Bradley Ridge receives final approval in Zionsville

Bradley Ridge PUD
The Bradley Ridge development will include 250 single family homes on the east side of Eagle Creek and 40 single family homes on the west side of Eagle Creek, as well as a clubhouse, trails and natural preservation areas. (Image courtesy of Town of Zionsville)

The developer for a luxury residential neighborhood and the grassroots organization Save Rural Zionsville reached an agreement on plans to bring the new homesites to the town. The planned unit development agreement has been approved by the Zionsville Town Council.

A plan to rezone the area between U.S. 421 and C.R. 950 E. to accommodate for a $700 million PUD to include 290 dwellings was approved April 9. Henke Development and Save Rural Zionsville have been working together since mid-2023 on the design plans to develop the rural area in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the existing homes and natural areas.

The development will include 250 single family homes on the east side of Eagle Creek and 40 single family homes on the west side of Eagle Creek with a clubhouse and trails, with no townhomes. Commitments made as part of the PUD include natural area preservation, additional reforestation and downward lighting.

Tony Ridolfo, an attorney representing Save Rural Zionsville, said the group’s favorable position on the PUD came after Henke agreed to several specific commitments. Ridolfo said of the households in the group, 88 percent voted in favor of the PUD. Those homeowners said that the development will be well appointed. Homeowners also said they would rather see a community with large single-family homes and amenities developed at the site versus high-density townhomes or apartments.

Matt Price, an attorney representing Henke Development, said the PUD represents nine months of negotiations with Save Rural Zionsville and includes revisions and private commitments, such as giving current property owners in the vicinity of the project the ability to ask for items such as a review of permits or a request for a stop work order.

Price said the density of 290 homes on 349 acres means there will be less than one unit per acre within the entire development.

“If it’s going to set precedent, it’s going to set the right precedent for Zionsville,” Price said. “The highest quality homes in Indiana, maybe in the Midwest, certainly around the country on less than one unit per acre, over a mile of trails, over 30 percent green space, and providing a home for residents that are going to support the future of rural Zionsville.”

Although Henke Development and Save Rural Zionsville agreed on the PUD, several neighbors spoke in opposition. They raised concerns about increased traffic, density, the impact on the school district and the potential erosion of the rural character of the area.

“I thought we were on the same page with respecting, loving and preserving hundreds of years old trees, wildlife, and being able to see the stars at night,” said Dawn Ayers, a resident on 900 E. “Apparently, that philosophy has changed. I cannot comprehend why our planning commission and town council is allowing and endorsing these big developers to come here and destroy this beautiful town and convert it into the next south Indianapolis or Carmel.”

Councilor Tim McElderry also had reservations about the project. McElderry said the area was originally zoned to support 156 homes.

“It’s 156 to 290, and I think the people who spoke tonight in opposition of this have a major concern about that type of density,” he said. “In my personal opinion, that appears like urban level density in a very rural community.”

After lengthy discussions, the council approved the ordinance by a 6-1 vote, with McElderry the lone no vote.

Henke Development Group of Indianapolis is the developer behind Promontory of Zionsville, Holliday Farms in Zionsville, and The Club at Chatham Hills in Westfield.