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By STEVEN MURREY
The Elwood Planning Commission met Monday evening at the Municipal Building for a regular meeting.
Following roll call, the commissioners approved minutes from the previous meeting held Feb. 21.
Under old business, Planning Director and Special Projects Advisor Bill Savage provided an update on the Elwood Comprehensive Plan. Savage said the group behind the plan will address the City Council next month, and that the draft proposal for the plan was approved by OCRA, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Savage said the commission had previously submitted a favorable recommendation to the council.
Under new business, the commissioners closed the meeting for a public hearing on a zoning request for the former Kingdom Hall, located at 1030 S State Road 37. Josh and Emily Fisher, the new owners of the building, requested a rezoning from “R3” (residential) to “D3.” The Fishers told the commissioners they plan to open a third location of their business called The Growing Place, which provides intensive ABA therapy for autistic youths. The Fishers own two other locations, both in Anderson.
Emily Fisher said her plan is to employ up to thirty therapists at the new Elwood location. During the public hearing, the commercial real estate agent representing the Fishers said they have remodeled one other Kingdom Hall in Anderson, which has the same floor plan as the Elwood location.
“Instead of building new buildings, they’re repurposing buildings and bringing really good jobs to the community,” the real estate agent told the commissioners.
Tammy Noland asked if the Elwood location would accept Medicaid. Emily Fisher said that currently, 100 percent of patients at the Anderson locations are on Medicaid, and that the Elwood location would also accept Medicaid. Fisher said they hope to serve approximately 25 children at the Elwood location.
Following the public hearing, the Planning Commission approved the rezoning changes.
The Planning Commission will meet next May