Most planning commission meetings do not require three members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department to attend.
However, in the case of Tuesday's Center Point Planning Commission meeting, the topic at hand was embattled enough to deserve the sheriff's attention.
A public hearing was held during the meeting to determine the status of revised business and development plans for the property owned by Road Runner Resources, Inc., and the former trucking company, Wenco.
Currently, the town of Center Point has a lawsuit against the owners of the property, Bill Kirchner and Jeff Roe.
The property was approved in 1995 by the commission to operate a trucking company from the premise.
Since then, the property has become blighted and changed company hands. Also, the business has changed direction, becoming a truck repair and parts sales company.
Julie Schmitt, a lawyer from Indianapolis, represents Kirchner and his wife and presented the revised plans to the commissioners.
Schmitt said her client acknowledged the property had gone into disrepair, and had made appropriate clean-up efforts. She also listed future work that would be done, including painting storage containers the same color as the building that is currently on the property.
Schmitt revised the business plan to include the sales of trucking parts, but otherwise kept the plan from 1995 in place.
The plan was changed in order to clarify the facts for the lawsuit and to attempt to move forward with a resolution with the town to dismiss the lawsuit.
The resolution, drafted by Center Point's town attorney Eric Somheil, would require compliance and laid out penalties for not complying with the town ordinance.
Before the board decided on whether to move forward with the resolution, the public had the chance to address the board with their concerns.
Julie Parsons, a small business owner and resident of adjoining property to the Wenco/Road Runner site, was asked by surrounding land owners to speak on their behalf.
Parsons stated the owners of land near the business did not approve the resubmitted plans, because it was vague and inadequate.
She also said the neighbors are opposed to the business being there in general.
Parsons went through the development plan article by article, giving exact reasons why the plan was not completed thoroughly enough.
Concerns such as a lack of business name, no business hours or number of employees, no indication of traffic flow and no mention of development were brought up.
Parsons said the concerned neighbors are also worried about waste runoff into area streams and ponds, given the nature of a truck repair business.
"I feel like they are trying to push this through, and in another year we will be right back here," property owner Beth Payne said.
Schmitt replied to the board that the neighbors were trying to get rid of the business, which was not possible because the land was already zoned and approved for the business.
"The Roe's willingness to keep property in good shape is what's the question," Schmitt said.
During board discussion, Rhonda Rentschler, a former commission president, stated that she could not in good conscience approve the plan without some of the details that Parsons had asked for.
Rentschler was president when the Heritage Brick Factory was built on United States 46 and Highway 59, and had gone through their development plan before approving the construction. She said Heritage's plan was very detailed.
She added that she was not against having businesses in the area, but asked for both parties to work together to find a solution everyone can be happy with.
Commission member Jeff Boyll added he was concerned with the lack of information on the nature and intensity of the business. He said, with the current plan, the business could be a new parts dealer or a junkyard, depending on the reading of the plan.
Chris Koehler added his concerns about putting someone out of business, and the board agreed that was not their intent.
Boyll motioned to table the revised plan until the next meeting, in order to give more time to Schmitt and her clients to create a more specific document.
The next Center Point Planning Commission meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Center Point Town Hall, 7 p.m.