Greenwood council rejects zoning for apartments near airport

A proposed apartment complex just east of Greenwood Airport failed in a nearly divided city council vote on Monday night.

Greenwood City Council voted 5 to 3, with one member absent, against the Indianapolis-based Muesing Management Company’s zoning change request. Muesing submitted a request to the Greenwood Advisory Plan Board last month, asking to rezone 16 acres at 374 North Emerson Avenue from industrial to multi-family residential for a five-building, four-story apartment complex with approximately 342 units.

The planning committee gave him a favorable recommendation with eight 6-3 commitments. The recommendation was debated at the planning committee meeting, with several residents expressing concerns about traffic and building heights.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Dwight Howard, who is believed to have lived behind the complex, told council he was concerned about the aesthetics of an apartment complex in the neighborhood, as well as the lack of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval and increased traffic. that would lead to Emerson Avenue.

Linda Gibson, a member of city council, was also worried about how an apartment complex would fit into the neighborhood. Muesing’s representative said the company would add a protective fence along the southern edge of the property, but Gibson didn’t think it would be enough to block the view of the complex from neighboring homes, she said. .

“People over there (in the neighborhood) really don’t want four stories to look down on them,” Gibson said. “In their backyard – even with a private fence – it won’t be private. “

Muesing officials funded a traffic study to analyze the potential traffic impacts of the complex at five intersections on Emerson Avenue – County Line Road, Walmart Drive, Wilson Drive, Alpine Way and East Main Street. The study did not find that the expected traffic volume complex would result in the need for improvements at any of the above intersections, said Tom Vander Luitgaren, an attorney representing the developer.

During council discussions on Monday, city council member Bradley Pendleton expressed concerns about the development. He also vowed to vote against any development that would add new residents until public security personnel catch up with the city’s population.

“In the past, I’ve been pretty (a lot) for development thinking we would have a plan for public safety, but that’s not the case,” Pendleton said. “Until we have that, I don’t see a need to change the zoning to add more and more people until we go to our police and firefighters (staffing).”

Pendleton spoke about staffing the fire and police departments during the 2021 budget process. Although the city will add three firefighters and three full-time police officers next year, Pendleton said in September that it won’t. was not enough.

Most of Greenwood’s budget would go to public safety, and with the three additional positions for the two departments, the police department would have 82 full-time officers and employees, and the fire department would have 67 firefighters and employees in full-time. Both have several dozen employees behind the national police and fire protection standard.

Pendleton voted against zoning, along with Gibson and council members Ron Bates, Bob Dine and Michael Williams.

In other news

The city council also adopted an ordinance on Monday evening fixing their salaries for 2022.

The second would give city council members a 1.5% increase, as well as a 1.4% increase for the council chairman next year. The ordinance had to be reintroduced after the board failed to pass it at its Oct. 18 meeting, voting 4-4 ​​with one member absent. Pendleton, Ron Bates, David Hopper and Michael Williams voted no at the time.

The council passed the wages ordinance by 5-3, with Bates, Pendleton and Williams voting against.

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