No decision has been rendered on The Kroger Cos.’ grand plans to build a 123,000-square-foot replacement for its grocery store at 116th Street and Olio Road, but the Fishers Town Council didn’t exactly embrace the proposal Monday night.
"It flies in the face of extensive community land planning" conducted when the intersection was developed a dozen years ago, said longtime Town Council member Stuart Easley. "For me, it was dead upon proposal."
Council members tabled a request to annex the 6.8 acres of land Kroger has assembled for the project, then chose not to conduct the so-called “first reading” for requests to rezone the property and amend current development guidelines. Fishers’ Plan Commission can review the rezoning request and planned unit development amendment (and solicit public comment) without council signoff, but the final decision rests with the elected panel.
And Monday’s inaction raises questions about whether the project will get any support on the council.
"It sends a signal to the petitioner that the desired project has some significant deficiencies that need to be addressed," Easley said.
Easley, who was on the council during a land-planning process that spanned two years, said town leaders worked with the developer (and Kroger) to come up with an acceptable mix of uses and users for the neighborhood retail hub. One of the agreed-upon restrictions was a 65,000-square-foot size limit for a single tenant.
"It was an extensive, prolonged, robust process," he told IBJ, and the result has been successful development of all four corners of the busy intersection. And he worries that Kroger's new proposal could upset the apple cart.
IBJ reported Kroger’s plans on Friday, and neighbors already have mobilized to take a stand against the project, saying the area already is too congested.
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