TOWN OF PLAINFIELD
March 15, 2007
The Plainfield Plan Commission met on Thursday, March 15, 2007 for a special meeting at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the Oak Tree/Centex/Bay Development project. In attendance were Mr. Satterfield, Mr. Matrana, Mr. McPhail, Mr. Brandgard, Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Kirchoff and Ms. Whicker.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci administered the Roll Call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony.
Ms. Whicker reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings.
Mr. James said this is a special meeting tonight to hear the Planned Unit Development request to create an active adult lifestyle community out by the Oaks Tree Golf Course. It’s location is north of U.S. 40 and east and west of CR500E. This project is to create an active adult lifestyle community with 966 dwelling units. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this request. Most of this group knows what this request is about. What I would like to do is go back and give you a summary of events that have occurred since the last Plan Commission meeting. A joint work session was recommended to work out some issues surrounding this work so a work session was held March 1st, a couple of weeks ago and this is the area of 266 acres. Oak Tree Golf Course is at CR500E and here is the Vandalia Trail and Saratoga is over here. The property has not been annexed. One condition to have a work session was that Elks Club would agree to annexation and they did agree to an annexation so they are going to proceed with that. Here is the property that needs to be annexed into the Town. Here is a Comprehensive Plan map. This side of CR500E is medium-density. Medium density is about 2-4 units per acre and low-density would be about a half to two units per acre.
This is their standards chart/PUD. They have created five areas, different housing types and different densities and each area has their own development standards. In Area “A” they are proposing the multi-family portion. This is the tri-plex ranch model. Area “B” would be single-family. Lot width would be 46’. In Area “C” they are prosing the lot width of 52’ and Area “D” they are proposing would be your custom ranch with a minimum lot width of 90’. We compared other models to our residential design guidelines and there will be three out of 39 models that do not comply with the standards. Model 1334A all they have to do is put up facade with at least 50% brick. This is model 1640A, the same thing; just the front facade 40-50% brick. And then 1779A Centex would be the homebuilder and they believe that this model does comply. If this model has a basement, it would comply and without a basement to comply all they would have to do is the same as the other two models and have 50% brick on the front facade.
Our work session was over three hours and these are the issues that the Design Review Committee and the Plan Commission and the Town Council members thought were the remaining issues with the proposal:
* Garage size and garage width ratio.
* Side yard setback in Areas “B” and “C”.
* Lot width in Area “B”.
* Age restrictions; only a minimum of 20%.
* Landscaping easements on CR500E and Saratoga. They did have landscape plans for the Village Center.
* No architectural standards for the condos in Area “E”.
* They were concerned about the back of lots that could have a three car garage option.
* They thought the garage size was too small to meet the additional single-family requirement of 484 square feet.
* Pub open to the public.
* Open space; how much of it was exclusive of a retention pond.
* Is parking adequate in the Village Center?
* Parking in cul-de-sacs.
* No street post and street sign concept plans.
* Location of sidewalk along CR500E and is it really needed and what are the scope of road improvements at CR500E and the intersection of U.S. 40?
* Timing of road improvements.
That gave a little work for Centex to do. They revised their plans and resubmitted their ordinances and revised plans. That age restriction is now at 58%. The total project is a minimum of 550 homes. Open space has been provided. Concept plans have been provided for landscaping, signs and the trails. The density has been reduced from 3.9 to 3.6. Gateway standards have been added to the Village Center. Perimeter treatments have been enhanced on the lots adjacent to CR500E. They have added architectural elements, screened porches, shutters and window surrounds, etc. They are going to do five foot sidewalks and they have determined that 45 lots in Area “C” could have a three car garage. There will be street trees and 10 foot planting strips. To increase the garage size they are going to have two garage bump options and they say it would add 40-80 square feet. Mechanical units will be in garages. All homes would have basement options but I’m not sure about the multi-family options. A trailhead has been provided. There will be 50% brick on the front and all homes will have irrigated lawns. The pub will not be opened to the public; there will be members only. Concept plans have been provided for the streetlights and sign posts. They decided that they will restrict parking in cul-de-sacs due to covenants.
