§ 170.11   SUBDIVISIONS
   (A)   Generally.
      1.   Title. These regulations shall be known and cited as the Subdivision Regulations of the Town of Goodland , Goodland, Indiana.
      2.   Authority. These regulations are authorized by Indiana Code 36-7-4-101, et. seq., as amended.
      3.   Policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Town of Goodland to consider the subdivision of land and the subsequent development of the subdivided plat as subject to the control of the Town of Goodland pursuant to the official comprehensive plan of the Town of Goodland for the orderly, planned, efficient, and economical development of the Town of Goodland.
      Land to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood, or other menace, and land shall not be subdivided until proper provision has been made for drainage, water, sewerage, recreation facilities, and other elements of a viable community infrastructure.
      The existing and proposed public improvements shall conform to and be properly related to the proposals of the comprehensive plan, and the capital budget and program of the Town of Goodland.
      4.   Purposes. The purposes of these regulations are to protect and promote the public health, safety, and general welfare, and to provide for:
         a.   Guidance of future growth and development in accordance with the comprehensive planning process:
         b.   Adequate air, light, and privacy due to prevent overcrowding of the land and undue congestion.
         c.   Protection of the character and the social and economic stability of all parts of the area, and the encouragement of orderly and beneficial development of all parts.
         d.   Protection and conservation of the value of land, buildings, and other improvements upon the land, and to minimize conflicts among uses of land and building.
         e.   Guidance of public and private policy and action in order to assure adequate and efficient transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, drainage, and other public requirements and facilities.
         f.   Avoidance of scattered and uncontrolled subdivision of land that would result in the unnecessary imposition of and excessive   expenditure of public funds for the supply of services that are a part of community infrastructure.
         g.   Establishment of reasonable standards of design and minimum requirements for the creation, installation, and improvement of physical facilities which are, or will be, maintained for the benefit of general public.
         h.   Establishment of reasonable standards and procedures for subdivisions and resubdivisions, in order to further the orderly layout and use of land; and to insure proper legal descriptions and monumenting of subdivided land.
         i.   Prevention of the pollution of air and water; provision of drainage facilities and the safeguarding of the water table; and the encouragement of wise use and management of natural resources in order to preserve the integrity, stability, natural beauty and topography, and the value of the land.
         j.   Administration of these regulations by defining the powers and duties of approval authorities; and the manner and form of making, filling and processing of any plat.
      5.   Jurisdiction. These subdivision regulations shall apply to all subdivisions of land, as defined herein, located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town of Goodland. No land shall be subdivided within these boundaries until:
         a.   The subdivider or his agent shall submit a sketch of parcel to the Building Commissioner;
         b.   Approval of the preliminary and final plats are obtained from the Commission; and
         c.   The approved plat is filed with the County Recorder.
      6.   Interpretation. All subdivisions as defined herein shall comply with the provisions of these regulations. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of these regulations shall be held to be the minimum requirements. These regulations shall supplement all other regulations, and where at variance with other laws, regulations, ordinances, or resolutions; the more restrictive requirements shall apply.
      7.   Combining of Permits. The Commission is hereby required to coordinate the issuance of permits with other departments and agencies which may be required by these subdivision regulations as well as previously or subsequently adopted ordinances or regulations.
      8.   Amendments. For the purpose of protecting and promoting public health, safety, and general welfare, the Plan Commission may, from time to time, amend the provisions imposed by these regulations.
   Public hearings on all proposed amendments shall be held by the Plan Commission, except for minor changes, in which case the Commission shall use its own discretion.
   (B)   Resubdivision (Replat)
      1.   For any change in a map of an approved or recorded subdivision plat, if such change affects any street layout shown on such map, or area reserved thereon for public use, or any lot line, or if it affects any map or plan legally recorded prior to the adoption of any regulations controlling subdivision, such parcel shall be approved by the Plan Commission by the same procedure, rules, and regulations as for a subdivision.
      2.   Whenever a parcel of land is subdivided and the subdivision plat shows one or more lots containing more than one (1) acre of land and there are indications that such lots will eventually be resubdivided, the Plan Commission may require that such parcel of land allow for the future opening of streets and the ultimate extension of adjacent streets. Easements providing for the future opening and extension of such streets may be made a requirement of the plat.
   (C)   Vacation
      1.   Any plat or any part of any plat may be vacated by the owner of the premises, at any time before the sale of any lot herein, by a written instrument, to which a copy of such plat shall be attached, declaring the same to be vacated.
      2.   Such an instrument shall be approved by the Plan Commission in like manner as plats of subdivisions. The Town Council may reject any such instrument which abridges or destroys any public rights in any of its public uses, improvements, streets, or alleys.
      3.   Such an instrument shall be executed, acknowledged or approved, and recorded or filed, in like manner as plats of subdivisions; and being duly recorded or filed shall operate to destroy the force and effect of the recording of the plat so vacated, and to divest all public rights in the streets, alleys, and public grounds, and all dedications laid out or described in such plat.
      4.   When lots have been sold, the plat may be vacated in the manner herein provided by all the owners of lots in such plat joining in the execution of such writing.
