Planned neighborhood draws resident concerns

GREENFIELD — Residents near a proposed neighborhood expansion are protesting the city’s long-held plans to add about 80 houses to the area.

The 24-acre site, which developers are calling McKenzie Terrace, sits south of the Oak Highlands subdivision and east of the Greenbrook neighborhood. The site has been slated for development for some 20 years; sitting empty since 1996, the land is a remnant of past development, said Ray Pritzke, attorney representing Premier Land Company, the developer now looking to build on the land.

At a recent Greenfield Planning Commission meeting, officials with Premier requested a zoning change to allow for more houses per acre, going from 3.3 lots to 4.3 lots. The developer aims to create houses compatible with the surrounding subdivisions, with houses costing between $150,000 and $200,000, Pritzke said.

The proposal — which the commission unanimously approved — was met with concern by area residents.

Six area residents came before the Greenfield planning commission to share their concerns during the meeting.

Darrell North, a resident of a neighborhood to the south of the proposed addition, said a retention pond within the 24 acres floods with storm water, causing flooding in residents’ yards. That should be addressed before city leaders consider building.

“The storm water rises dramatically,” he said. “We have a serious issue with the drainage right now.”

Plans for increasing the retention pond’s capacity will put rest to the drainage concerns, said Richard Henderson of Henderson Engineering and Consulting, which is leading the design of the proposed addition.

North also worried about the possibility of Lexington Trail becoming a through street from McKenzie Road to McClarnon Road. Lexington Trail is currently a very quiet street, he said.

David Harrison said he shared concerns about traffic and the safety of residents, especially children living and playing in the Greenbrook subdivision.

He said there are often cars parked along both sides of Greenbrook Drive already, which causes traffic choke points where only one car can pass at a time. If Greenbrook Drive is connected to McKenzie Terrace, he said the congestion and safety issues will only get worse.

Greenfield city streets are 30 feet wide, zoning administrator Joanie Fitzwater said. She said people should be parking only on one side of the street and that city officials should warn residents of that fact.

Richard Allen, representing the Oak Highlands homeowners’ association, also opposed the zoning change allowing more lots per acre. He said while the association welcomes development of the currently vacant land, more densely packed housing will change the character of the neighborhood.

Premier is expected to return to the planning commission with further developments plans for approval in the coming months.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or