Judge dismisses landowners’ lawsuit against LEAP District annexation

  • Print
Listen to this story

Subscriber Benefit

As a subscriber you can listen to articles at work, in the car, or while you work out. Subscribe Now
This audio file is brought to you by
Loading audio file, please wait.
  • 0.25
  • 0.50
  • 0.75
  • 1.00
  • 1.25
  • 1.50
  • 1.75
  • 2.00
IL file photo

A Boone County judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a group of landowners against the city of Lebanon over the municipality’s decision to annex 5,200 acres of land and create a new zoning district for the LEAP Lebanon Innovation District, a planned 9,000-acre or more manufacturing and tech hub along Interstate 65.

The 11 landowners filed legal action in January challenging the annexation and the zoning classifications assigned to the annexation area. They argued that the city was improperly assigning zoning classifications to property in Jefferson Township despite that area not being included in the city’s comprehensive plan.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state’s job-creation agency, intervened on behalf of the city in an effort to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Three months later, the city adopted a resolution to include all the annexation area in its comprehensive plan, and the landowners opted not to appeal the ruling.

“We offered no response in objection because they had taken the correct statutory procedures,” said Michael Andreoli, a Zionsville attorney representing the landowners.

The city and IEDC then filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which the court granted Tuesday.

“As I have said from the beginning, this challenge was simply an attempt to delay a 100% voluntary annexation and had no valid reason to be filed,” Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry said in written remarks to Indianapolis Business Journal. “All that resulted from this frivolous lawsuit was a waste of taxpayer dollars and an affirmation that the city of Lebanon followed the law precisely. I am glad we have received the court’s decision to dismiss this case with prejudice.”

City officials will continue to work with the IEDC to develop the LEAP District, he added. LEAP is short for Limitless Exploration/Advanced Pace.

Andreoli said the landowners are considering other legal action.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}