   (D)   Variances
      1.   Where the Plan Commission finds that extraordinary hardships or practical difficulties may result from strict compliance with these regulations and/or the purposes of these regulations may be served to a greater extent by an alternative proposal, it may approve variances to these subdivision regulations so that substantial justice may be done and the public interest secured, provided that such variance shall not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of these regulations; and further provided the Plan Commission shall not approve variances unless it shall make findings based upon the evidence presented to it in each specific case that:
         a.   The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public safety, health, or welfare, or injurious to other property.
         b.   The conditions upon which the request for a variance is based are unique to the property for which the variance is sought and are not applicable generally to other property.
         c.   Because of the particular physical surrounding, shape, or topographical conditions of the specific property involved, a particular hardship to the owner would result, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, if the strict letter of these regulations are carried out. Financial hardship does not constitute grounds for a variance.
         d.   The variance will not in any manner vary the provisions of the Zoning Article, Comprehensive or Master Plan, or Thoroughfare of Major Street Plan.
         e.   Where the variance impacts on design and construction of public facilities, all appropriate public agencies shall be given ample time to comment in writing to the Commission.
      2.    In approving variances, the Plan Commission may require such conditions as well, in its judgement, secure substantially the objectives of the standards or requirements of these regulations.
      3.   A petition for any such variance shall be submitted in writing by the subdivider at the time when the preliminary plat is filed with the Building Commissioner. The petition shall state fully the ground for the application and all the facts relied upon by the petitioner.
   (E)   Appeals. Any person or aggrieved party who appeared in person or writing before the Commission including the subdivider may appeal in writing the decision of the Commission relative to the final action taken by the Commission.   Such appeal shall be submitted to the Circuit Court within thirty (30) days from such Commission action.
   (F)   Subdivision Application and Approval Procedure
      1.   Any person desiring to create a subdivision as herein defined shall submit all necessary applications to the Building Commissioner.
      2.   No contract shall be made for the sale of any part of the subdivision and no improvement of building shall be made on the property, until the subdivider applies for, and secures approval of, such proposed subdivision in accordance with the procedures set forth. No final plat shall be filed with the County Recorder until the plat has been acted upon and approved by the Plan Commission.
      3.   For the purpose of these subdivision regulations, the date of the regular monthly meeting of the Commission at which the public hearing on final approval of the subdivision plat is closed shall constitute the official submittal date of the plat at which the statutory period required for formal approval or disapproval of the plat shall commence to run.
   (G)   Sketch Plat. Pre-Platting Conference. Before preparing the preliminary plat for a subdivision, the application should discuss with the Building Commissioner the procedure for adoption of a subdivision plat and the requirements as to general layout of streets and for reservations of land, street improvements, drainage, sewerage, fire protection, and similar matters, as well as the availability of existing service. The Building Commissioner shall also advise the applicant, where appropriate, to discuss the proposed subdivision with those officials who must eventually approve these aspects of the subdivision plat coming within their jurisdiction. The applicant has the option to request a conference with the Commission, also, but not for the purpose of overriding the Building Commissioner. This action may not require application, but notification should provide sufficient time for the matter to be placed on the agenda.
   (H)   Preliminary Plat
      1.   Application. The subdivider shall file an application with the Building Commissioner for approval of the preliminary plat. The application shall:
         a.   Be made in duplicate and presented at least four (4) weeks prior to a regular meeting of the Commission.
         b.   Be made on forms available at the office of the Building Commissioner.
         c.   Be accompanied by a fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) plus $5.00 per lot.
         d.   Include all land which the applicant proposed to subdivide and all land immediately adjacent extending one hundred (100) feet therefrom, or of that directly opposite thereto, extending one hundred (100) feet from the street frontage of such opposite land, with the names of the owners as shown in the Assessor's files. This information may be shown on a separate current plat reproduction from the Auditor's Office showing the subdivision superimposed thereon.
         e.   Be accompanied by a minimum of six (6) copies of the preliminary plat as described in these regulations.
         f.   Be accompanied by a minimum of three (3) copies of construction plans, as described in these regulations.
         g.   The Building Commissioner shall review the proposed preliminary plat and construction plans and submit a report, in writing, to the Plan Commission at the time of the next regular meeting of the Commission.
      2.   Notice of Public Hearing. Upon receipt of formal application and all accompanying material, the Building Commissioner shall:
         a.   Request a public hearing for the next scheduled meeting of the Plan Commission to be held no less than two (2) weeks after the date of the application.
         b.   Submit a notice for publication in one (1) newspaper of general circulation to be published at least fifteen (15) days prior to the public hearing and mail notice to all property owners. At the time of the public hearing, the applicant shall submit an affidavit stating that he has notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, each adjacent or opposite owner of property as indicated on the application for subdivision approval, at least ten (10) days prior to the public hearing.
      3.    Preliminary approval. After the Plan Commission has reviewed the preliminary plat, construction plans, reports received from the Building Commissioner and other agencies, and heard testimony submitted at the public hearing, the applicant shall be advised of any required additions. The Commission shall approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the preliminary plat within forty-five (45) days after the date of the regular meeting of the Commission at which the public hearing on preliminary approval, including adjourned date thereof, is closed. The Building Commissioner shall return one (1) copy of the proposed preliminary plat and construction plans to the developer with the date of approval, conditional approval, or disapproval, and the reasons therefore, in writing, accompanying the plat.
