South Bend Common Council rejects petition to rezone former Pepsi plant

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 11:25 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend residents say the site of a former Pepsi Distribution Center has turned into a “junkyard.”

The site is located near the corner of Broadway and High Streets.

At a meeting Monday night, the common council denied a petition from the current property owners after petitioner Bryan Cook did not show up.

According to council members, Cook was given multiple chances to present in front of the council.

The bill would rezone the property from “light industrial” to “heavy industrial.”

According to contact information listed on the petition, Red Tail Properties LLC currently owns the property.

“Unfortunately the petitioner has been nonresponsive for several meetings now and the council has to move forward with making a decision,” said South Bend Common Council President Sharon McBride.

“Which is concerning because we have a number of questions...We have received a number of complaints,” said South Bend Common Council Member Lori Hamann.

“But he just brings more and more cars, and they pile on top of each other, and they are supposed to be behind fences, but the fences are just tarp...and they blow...and you can see the terrible mess back there,” said Resident Conrad Damian.

Neighbors also say:

“Trucks are blocking the streets.”

“It’s noisy.”

“There’s broken glass.”

And it is a “dangerous situation.”

City officials say the property owner has not met zoning requirements and has multiple violations.

They have issued citations and fines.

“The police department and the fire department will be brought in because of state law the city can only fine, even though they are operating currently without a license to do the type of business they are currently doing,” said Hamann.

16 News Now left a voicemail for Cook, but never heard back.

Meantime, city officials say the fire department has the authority to shut down operations.

The council plans to meet with the fire department soon.

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