Needful Things denied permit; must close
Zoning Board denial forces closing of Clifty Drive store
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:00 AM
The Zoning Board of Appeals denied renewal of the Clifty Drive Needful Things store's conditional use permit, which had allowed a retail business on land zoned for light industry.
The denial went into effect immediately, so as of Monday night, Needful Things adult store no longer could do business at 2910 Clifty Drive.
The board voted 4-1 to deny the renewal after Police Chief Dan Thurston shared a copy of an Indiana State Police affidavit that was part of the case resulting in the arrest Oct. 2 of Needful Things owner Julie Marshall on 21 felony charges related to dealing drugs, tax evasion and corrupt business practices. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2013.
Indiana State Police Detective Tim Denby's affidavit includes sales of illegal drugs to confidential informants at the Clifty Drive store, and also the finding there by police of an ingredient for synthetic drugs.
Zoning Board chairman Gary Guarino said Marshall has not met the conditions that are reflected in the minutes of the meeting in 2009 when a permit was granted, including that it would be a legal business selling legal items. "And she has been charged with that," Guarino said.
Board member Paul Robinson asked if Marshall had been convicted, and was told that she has been charged but has not gone to trial.
Attorney Jason Pattison, filling in for board attorney Darrell Auxier, said the board could approve or deny the renewal. "I think you can do whichever you want," he said. The board could cite violations of the zoning ordinance including its prohibition of anything hazardous to neighbors and of anything detrimental to the economic welfare of the community, he said.
Board member Cris Sauer voted against the motion to deny the permit renewal. Members Robinson, Guarino, Dan Payne and Carolyn Stutler voted for it.
Marshall was not at the meeting, and no one spoke on her behalf.
She first received a conditional use permit in October 2009 after she already had opened the Clifty Drive store. She told city officials she did not know she needed a permit. The store is outside the city limits but is within the city's zoning jurisdiction. The permit was renewed in 2010 and 2011.
The Zoning Board also voted to deny two other renewals of conditional use permits.
People in the neighborhood near 115 Cragmont St. complained about the appearance and junk in the yard at the mobile home there. Owner Donald Steward was not at the meeting. A neighbor said the tenant told her he would be moving in a couple of months, so the board voted 5-0 to deny the conditional use permit renewal, effective in 65 days. The mobile home must be vacated and moved by then, or the city will turn the matter over to its attorney, the board said. Board members told the neighbors not to expect the mobile home to be moved in 65 days because there is a process that must be followed.
The board also denied Clara Nicholson's application for renewal of her conditional use permit for a mobile home at 3598 Interstate Block Road. She was not present. A neighbor said she has not met the conditions the board had put on the permit when it was renewed previously. The mobile home must be moved in 65 days, the board said.
The board approved four renewals of conditional use permits. They were:
William B. Underwood for a lawnmower repair shop at 1547 Crozier Ave.
Lee Bodem for a third trailer at 1627 Cragmont St. Sauer voted against renewal.
Mike Biles for a four-compartment mobile shower trailer at 1200 W. Second St.
Biles for two RVs for personal use at 1200 W. Second St.
A renewal application was withdrawn by Lisa Benefiel for a mobile home at 1493 Fulton St.