Residents voice opposition to industrial growth

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At the Nov. 5 Zionsville Town Council Meeting, members considered an ordinance to rezone approximately 73 acres at 4250 S. SR 267 from agricultural to industrial.

Zionsville’s Plan Commission passed the initial rezoning at its Oct. 22 meeting. The property, owned by JIG Farms LLC, is in Zionsville but is near Lebanon and Whitestown. It borders already-developed industrial facilities and residential homes.

The developer, Van Trust Real Estate, plans to build two distribution facilities, one 200,000 square feet and the other 700,000 square feet. Plans include a privacy fence, berms and sound-buffering mechanisms.

At the council meeting, Director of Planning and Economic Development Wayne DeLong reviewed the ordinance, stating that it came to the council with a 4-2 favorable recommendation from the plan commission.

Eleven residents spoke in opposition, citing concerns about safety, drainage, noise pollution and decreasing home values.

Dawn Spivey, a resident of the adjacent Saratoga community, said the neighborhood is staunchly against the development plans. She said Saratoga has already been affected by Whitestown’s industrial development in the area.

“When Perry Township opted to join Zionsville, it was agreed that we would be protected and would not be next to large warehouse buildings, which is exactly what’s proposed,” Spivey said, citing recurring accidents at a nearby intersection and neighbors whose water supplies have been affected by industrial growth.

DeLong said according to the county’s comprehensive plan, the land in question has been designated as a transitional area between residential and industrial. To accomplish the transition, the area needs to have a combination of residential, retail and industrial. He said Whitestown’s plans for the surrounding area include some residential development. DeLong cited Quail Run, across from Anson and near I-65, as an example of a transitional area.

Ross Nixon, a civil engineer at American Structurepoint, hired by Van Trust, said contaminants would be self-contained in the property and neighboring water supplies would not be impacted by oil runoff or detention ponds.

Spivey asked that the development be delayed, if not halted, to give residents a chance to work with the developer to address concerns.

“We’d like to see you guys do the right thing and stick by us with the promises that were made when we annexed in,” Spivey said.

The proposal was continued to next month’s council meeting, scheduled for Dec. 3.

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