Decision on $25M Broad Ripple project delayed until October

Browning Investments Inc. will need to wait another month to find out whether its controversial $25 million Broad Ripple development will get the go-ahead from city officials.

Members of the Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday voted 4-2 in favor of continuing a decision until Oct. 2 after Kathy Davis, the attorney for opponents of the project, said they didn’t have adequate time to review a traffic study showing the impact the development could have on the area.

Browning is seeking a zoning change and variances to redevelop the 2-acre property northeast of the intersection of College Avenue and the Central Canal. Browning has planned a 75-foot-tall apartment building for the site and a 33,500-square-foot grocery store, earmarked for a Whole Foods.

Last month, the commission’s hearing examiner, Rex Joseph, recommended approval of the changes.

Davis on Wednesday requested a four-week continuance, telling commissioners that business for her client, Good Earth Natural Foods, not only would be affected by the grocery competition but “by the building that will be towering over them.”

Opponents argue that the project is too big for the area and will increase traffic and cause more congestion.

Besides the retail component, Browning’s project would contain 104 apartment units and a four-story parking garage with 340 spaces.

Browning’s lawyer, Joseph Scimia of Faegre Baker Daniels, said the developer voluntarily completed the traffic report and was not obligated to do so.

He argued that Browning first filed its plans for the development with the city in April and that a decision already has been continued several months.

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