Danville Town Council hears growth concern, adopts comprehensive plan

Compiled by Peg McRoy Glover

The Danville Town Council met Jan. 19. Meetings can be viewed on the town’s YouTube channel. The council meets at 7 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays each month at Danville Town Hall, 49 N. Wayne St. The next scheduled meeting is Feb. 2. 

What happened: Steve Somermeyer, owner of Somermeyer Farms, spoke during public comment. He and his wife Kim own a vineyard on 22 acres at 2010 200 N CR 300 E. 

What this means: This is their seventh year in business. They sell their grapes to a winery in Spencer, but their long range plans are to open their own winery. This could add to agritourism in Danville and Hendricks County. They are concerned that planned residential town growth will detract from the winery’s rural atmosphere and that the location would be compromised if 200 N is extended to accommodate traffic growth. Somermeyer asked the council to keep their business in mind with future growth and transportation plans. 

What happened: The council adopted the 2022 comprehensive plan. Cory Whitesell, director of planning for HWC Engineering, presented a summary. HWC managed the research, online presence and public interactions for the development.

What this means: The development of the plan began last winter and is the first update since 1998. It began last winter with an online workshop and progressed with mapping tools, stakeholder meetings, videos and an open house in June. A public hearing happened Dec. 13. The plan commission approved it and recommended it to the council. 

Whitesell said the plan has three main components: growth management strategies, transportation plans and preserving community character. In response to Somermeyer, Whitesell said there is no interest or intent in diminishing or taking out any contributing business, and that there is room to work with them as growth is managed.

What happened: The council made appointments for the tree advisory committee and citizen advisory board. 

What this means: Sarah Wolf, who has been serving and expressed interest in continuing, was appointed to the tree advisory committee. Gary Hemmelgarn and Steve Menchhofer were also appointed to the tree committee. Fred Harris and Jim Phillips were reappointed to the citizens advisory board. David Potter was also appointed.