Don’t Restrict Post Frame Buildings

Pole Barn Guru Blog

Post frame (pole) buildings are a Code conforming building system. In my humble opinion, jurisdictions can legally restrict a building’s aesthetics, however restrictions upon a proven structural system appear to be a restriction of fair trade. It would be fair for a jurisdiction to prohibit a certain type(s) or even color of building skin (roofing and/or siding) as long as this prohibition was applied equally to all building types.

I have argued this with several jurisdictions and even gone as far as discussing with city or county attorneys and have always won without need for a court battle.

From a Perry County (Indiana) News story dated November 7 by Mark Eisenlohr:

“TELL CITY – Restrictions on post-frame, sometimes referred as pole barn, construction will have to wait a little longer before being imposed in Tell City.
Councilors demurred on approving an ordinance offered by councilor Sean Risse that would have placed some restrictions on that type of construction
There are no ordinances right now that govern where and for what use the buildings may be erected. The issue has long been before the Planning and Zoning Commission which has to-date been unable to offer up an ordinance.
The council has expressed concern in the past several months as the number of building permits for post-frame construction has increased.
While not opposed in general to the type of building, councilors have expressed concern they not be used for residential living and believe there are some places in the city they should be prohibited completely.
Risse has been leading the charge to push the issue along and get some form of resolution.
Monday night Risse offered up an ordinance that he described as a first step, putting some restrictions in place knowing that a more detailed ordinance can be offered up in the future with additional limitations if desired.
“Planning and zoning has been walking through this for some time now,” Risse told council in presenting the ordinance. “But in the meantime all these buildings are going up.
Risse said his ordinance would essentially define post frame buildings, dictate that the primary entrance face the alley, must be a secondary structure on the parcel, comply with building requirements, would not be eligible for an occupancy permit and would be prohibited on Zone C-2 Central Business District.
“It can not be a main residence so you can’t build a house,” Risse said.
“There’s only five broad-based restrictions on this,” Risse said, adding he expected the planning and zoning commission would still likely receive variance requests.
“My philosophy around this is that if planning and zoning has to hear these variance requests they’ll understand what people are trying to build and they’ll have a better idea of what an ordinance should look like,” Risse said.
Councilors generally agreed that there is a place for post-frame construction and that many of them are well-built and attractive.
“If you want a nice garage, these are great, but as a residence, if this were built next to you, it would significantly lower your property value,” Risse said.
This ordinance, Risse said, does not require specific building materials be used for exterior walls or siding or place other code requirements on the construction other than what exists now.
In offering the ordinance, Risse said he would like to see planning and zoning come back with recommendations in the future.
Some councilors wondered if the ordinance shouldn’t be sent to planning and zoning first.
“I would like to clarify,” Risse said, “that at the next meeting like to pass an ordinance that is broad like this and allow planning and zoning time to be reviewing it.
This ordinance can always be amended but the conversation has been going on for a long time and they have yet to come to the council with a recommendation so this is kind of pushing them to make a recommendation.”
“This is intended to slow the building and make sure we have visibility to everything that is actually being built, “Risse said. “And to make sure planning and zoning understand this is an issue. Right now, Bill (Alvey, building and code inspector) is throwing out permits because we can build them. They’re not seeing those.”
Risse called the ordinance a stop-gap measure.
“I would fully intend planning and zoning would amend this whole thing and have a very detailed plan,” for a more comprehensive ordinance”, Risse said.
Council decided they would allow planning and zoning to review the ordinance with the intention the council would vote on the Risse’s ordinance at the next meeting.”
Mike the Pole Barn Guru writes:
What can be done?

Go to www.tellcity.in.gov/ward-3-sean-risse/ and on the right hand side of page contact him to express your feelings on this subject (hopefully they will be similar to mine). You can also contact www.perrycountynews.com/contact to comment upon this article.

Please spread this by sharing with all of your social media contacts, friends, neighbors and enemies. A viral campaign can stop this foolishness before it goes further.

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