APC holds public hearing on Big Hoffa’s, Liberty Ridge

A rendering of the proposed Big Hoffa’s restaurant at the northeast corner of East Street and Ind. 32. (Submitted image)

A rendering of the proposed Big Hoffa’s restaurant at the northeast corner of East Street and Ind. 32. (Submitted image)

By Anna Skinner

The Advisory Plan Commission held eight public hearings July 5, with the last public hearing involving Adam Hoffman, owner of Big Hoffa’s, and the proposed development to expand the restaurant at the northeast corner of East Street and Ind. 32.

Birch Dalton, with Edge Rock Development, spoke before the public hearing to address some of the concerns that the residents near the development had, which include:

Speeding – “Speeding is a current problem (at this intersection), and we don’t think Big Hoffa’s locating at this corner will impact speeding in either direction,” Dalton said.

Traffic – Dalton said traffic is expected to increase, but a roundabout is in the city’s plans for future control of the problem.

Noise – Dalton referred to Hoffman as a good neighbor and “if anything, you will still have your noise on (Ind.) 32.”

Buffer between restaurant and homes – Dalton said the proposal is addressing the buffer issue in two ways: one with a solid fence constructed similarly to the restaurant with stone, and timber, along with some trees.

Alcohol consumption – “This is not a bar. This is a family, sit-down restaurant with catering services,” Dalton said. “It currently serves wine and beer, and they’ve never had a problem. People don’t spend hours here. They come in, enjoy great barbeque and go … This is not where you sit and party.”

Bad neighbor— “(Hoffman) has been in business 13 years, (and) 10 of those are in Westfield,” Dalton said. “He’s prepared to make a huge stake in our community by moving down the street, committing a large sum of money to the building and increasing employment.”

Cut-through to Hillcrest Drive – A cut-through to Hillcrest Drive is planned for future commercial development. The cut-through will allow restaurant visitors to leave the parking lot to Hillcrest Drive to “alleviate traffic concerns on East Street.”

Multiple members of the public spoke, branching off the concerns Dalton highlighted.

“As much as Adam does need a new restaurant as he has outgrown his current location, this location proposes a risk to traffic and also serving alcohol whether that be one drink or five is a major concern,” said Ryan Skipper, a resident near the development. “Many other properties in the Westfield area are already zoned for commercial use … and won’t disrupt our quiet, neighborhood streets.”

Skipper encouraged the plan commission to assist Hoffman finding a location for the new Big Hoffa’s that did not require rezoning.

Other plan commission news:

  • The APC forwarded the Open Doors Planned Unit Development District to the city council with a positive recommendation (8-0).
  • Public hearings were held on the Harmony PUD District Amendment to the apartment area and J.C. Hart Harmony. Brief concerns and questions were asked regarding placement of dumpsters and garages.
  • A public hearing was held on the Liberty Ridge PUD District, on the south side of 151st Street and east of Towne Road. Many concerns were raised by the public saying that two homes per acre did not fit the 2007 Comprehensive Plan. Concerns were also raised regarding the effect on the school system due to the 123 single-family, residential lots. Comments also were made regarding increased traffic, crime and drug use.
  • A public hearing was held for Primrose School, 14711 N. Gray Rd. to allow for an expansion of the building on 1.63 acres. No comments were made.
  • A public hearing was held for Freddy’s Frozen Custard, 2740 E. 146th St., which will renovate the building formerly housing Bagger Dave’s. No comments were made.
  • A public hearing was held for Crew Carwash Company installing a detached canopy structure over the pavement of its property at 14837 Thatcher Lane. No comments were made.