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Neighbors teaming up to stop land rezoning and proposed industrial development

GREENWOOD, Ind. – Neighbors along the Greenwood-Whiteland border are working together to make sure a potentially new neighbor doesn’t ruin the countryside feel of their part of town.

Residents who live south of East Worthsville Road, near the roads of CR N 250 E and CR N 300 E, are trying to stop a proposed development from coming in.

The project calls for five large warehouses to be constructed on former farmland. Developers behind the work have told the city that they plan to invest $140 million to complete the work. Once it’s finished, the space would hold between 300 and 400 jobs and will generate approximately $40 million in tax revenue over the next 15 years.

To move forward with the work, the developers need the land rezoned from agriculture to light industrial. The Greenwood Advisory Plan Commission heard from both sides on Monday night.

The commission can only make favorable or unfavorable recommendations to the city council, which would have the final say in the matter. The commission could also decide to not make any recommendation at all.

Neighbors who live near the purposed project spent the days leading up to the meeting getting the word out. Several signs are around the area telling motorists a little about the project and were encouraged to attend Monday’s meeting.

“The warehouses are going to hurt the property values in this area,” said David Ebeyer, who has lived in his countryside home for seven years. “A lot of us have poured our fortune into a nice home, in a nice area, and in a great community to raise our family and to have thousands of square feet of warehouse space next to us is not what we had planned for this area at all.”

Ebeyer was one of several speakers at Monday’s public hearing to speak against the zoning change. Clapping from the crowd could be heard after he was done getting his point across.

He’s one of several property owners in the area who said they moved to the southeast part of town because the city’s long-term plan said the 188 acres that could get rezoned are not seen by the city as an area that would be rezoned industrial.

Nick Hunter and his wife own land in the area and are looking for builders to build their dream home. Hunter said his wife still has a letter he wrote when he was 18 that said he wanted to live east of I-65, between Franklin and Indianapolis. Hunter’s land meets all his teenage requests.

“There are numerous, not only existing warehouses, existing vacant warehouses,” Hunter said. “Also, land that has been earmarked in their comprehensive plan, understandably, for industrial use. The land affecting us was earmarked for residential use.”

The decision to rezone or not isn’t over.

The plan commission meets again on Monday, January 28 at 7 p.m. at the Greenwood City Building, located at 300 S. Madison Ave.

At this week’s meeting, the commission took two votes. A vote to make a favorable recommendation failed with three members of the commission voting for the motion. A vote to make an unfavorable recommendation failed with four voting for the motion.

A vote needs five members to get a majority and send a recommendation on to the city council.

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