I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that Zionsville – the town I’ve lived in for decades – again is not supportive of new development. My neighbor who owns Wolf Run Golf Club put forth a beautiful plan to transform the golf course property into a neighborhood that today’s homeowners are demanding.
The new Wolf Run Community is a walkable neighborhood, filled with low-maintenance homes for empty nesters and estates for families with some of the most beautiful land in central Indiana reserved for open space with nature trails. The trails and parks are an asset to the entire community of Zionsville, but the economic benefits are much greater.
More than $2 million in property taxes would be collected from the homes alone. Currently, less than $20,000 a year in property taxes goes to Zionsville and Boone County from Wolf Run as a golf course.
The other benefit that the Wolf Run development brings to the area is much-needed utilities (water and wastewater treatment), facilitating commercial development around the airport, enabling use of the contiguous school property and increasing property values in the entire area (not just new residents of Wolf Run). Bringing utilities to the area is tremendously expensive, and the owner/petitioner would foot the bill – not taxpayers.
As a third-generation resident of Zionsville, who has been involved in land use issues for nearly 40 years, serving on both the Boone County Plan Commission and Zionsville Plan Commission, the Wolf Run Community is smart, strategic growth done the Zionsville way.
I’ve seen residents since the 1970s resist change and the development of new homes. It is a reputation that I had hoped our town had shed. But when the Zionsville Plan Commission voted recently against giving the Wolf Run petitioner more time to refine the plan and instead voted for an unfavorable recommendation to the Zionsville Town Council, this signals that we may be stuck in our old ways.
Soon, the town council will consider whether the petitioner is able to move forward with the Wolf Run Community. All the modifications the petitioner was in the process of making will not be considered. These changes were important because they were being made after listening to feedback from the community and the recommendations from the plan commission.
The petitioner valued the input he received from the neighbors of Wolf Run – so much so that he was making drastic modifications compared to what was in the original plan. He was removing the commercial area, eliminating apartments, reducing the number of homes, addressing traffic concerns, moving an entrance and reviewing drainage.
This all takes considerable time and money that the petitioner was willing to spend in order to continue to work with our neighbors, and it is alarming that his efforts weren’t recognized.
It is clear he is committed to building a new neighborhood that all of us could be proud of as well as provide a tremendous economic boost to Zionsville. I strongly urge the Zionsville Town Council to vote in favor of allowing a new neighborhood at Wolf Run.
John (Jay) Parks, Zionsville