WHITESTOWN — Developers want to build five warehouses on farmland in Whitestown. Their plans faced opposition from residents Monday night at a town plan commission meeting where debate was held on two zoning amendments.
Those who spoke at the meeting were all in agreement: it would not be in the best interests of the residents of the residents for the plans to be approved on East County Road 300 South.
Cheryl Hancock is one of those residents who spoke out against the proposed development. She lives right across the street from the farmland that would be developed.
"The farthest to the east would be this fence line of trees. All the way down would be the east side of the three warehouses would be. There's a small fence line that runs between the two properties and then directly behind us and to the right, that farmhouse would get torn down and two more large warehouses would go right behind us," Hancock said pointing to everything that would change if the amendments are approved.
Large buildings already dot the landscape where Hancock lives. It's a reminder for her and her neighbors about what happens when farmland is allowed to be developed. Fourteen warehouses are currently in the town. It's something Hancock still can't believe.
"Never in a million years. This used to be a quarter-mile by a quarter-mile. You could walk from one edge of town to the other," she said.
For several years, Whitestown has been named the fastest growing city in the state. It's a title with which Hancock has love/hate relationship.
"I think being the fastest growing does not always mean responsible growing and that's the biggest thing. We need to be responsible about what we put up here," Hancock said.
The commission gave it an unfavorable recommendation, sending it along to the town council which will decide what happens next at their July 14 meeting. Hancock's message to the council is clear when it comes to allowing more warehouses to be built.
"The residents don't want this. We need to listen to our residents, not to the developer. We need to take what they want into account," she said.
Hancock said many people have lived their whole lives in her part of Whitestown. Her husband's family has been in that area since the 1840s which is why this proposed development and changing of their neighborhood is very personal.