Planning & Zoning

Fountain County Advisory Plan & Zoning Office

Notice:
Meeting Location
All Advisory Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeal Meetings are held in the Fountain County Commissioners Room at the Fountain County Courthouse, Covington, IN; unless otherwise stated. 6:00 PM

The Advisory Plan Commission is responsible for: issuing building permits, overseeing special exceptions and variances, explaining and enforcing the ordinance, overseeing building projects

                           Zoning Administrator                                                    

                                  Roger Azar                                                         

                                  Roger@des-eng.com                                         

Up Coming Public Hearings/Meetings Date Details

Variance Permit

Nothing @ this time This is for permits that are requesting a Variance From the County Ordinance

Rezone Permit

Nothing @ this time This is for permits that are requesting a zoning classification change to their property

Special Permit

Nothing @ this time

Public Hearing on Ordinance Amendments

TBD - Planned for early 2024

Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan

Apr. 25th  @6:30 p.m. Courthouse

Citizens appearing will have an opportunity to provide comments concerning the proposed Comprehensive Plan.

LOCATION:
Fountain County Courthouse (First Floor)
301 4th Street
Covington, IN  47932

PHONE:
(765) 793-6206

HOURS:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm EST
Closed for major holidays

STAFF:


Roger Azar, Zoning Administrator
roger@deckardes.com

2023 Meeting Dates: 6:00 PM

Thursday, January 25, 2024 Cancelled

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday. June 27, 2024

Thursday, July 25, 2024

Thursday, August 15, 2024

Thursday, September 26, 2024

Thursday, October 24, 2024

Thursday, November 21, 2024 

Thursday, December 19, 2024


Important:

Fountain County is Updating Its Zoning Ordinance.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

The current Fountain County Zoning Code requires a permit to be obtained before any structure may be constructed. Any structure or use that violates the Ordinance could result in a penalty fee. You can review the current County Ordinance online.

The Fountain County Advisory Plan Commission (APC) meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held each month in the Commissioners Meeting Room, at the Fountain County Courthouse, 301 4th St, Covington IN 47932 at 6:00 p.m.              

Once the updates to the Ordinance are finalized, the APC will advertise a Public Hearing Date in the Fountain County Neighbor and on the website. The Public Hearing will be for the draft recommended to the Fountain County Commissioners.

WHO NEEDS TO FILE A PERMIT? 

Anyone who lives outside a municipal area will fall under the County Zoning Code. The Towns of Attica, Covington, Hillsboro, Kingman, Mellott, Newtown, Veedersburg, & Wallace have their own Ordinances and permit processes. Anyone building in these areas should contact their Town Clerks. Any property not connected to a City Sewer must contact the Fountain County Health Department for a Septic Permit. 

Incorporated Areas of Lake Holiday Hideaway must file a permit with the County and the Lake Board.  The Lake has their own Ordinances that are more restrictive than the County. If the County approves your permit but the Lake has ordinances that prevents your improvement, the lake has the right to stop your improvement from being added.  

WHY IS THE COUNTY MAKING THESE CHANGES?

These zoning code updates are intended to be a step toward creating a land development code which will streamline regulations and make development easier for residents and businesses by creating better coordination between zoning code, building code and permitting process.

What Do I Need a Permit For?  

County Ordinance 5.01 Administration Responsibility: No permit shall be issued unless the proposed structure or use of structure or land is in complete conformity with the provisions of the Fountain County Zoning Ordinance. 

  • An Improvement location permit shall be obtained before any structure in the Agricultural, Business, Residential, Landfill, and Industrial zoning districts may be constructed *unless it falls under an exception, see below        
  • If a building permit is required by the County Ordinance, a building permit must be obtained from the appropriate county staff. Nothing in the Ordinance negates the requirements of the County Building Code, rules, regulation, and Ordinances.
  • *Exception - No improvement location permit shall be required for:
    • Routine maintenance, repair, or remodeling of existing structures UNLESS in involves a change of use, or additional lot coverage. 
    • Essential Services
    • Lot and yard improvements such as children's playhouses, drives, fences, concreate patios, decks, play equipment, retaining walls, sidewalks, and landscaping, UNLESS these improvements are on, over, or within ten (10) feet of a septic system or utility easement, then a permit will be required. 
    • A septic permit will be required for all new construction, in areas not serviced by a municipal sewer system. The septic permit must be issued by the Fountain County Department of Health. 
  • All Applications for permits shall be accompanied by a plot plan.
  • All applications for permits shall be made by the recorded owner (or the recorded owners contractor) of the lot on which the improvement is to be located. Contract purchasers, equitable owners, lessees, or other holders of less than a fee simple interest shall not make applications. 

Inspections

The County does not have an inspector at this time, and will not do any inspections.

Lack of inspectors does not negate filing for a Building Permit. Individuals that build without or before a permit is approved by the county could incur fines and legal fees if structures do not meet the requirement for setbacks, flood plain or septic violations.  

   


 APPLICATION FOR PERMIT - REQUIREMENTS
NOTE:  If this is the first time that you have filed for a permit, it is best to schedule a stop in our office.

