News and Tribune

Floyd County

December 3, 2013

Residents fight proposed zoning change near Highlander Point

Apartments would be built on parcel on Old Vincennes Road

NEW ALBANY — While the group that makes up Concerned Citizens of Floyds Knobs won’t have their say until Dec. 17, its attorney had plenty to talk about at Tuesday’s Floyd County Commissioners meeting.

Keith Mull, representing the group, gave a short presentation intended to persuade the commissioners not to rezone 19.4 acres of land in the 500 block of Old Vincennes Road for a proposed apartment complex.

The commissioners will make a decision after hearing from both sides at their Dec. 17 meeting. However, Mull went ahead and gave a number of reasons why the property should not be rezoned to multifamily.

He said to do so, the commissioners would be going against their own comprehensive plan which was passed in 2006. That plan was designed to last through 2020.

“That comprehensive plan is a long term blueprint. It covers the period we are in,” Mull said.

He also said there are several reasons why the group opposes the plan for the development which calls for 152 apartment to be built by the Thieneman Group, LLC in an area west of Highlander Point and currently zoned commercial.

He said there is the change to the character of the neighborhood, decline of property values, safety and traffic concerns. According to a release presented by the Concerned Citizens Group, 380 parking spaces would be built for the 152 apartments.

“A change to the zoning would be a change to the neighborhood. People love their neighborhood,” Mull said.

Mull called the request “spot zoning” and asked the commissioners to keep their promise [of the comprehensive plan] made in 2006.

His presentation received a loud ovation of support.

Space, electrical needs

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson asked the commissioners to look at plans that would renovate his office as well as the county clerk’s office on the second floor of the City-County Building to help give the child support division a larger working area.

However, before any renovations could be completed, the building would have to receive an electrical upgrade which would have to be approved by the Building Authority.

“There is a huge electrical problem in that building,” Henderson said. “Nothing further can be done in that building until there is an electrical upgrade.”

There are also storage space issues.

Currently, Floyd County Clerk Christy Eurton said she stores about 800 boxes of documents off-site. Due to the county budget issues, Eurton said she may not have the money to continue paying the monthly rent.

Auditor Scott Clark said he is also running out of storage space.

Floyd County Commissioners President Steve Bush said he will look at both the M.L. Reisz Building and Pine View Government Building for possible empty areas to store files. The areas must be secured.

“I’m sure it’s the same issue for everybody. We haven’t looked at this issue in a while,” Bush said.

Additional days off rejected

The commissioners rejected a proposal from longtime county employee Cheryl Mills to give county workers four more sick days a year, which could be carried over to the following year.

Commissioner Chuck Freiberger said after talking to county officeholders, giving each employee additional days would pose a scheduling issue. They also opposed giving the employees another holiday in 2014.

“We are not going to put more burden on them [officeholders],” Freiberger said. “I really wanted to give them Christmas Eve but the consensus was we wouldn’t do that either.”

Mills said since many employees have not seen a raise in years, the extra days would be a morale booster which she said “is as low as I’ve ever seen it.”

The commissioners also decided to offer health insurance to spouses who are offered insurance at their place of employment which could save the county as much as $500,000.

 

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