Petitioner proposes development standard modifications, met with public resistance

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At the April 1 Westfield Advisory Plan Commission meeting, commission members heard a presentation and held a public hearing on an amendment to the Southoak planned unit development at 16465 Southpark Dr.

The amendment would modify development standards and uses for the industrial park. If approved, the modifications would allow for the construction of two flex buildings on approximately 3.7 acres.

Prior to the public hearing, Russell Brown, an attorney with Clark Quinn Moses Scott and Grahn, presented on behalf of the developers.

The buildings would each be 15,000 square feet and have eight suites, with roughly 1,850 square feet per suite. The development would consist of office and field workers and would include loading docks and several overhead doors.

Despite the petitioner claiming the addition of berms would shield nearby residences from noise, sights or smells produced by the development, neighbors still expressed displeasure.

Steve Barrett, a resident directly to the west of the proposed development, spoke first.

“Although I am not in total opposition to this proposal, I have several major concerns about its potential impact to the area,” he said.

Barrett voiced several concerns, including the 16 loading bays that would face residential properties and a reduced buffer on the west side of the property from 40 feet to 20 feet.

“While the proposal does call for the building of a berm and doubling the current minimum number of trees, it will still be visible,” he said. “I suggest, in addition to a taller berm, some type of fencing also be installed to provide relief to the residents to the west and south.”

The original PUD ordinance for the area was created in 2003, and several plan commission members said the developer should follow those pre-approved standards.

“To me, the PUD isn’t broken, it simply pays attention to the Monon and the residential (properties),” member Ginny Kelleher said. “The two sites already developed to the south there do not have loading docks facing residential and did not ask for variances. They simply did what was asked for them. This isn’t broken and everybody else followed it. There is land across the street that will welcome your business, but not by modifying all the things really key to this PUD to make something work that we really did not want there.”

Member Scott Willis also expressed concerns.

“I applaud the design. I think it’s something we need in Westfield. I don’t have as much problem with the west property line, but I’m really struggling with the loading docks as well,” he said. “I would be open minded to hearing some options you guys come up with, but I’m not real excited about what we’ve seen so far.”

A vote was not taken. For more, visit westfield.in.gov


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