Dan Richard
Dan Richard
Dan Richard, who has been plan commission director for 45-plus years, is stepping down.

Richard submitted his resignation at the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission’s meeting Wednesday.

His letter stated he started and stopped such a letter many times in the last couple years. Not because he was anxious or a procrastinator, he wanted to make sure it was the right move.

“Well, after 45-plus years as the director of the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission, I feel the time is right. I would like to submit my letter of resignation/retirement,” Richard’s letter stated. “Due to accumulation of vacation days, floating holidays, personal days and banked sick days my final day as a county employee is being calculated. I will stay on long enough to make sure open positions are properly filled.

“I have been so fortunate to work with the best staff and boards over my career. This decision does not come easily. I feel that I grew up with the Area Plan Commission. However, now I am ready to go on to bigger and better challenges with my grandchildren, family, fishing, hunting, volleyball, vacations, home projects, yard projects, naps, woodworking, travelling, reading, honey-do-list, etc.

“Ever since my first job as a newspaper delivery boy, I couldn’t wait to retire and sleep in. What a fantastic ride it’s been.”

Richard has been the planning director since June 1977, replacing Bob Orcutt.

The Leesburg resident grew up in Minnesota and had envisioned himself working with the Department of Natural Resources or some position relating to wildlife biology. But he later discovered he enjoyed planning and he’s been at it since then. Richard’s job includes trying to implement the county’s comprehensive plan, as well as administrating the various ordinances related to planning and issuing building permits.

He moved to Indiana in time to attend high school for one year at Carmel High School and attended Ball State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. He then attended Indiana State University to earn a master’s degree in economic development planning. While working for the Regional 3A Coordinating Council, a regional planning agency covering LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and Whitley counties, he discovered he enjoyed planning and helping communities with their growth and development.

While at Regional 3A Coordinating Council, his father-in-law heard about an opening in Kosciusko County. Together with his wife, Becky, they decided to pursue the position.

He has witnessed and played a role in the county’s steady growth and development, along with the numerous changes along the way.

His daughter Erin is a private speech therapist and daughter Kelly is a registered nurse at Ball Hospital, Muncie. His wife, Becky, still works in the Kosciusko County Auditor’s office. He has two grandchildren, Harper, 6, and Lilly, 4.

During the regular business meeting, the APC approved four cases brought before them and continued one case.

Approvals were given to:

• Robert Vaile to rezone property from an agricultural district to an agricultural II district on CR 200N, east of CR 875W, in Etna Township. Vaile wants to divide the property into a one-lot subdivision. He was advised he may want to check with the health department, as there may not be a spot to build a home because the property has poor soil.

• Teresa Jackson to rezone property from a residential district to agricultural II district on the north side of Old 30 south of U.S. 30 in Etna Township. A portion of the property may be used in the future to house farm animals.

• Jonathan Knisley to rezone ground from industrial II to an agricultural district on Old 30, west of Riverwood Rance Road, in Wayne Township. Knisley has an opportunity to purchase undeveloped property for a single-family home. However, the majority of the property is wetlands with a river. Commission members made sure Knisley was aware the surrounding property was still zoned industrial and factories could be built.

• Greg Kralis’ petition for preliminary plat approval for an agricultural II subdivision on CR 510N, west of CR 375E in Plain Township. The subdivision would have four lots, southeast of Magical Meadows.

• The petition for preliminary plat approval by Jeff Carey on Ind. 15, west of Old Ind. 15 in Plain Township was continued from the July meeting. Because Carey had not heard from the Indiana Department of Transportation regarding an entrance, the matter was tabled until September.

The next meeting of the commission will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 7.