Tamarack disdained by public


By Anna Skinner

At the Dec. 7 Advisory Plan Commission meeting, there was only standing room available as bitter Westfield residents packed themselves into city hall.

They’d already voiced their concerns over the proposal when the Tamarack Planned Unit Development went before the city in June. However, the petitioner withdrew and the project was recently resubmitted with an additional parcel to the 53 lot single family development and with the offer of paying approximately $250,000 for future traffic construction on 161st Street and Oak Road, such as a roundabout.

Some members of the public did not fare lightly to the resubmission of the proposal they didn’t care for months earlier, with 14 people speaking against the project for approximately an hour at the public hearing.

Dave Miller, a resident of 23 years who lives near the development, spoke first. Many of those who spoke afterward voiced his same concerns.

“We were here May, June, July and now we are back,” Miller said. “This Tamarack project is a representation of the growth and sprawl going on here the last several years. Do we want to fill in every 35 acre bean field or distressed lot? Or are we going to put the brakes on this and say this might be the place to slow down and manage our growth?”

Other speakers were concerned over the price value of their property decreasing due to the lot sizes of the Tamarack development.

“(Westfield) is all about character, and what you see before you tonight does not fit the character of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Jonathan Dilley, president of the Oak Manor Home Owners Association. “It is not about quality, it is about home size and lot size. We believe there are other M/I models that would be appropriate for this community.”

With the average lot size of homes between 151st and 171st Streets and Carey and Oak Roads being approximately 1.8 acres, the average Tamarack home was proposed at .2 acres. Nine Tamarack homes would fit into one average lot size in that section of Westfield.

Rob Stokes, a member of Westfield City Council and a Westfield resident, also attended the meeting and spoke to the APC.

“I have never received this much lack of support for a plan,” Stokes said. “You have an obligation to support the people’s will, desire and needs. I don’t have anything against M/I Homes, but look at the number of people in this room, and what does that tell you?”

The homes in the Tamarack development are proposed to sell for between $325,000 and $375,000.

Other than the public hearing, no action was taken on Tamarack at the Dec. 7 meeting.