Letter to Editor

Can one person make a difference? My fellow Buck Creek Township residents are on a mission to protect what is one of the last untouched, natural areas in our township on 500W at 300N (near Mt. Comfort Elementary). They have been speaking out at zoning meetings, creating and signing petitions - basically using their First Amendment rights. I’ve joined their fight against more warehouses and truck parking lots county officials are approving for Western Hancock County. They believe county officials are not listening. If you want to support them or if you are a Buck Creek/Vernon Township resident and would like more information, email donnag@griffinforindiana.com or read my letter to the editor in the Greenfield Reporter June 14:

Residents believe county officials

are not listening to them

To the Editor:

The Future Hancock Comprehensive Plan is an admirable effort to meet the county’s needs well into the future. However, as a resident of Buck Creek Township, one of the fastest growing areas of Hancock County, I have more concerns about the present than the future.

I talked with both committee members who helped draft the plan and several of the nearly 50 residents who came to make their comments. However, the people who could address their questions were not in attendance. The most troubling problem is that residents do not believe the local county officials are listening to them. They attend meetings, generate petitions, and speak out, but warehouse projects multiply.

As residents in Buck Creek Township, we are more concerned with what’s happening with current land use. Right now there is construction and chaos with both 700W and I-70 W ramps closed.

Current residents in Buck Creek Township and McCordsville are sandwiched between warehouses, and with the land use plan, this area of Industrial zoning only expands (see planned Walmart warehouse). If this was good planning, then the roads would have come before the warehouses and residents would have had a say in major changes to their neighborhoods. Giving them a chance to comment after the fact about a plan they can’t change is a moot point.

The proposed land use plan is unfairly lopsided with industrial development and a lack of parks and commercial businesses on the western half of the county and a dominance of agricultural, residential, and open space on the eastern half.

The official line is that the higher population and development is on the western part of the county because it is near Indianapolis. However, this doesn’t benefit the people who live in Buck Creek and Vernon townships in Hancock County or residents in McCordsville or Fortville and the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Because planning officials are not talking about commercial development such as restaurants, groceries, shops, and family-friendly activities. The black hole of the land use plan is industrial (i.e. warehouse or semi-trailer parking lots).

Essentially the land use plan is segregating the county with a clear line drawn between urban and rural that’s been in place long before the proposed land use plan. Those who want to live in a diverse, suburban, mixed use setting apparently have to move out of or drive across the county. The county has locked in towns such as McCordsville and basically obliterated any sense of neighborhood in Buck Creek Township. The proposed land use plan only exacerbates this fundamental issue and the divide between the county and residents of unincorporated areas.

Donna Griffin

Buck Creek Township