REI Real Estate Services is seeking to build 244 apartments in 10 buildings and four commercial outlots on the east side of Michigan Road between 106th and 116th streets.
The 22-acre site, which is zoned B3 and in the Michigan Road corridor overlay zone, was previously home to Altum’s Landscape and Nursery, which moved to Zionsville this summer.
Apartments are typically permitted in B3 zoning, but the site is subject to commitments approved in 1988 that exclude them. Per the commitments, apartments may be granted as a permitted use by the Carmel Plan Commission.
REI presented plans for the site to the plan commission on Dec. 21. During a public hearing, several nearby residents expressed concerns that included increased density near single-family homes, architectural style and quality, and setback requirements.
Several members of the plan commission shared concerns as well.
Commissioner Carrie Holle was the lone vote against advancing the project to the commission’s commercial committee for further discussion. Holle is a Realtor, and she said she believes the project as presented, which she said “has no aesthetic appeal,” would have a negative impact on nearby homes.
“This will not increase property values,” she said. “This will do just the opposite.”
Jon Dobosiewicz, a land use professional who spoke on behalf of REI, said the project team did not believe the apartment buildings fell within the Michigan Road overlay zone because they are more than 400 feet from the roadway, so the architect was not asked to design buildings that met the overlay zone standards. He said REI will ask the architect to rework the design to meet the overlay zone requirements.
The commission voted 6-1 to send the petition to the commercial committee for further review at its Feb. 1n 2021 meeting. The full plan commission will have final voting authority.