The Noblesville Common Council tackled the housing issue of how much is too much at its July 15 meeting. After approving three multifamily projects, which comprise a total of 844 units in almost 75 acres, councilors expressed that anymore apartment complexes might be a tough sale to the group.
“We need to be very conscious of what we do and provide administration with our thoughts,” Councilor Brian Ayer said. “Personally, I’m not interested in approving any more apartment complexes unless they are within walking distance of amenities like downtown. I’m not shutting the door by any means. I think there are very appropriate places to put small apartments.”
Council President Mark Boice said a concern with apartments is transience.
“Noblesville has more than 50,000 residents but still feels like a small town,” he said. “We need to make sure we keep the quaintness of Noblesville. So few communities have that and envy us.”
Other council members said the approved projects reflect the community’s high standards and are well-located to make use of existing city services. Still, they agreed it may be time to slow down.
“We have to be intentional, thoughtful about where we put new apartments,” Councilor Greg O’Connor said. “Where are they going? Are they going to fill a need?”
Councilor Rick Taylor said the city’s apartments are at approximately 90 percent capacity.
“We’ve stressed market value, made standards bigger and better than we’ve had in the past,” he said. “As a council we have an obligation to make sure we have quality apartments.”
Councilor Steve Wood said Noblesville Schools’ officials needed to be included in discussions of the residential future of the city.
“This greatly affects them too,” he said. “Somehow, someway we need to get the schools involved.”
Planning Director Christy Langley said all three developments have agreed to 35-year covenants to not appeal assessed value and subsidized revenues. Each also will have market rate housing, which means that rental costs are based on current market prices. There are no income limits or special requirements, however residents do have to prove they have the income to pay rent and meet our general guidelines.
The three approved developments include:
Size: 352 units on 25 acres
Location: East of 146th Street between Ind. 37 and North Pointe Boulevard
Project: The project is a total of 80 acres with 25 being a 13 building apartment complex and the other land designated for commercial use. Developers said they are in talks with county officials about the potential teardrop intersection improvement to 146th Street and Ind. 37. The development plans do not state any details for the commercial property, except for an
“automobile repair/body shop.” Under the signs exhibit, it can be determined that a Volkswagen dealership will be the main business on the lot. The city and developer declined to share more details at this time.
“Flats at 146th of Meredith Meadows”
Size: 368 units on 24.5 acres
Location: 15000 block of Union Chapel Road
Project: “Chapel Pointe Flats” was previously approved for 491 apartment units in 15 buildings. The updated plans reduce the number of units to 368 in 23 courtyard-style buildings. “It’s a much better project than what was originally approved,” Langley said. “Overall it’s a better product. We feel more confident about the layout and split pond.” The complex will consists of 138 one-room units, 194 two-room apartments and 36 three-bedroom units.
Size: 124 units on 25 acres
Location: 14700 block of Gray Road
Project: Plans are for one-story buildings with two-bedroom floor plans and one or two car attached garages. The secluded complex is designed for ages 55 and older. “Much of the wooded area will be kept on the south side,” Langley said. Redwood Acquisitions is in the process of building The Hamptons apartments on Town and Country Boulevard in Noblesville and has two projects in Westfield. While the project would not be in Noblesville Township, Redwood will annex once the opportunity is available. Langley said the complex would be appropriate because of Westfield’s intensity of residential and commercial development on Gray Road.
None of the developments were unanimously approved. Wood voted against all three and Ayer opposed Flats at 146th and Templeton Ridge. Boice voted against Templeton Ridge and abstained on The Crossing plan.