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Neighbors fight development in Hancock County

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Posted at 6:38 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 22:06:48-04

MCCORDSVILLE — More development in Hancock County has some neighbors frustrated.

A proposed one million square foot warehouse could soon be built at the corner of Mt. Comfort Road and 600 North. Now, people who live across the street are fighting it.

“It’s going to affect a lot of homeowners in the area and it’s going to hurt a lot,” Joseph Castulik said.

When he first heard about the proposed project moving in right across the street, he felt “Dismayed honestly. I was very upset,” Castulik said.

And others who live in the Woodhaven neighborhood said the project will “put so much more traffic on our little street up in front of us and it’s going to be noise,” Castulik added. “Most industrial centers are around the clock. So it’s going to interrupt sleeping.”

“The sentiment is that they feel that their quality of life is being invaded,” Greg Brewer, McCordsville Town Councilman said.

Brewer explained that the land the developer bought sits in Hancock County’s jurisdiction. The developer, Al Neyer, wants it to be annexed into the town of McCordsville to be able to work with the town’s planning department.

“The biggest advantage for them would be the ability to negotiate with the town on tax abatements,” Brewer said.

Brewer said the town could make a lot of money on taxes for a building that size. "But at some point you’ve got to balance between the money factor and the quality of living factor.”

“If they want to talk money then they’re going to lose millions in housing values,” Castulik added. “Each one of these houses is probably going to drop thousands if not hundreds of thousands depending on the industrial complex.”

Brewer said the land has been zoned for “industrial use” for some years. But many of the neighbors who live nearby were unaware of that.

“The expectation was when they build out here that they were going to get a quiet country living,” Brewer said. “And now with the development to the western Hancock County Amazon, and Walmart being built, it’s becoming a hot place for a lot of these spec buildings to go up.”

For Casatulik, who just bought his home in 2019 said, "It would’ve been nice to know that he this is not industrial so eventually there may be something coming in across the street it’s going to be bad. Nice to know before we bought it.”

The town council decided Tuesday evening to delay a decision on annexation of the land and will bring the issue up again next month.