By Matt Werner Times Sentinel Writer
Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — The Zionsville Town Council may look at the protocol for closing Main Street for events after a recent special activity raised the ire of at least one merchant.
The council discussed during its agenda-setting meeting Monday morning, June 24, how often and why the brick street is closed for special events, such as the CruZionsville Porsche show June 15.
“We had a merchant that sent a letter voicing his displeasure on closing the street for special events,” Town Manager Ed Mitro said. “He said in his letter that (closing the road) hurts his business.”
Mitro said there is a special event form at town hall to request a street closure. Town staff reviews the completed form, and then staff asks both the Zionsville Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce for comment.
“I am not sure what to do other than having (the ZMA and Chamber) sign off on it,” Mitro said. “We have never had either one question the reason for the street closure.”
Councilwoman Susana Suarez said she could understand a business losing some of their traditional customers if the street is closed.
“One idea I had was to use signage a few blocks out letting people know that the road is closed,” she said. “We could also look at maybe just closing roads on Sundays because maybe that’s a less congested day. We could also have the Chamber talk to the businesses on how to capture that audience that is in town.”
Councilwoman Candace Ulmer wasn’t sure about asking the Chamber and ZMA to sign off on the road closure.
“I think that a road closure is a town decision,” she said. “I think the more people we get involved, we are going to muddy the water more.”
ALSO AT THE MEETING
The council put on the agenda an ordinance to consider rezoning nearly 11 acres at the northeast corner of 116th Street and Michigan Road from open land to business office and neighborhood retail.
The proposed project is for a Witham medical office building and other businesses. The plan commission gave an unfavorable recommendation for the rezone citing a lack of detail for the project.
Mitro said Kent Frandsen, the lawyer representing Witham, indicated he would not be ready to present during the meeting.
“We have to put it on the agenda, and we have 90 days to act on it,” Mitro said. “If we do not act within 90 days, the plan commission’s ruling would take effect.”
Town Attorney Kim Blanchet said the council was required to have the item on the agenda but was not required to take any action.
The council’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 1, in the Town Hall Beverly Harves Room, 1100 W. Oak St.