Even though Platinum Properties LLC’s proposed 290-home Grantham neighborhood on the east side of Fishers was denied this week, a new version of the project might be built on the property anyway, without council input.
The Fishers City Council on Monday voted 5-4 against the Indianapolis-based developer’s rezoning request, which would have paved the way for 290 homes to be built on 157 acres near 113th Street and Southeastern Parkway. The property is already zoned residential but Platinum was seeking to exceed density standards.
Platinum eliminated duplex dwellings and reduced building heights along Southeastern Parkway from two stories to one in its plan, but those changes weren’t enough to sway council members who saw the project as adding too many rooftops to an area with inadequate infrastructure.
“I have to admit, I’m a little taken aback,” Paul Rioux, president of Platinum Properties, said of the rejection. “I’m inclined to pursue, by right, the platting that exists. While I prefer the plan I proposed, we certainly believe there’s still a market there we can serve.”
The Grantham project has undergone several changes since it was first introduced in May. The original plan for 314 lots was reduced to 290 homes, with a mixture of traditional, duplex and empty-nester dwellings.
Tony Bagato, Fishers’ planning and zoning director, said the property’s current zoning allows for 261 homes to be built. He added that concerns about the neighborhood’s impact on the local school system were unsubstantiated, since the local school system has already accounted for the population increase and is planning to absorb it by building a new school and redistricting.
“We did not think these were significant concerns,” he said. “The impacts we’re looking at would be there either way.”
Fishers City Council President Cecilia Coble was among those five members who voted against the project. She expressed concerns about preserving the natural areas on Fishers’ east side and questioned the ability of local roads to absorb the added traffic.
“For me, personally, I would just like to see something different,” she said. “For the infrastructure reasons and because that land is so special, at this time, I’m just not able to make a decision in favor of this.”
Council members Samantha Delong, Brad DeReamer, David George and Jocelyn Vare were the other members to vote against the project.
Council member Pete Peterson was in the minority of those that favored the project. He cautioned that the property would still be developed if the special zoning plan were denied, and a similar number of homes would be built there without the added buffering, trails and other features promised by the special zoning.
“If this was farmland and they were trying to convert it, I think it would be a different discussion, but it’s already zoned residential today,” Bagato said.
Rioux said he’s holding meetings next week to determine how Platinum Properties might develop a different version of the project, with a plan that wouldn’t require a review by the city council.