A rendering of an apartment complex planned for an 11-acre site east of South Indiana Street in the town of Mooresville. TWG DEVELOPMENT
A rendering of an apartment complex planned for an 11-acre site east of South Indiana Street in the town of Mooresville. TWG DEVELOPMENT
MOORESVILLE — The public got a first look Wednesday at a developer’s plans to build 180 multi-family apartments on a piece of land that has sat vacant for decades.

Travis Vencel, of TWG Development, appeared before the Mooresville Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday to present preliminary site plans and ask for a variance to reduce the minimum lot size for each unit to 2,800 square feet. Current zoning laws require each unit to have a minimum lot size of 3,000 square feet.

Vencel said the variance will allow the project size to increase from 171 to 180 units, which is the number needed to receive federal tax credits, he said.

The site, visible from Ind. 67, is located east of South Indiana Street and bordered to the south by Moore Street. Despite the site’s close proximity to commercial businesses, the 11.8-acre parcel is zoned in the town’s R-3 residential district. Vehicle access would be maintained through existing connections to Moore and Indiana streets.

The property is currently owned by Neff Construction Services, LLC, according to Morgan County’s geographic information system (GIS). That developer had planned to build apartments on the site before the project was abandoned.

Rents would range between $720 and $1,033 per month, and residents would be required to make anywhere between $29,800 and $50,940 — depending on the size of the unit — to qualify. Plans call for 90 two-bedroom units, 45 one-bedroom units and 45 three-bedroom units. There would be a leasing office, playground, fitness center and security systems and cameras on site.

Based in Indianapolis, TWG is responsible for 80 developments across 14 states, including nearby properties in Fishers, Lawrence and Columbus.

Some residents expressed concerns about the project, fearing its impact on traffic, runoff and surrounding property values.

Jim and Eileen Mathers are the owners of Thiesing Veneer Company, which is located directly east of the property. In the late 1960s, they were forced to relocate their business from Indianapolis when Interstate 70 was built. In 1970, they purchased property from the Mooresville Development Corporation and moved to Mooresville.

“We thought the town wanted industrial businesses in the area but are now very concerned about these apartments and the non-industrial expansion in this area,” Eileen Mathers said. “We feel industrial and residential should not be mixed.”

Kimberly Schofield, who lives on West South Street, said the development would hurt her property value and snarl traffic.

“You’re ruining my home value and that of my neighbors,” said Schofield, who serves on the Mooresville Plan Commission.

Vencel said the traffic demand would be greater at peak hours if the project were an industrial or commercial development.

“A residential development spreads that trips out over the course of the day,” Vencel said. “When you have a business, those peak times are very busy, because everybody comes at those peak times.”

Board member David Saddler said he was concerned that there was not enough parking for the site as required under the town’s unified development ordinance (UDO).

“This is not acceptable based on complying with UDO,” Saddler said. “So I suggest you consider withdrawing and reapplying.”

The plan offered 291 parking spaces for 180 units, which Vencel believes is more than required.

“We’ve designed it to the UDO,” he said. “If the board would say that they think there needs to be additional parking in excess of that, I’m happy to have that conversation.”

Saddler suggested the board give Vencel the opportunity to withdraw his request and resubmit the plans with more parking spaces.

Vencel said he would be willing to commit to the number of spaces needed in order to get the board’s approval on Wednesday.

“If you’ve done the calculation and have the number, we can amend that today,” he said.

“I’m not gonna give you the number, it’s not my job,” Saddler responded. “It’s my job to look at the information you provided, and based on that, this is not acceptable based on complying with UDO.”

Taking Saddler’s suggestion, Vencel asked for a continuance to allow time to provide updated plans for the board at its next meeting. The board voted 3-1 to grant the continuance, with board member Neal Allman voting against the measure. Board member

Charles McGuire was absent.

The next meeting of the Mooresville Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the Mooresville Government Center, 4 E. Jefferson St.
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