Neighbors push back against church’s plan to build apartments in Perry Township

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A group of neighbors is coming together to try to stop an apartment building that's planned for their community. The problem? The church pastor who wants to build the apartment on his land never spoke with neighbors about it.

"They want to put an apartment building right in the middle of our neighborhood. And we do not want it here. It does not belong here," Janice Davis said.

The 23-unit building would sit behind One Christian Church in Perry Township.

"There wasn't a box that said have a meeting. And if I had to do it all over again I would've done that," Pastor Jeff Stratton said.

Pastor Stratton says he got the idea to build 23 senior housing units on the land in back of his church to help his aging congregation. He says the Department of Metropolitan Development gave the project the green light last August.

"We're at a place where we were turned loose by the city. I didn't anticipate that anyone would be upset," Stratton said.

When a group of neighbors found out what was planned for this property just last month, they called their local councilman, John Wesseler, who also didn't know about it. He contacted the city and found out the project doesn't have full approval.

"So far the project has been permitted to excavate the property. The property has been excavated and now they're in a holding pattern because they haven't quite finalized with the metropolitan development people the proper plans to do this," Councilman Wesseler said.

In an email the Department of Metropolitan Development says after review of the final documents, the church needs to apply for a rezoning or variance of use since it’s currently listed as special use religious zoning.

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