The Westfield City Council unanimously approved the Urban Apples proposal at its Feb. 28 meeting.
The council was supposed to vote on the proposal at its January meeting, but the vote was tabled so the council could further explore if the development truly would invest $10 million into within the first five years if approved.
Urban Apples is a 24-acre agritourism facility with a cidery and music venue.
Council President Mike Johns, who said he gave his approval reluctantly, said within the first two years, the council learned the developers would invest $7 million for apple trees, streetscape, fencing, building enhancements, music shelter and other features.
“That would definitely be significant and probably something we as a council would like to see,” Johns said.
Johns said he still had concerns with the building. He said petitioner Noah Herron, who owns Urban Vines winery in Westfield, had violated city ordinances in the past. He also said he was concerned with the quality of materials used to construct the buildings and the ongoing use of food trucks.
Council member Scott Willis said he blames the city as much as he does Herron for the issues in the past.
“Noah is a small business owner, he’s an entrepreneur who has invested millions of dollars into our community and will continue to do so in the coming years, and that is something we should encourage and reward when we have someone amongst us willing to do that,” Willis said. “He was a new business owner, and we were a new city, and we were all learning together and making mistakes along the way.”
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.