Zionsville Times Sentinel

June 19, 2013

Witham project hits snag

Planning board gives unfavorable recommendation

By Matt Werner
Staff Writer

Zionsville — The Zionsville Plan Commission was concerned about a lack of detail with the proposed Witham project at the northeast corner of Michigan Road and 116th Street. So it voted to give an unfavorable recommendation to rezoning the site.

The commission voted 4-3 Monday night, June 17, against the project, which now goes to the town council for adoption or rejection.

The rezone, which was for approximately 10.9 acres on the northeast corner of Michigan Road and 116th Street, would split the area into two separate parcels. One parcel would be for a Witham medical office building, and the other parcel would be for neighborhood business uses. The site is currently as open land, which means any development would require a rezone.

Attorney Kent Frandsen, of Parr Richey Obremsky Frandsen & Patterson who represents Witham, said the hospital was considering two buildings on the medical portion with around 30,000 square feet and a total of three buildings on the business portion ranging from 7,500 to 10,000 square feet.

“This is purely conceptual,” he said. “We are not in negotiations. We have made some commitments with the town on how the property will be developed.”

Those commitments included a tree preservation plan, a restriction on certain uses such as food and clothing and creating a buffer between the houses to the east of the property.

Aaron Burke, whose property would be closest to the proposed project, said he purchased his home in The Sanctuary subdivision because he thought it would be a sanctuary.

“I am not happy with the prospect of development,” he said. “I am not opposed to development because that is how our country grows. I understand there is a buffer zone, and I’m fine with that. I do have a problem with instead of seeing trees, seeing lights, and instead of hearing birds, I’m hearing sirens. I cannot stand here and say that I am 100 percent for it.”

Burke said he would work with Witham to find a solution that is amiable for both parties.

Greg Ellis, president of the Zion Hills Homeowners Association, said they didn’t support of the project.

See Wednedsay's Tiimes Sentinel for the full story.