News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 4, 2013

Vigo Plan Commission votes in favor of several rezoning requests

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Area Plan Commission on Wednesday voted in favor of several rezoning requests inside the city of Terre Haute that could provide for more affordable housing in the Sheridan Park neighborhood.

The eight commissioners present at the meeting recommended changing the zoning classifications on several vacant lots in the northeast neighborhood from single-family residential to two-family residential properties, allowing for construction of duplexes.

The rezoning requests will now go before the Terre Haute City Council for final action. The council will conduct its July “sunshine” meeting at 6 p.m. July 11 in City Hall. Its regular meeting, at which votes may take place, will be July 18 in City Hall, also at 6 p.m.

The rezoning, if approved, would affect six lots in the 1500 block of North 28th Street and also property in the 2100 block of Kester Avenue.

The lots are vacant and are currently the property of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, said Richard Shagley, an attorney representing the developers. The Department of Redevelopment takes possession of condemned properties in the city. As of September of last year, there were about 300 condemned properties in Terre Haute.

• Also Wednesday the commissioners voted to table a request for rezoning of property in Prairie Creek Township to allow for a used car lot. Fred Wilson, commission president, urged the petitioners, Virgil and Nicki Johnson, to come to an agreement with at least one neighbor, who spoke in opposition to the rezoning request. The two parties disagree over the location of a property boundary.

The Area Planning Department professional staff recommended the commissioners table the request, stating there were “numerous” outstanding issues to be addressed with the developer. The proposed car lot would be in southern Vigo County on South 52nd Place near Indiana 63.

• The Area Planning Department, meanwhile, remains without an official director since the resignation of Jeremy Weir in May. Weir led the department for more than eight years but resigned in May to become the director of transportation planning for the West Central Indiana Economic Development District. West Central is a not-for-profit agency that coordinates several federal and state-funded programs in Vigo, Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Clay and Sullivan counties.

• Finally, the commissioners tabled for a second month a matter concerning the proposed rezoning of a former fire house and community building in Sanford in western Vigo County. The topic drew vocal opposition last month and was tabled by the commission. By being tabled again this month, it will return to the commission’s agenda in August.

The all-volunteer, 14-member Area Plan Commission oversees requests for zoning changes in the county with the assistance of the professional staff in the Area Planning Department.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes