Council approves rezoning for south-side apartment project

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night signed off on the rezoning of about 104 acres in Franklin Township—a portion of which would be dedicated to an apartment project opposed by many nearby residents.

A group composed of Development Co. Inc., East County Line Partners LLC and County Line Consolidated LLC requested a rezoning of the land on the northwest corner of South Arlington Avenue and East County Line Road—directly east of Interstate 65—from the D-A (agricultural) district to the C-S (special commercial) district designation.

Roughly 22 acres on the northern half of the site would be reserved for a multifamily project by Sheehan Development Co. Inc. that would include 320 apartments. The remaining acreage would be reserved for commercial and light industrial uses.

The request was approved by the Metropolitan Development Commission on May 27.  The City-County Council held a public hearing on the matter Monday.

Councilor Brian Mowery, who represents District 25, where the site is located, called the rezoning up for a vote by the whole council and made a motion to overturn the commission’s decision, saying he believes the site should be fully dedicated to commercial uses.

The council voted 18-7 against his motion. Fifteen councilors needed to vote in favor of his motion to overturn the MDC’s decision.

The project was opposed by some neighbors and Franklin Township residents who had concerns about the multifamily portion of the project.

More than 80 residents wrote to the city opposing the project and 900 people signed a petition asking the council to overturn the commission’s decision.

Brain Touhy, an attorney representing the petitioners, said the 22 acres set aside for the multifamily development have an assessed value of $34,000. Once the project is complete, that number will rise to $35 million to $40 million.

The project—which was first proposed last summer—has shrunk from its original plans. Touhy said the developer has been agreeable to suggestions and conditions from the city.

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