      4.   Public improvements. The subdivider shall be responsible in accordance with this Chapter and specified in the final subdivision plat, and as approved by the Commission to complete all required public improvements within the subdivision.
      In the event a subdivider does not perform, the Town can take legal action whereas the subdivider shall incur all legal costs.
      5.   Effective period of preliminary approval. Unless extended, the approval of a preliminary plat shall be effective for a period of two (2) years at the end of which time final approval on the subdivision must have been obtained and certified by the President and Secretary of the Commission. Any plats not receiving final approval within the period of time set forth herein shall be null and void, and the developer may be required to resubmit a new plat for preliminary approval subject to all new zoning restrictions and subdivision regulations. Upon request of the applicant, the Commission may extend the approval of a preliminary plat in increments of one (1) year beyond an expiration date without further notice and public hearing.
      6.   Zoning Ordinances. Every plat shall conform to existing zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations applicable at the time of final approval, except that any plat which has received preliminary approval shall be exempt from any subsequent amendments to the zoning ordinances rendering the plat nonconforming as to size, shape, or use.
      7.   Grading of site prior to final plat approval. Subsequent to final approval the developer may apply for an earthwork (topsoil and excavation) permit from the Building Commissioner or such other agency as the Goodland Town Council may designate, and upon receipt of such permit may commence construction to the grades and elevations required by the approved preliminary plat.
   (I)   Final Plat
      1.   Discussion of requirements. Following the approval of the preliminary plat of a subdivision, the applicant, if he wishes to proceed with the subdivision, shall file with the Plan Commission an application for final approval of a subdivision plat.
      2.   Application. The application shall:
         a.   Be made in duplicate forms available at the office of the Building Commissioner.
         b.   Be presented to the Building Commissioner at least four (4) weeks prior to a regular meeting of the Commission in order that a final review may be scheduled. The date of the regular meeting of the Commission, including any adjourned date thereof, shall constitute the official submittal date of the plat for the purpose of these regulations.
         c.   Be accompanied by copies of the final plat consisting at a minimum of six (6) paper copies and two (2) copies on tracing cloth, reproducible mylar, or sepia paper. The final plat shall comply in all respects with the sketch plat or preliminary plat as approved.
         d.   Be accompanied by a minimum of three (3) copies of complete final construction plans, as described in these regulations. Should any modification of these plans be made in the actual construction of these improvements, "as built" drawings shall be submitted upon completion.
         e.   Be accompanied by all formal irrevocable offers of dedication to the public of all streets, utilities, parks, easements, and other local government uses, in a form approved by the Plan Commission Attorney.   In addition, the subdivision plat shall be marked with a notation indicating the formal offers of dedication as follows:
      The owner, or his representative, hereby irrevocably offers for dedication to the Town of Goodland all the streets, local government uses, easements, parks and required utilities shown on the subdivision plat and construction plans.
               Signature: _________________________
               Date: _____________________________
         f.   Be accompanied by a full covenant and warranty deed to all lands offered for dedication in proper form for recording, and that all improvements and land included in the irrevocable offer of dedication shall be dedicated to the local government free and clear of all liens and encumbrances on the premises.
         g.   Be accompanied by a deposit in the sum of money equal to the actual cost of material and labor for installation of the sign(s) and according to the construction plans, in which case the street sign(s) shall be installed by the local government. The actual material and labor cost will be determined by the Plan Commission upon consultation with the Town Council.
      3.   Endorsements by other public authorities. The final subdivision plat shall be properly endorsed by the appropriate health and housing authorities to assure the Commission that the plan is in compliance with all rules, regulations, and requirements of local and state authorities.
      4.   After the Commission has taken action by resolution on the final plat, one copy of the final plat shall be returned to the subdivider with the date of approval, conditional approval, or disapproval, noted thereon, and the reasons therefore, in writing accompanying the plat.
      5.   Vested rights. No vested rights shall accrue to any plat by reason of preliminary or final approval until the actual signing of the plat by the President of the Plan Commission and attested by the Secretary.
      All requirements, conditions, or regulations adopted by the Commission applicable to the subdivision, or on any subdivisions generally, shall be deemed a condition for any subdivision prior to the time of the signing of the final plat by the Chairman and attested to by the Secretary.
      Where the Commission has required the installation of improvements prior to signing of the final plat, the Commission shall not unreasonably modify the conditions set forth in the final plat.
      6.   Recording of Plat. The President and Secretary will sign the reproducible mylar, tracing cloth or sepia prints of the subdivision plat and return one (1) copy to the applicant. A signed copy of the construction plans shall also be returned.
      It shall be the responsibility of the subdivider to file the plat with the County Recorder within thirty (30) days of the date of the signature. Simultaneously with the filing of the plat, the subdivider shall record the agreement of dedication together with such legal documents as shall be required to be recorded by the Plan Commission Attorney.