It was standing room only at the Zionsville Plan Commission’s Dec. 18 meeting, with a vast majority of audience members attending to remonstrate against a plan to rezone the defunct Wolf Run Golf Club for hundreds of new homes and retail space.
Petitioner Stan Burton, owner of the golf course, is requesting the rezoning from Rural R-1 Residential to a planned unit development on 235 acres on the southwest corner of US 421 and SR 32. The Wolf Run Community is proposed to have a maximum of 360 single-family detached homes ranging in price from $400,000 to $1.5 million, mixed-use buildings with retail and offices or up to 200 multi-family housing units, a clubhouse of at least 3,000 square feet, walking trails and a swimming pool.
Jim Shinaver, an attorney representing the petitioner, said Burton worked to “incorporate important elements” of the town’s long-term plans for the site into the PUD. But many in the audience disagreed.
“(This proposal is) making (Zionsville) ordinary,” said Doug Boles, who lives in the nearby Timber Wolf neighborhood. “What makes us different is that we don’t have to be Carmel. We don’t have to be Whitestown. We don’t have to take the fast dollar. We do the right thing, which is plan things out.”
Ed Espey, a founding member of Wolf Run Golf Club, said he would prefer to see the course remain operational, as it has attracted celebrities such as Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Mike Ditka, Glenn Frey and many others to Zionsville.
“Our hope is that the community sees the benefits of having a world class golf course right here in our community rather than succumb to the green desires of someone that would bulldoze it over like it was a cornfield just for the money,” he said.
Mike Andreoli, an attorney representing the remonstrators, said many of them are aren’t comfortable with Burton’s qualifications to develop the site.
“They’re concerned about making sure this isn’t amateur hour,” Andreoli said. “Mr. Burton is not a developer.”
Real estate agent Gary Angstadt was the lone audience member to speak in support of the proposal.
“This project has many positive aspects,” he said. “When I’m helping buyers buy a house in Zionsville, especially from out of state, we’re happy to find three or four houses to look at in a given price point. We can find 20 in Carmel, so guess where they typically buy?”
Plan commissioners voiced several questions about the project, ranging from drainage to impacts on schools to the number of entrances. After more than an hour of discussion, the commission voted to continue the request to its Jan. 16, 2018 meeting to allow additional time to review the project.