Center Grove area residents are concerned that a proposed hotel will add more light, noise and traffic to their neighborhood.
The owner of the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, an event venue off Stones Crossing Road, east of State Road 135, is considering building a hotel nearby, according to plans filed with the city of Greenwood. The hotel would be built on a 6.5-acre residential property at 1464 W. Stones Crossing Road that Amanda Cottingham owns between the Barn at Bay Horse Inn and Stones Crossing Road.
Cottingham said in a written statement that she is looking into building a boutique hotel at the property, which would serve guests of the weddings and events conducted at the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, or people visiting Greenwood overall.
She said that there are no official plans for the hotel beyond a request to have the property rezoned for commercial use, which would allow for a hotel. The plans have to be approved by the city.
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The proposal has been met with concern by nearby residents questioning whether the location is an appropriate place to build a hotel.
Residents of the Cobblestone neighborhood, which is northeast of the proposed hotel, are concerned their property values might drop and that they’ll have to put up with more noise and light pollution. They say the event venue already causes problems with late-night noise, which they fear will only get worse by adding a hotel.
“The big concern is commercial properties put into a residential zone will only do one thing to residential property — decrease home values,” said Jason Mizen, who has lived in the Cobblestone neighborhood for two years.
They also are concerned about future development around the hotel and event venue and say they want the area to remain residential.
“It is nice we see development in Greenwood, but we would hate to be an island in the middle of all this commercial development,” said Don Russell, the president of the Cobblestone Homeowners Association. “It is our home.”
While Cottingham owns about 15 acres of land between the proposed hotel and the neighborhood, there are no plans in place for any commercial development to take place on those sites, Cottingham said in the written statement.
“Since I began the process of designing and developing The Barn at Bay Horse Inn in 2015, I have always done everything in my power to work with Greenwood residents and city officials,” she said in the statement. “I am more than willing to listen to those who would like to voice their concerns about The Barn at Bay Horse Inn and how my personal nearby property may be developed in the future as long as it is done in a rational, appropriate and civil manner.”
Nearby residents also want to be sure the hotel will be maintained and not fall into disrepair in the future, said Russ Stafford, a member of the Cobblestone Homeowners Association board.
In requesting to rezone the property, Cottingham has agreed to a hotel that would not exceed three stories and would leave in place a one-acre buffer of trees on the east side of the hotel, which will partially shield it from other properties, according to documents filed with the city.
While the typical location for hotels is near interstates with easy access to travelers, the project on Stones Cross Road could work because of the need for hotels in the area, said Kenneth Kosky, the director of the county’s convention and tourism bureau, Festival Country Indiana.
“A lot of venues and businesses that are within Franklin and Greenwood are sending people to Indianapolis and Edinburgh,” Kosky said. “That is how far people who do business and events in the county are traveling for hotel rooms. I imagine those folks would be glad to stay in Johnson County and stay at that property.”
Last year, the occupancy rate in Johnson County hotels was 71.4 percent, above the 70 percent threshold that generally indicates to developers sufficient demand to justify building more hotels, Kosky said.
One hotel is currently being constructed in Franklin, and three others are being considered in Greenwood. The Greenwood Plan Commission will meet Monday to make its recommendation on the Stones Crossing Road rezoning that would allow for a hotel, with the final decision to be made later by the Greenwood City Council.
A property owner is requesting that a property on Stones Crossing Road be rezoned to allow the construction of a hotel.
What: Greenwood Plan Commission meeting
Where: Greenwood City Building, 300 S. Madison Ave.
When: 7 p.m. Monday