Full City-County Council to vote on gas station moratorium

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 16, 2015)-- Thursday night, a city-county council committee unanimously approved a proposal to halt construction of new gas stations in certain parts of the city. Councillors said too many are eyesores and havens for crime.

The proposal will now move to the full council.

"I believe we have an over-saturation of gas stations in our community already," said Leigh Riley Evans.

Evans is CEO of the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation. She's saying stop the pumps, and she and her group have been fighting.

They got work halted on one gas station, a permit pulled at 32nd Street and Central Avenue. Evans said a city appellate board cites safety issues with the proposed station, an area simply too small.

But she has other concerns.

"We don't want to encourage people to loiter or perform any illegal activities on a corner," she said, "We continue to advocate for development in the area that's consistent with what residents want to have.

The city is changing its zoning specifications in a plan the council will likely vote on in a matter of months, called Indy Rezone.

Areas in Mapleton-Fall Creek and across the city zoned C-3 can have a gas station now but will not be allowed to in the future, under the new regulations.

City administrators report permit filings are up as developers try to beat the new rules. The moratorium acted on by the council wouldn't affect filings already completed.

"I think there's about 20. That isn't exact. They will all be reviewed to see if they meet standards. Just because a permit was applied for, does not mean the standards will be met," said Maury Plambeck, Administrator of Current Planning for the City of Indianapolis.

The Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee approved a stopgap of sorts Thursday, a moratorium on gas station construction on land zoned as C-3.

Councillors said the urban core needs more community-driven development.

"We want to make sure those engaged residents have a community that reflects what they want to see," said Vop Osili, City-County Councillor.

But one resident told FOX59 another gas station wouldn't be the worst thing.

"It all depends on how you look at it. For me, I'm handicapped, so I can run over there and get anything I need," said Fred Weathers.

Nobody against the proposal was at Thursday night's meeting. The full council will meet Monday night.

We're told the owner of the proposed station at 32nd Street and Central Avenue will have a chance to appeal the decision made to revoke the permit.