I’m going to show you some concept plans; it is for the landscaping between this spot and Saratoga at the east perimeter. This is a conceptual plan for potential landscaping on CR500E. This will be south of the project. A trails plan has been provided. It provides connection to the Vandalia Trail. There is connection throughout the community and provides connection to the golf course. Here is a concept plan for the trailhead. Here is a concept plan for signs. There are also some other concepts. They are thinking about having a full guardhouse at some entrances and here is a different type marker. Here are some concepts for the lamp posts and street signs.
To address parking they are requesting a street width of 26 feet; just less than the Town standards but it would have parking on one side only. They have showed how they can align driveways to allow better parking on the street on one side.
To address the garage size issue they have showed where they could do bump outs or extra storage closets of 20 square feet. No mechanical units would be in the garage; it would be pure garages. This is a matrix that they have done for some home models.
To address the storage issue they could have the option of having lofts and they have basement options and garage bump outs to increase square footage. They feel they have addressed the garage issue with this.
Something else that Staff did is we compared their request to other active adult communities throughout the Midwest. Fortunately, there is another one in the Indianapolis area located in Fishers, Britton Falls. I had an opportunity to go over there and take some pictures so I will show some pictures to you. This is another matrix that they did to compare their standards to the Britton Falls’ standards. I believe you have that in your packet.
Their lot sizes are larger than what Britton Falls as done. Britton Falls has lot widths of 35 feet; 50 feet and 60 feet. Their garages are all two car garages. They have smaller setbacks than what Centex is proposing so I just provided that for comparison standards. This is the entrance off of Britton Falls. This is the boulevard and the entrance. This is what they call their chateau, which is their all-purpose building. It will be 23,000 square feet, which will be like the Centex Village Center proposal. Village Center is 16,000 square feet but this will have an indoor pool and a recreation area and meeting rooms and a banquet facility. Like Centex it is going to be like the focus of their community, the central focus. Here is a model of one of the homes. I’m not sure which model that is. This is their smallest model that they offer, 1,197 square feet and it is going to start at $166,000.00 and that is on a lot width of 35’. It has a two car garage.
I’m going to show you the setbacks. Here is a 10’ setback. Here is the back of the homes. They don’t have much of a yard and how it slopes back down to the retention pond. These are actual homes that are under construction so you can get a sense of the density and how they are compacted in there.
After revisions all of the issues been addressed? Is the lot width and density still a concern? Are bump out basement options and garage size still a concern? How will perimeter landscaping south of the site along CR500E be addressed? Will this be done with landscaping easements? Is a path needed south of the site along CR500E? The question still remains regarding the timing and scope of road improvements needed to CR500E and to the CR500E/U.S. 40 intersection to all this development. Who should do the improvements and what is the timing of the improvements and the scope? Those are some issues that Staff feels are still out there and after presenting this I’m sure you still have some other issues. I’m going to turn it over to John Isaacs with Centex and John is going to give you a brief presentation.
Mr. McPhail said I have one quick question. I have their latest revision dated March 9th on their detailed development standards. Do I have the most recent draft?
Mr. James said yes.
Mr. Bruce Sklare with Bay Development said I wanted to make some more general comments and John Isaacs will follow-up and we will be as brief as possible. I want to take the opportunity to thank the commission for these special meetings. We have spent a lot of time on this. This is a large development. There are many parts to it and I think you have taken the time required to understand all of the elements and I appreciate you taking the time to do that.
Since the Oak Tree PUD has been submitted some months ago there has been significant discussion and many issues of the proposed development such as the number of homes, density, annexation of the Oak Tree Golf Course, percentage of age restricted homes, the garage sizes, lot sizes, the Village Center and many other issues have been discussed. Centex Homes and Bay Development have listened carefully. We have participated in discussions and we have made changes to our PUD ordinance. Some have been major changes such in the increase of the minimum percentage of age restricted to a minimum of 58% and I’m going to speak to that in a moment and Mr. Isaacs will speak more because that is an interesting issue all by itself. Some issues have been more subtle such as what you just heard from Mr. James that we are going to restrict no parking on the cul-de-sacs. So, there have been a lot of parts that have been discussed individually and we have tried to address them individually also.
