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Cummins OK with requested landscaping fixes


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Cummins Inc. has agreed to make landscape upgrades requested by the city that should allow a new 28,000-square-foot corporate health and wellness center downtown to proceed.

The 3.8-acre development site includes five parcels bordered by Jackson, Eighth, Brown and 11th streets. It is envisioned to include the Cummins LiveWell Center, a health and wellness facility for Cummins employees and their families, and a parking lot with 73 parking spaces.

The Columbus Plan Commission tabled a request Wednesday to approve a site plan amid concerns regarding one parcel of Cummins land not scheduled for development.

 

Concerns by planners centered on where trees would be located to serve as buffers.

A zoning ordinance requires the parking lot to be landscaped along the road frontage, but the undeveloped parcel sits between the proposed parking lot and the street.

Cummins had instead requested the approval to plant the trees adjacent to a proposed parking lot, where they would provide a buffer for residents in the Jackson Place Apartments.

Board members asked Cummins representatives to plant trees along the curve

at Brown Street and 11th streets, and do some additional landscaping.

“The planning commission has the right to exercise discretion, and clearly they had some concern about how Cummins was treating that north part of the property,” Planning Director Jeff Bergman said.

Board member Nancy Ann Brown said the parcel provided an opportunity to showcase an entrance to the city.

“We’ll take the feedback on the landscaping and make changes, and hopefully, we can continue to move forward with this project,” Cummins spokesman Jon Mills said. “This is going to be a great investment for the community.”

The Plan Commission will reconsider the site plan at its June 11 meeting.

Mills said a one-month delay would not impact the timeline of the project.

Construction of the health and wellness center is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, with an opening date of early 2016.

The Plan Commission did take action Wednesday on a second proposed Cummins project.

Board members recommended approval of the annexation of a small plot in Wayne Township and zoning changes for that land and an adjacent 1.6-acre parcel located within the city.

If approved by the city council, the annexation and zone changes would pave the way for development of the Cummins Southern Indiana Logistics Center at the intersection of County Road 175W and County Road 450S. The 428,000-square-foot warehouse would be located in the Cummins-Walesboro Administrative Subdivision, convenient to the company’s Mid-range Engine Plant.

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