By Ann Marie Shambaugh
The wording of the commitments approved in 2008 wasn’t clear, but the Zionsville Town Council left no doubt about its interpretation, voting unanimously Nov. 7 to allow a gas station as a permitted use at the southeast corner of U.S. 421 and E. 300 S.
Matt Price, an attorney representing developer Harris FLP, said when Boone County commissioners rezoned the 57-acre site in 2008, they believed they were laying the groundwork for a Kroger grocery store – and gas station – to anchor the development.
But when the developer’s commitments were written out, a gas station no longer appeared to be a permitted use.
“This commitment modification is to bring those commitments in line with what I think everybody believed they were approving in 2008,” he said.
Kroger still plans to build on the site, Price said, but only if a gas station is part of the project.
Several residents who live near the intersection spoke against the change, saying they were under the impression that a gas station would not be a permitted use. They expressed concern over crime, declining property values and pollution.
“I have a lot of concern about having a 24-hour situation where people are going to be out pumping gas at night and looking into the back of my home,” said Julie Erhart-Graves. “It creeps me out.”
Bridlewood resident Matt Jagger said he believes a grocery store and gas station are unnecessary, as other options are available nearby.
“It’s six minutes down the road to 106th (Street) and Michigan Road,” he said. “If you can’t make it six minutes, you probably haven’t planned real well.”
Before the vote, town councilors said the area has been marked as an important area for commercial development – gas station or not.
“From what I understand, the majority of the remonstrance is opposed to the lighting and the 24-hour aspect, neither of which are going away by the gas station not being there,” Councilor Bryan Traylor said. “This does allow us the ability to know what’s going to be there.”