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Brookview Props., LLC v. Plainfield Plan Comm'n

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 31, 2014


Page 49

APPEAL FROM THE HENDRICKS SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable David H. Coleman, Judge. Cause No. 32D02-1302-PL-23.


ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: MELVIN R. DANIEL, RAEGAN GIBSON, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.

NAJAM, Judge. VAIDIK, C.J., and BROWN, J., concur.


Page 50

NAJAM, Judge


Brookview Properties, LLC and First Merchants Bank of Central Indiana (collectively " Brookview" ) petitioned the Town of Plainfield for approval of a Planned Unit Development (" PUD" ) preliminary plan and final detailed plan for development of a proposed apartment complex. The Plainfield Plan Commission (" Plan Commission" ) denied the petition following a public hearing. Brookview filed a verified petition for judicial review, and the trial court affirmed the Plan Commission's denial of the development plan. Brookview appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of the Plan Commission and raises the following consolidated and restated issues for our review:

1. Whether the Plan Commission exceeded its authority when it denied the development plan.
2. Whether the Plan Commission's findings are adequate.
3. Whether the Plan Commission's decision violated Brookview's right to substantive and procedural due process.
4. Whether the Plan Commission's decision constituted an uncompensated taking in violation of the United States and Indiana Constitutions.

We affirm.


A PUD is a zoning district in which a planned mix of residential, commercial, and even industrial use is sanctioned subject to restrictions calculated to achieve compatible and efficient use of the land. 2 Anderson, The American Law of Zoning

Page 51

4d § 11.12 (1986). Such a district is commonly approved where a large tract of land is owned by a developer capable of insuring the improvement of the entire area within the guidelines established by the municipality. Id. The PUD process enables an owner of a tract of land to negotiate with the municipality regarding the manner in which the land will be developed. T.W. Thom Constr., Inc. v. City of Jeffersonville, 721 N.E.2d 319, 326-27 (Ind.Ct.App. 1999). In 2003, the Town of Plainfield created a PUD called Metropolis. The Plainfield Town Council (" the Town Council" ) rezoned 190 acres of land " from I-1 office/research industrial and I-2 office/warehouse/distribution to PUD market place planned unit development." Appellants' App. at 35.

The Metropolis PUD was initiated by Frank and Phyllis Gladden, the original owners of the property, and Chris White of Premiere Properties, LLC, the original developer of the property, through a rezoning petition identified as PUD-02-003. In December 2002, the Plan Commission heard the rezoning petition and recommended its approval. The Town Council approved the rezoning petition through special legislation in the form of Ordinance 20-2002 (" the Ordinance" ). Exhibit A attached to the Ordinance is entitled " COMMITMENTS CONCERNING THE USE OR DEVELOPMENT OF REAL ESTATE MADE IN CONNECTION WITH A DEVELOPMENT PLAN APPROVAL, ZONE MAP CHANGE OR PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED BY THE TOWN OF PLAINFIELD ZONING ORDINANCE" (" the Commitments" ). Appellants' App. at 256. The Commitments provide in relevant part as follows:

1. Owner/Petitioner acknowledges that the plans submitted in connection with PUD-02-003 constitute a " concept plan" and do not meet the standards of a " preliminary plan" as specified in Article 6 of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance. Therefore, Owner/Petitioner agrees to provide all of the elements of a preliminary plan in the review process described in Exhibit 1.
2. The petitioner shall meet all the other requirements specified in Exhibit 1.
3. All requirements of Exhibit 1 shall be determined to be satisfactory by the Plan Commission and Town Council prior to Secondary Detailed Plan Approval for each phase.
These COMMITMENTS shall run with the land, be binding on the Owner of the above-described real estate, subsequent owners of the above-described real estate and other persons acquiring an interest therein. These COMMITMENTS may be modified or terminated by a decision of the Town of Plainfield Plan Commission made at a public hearing after proper notice has been given.
COMMITMENTS contained in this instrument shall be effective upon the approval of petition # PUD-02-003 pursuant to the Town of Plainfield Zoning Ordinance, and shall continue in effect until modified or terminated by the Town of Plainfield Plan Commission.

These COMMITMENTS may be enforced jointly or severally by:

1. The Town of Plainfield Plan Commission;
2. Owners of all parcels of ground adjoining the real estate to a depth of two (2) ownerships, but not exceeding six-hundred (600) feet from the perimeter of the real estate, and all owners of real estate within the area included in the petition who were not petitioners for approval . . . .

