Vacation of public ways and platted easements shall comply with I.C. 36-7-3 and this section.
   A.   Persons who own any lots or parts of lots and want to vacate all or part of a public way, public place, or platted easements in or contiguous to those lots or parts of lots, may file a petition for vacation with the Common Council if all or any part of the public way, public place, or platted easement to be vacated is located within Columbia City.  Vacation of public ways and platted easements in the two-mile jurisdictional area must be filed with the Whitley County Commissioners in accordance with county policy.
   B.   The petition must:
      1.   State the circumstances of the case;
      2.   Specifically describe the property proposed to be vacated; and
      3.   Give the names and addresses of all owners of land that abuts the property proposed to be vacated.
   C.   The Common Council shall hold a hearing on the petition within 30 days after it is received.  The City Clerk-Treasurer shall see that notice of the petition and of the time and place of the hearing is given: 1) in the manner prescribed in I.C. 5-3-1; and 2) by certified mail to each owner of land that abuts the property proposed to be vacated.  The petitioner shall be responsible for providing this notice.  Utility companies shall also be notified of any vacation of easement.
   D.   The hearing on the petition is subject to I.C. 5-14-1.5.  At the hearing, any person aggrieved by the proposed vacation may object to it as provided by § 6.05 of this ordinance.
   E.   After the hearing on the petition, the Common Council may, by ordinance, vacate the public way, public place or platted easements. The City Clerk-Treasurer shall retain a copy and shall furnish a copy of each vacation ordinance to the County Recorder for recording and to the County Auditor.
   F.   Within 30 days after the adoption of a vacation ordinance, any aggrieved person may appeal the ordinance to the Circuit Court of the county.  The Court shall try the matter and may award damages.
   G.   Notwithstanding this section, vacation proceedings do not deprive a public utility of the use of all or part of a public way or public place to be vacated, if, at the time the proceedings are instituted, the utility is occupying and using all or part of that public way or public place for the location and operation of its facilities.  However, the utility may waive its rights under this subsection by filing its written consent in the vacation proceedings.
(1980 Code, Ch. 154, § 6.04)  (Ord. 2001-4, passed 3-27-2001)