Avon town

Avon City Council approves contentious development proposal


After a fierce meeting in Avon, the city council gave the green light to a development project that put people in the area in conflict for months.

Following a 2-2 vote on the proposal at the June 13 meeting – one board member was absent – the board voted 3-2 on Thursday night to approve the Countryside Crossing plans, which Heart is a senior citizen community and storage unit.

As in several previous meetings, nearly a dozen Avon residents spoke passionately and unfavorably about the proposal in public comments for more than 30 minutes. Dwayne May, who lives directly south of the development zone, said there was “absolutely no reason for this to be this project.” Another nearby resident, Brian Beswick, said an approval vote meant city council “would no longer fulfill Avon’s mission statement.”

Landowners, on the other hand, have insisted that the land, located along the southeast corner of Dan Jones Road and E County Road 100 N, is degraded – it can no longer be cultivated – and would serve the land better. city ​​so developed.

The city council decides

Amidst the controversy, the council’s decision did not come easily. The questions and contemplation between the five council members lasted almost an hour.

Aaron Tevebaugh, the board member absent from the last meeting, requested several design clarifications from developer Wes Jackson. A burning question revolved around a treeline on farmland. Residents of nearby housing expansions insisted the trees remain, but Jackson said maybe 20 feet of trees should go to accommodate a sewer line. However, he said he would have to consult with Hendricks County officials before he knew for sure.

The proposed storage unit installation – vehemently by many residents at this meeting and others before – was also questioned. When asked by the board if another type of development could replace the storage facility, Jackson said he would not remove it from the proposal.

Council members Dawn Lowden and Greg Zusan continued to support the proposal.

Lowden said she didn’t think retail was a suitable use for the 33-acre property, and Zusan agreed neither did agriculture.

“Farmland will not work here,” he said. “If this development isn’t what’s going on here, I don’t know what else is.”

Council members Steve Eisenbarth and Marcus Turner continued to be on the other side.

Eisenbarth said he had “no problem” with the seniors’ life plans.

“These are the storage units that I always struggle with,” he said. “I have to take into consideration the public’s opinion on this.”

Turner said he was also “not completely convinced that this was not impacting property values.”

In the end, Tevebaugh broke the tie.

“Honestly, I walked in here on the fence tonight. I didn’t know until the end how I would vote,” Tevebaugh said. “It was part of the process tonight to hear from everyone on both sides and ask all the questions. I had to make sure we were very clear on what we were voting on at the end.”

Some aspects of the proposal – like the effects on nearby property values ​​- are “speculative” and “subject to interpretation,” Tevebaugh said. “I don’t think this was a bad project. We had to make the best decision possible with the information presented.”

Carole Farmer, one of the farmland owners, said at the end of the meeting that she was “very happy that the city council took into consideration everything that was presented to it”.

Jackson, developer and owner of MDW & B Realty Development, LLC, did not respond to questions from the media after the meeting ended.

What happens next

Countryside Crossing will consist of a 100 to 120 unit independent senior citizen apartment building, 60 to 80 unit two-story assisted living facility, up to 24 independent senior citizen garden house units, 54 semi-detached houses with patio, a storage facility with up to 650 self-storage units, two retention basins and a strip of commercial enterprises.

And although development plans were approved, conditions applied: patio homes will have 50% stone on all facades, buildings will be set back at least 115 feet from the development’s south property line. , there will be no southern access road and existing trees and the wooded area along the southern boundary of the property will be preserved.

Turner said the council’s vote means the developer will now enter the design phase before going to the city’s planning commission for final design approval. If all goes as planned, development is expected to begin in spring 2020.

Call IndyStar reporter Casey Smith at 317-444-6176 or email her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SmithCaseyA.



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