Westfield approves housing development near Grand Park

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Grand Park Sports Campus could soon have new neighbors to the north.

The Westfield City Council on Monday night approved a 265-acre housing and commercial development proposed by Indianapolis-based Platinum Properties Management Co. LLC.

The Osborne Trails project, formerly known as Drexler Woods, would be developed between Six Points Road and Horton Road, north of 191st Street. It would be the first major development to border Westfield’s 400-acre sports campus.

Plans for Osborne Trails call for 490 single-family homes spread across 185 acres, along with 47 acres designated for attached residential units such as condos or townhouses. About 32 acres devoted to business use would be developed along the southern edge of the property, closest to the 400-acre Grand Park, which borders 191st Street. Gas stations and fast-food restaurants would not be permitted under the plan.

The attached housing, with units expected to be sold at prices starting at $250,000, would be be north of the commercial section. No apartments would be permitted.

The single-family housing area would be in the northern and western portions of the property. The neighborhood would be restricted to those ages 55 and older, meaning at least one resident in the home would have to meet the age requirement. No one younger than 19 would be allowed to live in the homes.

The detached homes are expected to be at least 1,200 square feet and cost around $400,000.

The community would also include a trail system and an amenity center of at least 7,000 square feet that would contain a fitness center. Other amenities could include a pool, bocce ball court, pickle ball court, tennis court, picnic area and dog park.

Platinum Properties is also expected to provide the city the necessary right of way to connect Horton Road and Spring Mill Road and 193rd and 191st streets.

The City Council voted 5-1-1 on the rezoning request.

Council member Joe Edwards, who was the lone opposing vote, said he wanted to see an economic analysis for the impact the homes could have on city services like police and fire.

Matt Skelton, director of economic and community development for Westfield, said the city does not regularly conduct that kind of analysis, so the information was not available.

“I would like to see us delay until we can see what the economic effect is going to be,” Edwards said. “I’m not necessarily against it.”

Several other council members agreed they would like to have economic impact statements from staff going forward, but they didn’t believe the Osborne Trails project needed to be delayed.

Council member Cindy Spoljaric abstained, saying she liked parts of the proposal, but still had some reservations.

The council also decided Monday night to send the major housing development proposed to surround the Wood Wind Golf Club back to the city’s plan commission.

Earlier this month, the Westfield Plan Commission split 4-4 on whether to send the project to the Westfield City Council with a negative or positive recommendation.

At the request of the developer, Pulte Homes, the council agreed to return the proposal to the plan commission in hopes of getting a majority vote either for or against it.

The nearly 800-acre development would stretch from 146th to 166th streets along both sides of Towne Road. As currently designed, the neighborhood would include more than 1,000 single-family homes, a 225-unit multifamily housing complex and a commercial area on the southwest corner of 151st Street and Towne Road.

Some of the concerns that have been raised by Plan Commission members and nearby residents included the increase to traffic, impact on the school district, inadequate architectural standards and unfavorable commercial uses. Some city officials believed the project shouldn’t include multifamily housing or commercial uses.

Plan Commission members Ginny Kelleher, Tom Smith, Chris Woodard and David Schmitz opposed the project, while Steve Hoover, Randy Graham, Andre Maue and Robert Horkay supported it. Robert Smith was not present, but sent a public letter that said he would have voted against it.

David Compton, vice president of land acquisition for Pulte Homes, told IBJ earlier this month that the company planned to return to the Plan Commission, but declined to comment on whether any major changes would be made to the project.

“We continue to work hard on the Wood Wind development to make it the best it can be,” Compton said.

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