Noblesville OKs apartments despite concerns

July 16, 2014
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Noblesville Common Council signed off Tuesday on three apartment projects that will add almost 850 units to the city’s housing inventory, then agreed to talk about when to say when.

“I don’t have a lot of interest in approving any more apartments,” Councilor Brian Ayer said after the votes, especially if a project would contribute to sprawl and strain city services. “We need to come up with where we stand on this issue.”

His comments echoed the concerns council colleague Steve Wood expressed last month, when the three proposals were introduced.

As IBJ reported in its print edition this week, an apartment-building boom in the northern suburbs has some officials worried about the risks of adding too much too fast. About 2,000 units are under construction north of 96th Street and another 3,500 have at least preliminary approval.

The Noblesville projects approved Tuesday would add 352 apartments at The Crossing, a mixed-use project planned for the northeast corner of State Road 37 and 146th Street; 368 units at the Flats at 146 of Meredith Meadows, in the 15000 block of Union Chapel Road; and 124 single-story units in Templeton Ridge, on the east side of Gray Road just north of 146th Street.

Wood voted against all three proposals, and Ayer opposed Flats at 146 and Templeton Ridge. Council President Mark Boice voted against the Templeton project and withheld his vote on the Crossing plan.

“I’m not saying shut the door” on future development, Ayer said, but the city should be cautious going forward.

Other Noblesville council members also chimed in, saying the approved projects reflect the community’s high standards and are well-located to make use of existing city services. Still, they agreed it may be time to slow down.

“We have to be intentional, thoughtful about where we look at new multifamily projects,” said Councilor Greg O’Connor.

Boice said officials should do everything possible to protect the city’s charm. Because apartment dwellers tend to be more transient than homeowners, he’s concerned approving too many projects will affect the small-town atmosphere.
“That kind of scares me,” he said. “We need to make sure we keep the quaintness of Noblesville.”

  • What does Noblesville gain
    What does Noblesville gain from these projects? No tax revenue from renters. They get Noblesville services like police and fire protection.Maybe they will shop at some stores? Meanwhile, we have numerous home for sale that will remain vacant if rental property is available. This just adds weight to strained inter structure without any benefit.
    • Renters Pay Property Taxes
      @ Joe: Commercial property is taxed at 3% of the value, instead of 1% for residential, so the property will be worth a lot more, and the rate is higher. Such taxes are collected by the landlord from the renters as part of the rent (don't look for a line item, but it's in there) and remit it to government.
    • Also income tax
      Math quiz time. Which development pays more in local income tax 1) one with 20 McMansions and household income of $200,000 each or 2) 100 apartments with household income of $45,000 each?
    • Good but bad
      Good to see the council agree that things need to slow down and not approve everything. There was even council people who disagreed with this project. That being said, 2 of these projects are practically in the same area. Does Noblesville really need that many more apt complexes? Is there a rush of people moving to Noblesville? Having worked there for a year, I liked the town, but I would rather live in Carmel, Fishers, or the north side as it has more around it and is closer to the interstate.
    • Income Taxes
      @ thundermutt: Obviously the 200K households pay more since the 45K households would generally have a negative effective tax rate, but the town gets almost none of that.
    • bad move
      sorry to see this happen. certain common council members must be expecting quid-pro-quo.
    • Apartments pay more tax
      Just a note, Apartments, at 3%, pay more property tax than home owners. Commercial tax rate is much higher, and the property is more dense, which is less of a strain on city services. Renters pay this property tax when they pay their rent. Just a correction to misinformation.

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