(A)   Description. A vacation of public right-of-way or vacation of section line highway is used to eliminate public rights-of-way that are no longer needed for public improvements or access. The vacation requires the approval of a resolution by the Board of Commissioners including a vacation instrument showing the area to be vacated. For vacation of section line highways, this section only applies to section line highways located within the incorporated city limits.
   (B)   Application. The owner or the designated agent shall submit an application which includes the legal description of the property for which the vacation is requested and which is signed by the property owner, along with a vacation instrument marked “Exhibit A” prepared by a licensed professional land surveyor. The vacation instrument shall include the book and page number of the original plat dedicating the public right-of-way, if applicable. A petition for right-of-way vacation or vacation of section line highway must be signed by property owners whose property adjoins that part of the street, alley, or public ground to be vacated and the property owners’ signatures must be notarized. The applicant shall send out utility letters and the vacation instrument to all utility companies in order to determine the impact of the proposed vacation on utilities. The utility companies are notified within the letter that they are to reply directly to the Planning Official.
   (C)   Process. Upon receipt of a complete application, vacation instrument, applicable fees, and responses from the utility companies, the Planning Official shall prepare a resolution and provide all information to the Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission shall review the resolution and forward a recommendation to approve or deny the vacation of public right-of-way or section line request to the Board of Commissioners within 30 days of receipt of the application. The resolution is then set for hearing at the following Board of Commissioners meeting with formal action being taken at the next regularly scheduled meeting (approximately 30 days after Planning Commission). The vacation of public right-of-way or section line petition is a public hearing requiring publication of legal notice once each week for at least two successive weeks with the Board of Commissioners taking formal action on the petition not less than ten days from expiration of such publication. Following approval by the Board of Commissioners, the resolution and vacation instrument shall be recorded at the appropriate county’s office of Register of Deeds.
   (D)   Approval criteria. The Planning Commission shall recommend and the Board of Commissioners shall approve the vacation of public right-of-way or section line provided the exhibit and supporting documents comply with the following approval criteria.
      (1)   The vacation serves the interest of the city by removing maintenance or liability risks.
      (2)   The property interest being vacated is no longer necessary for city operations.
      (3)   The land to be vacated is no longer necessary for the public use and convenience.
      (4)   The vacation will not create any landlocked properties.
      (5)   The vacation will not render access to any parcel unreasonable.
      (6)   The vacation will not reduce the quality of public services to any parcel of land.
   (E)   Ownership and zoning of vacated land. As of the effective date of the vacation, the land underlying the vacated right-of-way or section line shall be divided equally and attached to the adjacent property, with ownership of the vacated land being assumed by the adjacent property owner, and the zoning of the land underlying the vacated right-of-way or section line shall be designated to conform to the zoning of the land to which the vacated land attaches without further action. When possible, the vacated land should be replatted by the landowner receiving the vacated land in order to create a larger usable piece of land.
(Ord. #115, passed 2-16-2017)