Neighborhood OK’ed by plan commission

GREENFIELD — Developers of a subdivision in New Palestine received county approval this week to move forward with plans to build 55 new homes.

The Hancock County Plan Commission has OK’d the project, led by Elite Land Development, a Hancock County-based developer, to construct a new neighborhood on 36.5 acres of farmland near the Hancock-Marion county line.

The subdivision, called Noelting Estates, will sit in the 7200 block of County Road 200S, near its intersection with County Road 700W. The property will be divided to make space for 55 new single- and two-story homes, according to development plans.

Harold Gibson, owner of H. Gibson Land Surveying, who spoke during the plan commission meeting on behalf of Elite Land Development, said developer Tim Smith — the New Palestine resident who bought the land in 2016 for $110,000 — is eager to see the plot grow in a way that complements developments nearby.

The site is surrounded by subdivisions on all four sides, and the building plans for the homes will be similar to those in nearby neighborhoods, including Fox Cove and Briarwood Trace, officials said.

Homes in the Noelting Estates subdivision will measure between 1,800 and 2,100 square feet, with price tags ranging from $300,000 to $400,000, officials said.

Families that move into the neighborhood will be part of the Southern Hancock Community Schools district.

The neighborhood will feature a walking path, recreational area, a retention pond and three cul-de-sacs, which Gibson said the developers believe will make the streets safer by cutting down on traffic.

Developers got the green light to move forward with their plans Tuesday at the Hancock County Plan Commission meeting — their second appearance before the board after a debate at last month’s meeting over the widths of the streets in the proposed subdivision caused a minor delay.

County ordinances require streets in subdivisions to be 30 feet wide; but Elite Land Development asked for special permission to put only 26-foot roads through the neighborhood, which county planning director Mike Dale advised against, saying narrower roadways often become congested because of parking. Dale worried emergency vehicles would have trouble navigating through the narrow streets.

“We believe the standard for street width was established for good reason,” he said. There is not obvious reason why the developer cannot meet that standard.”

In the end, the board voted in favor of the developer, granting the request to deviate from the county’s traditional subdivision ordinances.

Gibson said construction at the site will begin in the coming months, though no timeline for building has been finalized.

Author photo
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.