LAPEL, IN - In what turned out to be a very long Planning Meeting the Planning Committee discussed three large projects and made their recommendation on rezoning for the Pleasant View Apartments.
After a Public Meeting in December to hear comments from local residents about the plans for a 60 - 68 unit apartment complex on 4.7 acres on the east side of Lapel the Planning Committee made a decision that could set the course of development in Lapel for years to come.
While the decision made at the meeting on the 12th of January was intended to only be about the idea of rezoning the land to R3 extensive discussions concerning the project itself made it clear the planning board is against the development.
Beth Honormandian (Board Member) noted that "they took the zoning stuff and threw it out the window" in regards the request by Adam D`Angelo to ask for up to six variances concerning planning codes.
D`Angelo and his team noted that they were working on a revision that would see the requested number of variances brought down to 2 or 3.
The variances currently being sought include Max Lot Coverage, Min Open Spaces, Parking Spaces, Covered Parking Spaces, Access Points etc...
Board members also voiced concerns over D`Angelo's plans for a three-story building.
Gary Shuck (2017 Planning Board President) commented that he thought "that land should be R1 at most" and he does not want to see R3 in that area.
Deb Wainscott (Planning Member / Council Liaison) noted that she thought there would be a problem with the intersections in that area with the additional traffic.
After these discussions, Tony Hewitt moved not to recommend rezoning the property to R3, the motion was seconded and all planning members voted in favor of that recommendation.
Beth Honormandian noted that her main concern would be the volume of traffic.
However, the Town Council can choose not to accept the recommendation when it is discussed at a public hearing on February 2nd.
D`Angelo was still positive after the set back and noted that he was here to stay and was now purchasing the laundry-mat from Tom Tudor.
Gary Shuck added "I would love to see you trade that land for land elsewhere in the new City Limits where you can build a nice project".
WEIHE Construction then showed the Town plans for their new base of operations to be built on SR13 near Don Smock auctions (previously covered in an article).
The planning board was impressed with the plans and pleased that the main development would be further back off SR13 and largely hidden.
This led to a lengthy discussion about getting with Neil Stevenson and the Madison County Council of Governments to discuss the SR13 corridor and how the Town of Lapel should develop that area for maximum benefits.
WEIHE were asked to return to the February 9th Meeting to discuss the project further to allow the Planning Board time to check with MCCoG.
Next up the Giving Hope Foundation gave a short presentation on ambitious new plans to develop a 20-acre parcel of land donated to them into a 100,000sq ft therapy center to assist families and children with intellectual disabilities.
The center could potentially offer therapy and rehabilitation 24 hours a day and include all kinds of services from aquatic therapy to equestrian therapy.
Plans are still very early but a number of local businesses have offered to donate time and services to help this organization get started.
The new building would also be near Don Smock Auctions.
Beth Honormandian stated she "really loved this idea" while Gary Shuck noted "I would rather vary 6 things on this project than that project" (referring to Pleasant View apartments).
The Planning Board asked them to return at the February 9th meeting.