Zionsville rejects proposed $30M downtown mixed-use project

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The Zionsville Town Council on Tuesday night denied a developer’s zoning request for a mixed-use project in the community’s downtown.

The potential $30 million development, known as 200 West, would have included a mix of single-family homes, multifamily housing and a commercial section on a 4.3-acre property to the west of Sycamore and Main streets.

A custom zoning designation, known as a planned unit development, had been requested by 200 West Partners LLC to allow for more flexibility in design. Had the zoning been approved, it also would have provided guidelines for future projects on the site.

The Zionsville Plan Commission sent the proposal to the council last month with an unfavorable recommendation, and the council upheld the recommendation unanimously after a brief discussion.

“Everybody is interested in seeing something; this just isn’t it,” council president Susana Suarez said.

Suarez said at a previous informal council meeting late last month that she thought too few details were provided about the proposed project for her to feel comfortable approving the rezoning.

“I think this just speaks to our general philosophy on PUDs,” Suarez said. “There has to be a level of specificity and knowledge of what we can expect.”

The mixed-use commercial area, for example, would have allowed a variety of uses, including a bed-and-breakfast, pet shop, drug store and funeral home.

The project was vetted during several lengthy public meetings in which residents spoke against certain aspects of the proposal, such as the building height and increased traffic.

A residential petition garnered more than 560 signatures, and the Zionsville Village Residents’ Association publicly opposed the development.

The proposed zoning would have allowed buildings up to 55 feet tall—or two to four stories—in the commercial district and structures up to 45 feet tall—or two to three stories—in the multifamily housing area. The single-family homes would have had a maximum height of 35 feet.

Updated plans submitted in June by the developer showed a 30,000-square-foot, three-story commercial building with space for a 150-seat restaurant, eight single-family homes, a 42,000-square-foot multifamily housing building and a 54,000-square-foot mixed use building with retail and residential.

Zionsville Director of Planning and Economic Development Wayne DeLong said during Tuesday’s council meeting that he expects the site to still be developed, but any project would have to comply with the existing business zoning standards.

If the developer wanted to resubmit a proposal for the same property within the next year, DeLong said the town would require it to be “substantially different.”

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