University Parkway project might be put on hold

A lot of folks want a major development along Vanderburgh County's University Parkway to hit the slow lane.

Along them are the University of Southern Indiana.

A representative from USI says it's not that the University is against this specific plan involving 200 acres owned by Gene and Jeanne Pfeiffer, but they don't want University Parkway to one day end up like some other busy parts of Evansville.

"Certainly I think the southern end of Green River Road and the area of the Lloyd between Rosenberger and Boehne Camp are examples of the kind of development that wouldn't compliment and reinforce the investment the taxpayers have already made in their state university," says Mark Rozewski, USI's Vice President of Finance and Administration.

It's an investment Rozewski wants to protect by developing a master plan for the area around USI with the community.

"The idea is if we all come together and think through the issues and see a path forward together, we saw a role for us there," says Rozewski.

He says that plan would address thinks like aesthetics, what the area would look like as its developed as well as questions about traffic and utilities.

"The general concern is that this one project, which has some intrinsic merit, some real intrinsic merit, is one of potentially 20 or 30 projects of similar scale that could eventually happen in what is now a completely vacant stretch of University Parkway," says Rozewski.

Speaking on behalf of developers Gene and Jeanne Pfeiffer, attorney Krista Lockyear says they like the idea of a master plan and would be open to joining in.

"They want smart growth, smart development as much as anybody else does," says Lockyear.

But that still doesn't mean they're willing to put this project on hold.

"We're somewhat skeptical that you can get any kind of meaningful studies done in any reasonable amount of time," says Lockyear. "I still think it's a great idea, and we support it whole-heartedly and we want to move forward with it, but it can't cripple what we're trying to do in the meantime."

14 News specifically asked Lockyear what they see as the harm in waiting.

One reason she gave us, the emotional aspect.

She says the whole situation has been hard on the Pfeiffers, having their neighbors upset with them.

County Commissioners will address this rezoning issue in May.

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