Oct. 13—ANDERSON — The Madison County Plan Commission is recommending a rezoning for the use of a former church as an office building.
Drew's Parts received approval Tuesday for the rezoning from residential to general commercial for the building located at 815 E. School St.
The company has been at odds with residents along McArthur Court over activities on the former ABC Rail property over drainage concerns and the alleged operation of a salvage yard.
Planning director Brad Newman said the Technical Review Committee approved the request with conditions of only office use of the building. Any change in the future use would require a special use.
The building was the former site of the Glad Tidings Church which sold it to Kelly Drews in 2019.
Two residents voiced support for the rezoning request, which will have to be approved by the Madison County Board of Commissioners.
"I've had no issues with the company," resident John Holloman said. "My main complaint is for it to sit empty. I'm thankful the property is being used for something other than a homeless camp."
Resident Brian Martin said he appreciated Drew's Parts making it useful for the community.
Plan commissioner Lindsay Brown said Drew's Parts hadn't followed any rules up to this point in time and questioned why would they follow the rules now.
"If we rezone this there will be more complaints from residents about the use of the property," he said.
Newman said Kelly Drews is working to bring the property into compliance, has removed the heavy equipment and is constructing a retention pond.
Attorney Ralph Sipes, representing Drews, said Madison Circuit Court Division 4 Judge David Happe ruled on Oct. 1 that Drew's Parts was not a salvage yard and had passed all requirements of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
"He (Drews) is in compliance or making efforts to come into compliance," Sipes said.
Newman said the Indiana Secretary of State's office, which permits salvage yards, has determined it is not a salvage operation and the company is working toward compliance.
Plan commission chairman Wes Likens asked what the building could be used for if the property is not rezoned.
Newman said it could be used as a church or the owner could have the building demolished for construction of a house.
"It's useless at this point," Likens said of the current zoning.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.