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Indy council approves moratorium on new gas stations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City-County Councilors have approved a moratorium on the construction of new gas station/convenience stores in and bordering residential neighborhoods, after what they call an outcry from concerned neighbors.

“There are really, in the view of many people, enough gas stations,” said Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer.

Patrice Duckett is one of them.

“They just do not fit the fabric of our (neighborhood),” said Duckett. “Who wants to live next to a gas station?”

Ducket helped lead the fight against a proposed gas station at 10th Street and Holmes Avenue.

“We do understand that everybody wants to build and have their own business,” she said. “But it’s a certain time and location for them. And in the middle of a neighborhood is not a place for a gas station anymore.”

The ordinance, passed Monday evening, imposes the moratorium “on the construction of any gasoline service station, or convenience market where gasoline or other motor fuels are stored and subsequently dispensed, on all C-3 zoned real property in the county until the 2016 Indy Rezone.”

“Indy Rezone” is the first major overhaul of city zoning rules in decades and city officials say it will do away with the construction of new gas stations in or near residential neighborhoods – zoned C-3. In the meantime, Pfisterer said the city has received a surge in applications to build in those very areas.

“I learned this morning there have been 22 additional applications to try to make the deadline before Indy Rezone is codified,” she said.

After hearing from so many neighbors, Pfisterer and other city-county councilors sponsored the moratorium that will stop new construction until the zoning rules are changed permanently.

But not everyone agrees.

“I never thought you could have enough gas stations,” said Tracy Givens, who lives on the near west side. He said more gas stations could mean more job opportunities.

“Jobs are jobs,” he said.

“I’m not opposed to gas stations,” said Pfisterer. But I really want to see them placed in an area where it’s beneficial to the neighborhood and beneficial to the gas stations instead of just being beneficial to one party.”