GREENFIELD — The Indiana Bandits youth baseball league has appealed last month’s decision by the Hancock County Area Board of Zoning Appeals that shuttered the league’s plans to build a baseball complex adjacent to Spring Lake.
The Bandits filed the appeal last Thursday in Hancock County Superior Court within the 30-day appeal period from the BZA’s Aug. 29 ruling. In the appeal, the Bandits say the county has violated its own zoning laws and that one BZA member may have had a conflict of interest in voting against the facility.
That decision reversed county planning director Mike Dale’s determination that the league’s proposal to develop a 35-acre baseball complex in the 200 block of South CR 250W met zoning standards for the area.
The county’s land-use ordinances allow park uses, defined to include “athletic facilities,” and based on that language, Dale ruled the facility could be permitted.
However, when residents of Spring Lake directly across the road from the site learned of the proposal, they quickly organized and appealed Dale’s decision to the BZA, alleging a host of negative impacts to their community.
The BZA voted 3-2 to overturn Dale’s decision and disallow the park, stating “the proposed facility does not qualify as a ‘park’ and/or ‘athletic facility’ as defined and intended in the county zoning chapter, and is therefore not a permitted use…”