WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Some neighbors in the Bar Barry Heights neighborhood are ready to fight to keep a residential lot from being rezoned as commercial.
The lot in question is at the corner of Kent and Salisbury Streets.
Heman Lawson Hawks accounting firm, located adjacent to the south of the lot, bought the property in 2012. According to the Area Plan Commission report, they say their intention is to expand on their current storefront to the east and then use the lot for additional parking.
Documents show the new owner obtained a demolition permit to tear down the house in 2017.
Neighbors say the new owner let the house that once stood here become a run down eye sore before it was torn down.
Many neighbors, including Michael Hancock, have already signed a petition to stop the rezoning.
“We moved into this neighborhood over 35 years ago with the intention of it being residential and not going into a retail or industrial type atmosphere,” he said.
Hancock said he's worried allowing this could cause more commercial businesses to encroach on the neighborhood. The city also has the same concerns based on the report.
The Partlowe family said they are going on 37 years in the neighborhood. They want to see this neighborhood stay family oriented.
“You know this is a neighborhood, this is a family neighborhood,” said George Partlowe as his wife, Janet stood by in agreement. “We really don’t need a commercial business. That's all along the parkway and that's fine over there.”
According to staff comments on an Area Plan Commission report, they would need a more accurate and scalable site plan before determining if the standards of the ordinance can be met.
Most residents are against the change, but a few have voiced indifference or support for rezoning the lot commercial.
Local attorney Joseph Bumbleberg is representing the accounting firm. He could not be reached for a comment.
The lot is on the Area Plan Commission agenda as the second case listed under the Rezoning Activities section. That meeting is scheduled for the September 19th at 6 p.m. in the the Tippecanoe Room of the County Office Building.
The neighbors say they plan to be there to show support to keep the neighborhood residential at the meeting.