In an article posted today, IBJ reporter Scott Olson, says that the airport is run by the Hamilton County Airport Authority, even though a portion of the property lies within Boone County.
Zionsville’s dispute with the airport’s operator, the Hamilton County Airport Authority, began in 2008 when the town annexed Union Township.The Airport Authority took the matter to Court in Marion County, and that Judge decided in favor of the Authority. Now, on appeal, the decision has gone the other way.
Hamilton County purchased the airport, which is located on East State Road 32 just within neighboring Boone County’s eastern border, in 2003.
Boone County Commissioners and the Boone County Area Plan Commission had allowed the airport authority to govern land use at the airport by creating a special airport district under the county zoning ordinance.
But, in February 2010, nearly two years after the annexation, Zionsville officials notified the authority that it needed approval from the town’s planning department before obtaining construction permits.
The Indiana Court of Appeals’ opinion was written by Senior Judge Randall Shepard, who retired in March as chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court.Here in Marion County, the Indianapolis Airport Authority does its own zoning - with no public input mind you. They do whatever they feel like, without regard to neighbors and their property values. Take for example the hideous container storage use on the airport's north side in an area previously used for airport parking. The effect of this eyesore on abutting private property is apparently of no concern to the Airport Authority.
“The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a general unit of government maintains zoning authority within its boundaries, even as to other general governments,” Shepard wrote.
With this ruling now in place, Indianapolis should restore its sole jurisdiction in zoning matters over at the Indianapolis Airport so that the Airport is forced to be a better neighbor, and so residents and private property owners can get a fair hearing - as opposed to no hearing at all.