Plan Commission approves 80-acre rezoning

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A proposal to rezone 80 acres at 5190 South SR 267 was continued from the July 16 Zionsville Plan Commission meeting, and officially went before the Plan Commission on Aug. 20, where it was approved. Next, it will go before the town council.

The proposal, made by Becknell Services LLC, aims to change the acreage from rural agriculture to light industrial zoning in order to build a large warehouse. The property has a Lebanon address, but is technically part of Zionsville.

The site is at the northeast corner of SR 267 and 550 South. INDOT has planned a future interchange at 550 and I-65. Within that area, there is a mixture of industrial, agricultural and residential zoning. Becknell said at the council meeting that the property is one of the last remaining undeveloped sites within the triangle made by SR. 267, 550 South and I-65. However, the land directly south and west of the property is almost entirely homes and farmland.

Since the original continuance in July, Becknell representatives met with surrounding homeowners and have agreed to create a 50-foot buffer yard that includes a 6-foot berm, heavily landscaped with 74 canopy trees, 119 ornamental trees, 220 evergreen trees and 441 shrubs. All operations will be contained within the building.

Ramona Seymour, whose family has owned the property since before 1948, inherited the property from her mother two years ago and said it has been difficult to farm.

“I appreciate the work Becknell has done to accommodate our issues,” said Julie Rodgers, who lives on 550 South, facing the property. “One thing I am concerned about still is drainage.”

Rodgers described major flooding in her yard that prevents her and her husband from entering their home.

Jamal Khan, another 550 South resident whose property faces the acreage, also described major flooding at his house. The weight of the water caused his septic tank to burst and ultimately caused $25,000 of damage. Khan said the flooding is due to the new industrial developments in recent years.

“What used to flow readily into the fields is now just sitting,” Khan said.

Khan also noted that the property could be developed for other purposes.

“I believe the best use for this property, given its geographic proximity to the interstate, to 267, to the new 550 interchange, is actually commercial or high density residential,” Khan said.

The plans will now go before the Town Council, which meets again Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

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