Commentary by Tony Green
Home Place may now be part of the City of Carmel, but the city must make a significant and ongoing effort to honor and preserve the unique character of the community. As an independent voice on the Carmel City Council, I believe there are five steps the city must take to go beyond absorbing Home Place, and I am working to ensure that the city does right by the residents of Home Place.
First, the city needs to welcome Home Place residents. The city is planning a Home Place Welcome Celebration March 2 at the Hensel Government Center. All Home Place residents are welcome and encouraged to attend this opportunity to learn about the services provided by the city, how to access them and to meet the people who provide them. I look forward to meeting you there.
Second, city leaders must work with school officials and Home Place residents to determine the best use for Orchard Park Elementary School, which could become a park with a running track, tennis courts, fitness stations and possibly a community center.
Third, Carmel must commit to continued use of the Hensel Government Center and possibly expand that role as an outreach facility for Carmel Police.
Fourth, the Carmel Historic Preservation Commission must preserve and protect Home Place’s heritage by reviewing historic structures, sites and monuments. For example, we must preserve the burial site at 106th and College of a celebrated hero from the War of 1812.
Fifth, city leaders must work with Home Place residents to see if there is sufficient interest in changing the last line of the mailing address from Indianapolis to Carmel through the ZIP code boundary review process.
Carmel is developing a list of investments in Home Place, including new roundabouts, sidewalks, multi-use paths and developments. The city formed the Home Place Advisory Board, which includes local residents, to provide input on these investments.
Carmel must provide all services to Home Place by March 1. With these reasonable commitments to Home Place, Carmel can move beyond the past divisiveness that has plagued the relationship with its new neighbors.
Tony Green is a member of the Carmel City Council and is seeking re-election to a district that will include Home Place beginning in 2020. Learn more at TonyGreen4Carmel.com.