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February 26, 2013

New Albany, Floyd County awaiting decision on fringe case

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

A phone message left for Fox Monday hadn’t been returned as of press time. 

Among his motions, Fox has requested the court dismiss the case. 

During past interviews with the News and Tribune, county officials have cited a portion of Indiana Code, section 36-7-4-205, that asserts a municipal plan commission may not exercise jurisdiction over a fringe area if a county adopts a comprehensive plan and ordinance for the property unless the county approves. 

But the same section also states a city or town in a county with a population of less than 95,000 may assume territorial jurisdiction of planning if it provides a municipal service. 

Fifer — who said there are documents suggesting the city began overseeing the fringe area as far back as 1958 — believes the statute clearly states a municipality like New Albany can execute authority without the county’s permission. 

“This has been in effect, the ability to assert this jurisdiction, since at least 1971,” he said. 

The city has continued to operate under the belief it holds the zoning authority over the fringe area and will continue to do so until a judge rules otherwise, Fifer continued. 

Unless the county waives the time period, a judge can’t rule on the summary judgment until 30 days after it was filed, or March 25. 

A hearing date on other motions has been slated for March 8, and the location of the proceedings has been moved to Scott County. Judge Robert Duvall accepted the duty of special judge in the case, and the hearings will be held in Scott Circuit Court. 

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