By Dedra Cordle
The intention of an area business to file a rezoning application has some residents in Pleasant Township voicing concerns.
According to attorney Jack Reynolds, his clients with A7 Trucking Solutions intend to file a rezoning application with the county to turn the agricultural property on Lambert Road into a select commercial planned district.
The filing, he told the Pleasant Township trustees at the June 23 meeting, was due to a planned expansion and relocation as their business model has outgrown its existing location on Stahl Road. Since 2015, he explained, the expedited package delivery company has been operating on 1.8 acres on Stahl Road and has run out of room to grow. With the 9.2 acres offered at 6001 Lambert Road, it would not be as cramped.
“We believe the operation can be tailored to the land there,” said Reynolds.
With the request to rezone to a commercial district comes more stringent rules the company would have to abide by, he said.
“The county is very strict in what the land can and cannot be used for,” he said.
Under the filing, the company said it will store its current fleet of box trucks at the rear of the property, making it less visible to neighboring residents.
According to co-owner Paul Burdak, the company has a fleet of box trucks they use in order to deliver a “variety of goods and materials” across the country though he did not have the exact number on hand.
That comment rankled some in the audience which prompted Reynolds to say they would get the exact number and share a more detailed look at operations at a future township meeting.
Reynolds told the board that the Lambert Road property, which the company purchased for $410,000 at a public auction last year, will not be completely filled with box trucks and that there would be plenty of “green space.”
There will also be fencing and landscaping in order to provide a barrier for neighboring residents, Reynolds said. The plans also call for curb cuts along Lambert Road.
The residents voiced a variety of concerns and complaints: It ranged from the filing, the relocation, the expansion and the company itself.
Dave Lewis, a member of the Timberlake Owners Association, said he was not in favor of their expanded presence on Lambert Road as it will decrease property values, increase the flow of traffic and would create light pollution through the installation of security features.
Reynolds said the daily operation at the company is “low impact” and it would remain that way should their operations move to Lambert Road.
“Their box trucks are not driving in and out of the business throughout the day,” he said.
He said drivers typically access the land to pick up deliveries and then are out moving the products from anywhere between “two days” to “several weeks.”
The drivers, he added, are permitted to keep their personal vehicles on the property during transports.
Resident Glenda Sheets said that while she was concerned that any volume of trucks would cause problems on Lambert Road, she was more concerned with the sight of stationary trucks.
“I farm near Stahl Road so I see their current site every time I go tend to the crops,” she said. “And what I see are stationary trucks and cars packed in like sardines, just sitting there for months on end.”
Sheets said that, based on their current operations, she has little faith that it will be different at Lambert Road.
Burdak said their intention is to repair the property and make sure it stays in compliance with zoning regulations.
Reynolds said they intend to file the rezoning application within the month. It will need to go through a number of entities for planning and zoning review. It will even have to go before the Big Darby Accord Advisory Panel.
Sheets said she intends to be there at the public meetings urging them to turn down the request.
“I just don’t want to see them do to Lambert Road what they did to Stahl Road,” she said.
Chairwoman Nancy Hunter said the trustees will update information of the filings and public meeting dates on their website and Facebook page.
In other news, the public is now invited to re-attend the trustees meeting in person. They will also continue to stream their meetings online. They meet the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the fire department, located at 5373 Norton Road.