While the Keenland Park Planned Unit Development has advanced to the Westfield-Washington Advisory Plan Commission, the project faces strong opposition if it returns to the Westfield City Council.
Rick Lawrence, attorney for the development, explained the project is seeking rezoning of the 72 acres of agriculture to build 180 to 185 single family units when it was introduced to the city council on Sept. 10. Lawrence said the development would include two different lot sizes and six different home styles – Craftsman, English Revival, French Country, Italianate, Shingle and Victorian. The development amenities would include a small park (minimum of 10,000 sq. ft.), playground, gazebo and integrated trail system which included connection to the trail in Maple Knoll common area.
Following a brief presentation, District 4 Councilman John Dippel expressed his opposition to the project.
“I don’t need any more houses on the west side of Westfield,” he told the petitioners.
Dippel said if the development offered “something unique and new” and wasn’t a “cookie cutter project” he might have less opposition. He explained that Maple Knoll still had 110 lots left and there are currently a few other subdivisions with vacant spaces.
“If someone was looking for a home from $129,000 to $5 million, I can do it. It’s not a price point issue,” said Dippel. “I got all the houses I need.”
With the project’s proposal of more than 175 family homes, Dippel said the enrollment impact it would have on Westfield Washington Schools was another consideration.
“You do what you want, but when you come back I will be a no,” Dippel said, adding he would try to encourage his fellow councilman to also vote against the project.
Like Dippel, Councilman Jim Ake shared his concern about the project’s impact on the school district. The lone support for the project came from Steve Hoover.
“This is much more attractive housing than we have in other projects,” he said. “We just need to make sure the product is high quality and looks like the illustrations.”