ANGOLA BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
                 MINUTES OF THE JULY 24, 2006 MEETING
         Chairman Brant Moore called the meeting to order.
         Julie Johns-Cole called the roll. Other members present included: Eugene Burd, Larry
Davis, and Tom Spidel.
         Others in attendance were: City Attorney Kim Shoup, City Building Commissioner Dean
Twitchell, Carol Fleming, Cindy Snyder, Steve Woody, Mildred Ireland, Lindi Marti, Melody
Dedler, Tiffany Gordan, Stephanie Murillo, Patricia Alle, Debra Bowers, Barbara Farlin, Jamie
Gundy, Bill Kuhn, Pat Cummings, Allen Cummings, Ron Walter, Jan Meinsfeld, Craig Benson,
James Burns, Jim Burns, Dick Waymire, Lee Ann Snyder, and State Representative Dick Dodge.
         Member Spidel made a motion to accept the minutes from the June 12th, 2006 meeting.
Member Burd seconded the motion. The motion was approved 4-0.
         Chairman Moore reviewed the Rules of Procedure for a BZA meeting.
         Johns-Cole reviewed Case 7-3-06. ERS Telecom Properties is requesting a Special
Exception to be able to construct and maintain a 190’ Guyed Communications Tower to support
Centennial’s wireless network. Communication towers are allowed in M-2 zoning districts with
a Special Exception. The proposed tower would be located at the northwest corner of the
intersection of Wohlert and Weatherhead.
         Steve Woody of ERS Telecom Properties presents additional information. Mr. Woody
begins by saying that Centennial needs more coverage, hence the request for the tower. Three
locations on the tower will be used for public safety. Steve Woody has been in contact with
Cindy Snyder of Steuben County Communications and a written contract for a free lifetime lease
of the tower will be produced.
         The antenna is structured to allow three more carriers. The parcel is 9 acres and Mr.
Woody pointed out the 60% of all 911 calls come from cell phones. Mr. Woody also explains
the intended coverage area and benefits of the tower. The tower will also fulfill future needs.
         Member Burd wanted to know what will come of the rest of the property. Mr. Woody
responded that since only a 200 x 200 foot section is needed, the rest will be divided and sold.
         A question was brought up about the tower falling over. Mr. Woody responded that
present day towers are engineered to fall on itself, in a spiral-like motion. Centennial will have a
small 12 x 15 foot building constructed near the tower.
         Cindy Snyder of 205 S. Martha said the tower will benefit Steuben County in that it will
facilitate the distribution of their tornado warning system, and allow the fire department to utilize
their VHF radio system.
         Mr. Craig Benson of 800 Bluffview Drive acknowledges that he is representing the
Steuben County Board of Aviation Commissioners and will have more to say later in the hearing
during Case 7-4-06.
         Burd wanted to know if ERS had a back-up location, and Mr. Woody responded no.
         Attorney Kim Shoup brought up the fact that the petitioner is required per the City of
Angola, Indiana Ordinances to meet certain criteria. One being that written permission is
required from property owners surrounding the site as far as the tower is high. Attorney Shoup
proceeds to analyze the letter sent by the petitioner to the property owners within 190’ of the
tower. Attorney Shoup regards the letter as acceptable as well as the matter in which it was sent.
Being, by certified mail, return receipt, informing the property owner of the deadline and
supplying the property owner with a self-addressed stamped envelope. However, no letters were
returned, either for or against the request. It was discussed that this could be interpreted that the
property owners were not concerned.
         Johns-Cole read aloud a letter from Bill Gettig of 910 Wohlert Street, who objects to the
        Spidel makes a motion to approve the request contingent that written approval is obtained
from the corresponding property owners within 190 feet.
        Mr. Woody asked the Board if the tower was moved so as to not be within 190 feet of
any adjoining property owners, would the condition still stand. It was decided that if the tower
was moved, and would not be within 190 feet of any adjoining properties, written permission
would not have to be sought.
        Mr. Spidel amends his motion that the request be approved if the tower is moved and is
within 190 feet of adjoining properties.
        Member Burd seconded the motion and the request was approved 4-0. Findings of Fact
were completed.
        Johns-Cole then reviews Case 7-4-06. ERS Telecom Properties would like to construct
and maintain a 190’ Guyed Communications Tower to support Centennial’s wireless network.
Maximum building height in an M-2 zone is 50’.
        Mr. Woody again presents more information on behalf of ERS Telecom Properties,
stating that this height is necessary for the projected coverage that is needed. The tower is
designed to be used by other carriers as well. A minimum of 150 feet is required to be of any
benefit to public safety such as 911, EMS, etc. Space 150 feet and below will be designated for
public safety. Approval is currently being sought by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
and all other approvals will be sought. Since the tower is less than 200 feet, it will not have to be
lit. The nearest airport is west of I-69 and a consultant has reviewed approach patterns and has
stated that it should not be a problem to get approval from the FAA.
        Spidel asked Mr. Woody why they did not want to install a light. Mr. Woody responded
that most Boards do not want a light, but could light it if that were requested.
        Attorney Shoup asked the petitioner if this tower falls under Indiana Code 8-21-10 that
pertains to tall structures. Mr. Woody believed that code only applies to tall structures within so
