Plan commission split on proposed townhomes project

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A proposed development that received little negative feedback during a public hearing last month drew a surprising tie vote on the Westfield Advisory Plan Commission at its Oct. 7 meeting.

Commissioners voted 4-4 on a rezoning request for the proposed Poplar Street Townhomes project. Ordinarily, a tie would not be possible because there are nine members on the commission. But on this particular agenda item, commissioner Chris Woodard recused himself from the discussion and vote because of his ties to the project. 

Estridge Homes and 11th Street Development are petitioning the city to rezone a 1.26-acre property downtown on the west side of Poplar Street between Jersey and Park streets. If approved by the Westfield City Council, the zoning would change from multi-family low density to single-family attached residential, making way for 24 new townhomes.

Commission members Scott Willis, Ginny Kelleher, Bob Smith and Steve Hoover voted in favor of sending a favorable recommendation to the city council. Members Andre Maue, Dave Schmitz, Bob Horkay and Randy Graham voted against.

“I spent a lot of time back and forth on this one looking at the proposal and then the comprehensive plan (of the city),” Maue said. “I really struggled because I like the product that’s proposed. It was brought up at the last meeting, the concern about location, and that’s kind of where I landed on this, what this may do for potential development on this block and as a gateway. This could have an impact that may take us away from what the subdistrict’s plan was. So, while I’m not opposed to the product, I am opposed to the location.”

Because of the split vote, the city council will receive no recommendation from the commission and will discuss and vote on the request at a future meeting.


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