Madison’s Plan Commission approved applications for a new self storage facility on Madison’s hilltop and a variance application and final plat to allow five historic homes owned by Trilogy Health Services LLC to form a subdivision in downtown Madison.

Joshua Ford was before the Commission first to ask for a modified setback requirement to allow a 6.5-acre tract that he and his wife own at 3369 Chicken Run Road to be developed into a self storage business is an area zoned General Business.

Ford said the couple has owned the property for several years and has finally developed a plan for its use. With other businesses and storage facilities already located in the area, they want to start out with one or two buildings and grow as business allows. The setback considerations are needed to provide landscaping and fencing and still have space to accommodate storage of larger campers, trailers and boats and access for the boxed trucks that some customers are likely to use.

Robert Black, a resident of North Bocherding Road, said his mother’s property borders Ford’s planned development and the concern is that light, noise and traffic from the business and storm water runoff will be a burden to her and other nearby property owners.

“I’m against it because of the drainage issue,” Black said, noting that as more and more land is developed there are fewer places for water to be absorbed and that causes nearby farmland to flood.

“It’s in that buffer zone where nobody wants to take responsibility and we get dumped on,” Black said.

Plan Commission Chairman Darrell Henderson, said the concerns voiced by Black are not in the Commission’s scope of authority and that the board can only consider what it controls and that is to vote on the setback application. He suggested that the issues be brought up with the city’s building inspector to see if the property is zoned correctly and whether light, noise and drainage can be considered through other channels.

Ford said he plans to be a good neighbor and is proposing allowing the facility to be open only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily to control activity and noise and to install downlighting to reduce the amount of light escaping the facility. He said landscaping will be designed to make the facility less obtrusive from the road and to adjoining property owners.

The Commission unanimously approved the setback application by an 8-0 vote but urged Black to speak with the city’s building inspector to make his concerns known so that they can be checked as applications for building permits and other approvals are considered.

The variance application and final plat for the five homes in downtown Madison were also approved by 8-0 votes, allowing former duplexes and homes originally purchased during an expansion by King’s Daughters’ Hospital and later acquired by Trilogy when the former hospital was developed into the River Terrace Health Campus to be deeded off the Trilogy property and repurposed once again as homes or office space.

At the center of the request is the fact that one of the homes now has a zero setback due to development of the hospital and health clinic and that once the properties were combined with the KDH property they were no longer platted individually.

In the Commission’s final business of the night, the members elected their officers for 2022 since Tuesday was the first meeting of the year.

Henderson was re-elected chairman, Josh Wilber vice chairman and staff member Joe Patterson was named secretary — all by unanimous votes.