Carmel city councilors urge petitioner to drop plans for gas station in WestClay


Several Carmel City Councilors made it clear at their Nov. 1 meeting that they do not want a gas station in the Village of WestClay.

The council unanimously approved a resolution directing the Carmel Plan Commission to amend the ordinance regulating development of the neighborhood to remove the sale of gasoline as a permitted use.

The vote came less than two months after the council approved an ordinance banning new gas stations within 500 feet of residential uses because of potential negative health impacts of benzene and other chemicals. The Village of WestClay is exempt because it is a planned unit development, meaning it has its own set of development rules as approved by the city council in 1999.

Just weeks after the city’s gas station ban went into effect, a gas station was proposed in the Village of WestClay at Harleston and Towne roads, within 500 feet of homes and a senior living community. The proposed gas station can continue through the planning process until the WestClay PUD ordinance is amended. Many nearby residents are opposed to the gas station.

Before the Nov. 1 vote, some councilors said they’d like to see plans for the proposed gas station in the Village of WestClay dropped.

“At some point the petitioner needs to understand that a gas station is not wanted there and is not in the community’s best interest,” Councilor Jeff Worrell said. “We need to keep fighting, because this is a situation whose time has passed by. They didn’t get it built within the amount of time it should’ve been built. It’s not needed, it’s not wanted, and it shouldn’t be there.”

Council President Sue Finkam agreed.

“I hope the petitioner takes a long, hard look at this and asks himself if he wants to be in a neighborhood where absolutely nobody wants him,” she said.  

After the vote, Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider had some advice for those opposed to the gas station if it gets built.

“Don’t shop there,” he said. “If you don’t shop there, it goes away.”

The plan commission is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment at its Nov. 16 meeting. If approved, it would likely be on the city council’s Dec. 6 agenda.


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