Neighbors along Bittersweet Road are protesting the potential rezoning of land to industrial uses

NOW: Neighbors along Bittersweet Road are protesting the potential rezoning of land to industrial uses

NEXT:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A rezoning hearing, tabled at the last minute, left already confused neighbors even more disappointed.

Neighbors along Bittersweet Road in St. Joseph County, near Penn High School, told ABC57 they heard about a pending sale between Bashor Children’s Home and Genesis Products.

For the sale to go through, they claim, the land in a residential area near Mishawaka must be rezoned for industrial uses.

Angry neighbors are protesting this move.

In just four days, they collected roughly 500 signatures on a Change.org petition, asking the county council not to turn 70 acres of land, located at 55255 Bittersweet Rd., into an industrial zone.

According to several angry neighbors, who came out to speak at the Area Plan Commission meeting Tuesday, including Garry Beckett, they were told just minutes before the hearing started, the issue is tabled until next month.

The property at 55255 Bittersweet Rd. was donated from a nonprofit called Life Station for one dollar— to a church called Bashor Children’s Home. It was supposed to be used for nonprofit work.

But neighbors next to that property and all along bittersweet road say they found out the land is in the process of being sold to Genesis Products.

Beckett said the plans would include an almost 800-space parking lot.

He argued this is too much development for a residential area, let alone a shame for destroying the natural land.

Also, he said traffic, already bad from the nearby high school, would only get worse.

“They’re talking about 800 parking spaces at this facility,” Beckett said. “So if you have 800 people coming in and out of there, plus trucks plus anything else that’s going on. And then the kids coming back and forth to schools— that’s a major route for the granger kids— it would just be way too much traffic.”

Now that the meeting is tabled and rescheduled for Oct. 18, the new petition goal is 2,000 signatures.


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