Zionsville council narrowly votes down apartment proposal

Zionsville council votes down apartment complex proposal

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Town Council on Monday night shot down a Zionsville development project.

Plans to build the $40 million Sycamore Flats apartment building have been the talk of the village for months.

The council defeated the plan 4-3.

A May council meeting short one member ended in a tie after hours of public comment from community members for and against the plan.

Monday night’s meeting took a dramatic turn when one council member tried to recuse himself from the vote after he alleged lawyers for the Sycamore Flats project tried to intimidate him into dropping his vote.

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Another council member said she received threats about the decision.

Dozens of protesters lined the streets outside Zionsville Town Hall ahead of what some people called the most important vote the town of more than 26,000 has seen in years. 

Inside the council chambers, a sea of people wore red “Stop Sycamore Flats” T-shirts.

Several people objected to the plan to saying it would hurt the small-town feel of Zionsville.

“The number of units this has, the massive development up to four stories tall, literally steps away from residential homes. It’s just not the appropriate location for this large-scale development,” said Zionsville resident Heather Lusk. 

Zionsville resident Bob Royalty said, “It does not fit here. There’s no setback, with covering 93% of the lot, they are taking away all the open space. We should have something here. We can have apartments here, but apartments that work with this neighborhood.”

Plans called for a mixed-use building on 4 acres on the southern edge of Zionsville with 184 apartments and nearly 5,000 square feet of retail space.

A few at Monday’s meeting spoke in favor of the idea. 

“A rejection will send a message that Zionsville is not open to development,” said Dave Franz, the president of the Zionsville Plan Commission.

The council’s defeat of the plan brought audible cheers.

“I’m in tears of joy and I’m so thankful that the Town Council listened to the over 3,000 people in this town that passionately opposed this project,” said Zionsville resident Anne Royalty.

“It’s the village charm. It’s the village quaintness. it’s the small-community feel. That would have disrupted that, and that’s the most important thing,” said Zionsville resident Kathleen Poland.

The developer, JC Hart, declined to comment on the decision.

The developers can re-apply to have the plan looked at again, but, for now, it will not move forward.