The Center Point Planning Commission approved the controversial business plan for Road Runner Resources, Inc., but neighbors to the company are determined to push the business owners to adhere to town and county ordinances.
A formal complaint about the conditions of the Road Runner property was filed May 2007, citing the county "junk" ordinance (17-2007), discrepancies with the town land use plan and lack of an accurate business plan.
After several months of inaction by the company, the town filed suit against Road Runner in the county circuit court, as directed by the town land use plan.
In a resolution drafted by the board's attorney, Eric Somheil, the town dropped the lawsuit and fines against Road Runner in exchange for an updated business plan and specific changes to the property.
The board voted 8-1, with one abstention, to accept the resolution after three public hearings revising the company's business plan.
Road Runner now has five months to clean up the property at the corner of County Roads 300 North and 100 East before they are eligible for the secondary approval needed from the board.
Community members were disappointed in the acceptance of the resolution, voicing concern over the property being returned to a "junk yard."
After the vote, the board opened the meeting to new business, and another formal complaint against Road Runner owners Jeff and Wendy Roe for the condition of their property at CR 200 N and 100 E.
Beth Payne, a neighbor of the property, cited the property was not zoned for commercial use but was being used as a storage site for Road Runner possessions while the first property was being cleaned up.
Payne also asked the board for the proper procedure to appeal the decision on the resolution.
Nearly a dozen community members, mostly neighbors of the property in question, attended the meeting, and several spoke during the public hearing portion against the resolution.
Mike Miles lives across the street from the property, and told the board he is prepared to use legal action against the board and the Roes.
Payne thanked the board for the improvements already made to the property, but there is still more work to be done. She reminded the board that Road Runner had not responded to any board notifications or actions for five years, until the lawsuit was filed.
Payne also described to the board how, as it currently operates, Road Runner does not fit into the scope of the town land use plan.
Julie Parsons addressed the board concerning the future of the town. She compared how Center Point fought against a disruptive landfill in the late 1980s to stopping the Roes from returning their property to a junkyard.
"What we leave, our legacy now, is what will be for our kids' future," Parsons said.
When asked if they would ever be in favor of a business on the property, Parsons and Payne replied that they would be, if it were "appropriate" and "handled correctly."
"We're glad it's done," Wendy Roe said after the meeting. Jeff Roe declined to comment.
If an appeal is filed, the Board of Zoning Appeals will need to be reconvened after several years of not being needed.
The next Planning Commission meeting will be Tuesday, April 15, at 7 p.m., in the Town Hall of Center Point.
The board will be hearing information pertaining to the investigation of the complaint against the Roes for their second property.