The whole purpose of our program has been to create an active adult lifestyle community, which will be an asset to Plainfield and to compliment the many existing positive developments of the Town. The Town of Plainfield already has shopping, a great high school, greenway trails, all of the elements that we have talked about in the past. That is why we are here. We are not going to Brownsburg; we are not going to Avon; we are not going to other places. We think Plainfield is the right area for this type of new development. But it is also important to recognize that the many parts, and that is why we have taken so much time to discuss this development, will blend together. They work together and they balance each other. So, you have to be careful when you take out one part; let’s dissect one part; you also have to think about how does that fit with the rest of the parts of the project. I will talk about that in a minute.
For example, one of the key elements, and Mr. James talked about this when he showed you pictures of the Del Web project in Fishers, in an active adult lifestyle community is the village amenity center. In this case Centex is going to make an investment of about seven and a half million dollars and that cost has to be spread over a certain number of homes in order to pay for the cost and also to maintain that facility. In this case it is going to end up being about $10,000.00 a home added to the price and it is going to be about $200.00 per month. The $200.00 a month is not only for the amenity center but it is the fact that the entire grounds of your home are maintained by the homeowners association. So, that is part of the monthly fee and we talked about that before but the key element, and for those of you who were able to go out to Britton Falls and if you haven’t been out, I would strongly suggest that you do because I saw it when it first started and then we went out on Sunday, but the key is to look at the elements of that community that distinguish it from the traditional residential development that you might find in many places around Indianapolis and Plainfield. I saw it quarterly in Britton Falls. When you go through the homes, why are only two car garages available? Once you went through nine models you begin to realize every home has two garages. Their garages are 18 x 20 actually and they do allow for some increase but not much. But Del Web is the leader in the industry and what they have done and what they have accomplished in Fishers is important in terms of looking to see what is going to be successful here. We want to do a successful development and you don’t want to approve a development that is not going to be successful. It is important to see what is being done; what has been done; what works and one of the best examples, which Mr. James talked about, is the Britton Falls project, a Del Web project in Fishers.
The Del Web project is advertised as 100% age restricted. I’m not going to get into a full discussion here but the federal law for age restricted allows for certain exclusions and when you say 100% age restricted, you are not guaranteed 100%. You are actually guaranteed 80%. If you say your development is 100% age restricted, you can only guarantee 80% and what John is going to talk about in our case, where our entire development is admittedly age restricted, when we say the minimum is going to be 58% age restricted, we can guarantee a minimum of 58% age restricted. That follows from the federal law. So, when Britton Falls or Del Web says minimum 80% is really what they can guarantee, we are not that far off. We are guaranteeing a minimum of 58% and it may be higher but 58% is the minimum.
When I visited Britton Falls, and it was busy on Sunday, I saw people who were clearly potential buyers and you realized that these are not first time homeowners. People buy these homes whether it is in Britton Falls or Oak Tree and hopefully we are approved in Plainfield, but these are not first time homeowners. They have had three, four, five or more homes. They are experienced homeowners and the added part most of them are not being kicked out of their house. Where they live the mortgage is probably paid for. They are choosing to change to a different lifestyle. That is a choice they are making. They are moving probably from a more traditional home to the type of lifestyle that this development or our proposed community will offer. But they are very tough customers and I’m not trying to be silly about this but they are not impulse buyers. If they don’t like it, they are not going to buy it and I think the test is, even though I know there are parts of our proposal that some of you have found not acceptable or not high enough or whatever in terms of standards, Del Web in the last three months at Britton Falls has sold over 80 homes. Over 80 homes have been sold and that is without their amenity center. Their amenity center is just being built right now and with the slow down of the house market that is astounding. It is astounding that they have been that successful. That means that they obviously have created a product that is targeting that age group. They have been successful in creating a product that targets that age group and that is who they are selling to.
So, again I want to begin how I started. I want to thank you for your time. Whatever the results of your deliberations are I have enjoyed the experience. I’m not saying that to patronize you but it has been a give and take and it has been a worthy experience for me. I have never done one of these developments before. I have done similar ones but not one as all inclusive and as comprehensive as this development that is being proposed. I will turn it over to John Isaacs.