    1. Application: Applications are available in the Fountain County Assessor’s Office or you can print it online.  The form must be filled out completely to best of the applicant's knowledge. Any missing information could hold up the process. 
    2. Description of work to be done:  A brief description of work to be done.
    3. Signature:  A signature will be required on each application.
    4. Site Plan:  A simple drawing will be required and attached to application showing the structure or improvement to the property. Please include distance from front, side, and back. 
    5. Set Backs: See Below for setback requirements. if building outside of the required county setback you will be required to file a Variance Permit in addition to the Building permit. 
    6. Septic Permit: Permits are required for all new residential construction, mobile homes, residential additions, building conversions (ex. detached garage converted to a dwelling such as an apartment or mother-in-law suite), or any other building that will have plumbing for bathrooms.
      • New Construction requires that you have 1 acre of usable land for a septic system. 
      • If there is an existing septic, you will be required to have the septic system Inspected by the Health Department if you are replacing a previous dwelling, adding an addition to the existing home, adding an additional dwelling to the property such as a mobile home, apartment, mother-in-law suite, or any other structure with bathrooms.
      • This does not have to be completed when the Application is turned in. You just need to initiate the process with the Health Department. All Septic Permits are emailed directly to us by the Health Department. 
    7. Flood Plain Check: Must be completed and signed off by the Flood Plain Administrator.  

      This has to be checked even if you believe you are not in the Flood Plain. The DNR have updated their maps and many residents are surprised to find they in fact fall in these areas. If the property in question is in close proximity to ANY natural waterway; stream, creak, lakes, or ponds, it is extremely important that you be updated on the maps in your area

      If you start Construction before the permit is approved and the location is found to be in Violation of the Flood Way the county will issue a Stop Work Letter and you will incur all legal fees associated with the infraction.

      • All Structures will require a Flood Check, and a Flood Report supplied by the Flood Plain Administrator.
      • If found that the Improvement lies in a floodway area, you will be required to contact the DNR. No permit will be approved until all requirements with the DNR have been completed. 
      • The DNR or the Area Plan Commission could request the land owner pay to have a Flood Plain Elevation Survey. 
      • If it is determined that you are adding the improvement in the Flood Fringe, not the Floodway, you will be required to have a notarized Letter of Indemnity holding the County harmless in case of flood damage. You should inquire about Flood Insurance 
      • This check will be done after the Application is turned in, leave this blank on the form

                   Note*

                  Road Access: If you need to access the structure from the Road, and there is not an existing driveway, you will need to contact the County Highway Department. 

                  Jason Lewis  765-401-0127

Application Approval:

After all above item are completed the Application is forwarded to the Area Plan Commission for Final Approval. Once the Application has been approved, it will be assigned a permit number and emailed to you. 

Variance Permit Process: 

A variance is a request by a property owner to deviate from current zoning laws for any number of reasons. A Variance Permit requires that the County to Advertise in the local paper a public hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals, and to send all adjoining landowners a letter on the variance request and the public hearing. 

Fees

All fees and assessments allowable by State Statute or the Ordinance for permits shall be promulgated by the Fountain County Advisory Plan Commission. The Fountain County Advisory Plan Commission may modify the fees and assessments at any time. 

Violations and Penalties

Any structure or use that violates the Ordinance shall be deemed to be a common nuisance, and the owner of the structure or land shall be liable for maintaining a common nuisance. Any person or legal entity that is found by a Court of competent jurisdiction to have violated any provision of the Ordinance, may be fined not more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500) per offense, plus costs, and attorney fees where the action is not brought pursuant to I.C. 36-7-4-1013, and have judgment entered accordingly, each day that a violation exists is a separate violation. The Plan commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, or appropriate staff may request the County Attorney to prosecute any violations, and enforcing authority may also request injunctive relief in order to prevent a violation of the Ordinance. 

                 Set Backs

Residential
Front Requirement
Center of Right of way 15'
From Right of way 60'
Total Distance from Center of Right of way 75'
Side 5'
Rear 5'
should have 40' Frontage
Agriculture
Front Requirement
Center of Right of way 15'
From Right of way 60'
Total Distance from Center of Right of way 75'
Side 20'
Rear 20'
should have 100' Frontage

BOARD

MEMBER

Seat

Term

APC

Sue Ann Anderson-R

Appointed by Commissioners

Citizen Member

1/1/2021-12/31/2024

APC

Mark Bertolino-D

Appointed by Commissioners

Citizen Member

1/1/2024-12/31/2025 (unexpired term of Glen Walter as Citizen)

APC

Laura Bush-R

Appointed by Commissioners

Citizen Member

1/1/2021-12/31/2024

APC

Jake McGraw-R

Appointed by Commissioners

Citizen Member

1/1/2021-12/31/2024

APC

Campbell White-D

Appointed by Commissioners

Citizen Member

1/1/24-12/31/27

APC

Glen Walter

Appointed by Commissioners Statute (Designated for Surveyor) 1/1/24-12/31/24

APC

Jamie Shonkwiler

Appointed by County Extension

Statute (Extension Office)

1/1/24-12/31/24

APC

Aaron Fruits

Appointed by Commissioners

County Commissioner

1/1/24-12/31/24

APC

Jim McKee

Appointed by Council

County Council

1/1/24-12/31/24

Attorney

Kent Minnette

 

 

 

 

BOARD

MEMBER

BZA

John Allen

BZA

Jake McGraw

BZA

Daye Phillipo

BZA

Campbell White

BZA

OPEN

Attorney

Kent Minnette