Zionsville Times Sentinel

August 7, 2013

Agencies hope to smooth tension over the airport

By Matt Werner Times Sentinel Writer
Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — The Hamilton County Airport Authority has offered what members call an “olive branch” to the Zionsville Town Council.

The authority has proposed an inter-governmental agreement that would establish an airport overlay zone and place restrictions on development near Indianapolis Executive Airport. The zone is determined by Indiana statute and has restrictions on land uses and height of buildings on land near public use airports.

“The courts confirmed that according to state statute, there is a perimeter around an airport, where the Hamilton County Airport Authority has superior zoning jurisdiction,” said Don Silvey, HCAA president. “Since that also is an area that is Zionsville’s area of interest, we were trying to offer an olive branch to say we want to work together with you.”

Silvey said the only way to do that was through an inter-governmental agreement.

“We are basically saying ‘Hey, we recognize you have an interest; you recognize we have an interest, and we need to keep the lines of communication around the airport open’,” he said. “We want to have things compatible around the airport, and we want to improve our relations and establish a line of communication.”

Zionsville Town Council President Jeff Papa said he is open to the agreement.

“I think it’s a great start for cooperation after going through lawsuits,” he said. “I think we’d probably like to see a few more things in it, but it does call for cooperation, which is a very good start.”

Indianapolis Executive Airport is surrounded by Zionsville in what was formerly Union Township before consolidation, although it is owned by Hamilton County.

The proposed agreement asks the plan commission to enact a minimum distance of 1,320 feet between the authority’s property and any proposed new residential district.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for more on this story.