Homes prompt traffic concern

Neighbors living near a proposed 220-home neighborhood worry about the traffic that will come to an already busy Bargersville intersection, and whether enough demand exists for another subdivision.

Aberdeen, a gated community being planned by Duke Homes, would add custom-built homes to a 277-acre property, located on the west side of Morgantown Road, just south of County Road 144.

Last year, town council members turned down the same rezoning request because of concerns about increased traffic on Morgantown Road, lack of sufficient entrances and exits and last-minute changes to the development plans. But this week, town council members approved rezoning the property from agricultural to residential, which is the first step needed to build the new neighborhood.

Plans for the neighborhood call for each home to be on at least a half-acre of property, no vinyl siding, with prices similar to other Duke Homes neighborhoods, where homes range from $350,000 to more than $800,000.

“The addition of nice custom-built homes to the town could be great for the community,” town council member Gayle Allard said.

Six people spoke against the proposed neighborhood, raising concerns about traffic and the impact of a new neighborhood on the area.

Jeff Qualls, a physician in the emergency room at Johnson Memorial Hospital, said he is worried about the potential traffic issues a new subdivision could bring, especially at the nearby intersection of Morgantown Road and County Road 144.

His daughter was in a car accident at the intersection, which has only stop signs. And he fears the addition of more traffic will cause more accidents.

“I see a lot of people in my emergency room, and this is not the kind of business I want,” Qualls said.

Others think the land should still be used for agricultural purposes and question whether a new subdivision is necessary.

Right now, Bargersville has at least four subdivisions that could be completed in the next 10 to 15 years — Aberdeen, Saddle Club, Morningside and Kensington Grove.

“We have plenty of years that we could still leave it agricultural,” Lynn Darland said. “We have local food sources we need to use.”

Allard said Duke Homes has several more approvals to get before they can begin to build homes.

The project will be done in phases, according to plans filed by Duke Homes.

About 69 acres on the property will be designated for green space, including trees, sidewalks, trails and three ponds.

The streets of the subdivision will be privately owned. Therefore, the town will not need to service them and residents will instead pay a fee for the services.

Council members said the children living in the neighborhood would attend Center Grove schools, adding an estimated 300 to 400 students over the next 10 or more years.

The council approved the rezoning request by a vote of 4-0. Council member Jim Beck chose to be absent during the proposal and vote because his property would run alongside one of the subdivision’s boundaries, which he viewed as a conflict of interest.