Mr. John Isaacs said I work for Centex here in Indianapolis. I just want to take 10 minutes or less and go through each of the 16 comments that we had from the joint work session. Again, we had that joint work session on March 1st and we started off that day with Shawn Sullivan, our active adult manager, talking about the active adult buyer from a national prospective on a more local prospective and then how we are applying that to the Oak Tree site. I talked about the ordinance issues in general and then we had a good discussion following that and I think we got the list down to the 16 items raised. They were either questions, concerns or comments that we needed to address. I took those 16 comments and put those into three categories. The first category I put them in is the big three. These were by far the three issues that stood out in my mind as the three biggest issues that we needed to overcome. The PUD, age restriction, which was the percentage of the age restriction and the garage size. Not only the PUD but the whole Village Center, the buildings within this Village Center, will be opened only to the members of the residents and their guests that they are accompanied by an owner.
Age restriction was at 20%. We have taken a look at that. We have gone back to our market research and our market research tells us that somewhere between 50-55% of the buying type that we are targeting would like to have age restriction. The balance of them do not want to be age restricted; they want to be in a community that is targeted for them but in all likelihood will have people of the same age group as them but they don’t want to be labeled as age restricted. When you label them, there is a mentality that you have put them into a place that they are old people. So, that is kind of the mentality. Shawn talked about how people feel 15 years younger than they actually are. That is one of those reasons why they don’t want to be in a aged restricted community. So, that is pretty much why we did not go to 100%. Bruce talked a little bit about the federal housing requirements. In 1995 the Federal Housing Act was changed to allow age restricted communities, which restricts people by family type, which up until that point was in violation of the Federal Housing Act. Basically, it says that if you catered to a 55 and older neighborhood, 80% of 55 or older, if someone walks in the door and they don’t meet that requirement and you have less than 80%, you have to sell them a house. That is where that issue comes from. How often does someone walk in? Probably not very often but there are some. Just like in our case we are going to have some that may walk in that are under the targeted age area but for the most part the style of home, the style of community that we are proposing for this community will generate that empty nester buyer. It is not going to cater to those people with children that are still raising their families.
Just looking around most of your Adam & Marshall neighborhoods around Indianapolis are age targeted developers. If you drive through their neighborhoods and go through there on a weekend, you can see the type of people that are an aged targeted neighborhood are attracting. Again, it is because of the product, all ranch communities, all yard maintenance in their communities because that is the type of people that they are attracting.
We talked about garage size. Mr. James showed you a diagram. This is an expanded version of that diagram, which you do not have in your packet. I provided the shorter version. The shorter version just had Areas “A”; “B”; and “C” denoted. I have since added area “D”, which is the Rivera homes. I’m not going to spend much time on the Rivera homes. They are the larger homes. They are all on basements. They have side loaded garages. They are hardy plank siding with brick on the front. But as you can see, if you focus on Area “B” for instance, all those homes will be optional basement. All of them will have an optional loft and each of those lofts can come in two fashions. They can come unfinished for storage or finished for living space. They will have interior fixed stairways to get there in either case. Also, there are garage bunks that take you from the standard that we are showing on the standard garage, 437 or 406 and 408 and if you do the two-foot bunk, it takes you to 445 to 476. If you go to the four-foot bunk, every garage is 484 or higher, which is the suggested standard. So, the option for the garage extension of the four-foot fits above your standard of 484.
Del Web, the leader in the industry, does not provide for three car garage options. I visited the site with Bruce on Sunday. In fact, the base garages in the Del Web product were smaller. Eighteen by twenty is their standard size and then they can have a four-foot bunk. It is my understanding their standard is usually 18 x 18; the Fishers’ ordinance required them to go to 20 so 20 is that reason. In addition, we have made available for 45 home sites in Area “C” to accommodate a third car garage. We could offer that as an option on 45 lots within Area “C”. Again, it is not our desire to do that but that is something, through the site plan that we have generated. There are 45 lots that can entertain that situation. Again, we have looked at it from a garage prospective and we believe after reviewing the active adult communities that Del Web provides and others in the area, CDI and Adam & Marshall Homes, which generally are utilizing two-car garages. The reason for that is we believe the three car garage actually may generate those school age kid families because you are providing them the room to move in at that point. So, that is one point to talk about regarding the three car garages or the sizes of them from that prospective. In Area “B”, which is the area that has the smallest of the garages, we have highlighted in the exhibit of the ordinance that the garages added with the 20 square foot storage closets, which are standard options, provide that square footage and that additional room. Keep in mind that these houses also have optional basements and optional lofts as well.
