BZA stands against proposed fill site


The Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals has upheld a decision by the city plan commission to deny a land use variance to a local business to operate a clean fill site just north of city limits.

BZA members voted 4-0 against BP2 Construction’s request during a mostly virtual meeting last week. Board President John Richey abstained from the vote.

Jason Smith, attorney for BP2, spoke on behalf of the company. He said the 14-acre property in the 2300 block of North State Road 11 isn’t suited for any commercial business “as is.”

The land sits too low and would need to be built up, and there are no utilities currently available to the property, he said.

But it is perfect for the outdoor storage and recycling of earthen materials, including concrete, asphalt and dirt, which is what BP2 wants to do, Smith added.

Such a business is needed in Seymour and would benefit the entire area, he said.

Steve Farris, a local contractor, spoke in support of the proposal and said the city should do everything it can to help the business along because it would benefit the economy and the environment.

“I think it’s an incredible idea,” he said. “I see materials coming out as fast as they are going in. Every builder I know is looking for a place to bring that stuff and to recycle it and reuse it. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

By giving contractors a place to take construction materials, it would keep them from dumping such materials along county roads and out in rural areas, he said.

Also speaking in favor was Mat DuSablon, who feels the fill site would be an asset to the community. He owns property close to the proposed development.

“I think this was met with a lot of opposition and misinformation out of the gate,” he said. “And I think a lot of that was allowed to be construed not only throughout the town but in the newspaper and several other places, and I don’t think this ever had a fair chance.”

Although some neighbors have expressed concerns with how the business would impact their property values, Smith said he believes the development would only cause surrounding property values to increase.

To help mitigate dust and noise from the operation, BP2 has constructed a 15-foot earthen berm along the front of the property which blocks it from view of State Road 11.

But those who live behind the property say nothing has been done to obstruct their view or to keep noise and dust from being a problem.

Residents Jill Halterman, Stephen Kroman, Stan Stradley, Kevin Burke and Jason Taskey all spoke against the petition.

Smith said all of the issues would be addressed if the variance was approved and BP2 was allowed to move forward.

Dave Eggers, who is a member of both the BZA and the plan commission, said he is not against recycling and repurposing materials, only the proposed location. He said the matter should be decided by elected officials, such as the city council, not appointed boards.

“I cannot in any way justify my vote in favor of this project in its current location,” he said.

He also said he would like to have heard from officials from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Indiana Department of Transportation, who Smith said have both approved of BP2’s plans for the fill site.

City attorney Christina Engleking said permits and approvals must be sought and obtained at the local level.

“INDOT cannot come in and dictate what the city of Seymour allows within its jurisdiction,” she said.

Board member Rob Kaufman agreed there is a need for such a business but that it needs to be located somewhere else. Although he doesn’t mind the earthen berm, he said he wouldn’t want to live near it and have to look at it every day.

“I have absolutely nothing against local businesses trying to make money and better themselves, and obviously, there is a huge need for this type of service in this area,” he said. “I just don’t think that that is the right place to do it.”

When voting against the petition, Jim Myers said he believes the property can and should be used how it is currently zoned for commercial, not industrial, development.

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