Nearby residents oppose rezoning

Neighbors don’t want industry placed in backyard

A request to rezone 21 acres near residential housing for industrial use will head to the Columbus City Council with an unfavorable recommendation from the city’s plan commission.

The property, on the west side of County Road 150W near Paula Drive in Columbus Township, is used as a farm field and is located directly south of the Tudor Addition subdivision. That’s on the northwest side of the city near Indianapolis Road.

Several homeowners in the area told plan commission members their quality of life could be affected if the city allowed industry to move on to the acreage.

Nancy Burchfield, who led a petition drive with her next-door neighbor, Melinda Deaver, opposes the proposed rezoning because she fears her way of life will be affected.

Burchfield, whose house on Paula Drive is directly behind the open field being considered as part of the rezoning, said she prefers to see homes built on the land rather than it being used for industrial purposes.

“We don’t want a factory in my backyard,” Burchfield said.

Burchfield and Deaver said they also don’t want to deal with the noise and pollution associated with a nearby factory.

“We want to keep it a quiet neighborhood,” Burchfield said.

The pair of homeowners also have gone to other neighbors, hoping to raise awareness about the issue.

The applicant, identified as the Barbara Puckett Revocable Living Trust, is seeking approval to rezone the property from single-family residential, or RS2, to general industrial, or I-2, to make it available for future industrial development.

The plan commission voted 6-3 to forward a recommendation to deny the request to the city council.

Commission member Laurie Booher, who was among the six to reject the rezoning request, said she felt leaving the property as residential was appropriate.

Changing the zoning on the land to industrial would “create a lot of uneasiness among residents” who live nearby, including those in the Princeton Park subdivision, Booher said.

Nearby property values might be affected if it were rezoned for industrial purposes, Booher said.

“Obviously, you don’t know what’s going in there for sure,” Booher said.

To the east of the land is a drive-in commercial park, which is an industrial subdivision where all the lots are currently vacant, while to the south are industries such as a PMG Indiana facility and a Cummins facility.

City council members will consider the recommendation from the plan commission during its 6 p.m. meeting May 16 at Columbus City Hall.

What's next

Columbus City Council will consider a request to rezoning 21 acres from residential to industrial during its 6 p.m. meeting May 16 in Columbus City Hall.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com