We have been telling you all along that we are not a mirrored image of Del Web. In fact, we are trying to separate ourselves from them by providing different activities within the active adult village. However, it was interesting that as we reviewed some of the standards in the ordinance in Britton Falls and walked through their homes, how our three product lines are single-family detached match up significantly with theirs. In fact, we exceed their houses in every category; garage size; house size; lot size; house separation; and other requirements.
This chart was in your packets that I provided and shows a side by side comparison. Area “2C” in Britton Falls’ ordinance compares with our Area “B”. Britton Falls “2B” matches well with our Area “C” and Area “2A” closely comes up to Area “B” and probably price point is the only place where those match up real well. From a square footage prospective they are similar but again in our Area “D” that is where we are having side load garages and hardy plank siding and a basement standard.
The next area, which are the elite eight issues the garage width issue, concept plans, the landscape easements, vinyl standards, side yard separation, vinyl standards, parking standards in the Village Center, cul-de-sac parking and street lights and sign posts.
I think the garage width issue really got in mind with the issue of adding enough square footage within the garage and then ultimately we would look at a lot width ratio and things like that. But I believe based on your Staff Report that is in your packet both Areas “B” and “C” are within one percent. Actually, Area “C” is within one percent of meeting that standard and Area “B” is within six percent of meeting that standard.
Concept plans for the Village Center have been provided in your exhibit book as Exhibit “C”. We will have to come back to architectural approval with the DRC once we have defined that area.
Language has been provided for landscaping and landscaping easements within the ordinance. The only thing that I will mention at this point is we are not proposing landscaping on private property other than the Elks on CR500. We have met with the neighbors along CR500 and we intend to continue to work with the neighbors on CR500 in order to provide landscaping along the east side of CR500. If we cannot come to an agreement, the ordinance does not say we have to have landscaping on the east side of CR500. So, it is our wish, it is our desire; it is not a requirement so if you pass this ordinance, it is not a requirement that we are putting landscaping on private property without permission from the neighborhood.
We were requested to look and adopt the standards for the vinyl siding that are found in the residential design guidelines. We have taken a look at those and we ask for the ability to adopt them in their entirety with the exception in paragraph six of the first section where it talks about if you use backer board such as OSB or Plywood, that the board would look at alternative means and methods to the type of vinyl that it would be in. We are asking that we use either OSB or plywood or some other nailable backer board that may exist or may not exist at the present time. But that is something that we would work with your Staff to determine if we can find an alternative method. If not, we are committing to the OSB at this point. We ask that the minimum butt and panel project, the heavy duty lock extended return leg, roll over nail hem and the 5” panel width all be not utilized in that. We feel that those requirements were made to make the vinyl more rigid when you have a less rigid backer adjacent to that vinyl. We are still suggesting that we would adopt the .044 minimum vinyl thickness standard in those vinyl standards; that’s all in the ordinance.
The issue of side yard separation was briefly discussed. The only answer that I can have is the importance of the side yard separation, the importance of the side setbacks, the lot sizes all come down to the fact that in an active adult community the lot size is not important to this buyer. And the larger we make these lots the more expensive it is for the HOA to maintain and these people are looking at spending over $200.00 a month for the lifestyle of having the amenity center, etc. We don’t want to be spending extra money doing their lawn service when we could be spending that money on the Village Center.
We believe the standards that we have adopted for the parking standards in the Village Center are adequate for the Town Center. In fact, now that we are not opening the Village Center to the public it diminishes any issues of any parking questions in the Village Center and I have not changed the standards from what was in the previous ordinance.