many nautical miles of an airport, approximately 4 ½ nautical miles. Attorney Shoup continues
to read the code. Mr. Woody said that while applying to the FAA, they will inform the applicant
if additional items will pertain to their tower.
        Attorney Benson, representing the Airport Authority brings attention to Indiana State
Code 8-21-10-7. Certain criteria exist for towers that are above 200 feet or above the established
airport level, whichever is higher. This criterion is valid for towers within 3 nautical miles of an
established reference point and this height increases proportionately. Woolpert, which are
consultants hired by the Steuben County Board of Aviation submitted their recommendation.
Woolpert claims that the tower would be located approximately 3.3 miles east of the future End
of Runway for “R/W 9-27”. Also Woolpert claims that the proposed elevation of the tower
would be 1,224 feet, roughly 29 above the elevation of the airport. Mr. Benson doesn’t feel that
any economic hardship would be realized since the petitioner does not yet own the property. Mr.
Benson said the property could be better utilized for industrial and manufacturing needs. Based
on the information presented, Craig Benson on behalf of the Steuben County Board of Aviation
would like to see this request denied.
        Johns-Cole needed to clarify that the runway in question is only a proposed runway for
the time being. Mr. Benson affirmed that.
        Attorney Shoup said the Board needs to know if this tower falls under Indiana State Code
8-21-10-7, and if so several items are needed before the Board can make a decision. Specifically
the code requires permits and approvals from the Indiana Department of Transportation, the
FAA, and local airport notification. Attorney Shoup does not believe enough information is
present for a decision to be rendered.
        Mr. Woody said that if a tower is beyond an established distance notification does not
need to be served to the local airport.
        Attorney Shoup responds that either way, someone needs to calculate the pitch of the
tower in terms of the runway.
         Again, Attorney Benson cites Indiana Code 8-21-10-7, but Attorney Shoup said it must
first be known if code applies (reference 8-21-10-3) before 8-21-10-7 can be considered.
         Mr. Woody asked if the request could be approved on the condition that the other permits
will be received.
         Attorney Shoup said that since this code is so complicated, he would like to see ERS
Telecom Properties utilize some of its resources and provide more proof of what is required.
This Board is prohibited to act unless it has the authority to act.
         Chairman Moore mentioned that the request could be tabled until further information is
made available. Attorney Shoup agrees.
         Member Burd makes a motion to table Case 7-4-06 until all necessary documents and
information is presented. Member Davis seconds the motion. The motion to table Case 7-4-06
is approved. The motion was approved 4-0.
         A 5-minute break was taken before the next case was heard.
         After the hearing reconvened Johns-Cole reviewed Case 7-5-06. Women In Transition
(WIT) are in the process of purchasing a duplex to utilize as a group home. The home will be
located on South John Street. WIT, a non-profit corporation, is a recovery house in Northeastern
Indiana established for women who want to overcome their addictions to alcohol and drugs.
Group homes are allowed in an R-2 zone with a special exception.
         Lindi Marti of WIT said that they have been in operation for approximately 3 years.
Their desire is to purchase a home now, raise money and then build a different home. Marti
went on to describe the recovering individuals that WIT helps. Police have only had to respond
to a WIT home and that was not because of the residents but because of their former significant
         Member Spidel said he had no issue with this request. Mr. Spidel said he remembers the
request made by the men’s home, 4-County Transitional Living 11 years ago and said they have
caused no problem.
         Member Davis asked how many people would be living in the home. Marti said that
approximately 10 or less women would be living there.
         Member Burd wanted to verify that most of the women don’t drive so parking won’t
become an issue.
         Member Moore verified that no sign would be present, and Marti acknowledged that.
         Chairman Moore opened the hearing to the public. Several people spoke in support of
WIT’s request including, Lee Ann Snyder, owner of the Hair Center, Jim Burns of 215 W.
Maumee, Bill Kuhn of 4-County Transitional Living and State Representative Dick Dodge. The
City Planner also received 16 letters of support from various individuals and organizations. All
will be kept on file.
         Attorney Shoup explains recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are defined as having a
disability under federal law. If the request is to be denied, concrete evidence must be present
that proves that the WIT’s request would in some way be harmful to the surrounding community.
It can not be based on fears, apprehension or objections from the neighbors.
         Chairman Moore requested that Johns-Cole read aloud the authors and affiliations from
the letters of support that she received. No negative letters or comments were received.
         Chairman Moore closes the public hearing and called for a motion. Member Spidel made
a motion to approve the request and Member Burd seconded the motion. Case 7-5-06 was
approved. Findings of fact were completed.

       Being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned.

              _________________________             ________________________

              Brant Moore, Chairman                 Julie Johns-Cole, Secretary

To top