County seeking special exception for new jail

Apr. 1—ANDERSON — The last legal hurdles to the construction of a new Madison County jail will be considered by the Anderson Board of Zoning Appels.

The Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday will consider a request by the Madison County Commissioners for a special exception required for the jail.

The BZA meets at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Anderson City Building.

The county is also requesting variances from the required 80 acres for a correctional facility, construction within 300 feet of a residential area and a sign variance.

The staff of the Anderson Municipal Development Department are recommending approval of the special exception and the three variances.

The staff notes it will provide additional safety and security in north Anderson and the location is ideal for other cities and towns needing the services.

Last month the Anderson City Council approved a change in zoning for the jail construction.

The city council Thursday passed the ordinance unanimously with no questions from the council or public comments for the rezoning of the former Meijer property on Broadway.

The county is buying the property from Meijer at a cost of $795,000.

The county is planning to build a facility at a cost of $110.5 million to house 550 inmates and include the administrative offices for the Sheriff's Department.

The jail is proposed for a 26-acre site within the entire 47-acre location to the west of the Wendy's restaurant.

The jail facility and administrative offices will be a 169,100 square foot, two-story structure that will include 250 parking spaces.

According to the petition, the jail itself will be 700 feet from the near residential housing structures.

There will be an entrance on Broadway and entrances on Hartman Road and Scott Street.

Sanjay Patel, project manager with RQAW Architecture, previously said the main entrance to the facility will be off Broadway and the administrative offices will be facing to the east.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.