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Residents concerned about potential industrial development in Brownsburg

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Posted at 6:55 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 10:55:26-04

BROWNSBURG — As more development continues to flood central Indiana, residents in some more rural towns have concerns about where the direction of development is going in and if their voices are being heard.

“We feel very upset,” Carlos Becerra said. “We feel angry and we don’t know what to do.”

Becerra moved into his home along 400 North near Ronald Reagan Parkway more than 30 years ago. He said he and his family always knew something would go in across the street, but he explained that never in his wildest dreams did he think it was going to be a warehouse.

"And that’s what really upsets us," Becerra said. "And it has devastated all our neighbors.”

The Brownsburg Town Council is considering a rezoning request right now to rezone the land near the intersection from a multi-family to industrial commercial development. It’s located directly across the street from where Becerra lives.

“We don’t want to leave,” Becerra said. “This is home to us. It’s not a luxury house, it’s a ranch but we love it. We are comfortable here. And this is where we raised our son when he was one year old.”

“I think they see parcels on a map and they see colors. Here is yellow, this is residential. Purple is industrial. Look how nicely they fit together,” Pam Sheads said. “Well, these are people at homes and families and I’m concerned that they’re not being considered.”

Sheads also lives down the street from the potential industrial development site. Her concerns with the development are increased traffic and safety.

“This is a bus corridor,” she said. “There are about 50 buses or more that travel 400 every day. To mix it in with semi-trucks is very disturbing to us. It seems extremely dangerous. Small children wait on the school bus right on 400. And if you mix in semi-trucks with that, as well as the Ronald Reagan 400 intersection, it has already seen multiple accidents as the town of Brownsburg knows.”

“The needs of the many really outweigh the needs of the few in this case,” Brian Jessen, Brownsburg Town Council Vice President said.

Jessen said he has 29,000 people to be responsible for and consider what’s best for the town.

“Brownsburg has been suffering for many years without having a lot of commercial development to help support a tax base that is grossly unbalanced. We currently depend on close to 70% of our tax base comes now from residential development.”

Jessen explained that close to 83% of their population leave Brownsburg for work. That’s why they’ve turned their focus as a council to inviting in more commercials developers to spark growth in Brownsburg to lessen the burden on residents and be able to make infrastructure improvements, expand the park system, and build a recreation center or swimming pool.

“You’re worried about truck traffic on 400? We will address it," Jessen said. “We are worried about lighting and conditions of the area? It will be addressed I assure them of that. But I’m not going to stop a zoning request for a building that we potentially need in our tax revenue base.”

“We have become collateral damage," Becerra said. “We have become collateral damage if they vote this monstrous warehouse across the street.”

The council is expecting to make a final vote Thursday at 7 p.m. at the town council meeting.

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