Construction Distance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aldermen consider rules for construction distance

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville city officials at a public hearing during their first February meeting Feb. 1 took under advisement the adoption of a zoning ordinance amendment that requires construction to be at a specific distance from ditches and creeks.

The mayor and aldermen had considered requiring construction to be located at least 75 feet from water courses. Alderman Bill Dugger had urged city action to prevent a repeat of problems such as homeowners along Oak Lane have experienced as runoff from the Sand Creek watershed erodes ditch banks near their homes.

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“I feel like if a person buys a piece of property to build a house and there’s a ditch there —  I know Mr. Dugger wanted to make sure that we have something that shows that they know that there’s a ditch there — what better than to require them to have their own engineer advise them and prepare their plot plan and their elevation and how far they should be off that ditch,” Code Administrator Pam Comer said.

“That would be putting it on the property owner’s engineer,” she added.

“I’m in agreement with Pam,” said assistant city engineer Keith Quick of Mendrop-Wages Engineering. “I think it needs to be looked at on an individual basis.”

Quick said also that the new Federal Emergency Management Agency maps could result in designation of creekside properties as “Floodway,” which would give the city code office another means to restrict construction along creek banks.

In other code-office-related business:

•Aldermen postponed a cleanup hearing for property at 882 Highway 6 West after learning that one of the owners had been hospitalized.

•A cleanup hearing was set for Stage Coach Gap mobile home park.