City wants GDX site rezoned

By Joseph Slacian

The City of Wabash checked off another item on its to-do list for the creation of a housing project at the site of the former GDX plant.

The Wabash City Council, during its meeting on Monday, April 26, passed a resolution requesting the city’s Plan Commission to consider changing the zoning of the Stitt Street site. The commission was expected to consider the matter when it meets May 5.

The city is requesting the commission change the site from its current Light Industrial zoning to a Residential 4 (R-4) zoning to allow for both single family and multi-family housing units.

There are three ways in which a zoning area can be changed, City Attorney Doug Lehman explained to Council members.

One is if someone petitions the commission to do so, he said, noting, “typically that would be a property owner.”

The second way is if the commission on its own decides it wants to recommend a zoning change. The third way is if the council requests a change “and therefore directs the Plan Commission to consider making a change on it,” he continued.

There are four levels of residential zoning:

Residential 1 is for single family dwellings

Residential 2 is for duplexes.

Residential 3 is for small apartment complexes.

Residential 4 is for large apartment complexes.

“This is going to be a planned unit development where there will be a little bit of a mix in terms of the housing available there, so the best thing would be to make it an R-4 which deals with the most dense units of housing,” Lehman said. “As a planned unit development, it would authorized then to be done.”

The plan is for single family housing and an apartment complex on the 30-acre site. There also is a potential for some duplexes, Mayor Scott Long said.

However, before anything can be done at the site, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management must order the former owners, Aerojet Rocketdyne, to clean up the site to housing standards.

Representatives from IDEM and Aerojet Rocketdyne are now negotiating how much cleanup must be done.

If a change is proposed by the Plan Commission, it must come back to the City Council for final approval.

Posted on 2021 May 04