We will agree to not allow parking in the cul-de-sacs. That is not in your ordinance; that is a verbal commitment that I make to you today. If you pass this ordinance tonight, that would be one thing that I would ask that we change in the ordinance going forward.
Concept plans for streetlights and sign posts are included as Exhibit “K” in the ordinance.
The final four are issues that are what I perceive as policy issues that I think the Town Council will need to weigh in on. Basically, we are going to provide snowplowing unless the Town says that we can’t. So, it doesn’t matter if it is an ordinance requirement or not because our HOA is going to be set up to handle snow removal on driveways and walks up to the houses. If the Town ends up saying no that is not permitted, then we will have to deal with that and we will restrict that to just the driveways and sidewalks.
We had a good discussion about a sidewalk on CR500E at the last meeting. There are varying philosophies on who wants it, should it be there, is it going to nowhere, do the residents on CR500E want it, does the Elks Club want it? So, we would agree to whatever. We have no preference on that.
Public verses private services I think ties into the snow removal and then the improvements to the trail and the CR500E improvements and the timing are all Town Council issues I believe that we can have later as we go on.
I just want to summarize a little bit about the Oak Tree for those who have not been involved in discussions to date. The land development that Bay Development has under contract is approximately 263 acres. There are 67 acres of open space that is inclusive of ponds at this point. The golf course through an agreement between Bay Development and the Elks Club will be preserved and annexed into the Town adding an additional 150 acres of preserved ground. There will be 927 single-family lots in this neighborhood. The Village Center is a minimum requirement of 16,000 square feet and the uses are described in the ordinance. There is a request that we would have an additional 40 dwelling units within that village Area “E”.
This is the current concept plan that we have put in your ordinance as Exhibit “C”. It has the proposed landscaping. What we have not done is shown the foundation landscaping, which will meet the requirements of your gateway district standards. But that is the idea of the Village Center. The concept would be as we develop the architecture, we will bring that back for DRC approval.
There are 13,000 lineal feet of trails within this community through open space, four connections to the future Vandalia greenway trail system.
So, in summary I want to just reiterate some of the positives to Plainfield that this community will have. The three miles of internal trails, the multi-million dollar theme of the village, which adds approximately $10,000.00 of cost to each lot in this community. The minimum age restriction of 58%. For this community the balance will be age targeted. All the home plans are ranch style. Connectivity to the Oak Tree Golf Course will occur. All the guards in the neighborhood will be maintained by the homeowners association. All exterior maintenance in Area “A”, which is the attached tri-plex homes also revised in the ordinance that only permitted uses in the Area “A” are for single-family duplexes or tri-plex; the quads are not a permitted use anymore. No school children with all of the taxes as a result of the age restriction community. And there are generally fewer people per household in this style of a development, which makes for less vehicle trips per day. I’m not saying that there is no traffic but there would be less traffic than a typical neighborhood of this type. We thank you for your time over the past several months. We respectfully request your positive recommendation to the Town Council for support of this active adult community. We need this active adult community that will truly show that Plainfield is the progressive community that it is.
Ms. Whicker asked, is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this matter?
Mr. Tom Flynn said my wife and I live at 4531 CR500. We will be just to the immediate south of this development and we are just concerned about the borders or whatever you call it between the development and our home.
Mr. Brandgard asked, buffering?
Mr. Flynn said yes. Another concern too is it is going to be age restricted in the beginning but if that is going to be changed or how difficult would it be to get changed in the future? Or if it could be changed to a much lower percentage and change the whole setup of the place. We were just kind of concerned about the traffic. It sounds like another 1,000 cars a day going up and down CR500E. The old plan had a lot fewer homes and another access road going out by the golf course. It seems like there is going to be a lot more traffic and CR500E is going to bear the brunt of it.
Ms. Vonda Miles at 8425 S. SR267, Mooresville said I’m not opposed to a housing development; that is fine but a pub, a tavern let’s eliminate it. Have you seen a man who drinks alcohol throw his two year old child into a corner? I have. Please consider all of the moral and material decay brought on by alcohol; all the welfare required to support alcohol; the blight that it will bring to your community; the automobile accidents; the killings that contributes to it. Thank you.
