By Anna Skinner
The Retreat at Mill Grove planned development came before the Noblesville Common Council April 25. Its proposal was tabled instead.
Developers of the 30-acre housing project at the southeast corner of Ind. 38 and Little Chicago Road failed to ask for a waiver for an increase in lot coverage from the Noblesville Plan Commission. Developers returned to the plan commission seeking 60 percent lot coverage, which was rejected. They returned again to ask for some of the homes to have no more than 40 percent lot coverage and others no more than 50 percent. The model home would have 52 percent lot coverage.
Attorney Russell Brown presented on behalf of Fischer Homes.
“We request to try to work in misunderstanding on behalf of Fischer Homes,” he said at the April 25 meeting. “Different jurisdictions calculate lot coverage in different ways, such as only under roof or all on the property. What (Fischer Homes) determined with floor plan lot sizes layouts in 2015 was what was under roof, so then made determination under roof in 2015.”
Buildings such as frontload and courtyard garages, covered patios or sun rooms add more lot coverage.
“We cleaned that up to make sure there are larger lots in the subdivision,” Brown said. “Fischer still believes this is a very attractive, very successful development here in Noblesville. Only lot coverage percentage was changed. We haven’t added additional elevations to the original approved (development). It is simply an adjustment of lot coverage.”
Councilor Brian Ayer suggested eliminating four lots to increase other lot sizes to compensate for the coverage of the homes. Councilor Mary Sue Rowland said a reconfiguration could be helpful.
“Looking at your design, I think there is opportunity to go back and reconfigure your outlots to have space,” Rowland said.
Brown responded that the planned development had split zoning, and the outlots are commercially zoned.
However, some council members said they were worried about more than lot coverage. Ayer said there’s no amenity center in the development. Brown replied that the development was geared towards empty-nesters.
“Empty-nesters who have grandchildren, it would be really nice to have a place for them to play,” Rowland said.
“I’m not comfortable making a decision,” Ayer said. “I don’t remember the floor plans, and I don’t remember the conversation (we) had during the approval process. At the time, plans were approved with 40 percent coverage. I don’t feel comfortable making a decision on this tonight.”
There was no motion to approve the project. It will appear again at the next common council meeting at 7 p.m. May 9 at Noblesville City Hall, 16 S. 10th St. To see an agenda for the meeting, visit noblesville.in.us.