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Appellants' App. at 257 (emphases added). Exhibit 1 to the Commitments provides in relevant part as follows:

2. At the time of the Plan Commission PUD rezoning request, a map which specifies the anticipated phasing and land uses of the project shall be provided.
* * *
5. The developer shall participate in a special Committee review process, which Committee shall be formed within 90 days by the Town of Plainfield, and shall review requirements as further specified in these commitments. The Committee shall be advisory only. The Committee shall evaluate the project as one or more phases, and provide a recommendation for each phase to the Design Review Committee and the Plan Commission prior to the submission of a Secondary Detailed Plan for each phase. The review process shall also include at least one presentation to the Plainfield Plan Commission for each phase, prior to filing a Secondary Detailed Plan.
* * *
8. The overall project (completion of all initial review phases of the subject PUD) shall be completed in a maximum of 3 years, with extensions possible, if approved by the Plan Commission and Town Council.
9. Phase 1 Committee review of this project shall be a maximum of one year, with extensions possible, if approved by the Plan Commission and Town Council.
* * *
13. The Committee review for each phase shall include, prior to application for a Secondary Detailed Plan, a submission of plans and typical details for review of the overall layout, site plans, parking, landscape plans, signs, lighting, building materials, and general appearance of all facades.
14. Committee review for each phase shall be followed by submittal of a Secondary Detailed Plan within 60 days, for subsequent review by the Design Review Committee and Plan Commission, and shall include a development statement stating all of the development standards for that phase. The development standards for similar land uses shall not change substantially from phase to phase. Final plans and related details from item 13 shall also be included in the submittal. . . .

Id. at 260-61 (emphasis added).

Finally, Plainfield Zoning Ordinance Article 6.1 Planned Unit Development District (" Article 6.1" ) provides in relevant part:

A. Intent
The Planned Unit Development (PUD) District is designed to: encourage creativity and innovation in the design of developments; provide for more efficient use of land including the reduction of land area disturbed for utility lines and motor vehicle Access ; permit special consideration of property with outstanding natural or topographical features; facilitate use of the most appropriate construction techniques in the development of land; and, to provide for any individual land use not otherwise specified elsewhere in this Ordinance. The PUD District provides flexibility in land use regulations by allowing for the consolidation of the Subdivision and Zone Map Change procedures as set forth below. The PUD District encourages imaginative uses of open space, promotes high standards in design and construction, and furthers the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan .
The PUD District is not intended for the development of residential Subdivisions

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or other developments which are provided for as a matter of right within any individual District of this Ordinance.

B. Permitted Uses and Development Requirements

1. Permitted Uses.

Primary Uses in the PUD District shall be any use or range of uses specified in the PUD District ordinance establishing such District and shall be the same as those specified in the petition for Zone Map Change, either in text form or as noted in the Preliminary Plan filed with the petition for Zone Map Change. Primary Uses, by way of example, may include any residential, commercial or industrial land use, or any individual land use or combination of land uses deemed appropriate for the real estate.

* * *

C. Procedure for Approval of a Planned Unit Development

1. Overview

The complete review and approval process for a PUD consists of three (3) elements:
- Concept Plan Design Review;
- Zone Map Change, including a Preliminary Plan; and,
- Secondary Review of a Final Detailed Plan.
To facilitate the use of this PUD District, after completion of the Concept Plan Review, a petitioner may elect to proceed with the Zone Map Change, including a Preliminary Plan, approval of a Final Detailed Plan, and Primary Plat approval separately or may elect to combine any or all of those elements for joint approval. If a petitioner elects to combine any or all of those elements, all elements elected to be combined shall be docketed before the Plan Commission for a joint hearing.
If filed separately, the procedure for filing for approval of a Zone Map Change including a Preliminary Plan shall be the same as that required for any other petition for Zone Map Change before the Plan Commission, except as otherwise provided for in this Article. The procedure for filing for approval of a Final Detailed Plan is set forth in Article 6., D.

2. Filing for Concept Plan Review

The petitioner shall submit a Concept Plan consisting of: (i) a written description of the proposed preliminary PUD; and, (ii) a Sketch Plan for the proposed development, for review by the Staff prior to filing a petition for Zone Map Change to the PUD District .

Staff shall review the proposed Concept Plan taking into consideration information regarding the terrain of the site and any unique natural features of the site.
* * *
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Ordinance to the contrary, neither the Staff's review of the proposed Concept Plan submitted for review nor Staff's comments to the petitioner relating thereto shall be considered a denial, approval or decision concerning the proposed Concept Plan.

3. Filling for Zone Map Change, Including a Preliminary Plan, with the Plan Commission

a. Filing Deadline -- All petitions for Zone Map Change, including a Preliminary Plan, shall be filed at least forty-five (45) days prior to the initial public hearing at which they are to be considered by the Plan Commission .

b. Petition -- After completion of the Concept Plan Review, an application for Zone Map Change to the PUD District, which includes a Preliminary Plan, ...

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