Sierran Masthead

Developer of Strip Mall Drops Appeal to Fill Floodplain

by Sandra Miles & Rosemary Spalding of the Heartlands Group

Centre Properties, which is developing a strip mall at 96th Street and Allisonville Road in southern Hamilton County, has withdrawn its appeal of the permit it was denied by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to fill approximately 15 acres of White River floodplain.

A permit that the DNR issued for another part of the project is under appeal by the Club and others. The Sierra Club has opposed this destructive development since it was proposed in 1996.

Centre Properties cut and destroyed most the trees from the once-dense woods on the property, and then perversely named the proposed development White Oaks.

Development of part of the strip mall has been halted during the appeal process.

DNR denied Centre Properties a permit to fill 15 acres of White River floodplain. Centre Properties had appealed this denial. This is the appeal they have now dropped.

“We are heartened to see the threat to one of the last remaining natural areas along the White River has been halted,” said Phyllis Zimmerman, a member of the Sierra Club Heartlands Group conservation committee.

DNR did issue Centre Properties a permit to enclose Behner Brook’s riparian corridor in a culvert and bury it under 11 feet of dirt in order to pave or build over it.

This permit has been appealed by two citizens, the Sierra Club, and the Hoosier Environmental Council.

The hearing on this permit, and on a permit to construct a mitigation wetland to compensate for burying Behner Brook, was held last month.

Susan Thomas, the former director of the Sierra Club’s Wetlands Project, was the Sierra Club’s expert witness.

The parties must file their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law with the administrative law judge by Dec. 22.

The administrative law judge will make her recommendation to the Natural Resources Commission sometime after that.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[11/4/02]efp

Winter 1999-2000