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Plan to annex 42 acres gets initial OK

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GREENFIELD — Nearly 42 acres of land adjoining Beckenholdt Park is on its way to being annexed into city limits for a senior housing development that could eventually be linked to the park.

The Greenfield City Council Wednesday gave unanimous first approval of ordinances that would draw a 41.6-acre lot west of the park into the city in preparation of single-family homes for seniors.

To be called Prairie Trails, project developers also hope to connect the new neighborhood to Beckenholdt Park in an effort to preserve woods and wetlands.

The land is owned by former IndyCar driver Mark Dismore and custom home builder Dave Sego. It includes 3.5 acres of wetlands and 11.4 acres of woods. Officials with the Greenfield Parks Department have been talking with the owners about a partnership to link the development to the nature park.

Ron Pritzke, attorney for the land owners, said the parks department could petition for funds from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to connect the neighborhood to the park with a trail. The Bicentennial Nature Trust is set to create more park land and green space in the state, Pritzke said, and a public-private partnership could eventually mean a win-win for park-goers and residents alike.

Pritzke said additional trails could be added through 15 acres of woods and wetlands, extending what Beckenholdt Park has to offer while also allowing residents of Prairie Trails easy access to recreation.

The city council unanimously approved the first reading of an annexation ordinance and a zoning ordinance for the project; there was little discussion, and many thanked the developers for their initiative. The city’s plan commission had given the project a favorable recommendation earlier this month.

Harold Gibson, land surveyor for the project, said 240 single-family homes would provide maintenance-free living for seniors, meeting demand from the growing baby boomer population.

Plans also call for a clubhouse, pool and an area for an assisted living facility, though Gibson said there are no immediate plans for such a facility.

The council will likely give a final vote on the annexation plan next month.

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