Flying J Can't Get Off the Ground in Indiana

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Flying J Can't Get Off the Ground in Indiana

NEW HAVEN, Ind. -- The city of New Haven is working with an attorney to finalize an appeal, due Feb. 9, to challenge the development of a Flying J Travel Center off of Interstate 469 here, the News-Sentinel reported.

City planning director Brian Yoh told the paper that the city is working with attorney David Van Gilder after hearing earlier this month that its petition for a rehearing in the Indiana Court of Appeals had been denied.

The issue started when Ogden, Utah-based Flying J revealed plans to build a 17-acre travel plaza in the area. The New Haven Board of Zoning Appeals rejected the plans in April 2005, claiming that the development did not fit the land's zoning. When brought to the Allen Circuit Court, it sided with the zoning board. Later, the state's Court of Appeals sided with Flying J and declined to reconsider.

If the city finalizes an appeal to the State Supreme Court, it could accept or reject the case. If rejected, the appeal's court ruling would stand and Flying J would be permitted to build the travel plaza, the report stated.

Yoh told the News-Sentinel that he received petitions from residents asking the city to continue its efforts. "The citizens of New Haven have been very outspoken about this," said Yoh. "They want New Haven to support the zoning code."

Meanwhile, Flying J wants final approval to proceed.

"The sooner this development begins, the sooner Flying J can bring 100 jobs to the community, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to county and city treasuries for services to the public," the company said in a statement provided by its lawyer, Jim Federoff. Flying J estimates that the plaza would have annual payroll of $2 million.

"This project has already been on hold for over two years. Despite past property rights issues, Flying J looks forward to a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with the city and its residents," the company stated.