Whitestown approves plan for liquor store

A Payless Liquor store will anchor a new $2.5 million building at Whitestown Parkway and Maple Grove Boulevard. (Submitted photo)
A Payless Liquor store will anchor a new $2.5 million building at Whitestown Parkway and Maple Grove Boulevard. (Submitted photo)

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

The Whitestown Plan Commission approved a concept plan for a building at Whitestown Parkway and Maple Grove Boulevard that will be anchored by Payless Liquors, a use that worried some Zionsville and Whitestown neighbors who live in the area.

Residents of the Stonegate and Maple Grove subdivisions previously expressed concerns about traffic, light pollution and a liquor store being located near schools and residential subdivisions. The commission tabled the item at its October meeting in part to allow developer KLC Realty time to hold a community meeting to discuss the project. By the time the commission reconvened Nov. 14 to discuss the matter, only one resident spoke in opposition.

“I still believe it is not the appropriate location for this type of business,” said Adam Auvil, who suggested that only professional business services should be allowed east of CR S 700 E. “This is not the example of a building that we need in this area, which is a residential area.”

Liquor stores are a permitted use in area zoned for general business, so commissioners could not vote against the project based on use alone. The site is more than 200 feet away from schools and churches, which meets state requirements.

Whitestown Building and Planning Dept. staff recommended that the commission approve the plan but “take consideration of the neighboring residential property owners and the location of the liquor tenant within the Commercial Subdivision. Additional landscaping buffering, specific signage and lighting is to be considered at the development plan process to limit light pollution to nearby property owners.”

Speaking on behalf of KLC Realty, attorney Kent Frandsen said his client purchased the property because it was a permitted site for a liquor store. He said they are willing to “work hard” to create a nice looking building, within reason and fairness.

“There is a limit to what the owner can do. He can’t make this the Taj Mahal,” Frandsen said. “He shouldn’t be subject to rules that other retail owners along Whitestown Parkway are not subject to.”

KLC Realty owns and operates 25 Payless Liquor stores in central Indiana. In Whitestown, proposed hours for the store are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The $2.5 million building is on nearly two acres and will have space for eight other commercial tenants.