Westfield Plan Commission splits on Wood Wind Golf Club development

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The Westfield Plan Commission made a split decision Monday night regarding a proposal for a major housing development that would surround the Wood Wind Golf Club.

The Plan Commission voted 4-4 on whether to send the proposal to the Westfield City Council with a negative or positive recommendation, which means the council will decide on the project without a recommendation.

Pulte Homes introduced the massive community project in August and has spent months tweaking the proposal based on comments from the city and residents.Wood wind entrance

The nearly 800-acre development would stretch from 146th to 166th streets along both sides of Towne Road and include more than 1,000 single-family homes, a 224-unit multifamily housing complex and a commercial area on the southwest corner of 151st Street and Towne Road.

The community would be built around the existing Wood Wind Golf Course.

Wood Wind was developed by the RN Thomson in 1990 as Westfield's first public golf course and was originally known as Hanging Tree and later Bent Tree.

About a year ago, Mark Thompson, whose family still owns the property, and David Compton, vice president of land acquisition for Pulte Homes, announced that Pulte planned to buy the 18-hole course and revive it with residential development. Previous development plans for the land had proposed bulldozing the golf course.

Since filing the initial proposal in August, Pulte slightly increased the overall size of the project, reduced the number of single-family homes and multifamily units, increased the amount of open space and added more commercial restrictions.

Out of the 1,007 homes that would be built in the community, 69 would be custom homes and remainder would follow one of five designs.

Home would range from one to two stories and from 1,600 square feet to 3,600 square feet. Prices would range from $325,000 to $900,000, with an average price of $443,000.

Compton said they expect it to take 10 to 12 years to build out the entire project.

The multifamily housing section (shown below) would include up to 224 one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 850 square feet to 1,395 square feet. Only six of the units would have three bedrooms.Wood wind multi-family

A flex area would be to the south of the multifamily housing section and could include a mix of residential and commercial uses. An assisted living facility, nursing home and educational institution would also be allowed.

Up to 180 multifamily units could be built in the flex area, and up to 200,000 square feet of combined retail space between the flex and commercial areas would be allowed.

In the commercial area, gas stations, self-service car washes, tattoo parlors, tobacco shops, billiard parlors, cemetery monument sales, dance clubs and amphitheaters would be prohibited. Drive-thrus would also be prohibited, unless they are part of a coffee shop, bank or drug store.

The maximum size of a single tenant would be 52,000 square feet, and any tenant with more than 30,000 square feet could not be a discount store.

The commercial and multifamily sections would not be allowed to be constructed either before Jan. 1, 2019, or before 100 single-family lots are platted in two areas of the community, whichever occurs first.

The golf course is expected to be upgraded and remain open to the public.

New amenities, including a recreation center, lap pool, resort pool, children’s pool, tennis and basketball courts, and banquet pavilion, would be added near the clubhouse at Wood Wind. A trail network would wrap through the development and connect residents to the amenities. About 255 acres of the development would be open space.

Plan Commission and City Council member Steve Hoover voted to support the project and said he appreciated the improvements to the plan that had been made over the past several months.

“It has been a lot of work,” Hoover said. “The amount of work that has gone into those since September I think far exceeds anything I’ve been involved within my eight years with the council.”

Plan Commission member Ginny Kelleher said she still had significant issues with the proposal, but she was not specific.

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.

“I think it’s better than it was, but that doesn't mean it’s good enough yet,” Kelleher said.

Kelleher, Tom Smith, Chris Woodard and David Schmitz opposed the project, while Hoover Randy Graham, Andre Maue and Robert Horkay supported it. Robert Smith was not present.

The next City Council meeting is Feb. 13.

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