County Council asks questions on 900-acre Granger rezoning and possible development

NOW: County Council asks questions on 900-acre Granger rezoning and possible development

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- On Tuesday the Saint Joseph County Council got to ask questions about the proposed 900-acre rezoning and development in Granger.

An unnamed buyer is looking to build a business tech campus on the St. Joe Farm property, but that land needs to be rezoned as industrial first.

The rezoning petition was sent to Tuesday's committee with a favorable recommendation, but the meeting ended without any action taken as council members field more questions from the public.

County Council members say they're hearing concerns about another large development possibly taking over county farmland.

However, in this case, the owner of St. Joe Farm is losing money due to the siltation of the property.

"Over the past couple decades, he's lost over 40% of the income for the property," says Michael Danch, a consultant for St. Joe Farm.

Danch is representing the owner of St. Joe Farm as he looks to rezone his 900 acres of farmland south of the toll road to industrial so an unnamed developer can build a 1.1 million square foot business tech campus.

Besides the loss of agricultural land, county officials asked about risks to Juday Creek.

Danch says the developer is making preservation a top priority, meeting with the Juday Creek council earlier this month.

"We will be protecting the creek itself," says Danch. "We will be adding some additional buffers along the corridor to keep any siltation out, keep the mud out of the creek.

As for residential concerns brought to the council, the developer says the project will comply with all noise and light standards for the county, adding that because of the location of the property it won't be as much an eyesore that some residents might be envisioning.

"From the standpoint of going by the site, you may see the buildings but because of where they're located, that impact will be a lot less compared to a building that's right up on the roadway," Danch explains.

As anticipation builds to find out who is behind the project, Danch says more information should be released once the site is rezoned and developers can get a good start on the plan.

"Once they rezone it, then basically the contingent purchasers can move on and start doing more of the detailed design work," Danch says.  

There will be a public meeting for residents that live near the area on either May 8 or 9 at Saint Pius church, where they can ask questions and address concerns about the planned project.

Then a final vote on the rezoning will be made by the council on May 14.

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