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July 30, 2013

Potential business in Jeffersonville can’t recycle past

Zoning officials deny request that was approved in 2008

JEFFERSONVILLE — A businessman that was seeking to capitalize on the potential of industry around River Ridge was met with a denial on Tuesday — even after his same request was approved in 2008.

Red Ball Recycling, which was aiming to take advantage of River Ridge’s explosive growth and the connection of the east-end bridge, was granted a positive recommendation for a zoning change by the Jeffersonville Plan Commission, only to be denied by the Jeffersonville Board of Zoning Appeals just moments later.

Red Ball, being represented by attorney Jack Vissing, presented the development plan to locate a recycling business at 4016 Utica-Sellersburg Road. The plan would include a 4,800-square-foot-building and a storage yard on nearly eight acres.

The property is located off of Utica-Sellersburg Road, between Shungate Road and railroad tracks that run along Ind. 62.

“[Jeffersonville] approved the exact variance at the exact site in 2008,” Vissing said.

Owner of Red Ball Recycling Brian Donaghy, who at the time was working for another recycling company, filed the request with the city, but said that the deal fell through because of the downturn in the economy.

When he left his former employer and started his own business, Donaghy returned to the same property to locate his business.

“It felt like the logical choice,” he said.

The company would accept scrap metal, including vehicles, and then send the metal off to a different site to be recycled.

And if the company were allowed to locate at the property, it would be in an advantageous position to capitalize on nearby and expanding businesses and industry.

“They are also located in a strategic site,” Vissing said, citing access to the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville and River Ridge Commerce Center. “There are a number of sources that feed them.”

But one of the concerns voiced was of the traffic that would be generated in the area.

Charles Newton, owner of  B & J Trucking Service Inc., said he was concerned with the amount of trucks that already access the road.

“There are seven trucking companies there,” he said. “There’s probably 300 to 500 trucks that come back-and-forth there every day. If it’s not developed properly, we are going to have a major problem with traffic and safety.”

The request to rezone the site was approved 6-1, with Plan Commission Member and City Councilman Ed Zastawny voting against.

Several conditions applied to the approval including the board of zoning appeals approval for a use variance for recycling.

Vissing explained that a use variance was requested by the board of zoning appeals because the only place that is zoned for industrial recycling use is inside River Ridge.

But the request to the board of zoning appeals for the variance was denied by a vote of 2-3 with board of zoning appeals members Rita Flemming, Marty Chalfant and Josh Rodriquez voting against because they believed the change would adversely affect the surrounding property owners.

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