§ 6.02  VACATION OF A PLATTED AREA.
   The owners of land in a plat may vacate all or part of that plat as specified in I.C. 36-7-3 and this section.  All the owners of land to be vacated in the plat must declare the plat or part of the plat to be vacated in a written instrument, and that instrument must be executed, acknowledged, and recorded in the same manner as a deed to land.
   A.   Before offering the instrument for recording under this section, an owner must file a copy of the instrument with the County Auditor and must submit the instrument vacating the plat for the approval of the Commission having subdivision control jurisdiction.  It must be accompanied by a petition which:
      1.   States the reasons for and circumstances prompting the request;
      2.   Specifically describes the property in the plat proposed to be vacated; and
      3.   Gives the name and address of each owner of land in the plat.
The petition may include a request to vacate any recorded covenants or commitments filed as part of the plat.  The covenants or commitments are then also subject to vacation.
   B.   Within 30 days after receipt of a petition for vacation of a plat, the Executive Director shall establish the date for a hearing before the Commission.
      1.   Hearing procedure shall be as established by Commission Rules pursuant to I.C. 36-7-3-11.
      2.   Each owner of land within the plat area may comment on the petition and may object to the vacation as provided in § 6.05 of this ordinance.
      3.   The petitioner shall be responsible for notifying the utility companies serving the area to be vacated.
      4.   The petitioner shall be responsible for providing notice of the hearing.
   C.   After the hearing, the Commission shall approve or deny the petition for vacation.  The Commission shall approve the petition for vacation of all or part of a plat only upon a determination that:
      1.   Conditions in the platted area have changed so as to defeat the original purpose of the plat;
      2.   It is in the public interest to vacate all or part of the plat; and
      3.   The value of that part of the land in the plat not owned by the petitioner will not be diminished by vacation.
   D.   If, after the hearing, the Commission determines that the plat or part of the plat should be vacated, it shall make written findings and a decision approving the petition.  The Commission may impose reasonable conditions as part of its approval.  The decision must be signed by the Executive Director.  The Commission shall furnish a copy of its decision to the County Recorder for recording.
   E.   If, after the hearing, the Commission disapproves the petition for vacation, it shall make written findings that set forth its reasons in a decision denying the petition for vacation and shall provide the petitioner with a copy.  The decision must be signed by the Executive Director.
   F.   The approval, disapproval, or imposition of a condition on the approval of the vacation of all or part of a plat is a final decision of the Commission.  The petitioner or an aggrieved party may seek review of the decision of the Commission as provided by I.C. 36-7-4-1016.
   G.   The County Recorder may record the instrument only if a certificate showing the approval of the vacation by the Commission is attached to it.  If the instrument is not executed and approved as required by this section, it is void.
   H.   An instrument recorded under this section terminates the effect of the plat or part of the plat declared to be vacated, and it also terminates all public rights in the public ways and public places described in the plat or part of the plat.  However, a public way that has been improved, or that is part of an improved plat, may be vacated only in accordance with § 6.04.
   I.   If any platted land is vacated, the descriptions of the lots and parcels of that land shall be preserved as set forth in the plat, with the proportionate parts of vacated streets and alleys added as provided by law, unless all the owners of land in the vacated area consent in writing to the description of the area by: 1) the method used before the plat was made; 2) metes and bounds; or 3) other appropriate description.  However, a vacated tract of five acres or more that is owned by one person, or jointly by two or more persons, need not be described by lot number and may be described by metes and bounds or some other method.
(1980 Code, Ch. 154, § 6.02)  (Ord. 2001-4, passed 3-27-2001)