Tuesday, January 30, 2024
City Planning, Zoning Appeals Boards Review Annual Report, Receive Training
Joanne Bowen, who served on the Shelbyville Plan Commission from 2012 to 2023, is recognized with a plaque for her service last night by city plan director Adam Rude. Bowen was also on the common council. She confessed before the presentation she had taken a peek at the plaque while it was in production at her business, Sharp Trophies by Mack. Also recognized, but not in attendance, was former plan commission member Ben Hall.
by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS
A joint meeting of the Shelbyville Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals last night included a relevant and interesting half-hour review of 2023. The following hour-and-45-minute training presentation was also relevant and interesting, at least to the demographic in the room, which included a majority of common council members.
The Shelbyville Planning and Building Department’s 2023 annual report was released yesterday, and plan director Adam Rude covered the highlights.
New housing unit permits issued and total construction costs in Shelbyville were down in 2023 compared to 2022, but some of that was due to the anomaly of The Mill apartment development on North Harrison St. issuing all of their permits at the end of 2022. “We still saw a small decline, even as you take that out,” Rude said. “I believe that’s from a number of neighborhoods that finished a section, and then were building the infrastructure for a second section.” There were 30 new single-family residential permits issued in 2019, which increased to 47 in 2020, 84 in 2021, a high of 103 in 2022 and back to 52 last year. Factoring in 13 mobile homes constructed, there were 65 total housing units permitted in 2023. Trends for construction costs have naturally followed the number of permits, with $46 million in total construction in the city last year, combining residential, commercial and industrial development.
The planning department anticipates residential construction to remain steady this year as builders continue to build on lots already permitted. “The last few years we’ve only had two or maybe three neighborhoods building homes at any one time,” Rude said. As those developers reached the end of a section, they built out infrastructure, causing a several months’ delay in pulling new home permits. “Now, by about the middle of (2024), we’ll have six neighborhoods, six different builders, all going at once. So there will be less ebb and flow, and we should have a more constant stream of progress.”
In response to a question from The Addison Times, Rude said the Marriott-branded hotels, a Fairfield Inn & Suites and a Townplace Suites, planned for 2235 Marketplace Blvd., in the vicinity of First Merchants Bank and Jimmy John’s, are moving forward. The developer recently finalized plans, and construction is expected this year.
The department investigated 952 code violations last year, finding 517 violations. The average case was closed in 14 days, a two-day improvement from 2022. A city map showing each code enforcement case and category is available here. “The vast majority of cases that we deal with are either overgrown grass or trash and debris,” Rude said.
The registration of each rental property in Shelbyville, a program that began in 2021, continues, with 392 rental properties owned by 42 different landlords documented in 2023. Not all landlords have registered their properties, but the department continues to monitor the matter, with 41 more properties and 15 new landlords on the list compared to 2022. A city map showing registered rental properties is available here.
The following lists housing permits pulled, as of the end of 2023, compared to the total number of housing units approved in various new developments: 18 permits issued of 175 units in Bear Run; 11 of 30 in Clearview Section 8B; 2 of 13 in Hamilton Major; 0 of 249 in Isabelle Farms; 0 of 73 in Stratford Place; 65 of 188 in Summerfield; 168 of 168 at The Point at Central Park; 24 of 24 in Trotters Chase; 1 of 148 in Twelve Oaks (Phase II); and 131 of 131 in Twin Lakes.
The Shelbyville Police Department was dispatched yesterday to 203 West Mechanic Street, where they found a deceased man, identified as Eric Dickmann, 75. “At this time the investigation is ongoing and we do not know the manner or cause of Mr. Dickman’s death. We will be requesting an autopsy be conducted in this case,” Lt. Michael Turner said in a media release. Although additional information will be released when available, Turner said police do not believe the public is in danger, calling it “an isolated incident.” Anyone with information on the death should contact the Shelbyville Police Department Investigations Division.
Burglary was reported in the 800 block of Meridian St., Shelbyville.
HOOSIER NEWS: A truck hauling zebras and camels for a series of weekend circus performances caught fire early Saturday on a northeastern Indiana highway, prompting a police rescue of the animals, which roamed along the freeway, some munching on grass. The tractor-trailer caught fire about 2 a.m. along Interstate 69 in Grant County and a state trooper, a Grant County Sheriff’s deputy and a third person rescued the five zebras, four camels and a miniature horse by leading them off the smoked-filled trailer. (Indiana Public Media)
NATIONAL NEWS: The average bill for the repair of an American vehicle is $4,437, and for an electric vehicle that is up to $6,618, about 49 percent higher. Collision insurance claims have increased 64 percent between 2018 and 2022, fueled by increasingly sophisticated cars and more complicated things that need to get fixed when they get broken. No longer are we just hammering out dents, but rather we’re taking computers out of the car and fixing it. (Bloomberg)
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This Day in Shelby County History
2014: Shelby County’s ranking in the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program rose to 61st out of Indiana’s 92 counties, up from 77th in 2012. (Note: Shelby County has since moved up to 45th, according to the 2023 report.)
2004: The Morristown Town Council discussed adding an assistant clerk-treasurer position. When the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had occurred, Clerk-Treasurer Don Roberts was vacationing in Europe. Since he was the only one who knew how to do the town’s payroll, there was concern, because of travel restrictions, he would not get back in time to write paychecks for the town’s employees. Roberts made it back, but said a back-up was a good idea. Plus, Roberts, 62, said, “I’m not getting any younger.”
