Planning and Zoning Strategies for Protecting Indiana’s Farmland

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  • Planning and Zoning Strategies for Protecting Indianas Farmland
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  • Brad Buening Planning degreeBSU 15 yearslocal government Land Use Specialist, IFB Bridge gap between political/ag Local Planning
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  • Initial charge Work with ISDA Research existing ag ordinances Compile list Create model zoning ordinances Allow locals to pick and choose
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  • Local Planning Not self-proclaimed expert Work experience in planning/local govt Agriculture background Opportunity to visit and review local ord
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  • Local Planning Visited counties with P & Z Reviewed approx. 30 proposed ordinances Have seen the good, bad, and ugly of zoning
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  • Local Planning The counties that are proactive are working 70% of job has been reactive, but effective
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  • Local Planning Quick refresher course on Indiana Zoning
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  • Local Planning Types of Plan Commissions Metro (1) Area (32) Advisory (46) None (13)
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  • Local Planning Zoning Ordinance Actual law/enforceable Various zoning districts (ag, res, com,ind) Permitted by rightNo public hearings Special exceptionmeet specific criteria Developmental standards (setbacks, coverage, density, height, or area)
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  • Local Planning Local Government Process Zoning districts are created Residential Commercial Agricultural Industrial Open space
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  • Local Planning Local Government Process Uses are pigeon-holed in districts K.I.S.S. may not apply Ethanol plant Bio-diesel plant Better separation needed Need sub-districts Residential is good example
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  • Local Planning Local Government Process Special exceptions are created Unique uses Not needed if sub-districts are created
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  • Local Planning Local Government Process Developmental Standards established Setbacks (front, side, rear) Height Area Density
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  • Local Planning Local Government Process Public Hearings Petition Advertise Notify Hearing Adopt Record
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  • Local Planning Planning and Zoning Issues (that I see) Farm vs. Non-farm conflicts Burden on farmer vs. residents SE for farmer (backwards) Agricultural clausefor homes in ag area Livelihood vs. recreational (choice)
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  • Local Planning I want to keep ag uses from SE (BZA) Emotional Time consuming Expensive Based on subjective criteria Noise, odor, property values, water usage Hard to measure, expensive, staff, time Ag zones should allow Ag uses
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  • Local Planning What is AG land? A nything G oes Agriculture
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  • Local Planning Model Zoning Ordinance Not one size fits all concept Sliding-scale development (2 versions) Multiple agricultural districts Farm preservation Other methods being used
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  • Local Planning Researched several zoning concepts Reviewed pros and cons Created hybrids by combining concepts
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  • Local Planning Sliding-scale (version I) Larger lots are allowed more development Larger remainder for viable farmland Residential (2ac max) Ag clause Contiguous to one another
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  • Local Planning Sliding Scale Lot AreaMax. # allowed Up to 20 ac1 20-40 ac2 40-80 ac3 80-160 ac4
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  • Local Planning
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  • If you add language that say contiguous
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  • Local Planning
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  • Sliding-scale (version II) Target smaller tracts Under 20 acres (already ruined) These tracts can be subdivided aggressively Residential (2ac max) Ag clause Contiguous to one another
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  • Local Planning These lots were created by earlier methods Counties thought 15-20 ac would preserve It only converted faster
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  • Local Planning 20-acre minimum Does not work Drives price/acre up Takes land out of production faster Leaves weeds and mess Farmer wont come in for 10-12 acres Max acreage works better
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  • Local Planning
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  • 3 highlighted lots could net 9-10 lots Reduced pressure from viable farmland Allowed housing in country setting Made the best of a bad situation
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  • Local Planning Another hybrid would be a flat rate Allow X # of splits for each parent tract Can incorporate ag clause/contiguous Can control amount of growth
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  • Local Planning Multiple agricultural districts Row crop farming (A-1) CAFO/CFO (A-2) Agri-business (A-3) Residential-ag (A-4) Ag park (A-5)
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  • Local Planning Reduce land use conflicts; Maintain property rights; Efficient use of infrastructure
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  • Local Planning Another simple variation is an A-2 Housing only on small lot (2ac max) Need rezone/SE Prove to APC/BZA wont harm A-1 Personally did this last week Point system Land use, density, soil types, etc.
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  • Local Planning Farm preservation PDR/TDR/LDR Infill incentives Mitigation (developers 2:1) Cluster development Conservation easements (vol) Bargain Sale
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  • Local Planning PDR/TDR/LDR Great theory Farmer gets 401K Young farmer able to purchase at farm rate Infrastructure not taxed Control growth areas Hard to track administratively GIS makes it easier
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  • Local Planning Infill incentive Tax abatement on skipped over land Higher densities Adjacent to infrastructure Lessen pressure on farm land
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  • Local Planning Developer mitigation Incentivizing development near city Penalize for hop-scotching around Trip-generation causing pollution Closer, less pollution Put a monetary figure to it
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  • Local Planning Cluster development (Open Space) Keeping adjacent/contiguous Not hop-scotching Higher density Preserve farm land Sensitive area
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  • Conservation easements Voluntary action by land owner Preserves in perpetuity Tax incentive Young farmer encouragement Long runcreate larger tracts
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  • Local Planning Bargain sales Selling land below fair market value Difference is charitable contribution Great way to initiate a land trust
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  • Local Planning Other options Ag clause BMP/additional DS Point system Fences, septics, wells, mailboxes, driveways,
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  • Local Planning Most of these options are still just band-aids Multiple zones & TDR/PDR are broader Separate land uses Longevity (create trends) Others will face again with more houses/CAFO
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  • Local Planning Local flavor and politics will determine: What to use When to use it Where to use it How to use it
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  • Local Planning Biggest concern: Multiple zone adoption No new zones created Have to rezone 1 by 1
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  • Local Planning Glad to review wording Assist in ordinance revisions Compile other county language
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  • Local Planning Brad Buening Land Use Specialist 317.692.7886 office 317.460.3785 cell bbuening@infarmbureau.org