By Anna Skinner
The increasing development in Westfield, specifically the recent proposal by Pulte Homes to build approximately 1,000 homes and 495 apartments between 146th and 166th streets, prompted Beth Armstrong to create a petition.
“The name of the petition was ‘Stop Rampant Development in Westfield,’ and it was mainly targeting the change of zoning to PUDs (Planned Unit Development) and these high-density neighborhoods that our infrastructure is basically not ready for,” Armstrong said. “Roads, schools, safety, none of it is prepared right now for the number of neighborhoods that have already been approved.”
The petition elicited more than 700 signatures from Westfield residents concerned about the development. Armstrong lives on 55 acres at 161st Street and Towne Road, an area that is included in the 2007 Comprehensive Plan that asks for lower density in the rural area of Westfield.
“The (residents) of Westfield had their attention turned this direction,” she said. “They embrace the whole city for its different components, and one of those is the rural district of Westfield, and it’s just disappearing with reckless abandon. There were a number of people who said they were moving soon or had already moved and this was why, because of these big subdivisions being approved right and left without any thought to the comprehensive plan.”
Armstrong promoted her petition through Facebook and the Westfield Chatter page, as well as on the Nextdoor mobile app. She also reached out throughout her neighborhood.
Kristen Burkman, a resident also in the rural area on the west side of the city, joined forces with Armstrong with the petition.
“Beth really felt passionate after the neighborhood meeting with Pulte Homes. She really felt passionate there were a lot of people in that room and a lot of people throughout the community that had concern,” Burkman said.