Ms. Peggy Abner said I reside on CR500E, the area that is always not included in your pictures. We were not allowed to speak at the work sessions. They had research and it finally came down to the research groups that they encountered consisted of six to 12 people. My lifestyle is being statically proven that this is going to be a successful community on six to 12 people groups? The lifestyle center that they want to put in here we are not opposed to a housing development. Why does there have to be a lifestyle center? Mr. Sklare said that the development at Fishers was just being sold out and everything without having that lifestyle center there. Do you know why? Because it is not that big of a deal. He himself admitted that Plainfield had wonderful shopping and wonderful restaurants. Why does this community have to have the pub and the community center? Why is this not just a housing development; a residential area? When you put commercialization in the middle of any home area, you are getting a whole bunch more traffic, you are getting more people in and out of there everyday. How are they going to police the members only in the restricted areas? How are they going to do that? Are they going to change their mind once they get in there a few more months, years down the road? The views look real good on their little pictures but when you get to the actual pictures that he has taken of this development, did you see how close those were to the road? It is like one car distance between the house and the sidewalk. I have several children in this school corporation. The children of this Plainfield area refer to the Claymont area as Plainfield slums because it is such high density. I have been in a home where they have opened the windows on either side of the one home, and the person on this side talked to the person on this side in that house. Are we still having 12 feet and three houses? Is it still 12 feet between houses?
Gentleman said yes.
Ms. Abner said and that would still be the smallest distance between any house in Plainfield?
Mr. James said it is the only distance to do a six foot setback.
Ms. Abner said I’m talking about between houses.
Mr. James said not separation; there is a 12 foot separation.
Ms. Abner said we have had some strong winds lately. I know if one house would catch on fire, we wouldn’t have to worry about a development there because it would probably be consumed because of fire depending on how quickly the fire department gets there.
The landscaping that they proposed along CR500E no homeowner on CR500E will allow this. This will only be landscaping on CR500 on the east side. On the west side there will be no easements granted to this development. That is a fact.
In downtown Indianapolis there are homes that are very tightly condensed into space. They only allow parking on one side too. Is that the type of community that we want to pursue, the high density, the one parking on the side streets? You know you can get on the trail system in Plainfield and you can walk to any commercial area here. Why do they have to have the community center or their Village Center be a commercial area? We are opposed to any commercial development in that area. The homeowners on CR500E don’t really want the extra traffic that this is going to portray coming down the road.
As to the sidewalks, you have already said that you will not annex the east side of CR500E so the sidewalks would have to go on the west side, which the golf course has already said they didn’t want it. So, you will have to deal with that.
The reason why Mr. Sklare said that Plainfield is the wonderful place to be is because we, as a community, have developed the Metropolis. You guys have been in all of this decision making. You, as a board, have portrayed Plainfield as a great place to have this multi-million dollar aquatic center and yet this development wants to form their own little utopia. They want to have a community restricted. They want to have a community only to them when he already said that he liked Plainfield and one of the reasons that he likes Plainfield is the shopping and the places that we have to entertain. We have a wonderful park system. We have a wonderful trail system and I’m not telling you anything that you don’t already know. The main issue that we have is why does there have to be a Village Center in the middle of all the residential. There are other homes all around this. This village commercial center that they are proposing, which includes their private pub, this is in the center of thousands of homes. This is not a place for any commercial area. There is going to be an increased amount of traffic that will be on CR500E. County Road 500E is going to be a major thoroughfare and not only is there going to be just a 1,000 cars up and down the road but you are looking at two people driving so we are now looking at 2,000 cars up and down the road everyday and that is just going out; that is not coming in. How many times do you come home from work and you stay there and you don’t go anywhere? Nine times out of 10 you have to go to the pharmacy or you have to go and pick up milk or you have to pick up new shoes, etc. You don’t just go in and stay there so we are talking about a lot of cars going in and out. No matter how you look at it; what age they are, there are still a lot of trips going in and out. I appreciate your time. I know many of you are my neighbors. I voted for you. Thank you for your time.
