By Megan Graham
Kokomo — The Kokomo City Plan Commission discussed zoning standards for the new U.S. 31 bypass and the current U.S. 31, and decided not to recommend a warehouse development to city council at their meeting Tuesday evening.
Chris Hamm, a senior planner at American Structurepoint, Inc., based in Indianapolis, presented the plans for zoning standards for the State Road 931 overlay district, which is the future designation of current U.S. 31, and the future U.S. 31 bypass, which is still under construction.
Hamm said the consensus for the aesthetic character will be “really raising the bar with regards to development standards,” in both the new development on the bypass and redevelopment on the existing corridor.
He said language in the zoning standards is intended to protect existing land owners and users to facilitate easy access and minimize inconvenience.
“That’s the totality of what we’re trying to do with the overlay; not only to provide economic development opportunities on the new corridor and the old corridor, but also to protect the businesses that we have there now,” said commission director Greg Sheline. “That’s the main goal.”
The commission voted unanimously to forward the plans to city council. Sheline said the city will publish the plan on its website.
The Plan Commission also decided to not recommend the rezoning of a 5-acre parcel of land in the 3700 block of South Dixon Road for a mini warehouse development proposed by Steven McPike. He requested rezoning the area from agricultural residential to medium to large scale general commercial.
“I’ve produced jobs, I’ve produced growth,” McPike said. “You can go to any one of my facilities that I’ve built and every one of them has new jobs, new people, new businesses. Or the businesses that were there before are even bigger than what they were back then. I think a storage facility is not going to hurt the City of Kokomo one little bit.”
Commissioners, before voting to not recommend the zoning change, cited the high cost of extending sewer service, which is not currently in place, to the location. City Engineer Carey Stranahan also said he believed the location on Dixon was not well-suited for the warehouse units.
Megan Graham is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. She can be reached by phone at 765-454-8570, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Twitter at @megancgraham.