By Anna Skinner
On Sept. 6, the Advisory Plan Commission held a meeting that included public hearings on several topics. One topic was Wood Wind of Westfield, a proposed development by Pulte Homes that would build approximately 1,000 homes and 495 apartments across 731 acres between 146th and 166th streets.
Residents crowded city hall and lined up outside as seats filled in city hall. During the hearing, those wishing to speak lined up behind the podium.
Before the public hearing opened, Vice President of Land Acquisition for Pulte Homes Indiana Dave Compton explained the project to the plan commission.
Compton said the development would keep Wood Wind Golf Course at its center, and the development would build out over 10 to 12 years. He said the development plans on implementing black horse fence, cobblestone, varying heights of evergreens and prairie grass, wildflowers and more to incorporate a rural feel into the development.
“We understand at Pulte that this is a process, and first step of the process is to continue to make ourselves available to meet with residents,” Compton said. “We have both the local and national experience to see the Wood Wind development through and its 10- to 12-year buildout schedule.”
Compton said this particular development has 20 percent less infrastructure due to curvilinear streets, and that home setbacks range from 25 to 100 feet. The development includes five series of homes, three two-story series and two ranch series. The price range is $325,000 to $525,000. Thirty percent of the proposed community is targeted at empty nesters.
Speakers had lots to say on the topic, both for and against the proposal.
Westfield High School English teacher Dawn Knight, speaking for herself and not the school, said she was concerned about the project because the school is already at high capacity.
“We have nine high school teachers on carts because they don’t have classrooms. During passing periods there are deadlock in the stairwells, students stand there waiting and waiting and waiting to move,” she said. “Class sizes are getting bigger. The density they’re talking here, it scares me. It doesn’t matter if we spread it out over 10 to 12 years, it’s still 1,000 homes.”
Other speakers agreed with Knight, claiming their children were sitting on the floors of school buses because of the crowded interiors. Many buses require students to sit three to a 39-inch seat. School capacity wasn’t the only concern. Other issues are country roads being unable to withstand the increased traffic and inconsistency with the 2007 Comprehensive Plan.
But other speakers supported the development, citing saving the golf course and Pulte’s product excellence.
Judy Crandall, whose family has owned 80 acres in the proposed development since 1938, endorsed the plan.
“I am in support of this project because it does save the Wood Wind Golf Course,” she said. “This is not a dense project as the conservancy would want you to believe. Not everyone wants or can afford a three-acre lot.”
Because it was a public hearing, a vote was not taken on the project.
In other plan commission news:
- The APC approved the construction of a wireless communication tower on Towne Road.
- The APC approved the CVS Pharmacy and Get Go gas station proposed for the Harmony Planned Unit Development District
- The APC held public hearings on a change of zoning across 1.55 acres on the southwest corner of Hoover and Union streets to allow for five parcels instead of three; an amendment the Springmill Trials Planned Unit Development District; and a proposal for the construction of a swimming pool at a home in The Springs at Viking Meadows.