiggins.com

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