Zionsville Plan Commission to consider South Village PUD this month


The South Village planned unit development is expected to go to the Zionsville Plan Commission this month for consideration.

Introduced by Mayor John Stehr in March, the $250 million plan aims to create a mixed-use master plan for the town’s South Village. The proposed PUD is an effort to revitalize the underdeveloped area between the historic brick street downtown and Old 106th Street. The PUD includes 500,000 square feet of commercial space, residential options including single family homes, townhomes, and senior living, road realignment to improve traffic flow while protecting the historic brick Main Street and 40 percent protected greenspace.

The proposal went before the Plan Commission May 20 for a public hearing.

“The overall goal here is to help raise this area to its best and highest use by creating opportunities for development that includes mixed use areas, commercial areas and the opportunity for some residential growth,” Stehr said. “We believe the increase in economic activity is vital to the long-term fiscal health of the town and in particular the brick street business district.”

Jeff Jacob, an attorney and partner with Hackman Hulett who is working with the town on the PUD, said the PUD has been in draft form for several months, open to changes and updates.

“This is a big rezoning in an area that has gone undeveloped for many years,” Jacob said. “This vision is long overdue for this area.”

Jacob said the PUD is a different type of rezoning process because it is a town-led development plan versus a developer-led plan. That means there are no binding renderings or written commitments; the document instead includes permitted uses within zones, excluded uses and a guiding of the town’s vision though development, design, requirements and limitations.

Permitted uses within the draft include art galleries, banks, day care, catering, food stand/farmers market, restaurants, bars, event space, hotels, retail space less than 5,000 square feet and professional office space. Permitted residential uses include single-family, multifamily and row house options.

However, an area of contention is a proposed parking structure. During a public hearing before the plan commission, residents expressed concerns about the potential of a parking garage so close to downtown.

“I don’t know why we need a five-story parking garage at the end of our little brick road,” 20-year resident Scott Gerald said. “I believe if you want something like that, please move it out into the more industrial area.”

In May, a petition was started on change.org asking the town to halt the planning process, arguing against high-density and other housing options as well as the parking structure. The petition, which has gained more than 325 signatures so far, also argues that the PUD should not be developed until the town’s comprehensive plan is complete. Residents also urged further consideration on how the development will affect schools, emergency services and roads.

Downtown business owners spoke in favor of the PUD during the public hearing.

Cobblestone owner Ken Ezra said the South Village development is one of the most important issues facing Zionsville today, urging passage of the PUD. Our Place Coffee owner Paul Deinlein said the PUD will allow the town to have more control over development that will complement local standards that will tie in to the historic brick Main Street.

Stehr held 10 informal meetings with the public regarding South Village in April and May.

The Zionsville Plan Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. June 17 at Town Hall.