Village Voice 08 2020: August

The Village Voice

Village Gateway Interest Form
The Town of Zionsville is embarking on a project to reinvent the gateway into our historic Village Business District.  The Gateway Development Project intends to create a development concept that represents a consensus of the "highest and best use" of the real estate within the area.  The highest and best use must be acceptable to the general public and meet the goals of the Town for having a positive economic and fiscal impact for the community's businesses and residents.  (Source:

The demolition of the PNC bank building and the locksmith shop at the northwest corner of Main and Sycamore Streets was the first step of the project.  Now, Mayor Emily Styron is reaching out to the community for ideas and input.  As the representative organization for the Village residents, the VRA has reached out to Mayor Styron and our district Town Council representatives to indicate our interest in being a part of that conversation.  

As Village residents, we are the population that will see and use this area each day.  This is our opportunity to have input into the development planning.  We come from different backgrounds and have varying talents so together we can come up with something great.  Our members clearly have a lot of passion for our community and the Village so now is our time to step up and get our ideas out there.  

The Gateway Development Project input meetings will kick off at some point this fall but the VRA has put together an initial survey to get a feel for the ideas floating around.  There are several questions that are multiple choice but there is a comment box towards the bottom of the survey if you have a specific idea that you would like to convey. 

Recent Announcements

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President's Letter:

Dear Neighbors –

I hope you are all having a great summer so far! August is sure to be an eventful month with school starting again. In my house the kids are very much looking forward to going back to school. We have new backpacks, lunchboxes, etc. in hopes that they will be able to attend in person for at least a little while. The school year will look different this year but the spirit is still there. ZCS is doing a great job trying to anticipate all of the challenges that may arise while keeping it exciting for the kids.

It is with great regret that the VRA has decided to cancel the annual fall picnic that usually occurs in September. The nature of our fall picnic…potluck, community tables, hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by the VRA…does not lend itself well to the current COVID-19 environment. We waited as long as possible to make a final decision but with other town and community events being canceled, we decided to follow their lead. I know it will be a disappointment to many of our members, who look forward to this yearly event.

On a brighter note, the VRA has also decided to extend all paid memberships for 2020 to 2021. Phil Martini, our treasurer, sent an e-mail at the end of July that perfectly summed up our year. In response to the COVID spread, the Town canceled the large community events (e.g. street dance, park pick up). A lot of members are still uncomfortable with large gatherings. In response, the VRA followed suit and canceled our planned events as well – the Elm St. Park spring potluck, Lincoln Park music events, tour of the fire station, and the annual fall picnic. The silver lining is that our expenses this year are essentially $0. Therefore, we are rolling all paid memberships forward a year.

This year has been a challenge, to say the least, and it is only August. The VRA has gone from a year with record membership to a year with only one meeting due to COVID-19. Given how the year has gone so far, I suspect that most of our remaining fall/winter events will be canceled as well. BUT this gives us the opportunity to make 2021 an excellent comeback year! Until then, be sure to wave/chat with your neighbors from a socially acceptable distance, support our Village merchants, and enjoy the sunshine!


Town Council:


Town Council (and all boards and commissions) continues to meet virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s orders allowing these meetings to happen virtually runs through July 31st, although I suspect it will be extended given the recent trends we’ve seen around infections. If that is the case, you can always follow and participate in these meetings via Zoom or can watch them on YouTube during or afterwards to keep track of what is going on within the Council.

Our agendas these past few months have been relatively light. I was honored to join Councilor Choi in helping to draft a resolution around a call for social justice. This came because of the tragic death of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests around the country, including the peaceful gathering at Town Hall.

The resolution itself is broken down into several statements and actions. It was important for us as a Council to pass more than just words of support and provide actions that can be taken or guidance that can be given for how the Town should operate. Besides condemning racism and inequality, we also pledged to work with the Mayor and Police Chief Spears to review all policies and ensure proper funding for police training is in place.

In addition to this resolution, we’ve been busy with a few economic development drivers for the Town. If you go up I-65, you’ll notice several warehouses going up the West side of the road before you get to the SR 267 exit. This area has become a hot bed for warehouse, distribution and light industrial. Many of those warehouses are currently in Whitestown, however we’ve recently approved some of our own from Van Trust, Becknell and are working with ProLogis.

I read a story last week that the United States may need up to 1 billion square feet in additional warehouse and logistics facilities over the coming 5 years as there continues a move to online shopping and a reduction in just-in-time distribution. We are well positioned with our Interstate access to have these types of facilities in that area. This will be further enhanced with an additional interchange that will be built South of the SR 267 exit off CR 550S.

I expect to see more of these projects, and the property tax revenue they generate, coming to our area in the coming years.