The Conservancy moves forward


By Anna Skinner


Many hear the pleas of others to keep Westfield’s small town feel, and Kristen Burkman is striving for that result.

The Conservancy blossomed months ago out of an urge to promote Westfield’s own public golf course. Now, the developmental project has seen plan commission meetings and city councilors have joined its ranks.

Burkman said the main goal is to preserve rural characteristics of Westfield through subdivisions with lots of open land, parks and green space. Her hopes are to have homes with a minimum of 3-acre properties, as many of the residents already living in that area live on large chunks of land. There are currently many horse farms and hobby farmers that live in that area, as well as many gardeners and orchard owners.

“What our vision is for the future, we would try to keep that same type of density,” Burkman said. “Cluster homes and larger green space, parks and preserving the area are the conservation subdivision vision. A lot of people are already on that type of size land, and we want to maintain the rural landscape.”

At the Feb. 1 plan commission public forum, 39 residents spoke in support of the addendum and 22 spoke in opposition.

“What we’re doing is getting together with the group that had some questions and concerns. As the next step, we will go through their concerns, and a lot of those people are concerned about their personal gains when they want to sell and leave the community, which is totally understandable,” Burkman said.

The Conservancy has a task force, which includes councilors Chuck Lehman, Cindy Spoljaric and Steve Hoover, who also serves on plan commission. Township Trustee Danielle Tolan and plan commission member Ken Kingshill are also a part of the force.

“We just want to thank them for all of their time and efforts they’ve put towards this vision of this part of Westfield,” Burkman said of the task force. “They’ve been absolutely fabulous with this.”