Housing proposal receives initial OK

HANCOCK COUNTY — More than 150 families could find a new home in Hancock County if plans to develop a new subdivision near McCordsville receive approval from county officials.

Arbor Homes, an Indianapolis-based developer, wants to build 169 homes on 76 acres at the intersection of West County Road 600N and Carroll Road. The proposal for the new neighborhood, named Sagebrook, cleared its first hurdle at Tuesday’s county plan commission meeting, receiving approval to continue developing plans for the land.

Construction could begin as soon as July if the company receives further approvals from the county planning office, said Paul Claire, Arbor Homes director of land development.

Under proposed development plans, homes inside the neighborhood would measure between 2,400 and 3,000 square feet and would sit on 8,000- to 9,000-square-foot lots, Claire said.

Prices for the homes, which would include single- and two-story homes, haven’t been decided yet, Claire said.

At the plan commission’s meeting Tuesday, residents who live around the proposed site voiced concerns about the impact of the proposed development to the surrounding area.

The neighborhood directly west of the property has had issues with rainwater run-off from the empty field where the developer wants to build, said David Parnell of Lawrence, who lives just west of the proposed site.

Whenever a significant storm comes through, rainwater drains from the proposed development site into yards immediately west and empties in India Branch Creek in Lawrence, Parnell said.

Parnell said he worries the asphalt and concrete that would be added by the development would only worsen the surrounding area’s flooding issue.

Several other residents surrounding the property presented concerns echoing Parnell’s.

Claire said the subdivision would improve the area’s flooding issue by draining rainwater into a retention pond.

As plans move forward, county officials will meet with developers to confirm that the surrounding land would not be negatively impacted by the new neighborhood, said planning director Mike Dale.

The company has been building in Hancock County since the 1990s. It began construction at Wyndstone subdivision in Fortville more than 10 years ago and is also in the process of building more houses in the Keystone subdivision in Greenfield, which already has 200 homes.

If the company receives building approval from the county planning office, roads would be built in the neighborhood as early as July, Claire said, adding that the neighborhood will have an entrance off Carroll Road.

Arbor Homes purchased the property in 2005 and intended to develop it soon after, but those plans were put on hold when the economy tanked, Claire said.

The neighborhood will have sidewalks throughout that connect to a community park, according to building plans.

The company will seek building permits to begin construction in coming months, Claire said.

Construction of the homes would be carried out over the next three or four years, he said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.