Little League, home builder halt plan for Zionsville HQ development

Little League International and Pulte Homes have officially halted plans to build the organization’s Central Region headquarters and a 78-home subdivision on a 57-acre property at 8602 E. County Road 500S in Zionsville.

On Tuesday night, Matt Price, a Zionsville-based attorney representing Pulte Homes and Little League International, withdrew the group’s application filed with the Zionsville Board of Zoning Appeals for several zoning variances necessary to move the project forward.

The move came about a month after Little League International announced it would begin considering a new site, maybe even outside of Zionsville, following public criticism of the high-density residential real estate development associated with the project.  

"Little League International believes it’s in everyone’s best interest to pursue other options for the development of the Little League Central Region Headquarters," Little League International spokesman Kevin Williams said Wednesday in an email to IBJ. "We will consider all options, including any new locations in the Zionsville area, before making our decision about a potential location."

Williamsport, Pennsylvania-based Little League International announced in November it would locate its Central Region headquarters in Zionsville after a long multistate site-selection process. The youth baseball and softball organization's Central Region headquarters had been located on the northeast side of Indianapolis since 1989.

Zionsville was among 70 communities, including Westfield and Plainfield, to submit proposals. A 20-acre site at 8602 E. County Road 500 South in Zionsville was chosen for the complex.

Officials with the town of Zionsville and those involved with the committee that worked to attract the headquarters to Zionsville did not return messages seeking comment Wednesday. 

In March, Pulte Homes of Indiana filed paperwork with the town of Zionsville detailing plans for a 57.7-acre site that included the proposed Little League site. Pulte Homes had an agreement in place to purchase the land and donate 18 acres to Little League.

Under the plan, land bordering Whitestown Road would have been occupied by Little League’s new headquarters, and the remaining land—about 40 acres—would have been developed into a 78-home subdivision.

Almost immediately, neighbors to the proposed development called foul, saying town leaders and those helping to attract Little League to Zionsville weren’t upfront with residents about the project. They said they didn’t hear a high-density subdivision was included in the plans until after they were filed.

Several weeks ago, some neighbors launched a website and petition opposing the residential portion of the project. The petition received more than 600 signatures. The town is home to about 26,000 residents.

“My neighbors and I are saddened on the entire handling of this situation,” neighbor Kevin Schiferl said Wednesday in an email to IBJ. “It is hoped Little League finds an appropriate home without being wed to a proposed overly dense residential development in an area surrounded by rural zoning. … The issue was never an “anti-Little League” one as some have characterized, but an anti-dense development one.”

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