Roofing company requests rezoning

A local roofing company wants to be closer to Interstate 65 for shorter traveling distance to out-of-town jobs.

Royalty Roofing of Seymour, currently located in Freeman Field Industrial Park on the city’s southwest side, has asked the city to rezone nearly three acres at 2099 E. Tipton St. from residential to commercial zoning.

The property is behind the site of a one-level block home, sandwiched between Chili’s and a vacant parking lot and extends north back to Cottonwood Drive.

About half of the property, to the south, is already zoned commercial. The north part, closest to Shadowood Golf Course, however, is still zoned residential.

Attorney Jeff Lorenzo, representing TDAK Development Inc., said rezoning the property will allow it to be developed for Royalty’s headquarters and will provide one consistent zoning classification in the area.

TDAK Development is a subsidiary of Royalty and owns all of the roofing company’s real estate in Seymour and elsewhere in the state.

The Seymour Plan Commission unanimously approved the rezoning with a 7-0 vote. Two members were absent from last week’s meeting, and there are two vacant seats on the 11-member board. The request will now go before city council with a favorable recommendation April 27.

Lorenzo said Royalty is looking to relocate for a couple of reasons.

“One, they need additional space. But beyond that, the proximity to the interstate because of the nature of their business, much of which is outside of Seymour and Jackson County, is important,” he said.

Lorenzo said company owner Andy Royalty told him the move would save his business 48 man-hours a week from not having to drive from Freeman Field to East Tipton and the interstate.

“That’s a substantial savings,” Lorenzo said.

Royalty intends to build a warehouse for materials, a building to house company vehicles, a small sheet-metal shop primarily dealing with guttering and a fairly large office building.

The company employs more than 150 people throughout the state, 45 of whom are in Seymour.

“About half of those are office personnel, so most of the people that are going to be at this location are going to be people in the office,” Lorenzo said. “The remainder of the people are going to be workers who are going to be installing roofing and guttering, and those folks are going to be on the road.”

Lorenzo said the new site will not add much traffic to the area.

“You’re probably talking about a dozen or so work trucks on a daily basis, but some of those trucks don’t return every day,” he said.

Semi traffic also won’t be very high because most materials are delivered to the job sites.

“We might have one or two a week, some weeks more, some zero,” Royalty said.

Traffic going east from the site to the interstate will exit on Cottonwood Drive, while traffic going west likely will use an access easement near Chili’s, Lorenzo said.

Tom Wetherald of Columbus, who owns two commercial properties on U.S. 50 that abut Royalty’s property on the south, questioned what kind of landscaping and buffers are being planned.

Lorenzo said all materials and trucks will be stored indoors, and there will be a fully paved lot, grass landscaping and likely some fencing to provide security.

“Andy is committed to doing appropriate landscaping,” Lorenzo said. “This is going to be the headquarters of his corporation. He wants it to look good, so he’s going to landscape it. It’s going to be a quality operation.”

Commission President Don Myers Jr. said he hopes the project will spark more interest in the area.

“Hopefully, it will be a steppingstone to rejuvenating the corridor into Seymour,” he said.