Letter: Willows project should be rejected

We always have and still try to support making Indianapolis a better place to live. A strength of city government for decades has been taking reasonable actions to benefit and improve citizens’ quality of life. We now face and must oppose a misguided proposal to convert the Willows event center to an unreasonable development adversely affecting our neighboring citizens [Developers planning $61M residential project for Willows property, but Nora neighbors unswayed, April 5, IBJ.com].

On the other side of the White River from Broad Ripple, the proposal would:

 build a solid wall of four-story housing some 900 feet long along the entire west side of Spirit Lake;

 use the entirety of that narrow sliver of land to squeeze the wall of housing between Westfield Boulevard and the lake, thus abutting, draining into and creating environmental risk to the carefully cultivated ecosystem of the neighborhood, including White River;

 cram far more density into and change the character of that side of White River, grossly violating the density principle of the city’s 2018 comprehensive land use plan (the proposal treats the water of Spirit Lake as if it were buildable land to claim reduced density);

 massively increase ingress and egress traffic at an already sharp blind curve on Westfield, a two-lane road used by residents, commuters, school buses and commercial vehicles to cross White River to and from Broad Ripple, with difficult traffic situations already existing on the curve, risking the safety of citizens who turn off of and onto, and who ride bicycles and walk along, Westfield; and

 utilize tax-increment financing to reduce the cost to (and increase the profit of) the developer at the expense of the tax base supporting the neighborhoods’ schools and other essential services.

The Willows’ proposal is unreasonable and adverse to quality of life in these and other ways. It should be rejected.

__________

David & Anne Shane

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