A construction company that hit two board of zoning appeals snags last month has withdrawn its two variance petitions for temporary portable asphalt plants.

Rieth-Riley Construction Company of Goshen had petitioned the city of Richmond and Wayne County to permit the plants it would use if awarded a contract for the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Revive I-70 project. The Richmond site was at 450 W. Industries Road, and the county site was immediately northwest of I-70’s interchange with Indiana 1 north of Cambridge City.

A temporary asphalt plant produces hot mix asphalt, and the two locations were convenient for the three stages of Revive I-70 in Wayne County. The project will widen I-70 to three travel lanes in each direction, as well as resurface the roadway, improve bridges and redesign the I-70 interchanges with U.S. 40 and U.S. 35/Williamsburg Pike.

During BZA hearings on consecutive nights, the petitions both faced opposition from neighbors during public hearings, and final decisions were delayed by both BZAs.

In Richmond, the petition had not been signed and submitted 28 days prior to the BZA hearing as required by the city’s unified development ordinance. BZA members opted not to decide the matter rather than setting a precedent contrary to the 28-day requirement.

The April meeting remained open to resume with the Rieth-Riley petition May 8, the next regularly scheduled meeting date. Dustin Purvis, the city’s planning director, indicated that he was contacted April 30 that Rieth-Riley was withdrawing the petition. There is a chance, though, the variance request will return later this year, according to Purvis.

In the county, one of five BZA members missed the April meeting, and a vote on one necessary finding of fact deadlocked 2-2. That delayed the BZA decision until the May 9 meeting when the fifth member would be present to break the tie.

Ron Cross, the county attorney, told commissioners during their May 1 meeting that the county received a letter withdrawing Rieth-Riley’s petition. Commissioners had been notified prior to the public hearing about the variance request because they are owners of the Gateway Industrial Park, which is considered adjacent property to the site in question.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 8 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.