Bargersville homebuilders denied; developer might resubmit new plan

Two new neighborhoods in Bargersville have been rejected, and town officials said they want new development to be high quality and in the right locations.

Now, one developer is considering resubmitting plans for a neighborhood, and another may withdraw the project altogether.

Town officials want to be sure development takes place the way they have envisioned, meaning new homes match existing development with brick exteriors and large lot sizes and are built in parts of the town that make sense with long-term development plans.

Since 2013, more than 400 new homes have been built in Bargersville, which is the county’s fastest growing community. Population numbers have grown from 4,000 in 2010 to 7,200 in 2016, according to Census data. And another 700 homes are planned in the next decade, including along County Road 144. Center Grove is currently building its newest elementary school along Morgantown Road, south of County Road 144, to make room for growth in that area.

Now, town officials want to be sure that when new homes are constructed, they are built to the standards that officials and residents want.

Earlier this fall, developers proposed building a 129-home neighborhood on a 53-acre property off County Road 144 on undeveloped land that connects to Travis Road, and a 99-home neighborhood on a 32-acre property at the northeast corner of County Road 300N and County Road 450W.

To begin those projects, the developers needed the Bargersville Town Council to approve rezoning the properties, but the council ended up rejecting both proposals, council president Ken Zumstein said.

The neighborhood planned by Westport Homes directly west of the Morris Meadows subdivisions was rejected because of concerns that the homes should be a higher quality, Zumstein said. The project called for homes around the edge of the neighborhood to be built with masonry on the exterior, but Westport Homes wasn’t planning to use masonry throughout the neighborhood, he said.

Making sure home builders use high quality materials will help protect home values in adjacent neighborhoods, as well as set the tone for future neighborhoods developed nearby, Zumstein said.

Westport Homes plans to work with town officials to resubmit plans that the council finds suitable, said Rob Montgomery, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.

“We are hopeful we can work with the town council, and work through a compromise and make the project work,” he said. “We do enjoy building homes in Johnson County and would love to be part of the growth in Bargersville.”

Bargersville has several neighborhoods that are under development, with construction taking place in Saddle Club North, Aberdeen and Morningside neighborhoods, while planning is still underway for the Saddle Club South subdivision. The homes in the Saddle Club neighborhoods range from $240,000 to $395,000. In Aberdeen, which features custom-built homes, properties range in price from $350,000 to more than $800,000.

The proposed neighborhood between County Road 144 and Travis Road, submitted by INCON LLC, was rejected after residents spoke out against the project, which wasn’t near any other neighborhoods and would have conflicted with the larger lots of nearby homes, Zumstein said.

The council determined that the neighborhood wasn’t the right fit for the area, but did approve rezoning 16 acres of land on the north side of County Road 144 for a medical office space and daycare to be constructed, Zumstein said.

With the increase in traffic expected from the eventual construction of Interstate 69, which will be built along the current path of State Road 37, the town is expecting the development of businesses, shops and restaurants along County Road 144 close to the interstate, where an interchange is planned, he said.

By the numbers

Here is a look at the number of residential building permits issued in Bargersville:

2013: 72

2014: 80

2015: 94

2016: 95

2017: 93 (through October)

Source: Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.