By Jarred Meeks
The Zionsville Town Council voted 4-3 to deny the approval of a contentious luxury apartment complex June 3, moving against the recommendation of the town’s plan commission.
The proposed four-acre development, Sycamore Flats, would have been at West Sycamore Street just off of the town’s Main Street brick road.
Residents filled the lower town hall conference room to standing-room-only capacity, forcing dozens to watch the meeting on a live stream upstairs. Protesters wore red “Vote No” stickers and matching red shirts.
Council President Josh Garrett, Council Vice President Bryan Traylor and council members Kevin Spees and Jason Plunkett voted against the development. Council members Tom Schuler, Elizabeth Hopper and Susana Suarez voted in favor of the development.
Schuler said he was disappointed with the vote. He believes the town missed an opportunity to increase “the economic vibrancy of the downtown area” and “help drainage issues downtown.”
Schuler said he hopes there will be other projects in the future the town will consider, especially with the county in mind.
“We have a housing shortage in Boone County,” Schuler said. “And we have to do something. … We are on the short side of that right now.”
Julia Leonard, a Zionsville resident, said she believed the vote would be contentious before the meeting, unsure if the development would be approved or denied. The council voted 3-3 during its May 6 meeting as Plunkett, who would cast the tie-breaking vote June 3, was not present.
Leonard said she couldn’t be more excited and happier about the way the meeting concluded.
“I thought that (the council members) took the town’s views into consideration – the petition and all of our yard signs, and all the hard work we have done to show how much we care about Zionsville,” she said.
The 184-unit luxury apartment project attracted controversy for months due to its size and density compared to Zionsville’s other buildings in its downtown area, but some residents – more than 3,500 had signed a petition expressing their disapproval before the meeting – also found other reasons to be deterred by the development. They expressed a concern for traffic in the area and environmental drawbacks.