1994: Former state adjutant general and Shelbyville mayor, retired Maj. Gen. John S. Anderson, 74, 679 Brentwood Drive, died. The 1937 Shelbyville High School graduate was mayor from 1956 to 1961. He was a Democrat. He served one year of his second term as mayor before being picked by former Indiana Gov. Matthew Welsh to head the state’s military forces. Anderson had served in World War II and was a parachute officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. Anderson’s administration was credited with building the Shelbyville Wastewater Treatment Plant.
1984: The Bears Den opened for the season. Although most drive-in restaurants operated only during summer months, the local Bears Den drive-in had been breaking tradition the past few seasons, despite opening in freezing temperatures. “Curbgirl” Melissa Campbell, 18, told The Shelbyville News, “You have to be careful not to fall on the ice when you’re taking food out to the cars.” The restaurant owners said they opened early because business was usually swift then.
1974: A W. Broadway teenager was charged with reckless driving after he drove his truck into an unmarked city police car on W. Franklin St. The unmarked car was used by Police Chief Robert Williams. The car was knocked into Williams’ yard and a light pole.
McDonald’s purchased land that was part of the former Skyline Drive-in Theater on State Road 44. Company officials said they planned to begin construction in April and hoped to be open for business in the summer. The other part of the former Skyline property, whose facility had been razed, was purchased by Don Siebert for expansion of the Siebert Oldsmobile-Datsun agency.
1964: Gene Asher purchased the Texaco station at Vine and Broadway.
William Mohler, St. Paul town board president, said the town “has been overrun with stray dogs,” and asked that owners keep pets on a leash.
Two members of Indiana’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Robert “Fuzzy” Vandivier and Homer Stonebraker, attended the Shelbyville Elk’s Club’s Sports Celebrity Night Stag party. Nate Kaufman and Ralph Scofield were in charge of the event.
1954: Shelby County Sheriff Bob Meltzer secured “Slow” signs to be placed near county schools. The signs, featuring a police figure with upraised right hand and the wording “Slow - School Zone” in black and yellow, were paid for by the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Meryl McCabe, sales manager for Coca-Cola, and John Mohr, Waldron citizen interested in safety, helped secure the signs.
1944: Walter Beck was named new president of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, succeeding Bertie Anderson. Other officers were Hubert Thomas, Harold Buxton, Fred Deitzer, Major Jester, George Parker, Chester Sandman and Leo Gutting.
Square dancing and round dancing would be held every Saturday night at Labor Temple, 31 1/2 Public Square, management announced. “Best conditioned floor - Good caller,” an ad said.
1934: Richard Reed, of East Hendricks St., had found enough gold in a Shelby County stream to net him $73 in cash. His gold tested 99.96 pure at a Cleveland laboratory. Reed would not reveal the location of his find.
The Republican reported that Mrs. John Johnson and Mrs. Fred Stephan “slept fitfully” recently, believing they had narrowly avoided being kidnapped. “It seems that Mrs. Johnson, on preparing to leave a party which she and others had attended, expressed a fear of going home accompanied only by Mrs. Stephan,” the paper said. Accordingly, Mrs. Sigler informed Mrs. Johnson she would follow her car, but Mrs. Johnson misunderstood. “So, when she and Mrs. Stephan saw a car following them, speeding up when they did, they became alarmed. They speeded up and, it is understood, took the corner of Tompkins Street into Broadway on two wheels, with Mrs. Stephan standing up in the back of the car observing the progress of the pursuers and apparently urging Mrs. Johnson to yet greater efforts of speed.” Mrs. Sigler then realized what was going on, and kept up the chase for fun.
1924: The Fairland High School basketball team and coach were arrested in Franklin and jailed on charges of stealing a number of “automobile robes” after a game. (A robe was apparently a garment to protect drivers from cold and dirt associated with open-air vehicles.) They were arrested on their way home and jailed, but were released at 1 a.m. on a promise they would return for court. “It is said that the coach and driver had knowledge of the act and are being condemned more for the act than the boys,” The Republican said. “The occurrence is very much regretted by Union Township people generally.” Those part of the heist were Earl Williams, John Markland, Garfield Poland, Morris Lindville, Milton Parkhurst and Earl Cherry. Jerrol Hasley was coach.
1914: A Cincinnati man was killed by a passenger train on the Pennsylvania lines about one mile east of Ray’s Crossing. Train employees said the man was walking on the track ahead of the train and did not heed the warning of the whistle or of the bell sounded by the engineer.
In a separate incident, a Kentucky man suffered internal injuries when he was struck in the back by a flat car on the New York Central Lines at the Sugar Creek bridge north of Fairland and was knocked into the creek. He was saved by a Greenfield man. The man had been riding the freight train. When the train neared the bridge, it slowed down, and the man thought the train would stop - and given he was freezing cold - he jumped off, running alongside the train seeking an open box car into which he could climb. While running beside the moving car, he was struck in the back by a projection on one of the cars and knocked down the hill into the icy water. Once rescued, he walked to Fairland, and was transported to Shelbyville on a freight train to be treated by Dr. Kennedy.