TROY — Several residents spoke against the rezoning of an abandoned railroad property south of East Race Drive from residential to light industrial at a public hearing during the city council meeting on Monday.
The property owner is Habitat for Humanity. According to the application, Habitat for Humanity has deemed the property not suitable for residential development. The organization plans to sell the land to Spectracam if they should choose to expand their facility in the future. The property is 2.6942 acres of abandoned railroad property, located south of East Race Drive, abutting the lots with addresses of 910 E. Race Drive to 1112 E. Race Drive.
Council members Tom Kendall and Brock Heath were not in attendance.
A resident of Jeep Street, Bill Adkins, asked what the plans for the property are in the future. According to director of public service and safety Patrick Titterington, the property’s sale from Habitat for Humanity to Spectracam is contingent upon the rezoning of the property.
Adkins asked about the access in and out of the property, which is from Jeep Street.
Titterington said the company must submit plans its plans on what would be done with the property to the city for approval from the zoning and planning department.
Adkins said he was concerned about the neighborhood and traffic volume. President Marty Baker asked for the resident’s name and contact information to notify him of public meetings.
James Synder, a resident of Race Drive, asked questions about access and an easement he utilizes. Titterington said that issue would be addressed once plans were submitted.
Synder said he did not necessarily have an issue with Spectracam, but he noted there has been an increase in traffic due to the businesses location.
Local attorney Steve Justice, counsel for Spectracam, is assisting with the rezoning of the property. Justice said the property was previously zoned for industrial use prior to Habitat for Humanity rezoning the property in 2010 that once was planned for residential development.
Justice said he anticipates Spectracam’s intended use for the property is to be used as parking to keep trucks from loading and unloading in the streets. Justice said if the rezoning moves forward, the company will likely use the property as an area for trucks to unload and drive through onto Jeep Street to exit.
“It will be a safer mechanism. It will provide less interruption to traffic on the adjacent streets. This is really restoring the property back to what its use was prior to the time Habitat tried to develop it into residential property,” Justice said.
Brian Joseph, a resident on Race Drive, asked council how they would like light industrial zoning in their own backyard.
Joseph said he had attempted to purchase the property from Habitat for Humanity several times over the years. Joseph said if the property’s natural wooded area is razed, his property values will go down.
According to a memo from Troy Planning Commission clerk Sue Knight to president Baker, “the parcel proposed for rezoning touches Jeep Street, which provides frontage (although this portion of Jeep Street is not yet paved). The property runs along the south property line of nine residential properties and to the west of one residential property.
According to the memo, “The impact to the surrounding residential areas will be minimal due to the unique topography and the natural buffer already in place, which consists of an earthen berm and heavy tree density. A buffer between the residential zoning district and the industrial district is required by the city of Troy Zoning Code.”
“I think this would be a grave mistake. I think the traffic would increase exponentially,” Joseph said.
Joseph said if business was growing, it should relocated and “not destroy the residential neighborhood.”
Gloria Bashore, a Race Drive resident, also spoke against the rezoning, stating the values of residential property would suffer and wants to leave the property as it is.
A law and ordinance committee meeting was scheduled for Tuesday at 6:46 p.m. in regards to the rezoning issue.
Council adopted the following ordinances:
• Dedication, 1.150 acres of IL 10577 as right-of-way, located along the west side of Troy-Sidney Road. This is to part of the replatting of the Duke Park North property.
• Dedication, 0.925 acres of7133, 7134, 7135 as right-of-way, located along East Staunton Road and Old Staunton Road.
A 3.737 acre parcel along the 1400 block of East Staunton Road and the 1500 block of Old Staunton Road is being replatted into three lots by the property owner. The replat can be approved by the City Engineer. As part of the replat, 0.925 acres of existing lnlots 7133, 7134, and 7135 are being dedicated as right-of-way, and such dedication can only be accepted by Council.
• Award the deposit of public funds. The following banks are authorized to be depositories for public funds for the city of Troy: U.S Bank, MainSource Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Minster Bank and Unity National Bank.
• Finalization of sale of part of Duke Park North to the Miami County Park District. The MCPD will purchase 40.6 acres of flood plain land from the recently acquired Huelskamp Farm also known as Duke Parke North. The agreed price was $7,100 per acre.