Center Grove area subdivision on hold over traffic increase

For the Daily Journal

A developer wants to build a new 140-home subdivision in Bargersville, but first officials want to know more about how it would effect traffic.

M/I Homes proposed building the new neighborhood on a 68-acre property, northeast of County Road 144 and Saddle Club Road.

The Saddle Club subdivision, which would be aimed at first-time or move-up buyers, is planned to have 1,800- to 2,500-square-foot homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000, according to M/I Homes. The neighborhood could add 200 to 250 children to Franklin schools in the future, according to the town.

In order to build the new neighborhood, the developer would first need approval to rezone the land from agricultural to residential, but that decision was put off by the town council while more traffic studies are done.

According to an initial traffic study, an estimated 50 percent of the traffic from the Saddle Club subdivision would head toward County Road 144. But the council wanted more information on the traffic heading north to Whiteland Road, especially during rush hour.

“They didn’t address how the four-way stop would be able to handle the traffic,” council member Jim Beck said.

The developers are willing to do additional studies, said Paul Maurer from Maurer Surveying, Inc., a company working with M/I Homes.

Within the next two or three weeks, the developer will have an engineer come out and study the intersection of Saddle Club Road and Whiteland Road.

Town officials also raised concerns about retention ponds planned for the property.

The subdivision plans include four ponds — two of which would be alongside roads. One would be along Saddle Club Road, near the entrance to the subdivision, and the other would be located at the entrance on County Road 144.

Cathy Sanders, president of the Bargersville park board, raised concerns about the potential dangers of the ponds, including past incidents of cars going into ponds.

Each pond will be nearly 100 feet from the road, and plans for adding guardrails or other types of barriers are still in the works, Maurer said.

If approved, M/I Homes hopes to start construction later this year.