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Neighbors bring attorney to Summit Estates debate

After Gerry Eckart read a laundry list of concerns on behalf of residents of Indian Hills subdivision north of Corydon on Sky Park Drive, attorney Richard Mullineaux took the floor to further the case May 8 before the Corydon Town Council.
Brothers Don and Steve Thieneman had received a favorable recommendation for their Summit Estates planned unit development a week earlier. The PUD places 102 residential lots on 50.8 acres off Sky Park Drive, something many of the neighbors oppose.
The homes would begin at $175,000 in value.
When council president Fred Cammack called for a motion, he suggested the proposed PUD be tabled. He said there were a number of reasons to delay, including that only he had had an opportunity to review specifications. After taking comments from the audience, the council voted unanimously to table the proposal.
If the zoning change to PUD is granted at a future meeting, the developers will return to Corydon Planning and Zoning Commission to seek project approval.
Among Eckart’s concerns, he said there had been a lack of communication, things were moving too quickly, no satisfactory answer had been given concerning roadway improvements, and housing was too dense.
Cammack said density and fire safety issues had been addressed with wider side yards. The developers had widened the side yards weeks earlier at the request of planning and zoning. Both Cammack and the Thieneman brothers’ attorney, Gregory Fifer, agreed that the project had come before the council quickly.
Mullineaux questioned whether a PUD was appropriate since the plan called for only residential use. He also questioned whether notice of the meeting had been properly given and suggested that the county be contacted to review the proposal. He also said the board is required by statute to give most significant consideration to preserving existing property values.
The county had already reviewed the proposal, Cammack said, and Fifer said he saw no problem with either the PUD request or the notice given for the meeting.
Property values were not discussed.
Drainage issues on the property were also questioned. Experts would be brought in to address those, Don Thieneman said.
‘We feel like what we are proposing with these added amenities, we will have a very successful product that we can market,’ Thieneman said.
Laurie Eckart said her introduction to the planning and zoning process had been an unpleasant one. She said the first notice she received was for last week’s meeting and that a forum was apparently made prior to that meeting. She also said the board’s president, Dr. Len Waite, was rude in his response to her concerns.
She said that Thieneman developments in neighboring communities had problems that the board should research and she wanted the project to fold.
‘The board has a responsibility to preserve the rural lifestyle in the two-mile fringe,’ Eckart said.
The developers’ mother, Hilda Thieneman, was also present. Her home is located on Sky Park Drive, and she spoke in favor of her sons’ proposal.
‘Yes, some drive very fast’ on Sky Park Drive, she said. ‘They don’t watch the speed zone. Some are in this room.’
She offered her own harsh criticism of a development with which the Eckarts had been involved at the intersection of Landmark Avenue and Landmark Way, with S.R. 135.
The Corydon Town Council next meets on May 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Corydon Town Hall.