By James Feichtner
Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library was packed with residents from Zionsville neighborhoods The Enclave and Russell Lake East and West the evening of Dec. 2. A homeowners meeting was hosted by CarDon & Associates, Inc. to inform the residents of a possible rezoning of more than 25 acres of land from a rural R1 low density zone to a planned unit development.
The location is known locally as the Windhaven and Chickedee horse farms on 334.
CarDon, a Bloomington-based company, is hoping to rezone the plot of land to construct a senior living community featuring cottages, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers with the largest building being up to three stories tall.
But nearby residents had several concerns about the facility including the size of the buildings, the proximity of the neighborhoods, the population density change, the effects on sewer systems, additional traffic, waste management, lighting and alterations of the nearby pond.
“I think the biggest concern is the three-story [building],” said neighbor Greg Phillips. “If they rotated [the layout], it would open it up and people would look out their window and they would only see a one-story [building]. I’m still a little concerned about the pond.”
“Russell Lake has attempted in previous years to get sewer systems with the response that we don’t have an adequate sewer solution to accommodate us and so with that, continuing concern knowing that this [PUD] is going to have an impact on that, so its above and beyond that aesthetics of [a three-story building]and the property itself,” said Russell Lake resident Kyle Morris.
Neighbors explained that they are not against CarDon as a business.
“It’s the density,” said Enclave resident Joe Gregoline. “The subdivision and the homeowners are extremely concerned about basically having single-family housing on one side and then a high density development on the other. To have a three-story building that’s basically in a residential neighborhood does not fit our neighborhood. The traffic on Oak Street is a huge concern. Anybody who travels from Whitestown to Zionsville basically knows that Oak Street is at max capacity. I’m sure there’s a need for [the facility]in Zionsville, but is it really the right spot?”
Former Zionsville Town Council president Matt Price spoke at the meeting on behalf of CarDon.
“It was a thoughtful group of people with legitimate questions and concerns,” Price said. “Our approach is always to hear the concerns early so we can address them in the proposal. I thought it was a very productive meeting. I was really happy with the fact that we had such a big turn out.”
Price believes that since the land is for sale it is bound to be occupied eventually and that CarDon’s facility would have positive impact compared to other possible developments.
“I think a number of the comments, if you kind of distill them down, relate to the land is changing,” Price said. “I think for sure that however the property is used today, it’s not going to be used for that forever so my thought is if it’s a project that provides a needed service, adds substantially to the town’s tax base and is really about as low of an impact neighbor that any subdivision could ask for, it’s a win, win, win. That’s been our experience in the past is that we’ve been able to work with our neighbors and make the project part of their community.
The proposed rezone will continue to be discussed at public hearing on Dec. 15 at town hall during a Planning Commission meeting.