The Carmel City Council recently approved the Ambleside Point planned unit development rezone near 146th and Towne. This project will pack 260 residential units into 60 acres at a whopping 4.3 times the zoned maximum allowable density. It will include 130 townhouses, even though the S-1 zoning for this property does not permit townhouses. The single-family homes will be as close as 6 feet apart, whereas the zoned minimum spacing is 20 feet. Disappointingly, the council vote was 9-0.
Very few emails opposing this project were sent to city council. This lack of public awareness and initiative enabled city councilors to justify approving this rezone proposal, despite its clear violation of the established zoning/planning and its incompatibility with nearby neighborhoods. Each approval sets a precedent for the next.
Until more Carmel residents are willing to speak out against residential rezones, or until the 2023 election hopefully brings about a change in council membership, the same outcomes are virtually guaranteed.
The mayor and the Dept. of Community Services continue to promote urbanization throughout Carmel via rezones for increased densities and mixed uses, and the majority of city councilors are voting accordingly. The established single-family residential zoning is apparently just an inconvenience that can be sidestepped or ignored by city officials whenever it gets in the way.
To Carmel homeowners: It’s time to pay attention and get involved, especially since a revision of the comprehensive plan is now on the horizon.
Dave Fox, Carmel