What happened: The Zionsville Plan Commission unanimously approved a development plan amendment to demolish the existing structure at 700 Mulberry St., where Zionsville Community Schools plans to build an employee clinic and student service center.
What it means: The existing residence, a home which has been vacant for several years, will be demolished. An 8,200-square-foot building will be constructed in its place. The building will house a St. Vincent Wellness Center for ZCS employees, the school’s Food Service Dept. offices as well as child care services. Andrew Wert, land use professional at Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim law offices, represented ZCS at the meeting.
“In developing these plans, our team was very mindful of the residential neighborhood to the east, Pine Meadows,” Wert said.
Kathy Gilbert, a Pine Meadow resident, spoke in favor of the development.
“We’re just here in support of this entire project,” Gilbert said. “The school system has been absolutely delightful to work with.”
Access will be from the Zionsville Community High School campus to the west. The builders plan to preserve as many of the mature trees as possible. Residential elements, such as a pitched, shingled roof, will be included in the plans to help keep the residential feel.
What’s next: Specific building plans require approval before construction of the project can begin.
What happened: The commission passed a re-zoning of approximately 73 acres at 4250 S. SR 267 from agriculture to light industrial zoning.
What it means: The property, owned by Jig farms LLC, borders already developed industrial facilities and residential homes. The developer, VanTrust Real Estate LLC, has not specified tenants but plans to build two separate distribution facilities, one 200,000 square feet and the other 700,000 square feet. Plans also include a privacy fence and sound-buffering mechanisms.
Craig Triscari, a resident of the Saratoga neighborhood which backs up to the area, spoke on behalf of neighboring families, saying that they would be less averse to retail development but do not want industrial development
“It is literally right on top of residential homes,” Triscari said. “The community in general is not in support of an industrial area.”
Because of the distance between the facilities and neighboring homes, two berms, a pond and landscaping were added to the plan. Attorney Matt Price, representing the developer, said it is the best compromise for the area.
What’s next: Specific building plans will be proposed and presented to the Plan Commission.
What happened: Nearly 60 acres owned by the State Bank of Lizton at 8602 E. 500 South, the site which was originally proposed for the Little League regional headquarters, was approved to become the site of a 78-lot Pulte Homes subdivision.
What it means: Members of Zionsville’s Plan Commission and several Zionsville residents debated for nearly two hours about the plans. Kevin Schiferl, owner of a neighboring home, publicly called into question the ability of one Plan Commission member, Michael Rinebold, to be impartial because of his previous involvement with the Little League development. It was decided that Rinehold was in compliance with commission rules and was allowed to vote.
The area, at the southwest corner of CR 500 and 875 E., was annexed and rezoned in 2008 and has undergone multiple different development proposals. Nine community members who live nearby asked that Pulte consider building less homes on the area, citing water pressure and drainage issues and concerns that the homes will not blend aesthetically with the rest of the area.
Vicki Westbrook, who lives on 550 South, which backs up to the development, said, “My question to Pulte is, ‘Why not build less homes?’ You could do 20 less homes to make it a nicer neighborhood with larger lot sizes.”
Michael Lyons, also a resident of 500 South, said he has a legally approved shooting range in his backyard and is concerned about safety if homes are built behind him.
Price said the proposed buffer and home setbacks will provide enough space between the development and neighboring homes.
The plans passed with a 4-2 approval from the Plan Commission.
What’s next: Plans for the development will go before the Zionsville Town Council for approval.