When developers introduced plans for new townhomes near Rohrer Road and the Monon Trail, it ran into resistance from some neighbors who didn’t like the architectural features and had concerns about several other potential problems.
But now, Lennar Homes of Indiana is hoping its revisions to the Monon Crossing Townhomes will earn approval from the city for its request to rezone the land.
At its Oct. 15 meeting, the Carmel Plan Commission voted 6-2 to send the rezone request with a favorable recommendation to the Carmel City Council, which will have the final voting authority. If the council approves the request, the 6.8-acre property will change from R1-Residential zoning to urban residential.
The property is bordered to the west by Rohrer Road and to the east by the Monon Trail. The Autumn Lake subdivision is to the south.
Jim Shinaver, an attorney from Nelson & Frankenberger presenting on behalf of Lennar, said several modifications have been made since the proposal was initially presented to the plan commission and residential committee. Modifications to the site plan include reducing the total number of townhomes from 64 to 60. Among several changes along Rohrer Road, one revision moves the front of the townhomes 10 to 14 feet further away from the road.
“Another change you’ll see is that we now have front sidewalks coming out of the townhomes that meet with a sidewalk that is parallel to the multi-use path,” Shinaver said. “We also have been able to add additional trees along Rohrer Road. Another change turns a north-end sidewalk into a 10-foot-wide multi-use path, similar to what would be along Rohrer Road. Now, that path runs (inside the entire site) to meet with the Monon Trail.”
Shinaver said front elevation modifications also were made include a treatment over the front doors and window headers to provide variety, as well as adding a varied masonry color scheme to individual buildings to provide more architectural diversity. At the back of the townhomes, a modified color scheme was implemented, along with a stone base and brick masonry treatment with third-floor windows extra cornice treatment under the building roof lines.
“There were also revisions to the common area between the townhomes,” Shinaver said. “Modifications to this landscape and design treatment include additional tree plantings, adding benches for resident use, additional landscaping beds between the homes and short-term bike parking. Additional benches and bike parking were provided (at the Monon Trail), and the path connection was moved approximately 30 feet south from its original location to reduce the amount of grade change and preserve additional trees.”
Lennar also requested a waiver from the city so it would not have to provide a stub street connection to the adjacent Autumn Lake subdivision at the south. City standards require developments to connect to an existing subdivision street if possible. Two residents of Autumn Lake said they support the waiver because they prefer the development not connect with their neighborhood.
Instead, Lennar proposed making a smaller connection for access by law enforcement and emergency vehicles.
The commission unanimously approved the waiver. The Carmel City Council will vote on the rezone request at a future meeting.