Developer withdraws plans for controversial townhome project in Carmel neighborhood

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The developer behind a proposal to build a controversial townhome project in one of Carmel’s oldest neighborhoods has withdrawn plans for the site.

The project—which met strong opposition from residents in the Johnson Addition, near the Arts & Design District—was scheduled to be discussed at a plan commission committee meeting Tuesday but was withdrawn that afternoon.

AZR Haver LLC purchased a house at 7 Sherman Drive in June 2018 with plans to redevelop it. AZR Haver had asked the city to rezone the property from the R-2 zoning district, which allows for only single-family residential development, to the urban residential district, which would allow for town houses.

Plans called for AZR Haver to construct four two-story townhomes of about 2,000 square feet each on the less than a half-acre site.

Neighbors opposed the project, saying it didn’t match the character of the existing neighborhood and expressing concerns that approval of the rezone request would lead to more parcels in the neighborhood being rezoned for redevelopment.

During a Sept. 3 plan commission committee meeting, members told AZR Haver representatives they wouldn’t recommend the project as currently presented for approval and asked them to go back to the drawing board to craft a plan that was a better fit for the neighborhood, which was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s..

Attorneys for AZR Haver did not immediately return a message from IBJ seeking comment.

Charlie Demler, who runs the neighborhood’s Facebook group and has helped organize the opposition, told IBJ the neighbors are “very pleased.”

“We assume they will be building something there, and we hope it will be more in line with the rest of the neighborhood,” he said. “We’ll be watching to see what happens.”

AZR Haver could submit new plans for the site in the future but would have to wait 90 days.

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