Milan property receives favorable recommendation for rezone request

Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer

Larry Eaton, attorney for the Town of Milan, and Ripley County Economic Development Executive Director Gary Norman, presented an application for rezone to property owned by Chris Volz, Jr. located at 785 E. Carr Street at the regular session of the planning commission held on Tuesday, August 11.

The property was originally zoned for both R-1 Residential and A-2 Agricultural. The application requested a rezone to I-1 Enclosed Industrial district so that Pike Lumber can locate its sawmill operations on the property.

According to Norman, representatives from Pike Lumber specifically chose this property for its proximity to an existing lake in which the water will be used during the manufacturing process.
It was noted by Norman that Pike Lumber is a green company, which means that all by-products of the manufacturing process are either sold to other companies or used by Pike Lumber.

Concerns were raised by citizens of Milan who live near the proposed site regarding safety of the children as well as environmental concerns. The safety of those who walk or ride bikes in the area was addressed due to the proposed increased traffic from the trucks picking up and delivering loads from the site.

Planning board member David Osborne assured those attending that the company will be required to follow all of the IDEM requirements for environmental safety. He noted that as a grad student at Purdue University, he had the opportunity to work with Pike Lumber, and found that the company did not have any problems with environmental issues.

The notification process was explained by Area Planning Director Tad Brinson due to questions raised in the public comments. According to Brinson, all adjoining property owners need to be notified of changes to the zoning.

A letter of support from the Ripley County Highway Department was read by President Steve Youngman. The Town of Milan will propose to Pike Lumber an alternate route using CR 200N as access from the property to SR 101 instead of the original proposed use of Country Club Drive. The town will make improvements as suggested by the county highway department up to a cost of $50,000.

The motion to send this application back to the Town of Milan with a favorable recommendation was approved with a vote of 7-0-1 with Covell Mills abstaining.

The application for primary approval of an agricultural subdivision presented by John and Mary Brower at 758 S. CR 400 W in Holton was unanimously granted primary approval.

All board members were in attendance along with attorney Larry Eaton to advise. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1 at 7 p.m. in the courthouse annex.