Town wants details of plan: Officials seek design in writing for strip mall

A new strip mall is planned in a growing area of Bargersville, where hundreds of homes are being built in the coming years.

Saddle Club Shops was proposed on about 1.3 acres of land at the southwest corner of Saddle Club and Whiteland roads, near where at least three new neighborhoods with more than 300 homes are planned to be built.

Exactly what the center would include hasn’t been decided, and the development still needs approval after being turned down initially by the town.

The developer, Horizon Property Group, asked to rezone the land for commercial use. But that request was turned down by the town council last month.

Now, the developer plans to resubmit plans for the project with a new look.

The denial stemmed from a change in the plans for the project that was discussed but not submitted to the town in new plans, said Julie Young, Bargersville director of development.

During the planning stages, the developer chose to clarify what they were planning with the architectural look of the building. However, because they had already submitted their plans to the town, the clarification was verbal, not written, which means it was not in the official record, Young said.

When the town council voted on the rezoning, the request was denied because the architectural look of the shops wasn’t clearly laid out in the original written plan and they could not vote based on the change the developer said they wanted to make because it was a verbal, unofficial change, Young said.

Derrick Christy, managing director of Horizon Property Group, said the project had favorable recommendation by the Bargersville Plan Commission, so he was surprised when the rezoning was denied. Now, they are deciding what to do next. Making the buildings look like they fit in more with the homes in the area is at the top of the list, he said.

“I think we are going to do a new residential design appeal so that it will blend well among the neighborhoods,”┬áChristy said. “But we are going to have to go to town planning and town council.”