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Despite fireworks, neighbors win fight against new development

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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Feb. 17, 2015) -- Neighbors who spent months fighting a new development literally in their backyards logged a big victory.

Plan commissioners with the town of Zionsville voted Tuesday against a rezoning of land on State Road 334 and Cooper Road. The vote came after months of back and forth between homeowners and the company that wanted to develop the land.

CarDon, a company that runs senior living facilities in central Indiana, had proposed a rezoning of the residential land to commercial use in order to build a new facility.

"There is a need here," CarDon's counsel Matt Price said.

The company argued that senior living in Zionsville is needed and its facility would not run as a typical commercial property.

"It will operate as a home for the residents. It's where they eat their meals, it's where they recreate, it's where they meet new friends and it's where they take in visitors including their families," Price said.

The land, however, falls right in between two neighborhoods that put up a substantial fight. Residents even hired attorney Mike Andreoli to represent them.

"(CarDon) basically adopted the standard, 'It's our way or the highway,'" Andreoli said.

Andreoli pointed out that their fight is one that is not just in Zionsville, but could be simulated for neighbors in other areas.

"How do you be pro-growth and put growth in the right areas in the right places? That’s an issue that all communities confront," Andreoli said.

In the end, residents got what the wanted. Despite a meeting that was at times tense and involved momentary raised voices between a resident and commissioners, those commissioners voted almost unanimously to advise against the proposal. The town council could technically vote to approve the plan but with a recommendation against it, it is unlikely to do so.

If another developer wants to buy the land, it would need to go through the same process. For now, the land will remain a horse farm that is zoned for residential use.

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