Mr. Norm Carlisle said I reside on CR500E. My one concern on top of everything that Ms. Abner just talked about is I know it is not in the Town’s hands but I also have teenagers and with 900 vehicles extra going up and down our road my question is which one of our children have to die before a stoplight gets put in at the end of CR500E and U.S. 40? Cartersburg Road I know is not in our township but it took one 16 year old girl to die before a stoplight was put in. So, a stoplight at the end of that road if this housing addition does go in, should be an absolute must because I know I don’t want my son dead with a cross in the middle of the road with his name on it to get it accomplished. Thank you very much.
Mr. Glen Miles at 8425 S. SR267 said it is a Hendricks County address but it is a Mooresville post office. I have friends that live on CR500E and they are concerned about not only the increased traffic, but drivers who would be leaving the pub. Even if the pub is for members only, my understanding is the members could invite guests and those guests could be outside of the area and would be driving down CR500E in order to get home. I’m concerned about the state of my friends that live on that road, the traffic that would be going by there.
Ms. Trudy Flynn at 4531 S. CR500 said I know that you guys said you were going to take care of the lawns and like that. If that is the case, I know people if they have kids, they won’t care if their toys are out or things are out. You guys have a lot of unkept lawns in a way because they have no stake in it; they are paying someone else to do it. People tend not to care for what they don’t have to do. That’s what I’m trying to say.
Mr. Carlucci said I would like to address Mr. Flynn about the issue of changing the age restricted percentage. If this board and Town Council approved a certain percentage of age restricted homes, the developer cannot change that on his own. It would have to come back to the Plan Commission and the Town Council to get approved. Once that number is set the only way they can change it is to come back to a public hearing, which means that residents would be notified of that public hearing.
Lady said (inaudible).
Mr. Carlucci said this has nothing to do with the federal government because it is this board and the Town Council. The whole document is recorded at the court house in Danville. The only way that number can change is if they petition the Plan Commission; the Plan Commission approves the change and sends it to the Town Council for approval. Again, it is a public hearing so you would go to a public hearing like you are here tonight.
Mr. Isaacs said I’m not here to respond to every issue that was just raised. Clearly we live in a great society and people have a right to their opinions. Clearly no one type of housing community fits everybody’s lifestyle. We are talking about a very specific type of lifestyle and a very specific type of community and we in no way claim that it is going to be for everybody. But we are claiming that these are very successful communities that have been done appropriately. They can be a very great asset and worthy of a greater community because of generation property taxes and lack of services such as schools. The whole issue of why have a Village Center, which was raised, why not just do all housing? Again, that is a part of this lifestyle. Frankly I used to be a city planner and frankly one of the things that we used to do when I was in West Lafayette is we used to search out and try to include in residential areas small retail, neighborhood retail uses so that they would blend with the residential area. That is frankly a very common thing to do. So, the idea of having a Village Center within this community is we are not trying to create a utopia; we are trying to create a viable, quality living environment and part of that is to be able to walk to an ice cream store or get a drink or go to the coffee shop or exercise down the street; that is the purpose of it. It is not to replace facilities; it is to create a better quality environment. These people will still want to use the recreation and aquatic center that is right down the trail. We are in no way trying to replace that. We are simply adding a part to our own community.
I’m not a traffic engineer but we did a traffic study for the Beazer project, which was a traditional housing community and that was fewer homes. But the traffic study that was done then for the active adult lifestyle community by the same traffic engineer clearly showed that even though we had more home sites we are generating less traffic especially during peak times because there are fewer people per household and a significant number of people are not working. They are not working at the same hours that the peak hours are traveling. So, yes we are going to generate traffic on CR500E; there is no question about that but the level of traffic especially during the peak traffic hours is significantly lower. The traffic report may have a margin of error but if there is a margin of error, it is still significantly less than what was generated by a traditional housing community.
It was brought up about how do you police a members only facility like we are going to do in the Village Center? We are going to do a seminar with the Elks and they are going to teach us how to do that. A members only facility is done all of the time. It is very easy to do and we will do it and frankly this is the kind of community that they are going to self police it. This is going to be a very highly self policed development. With this age group they are very concerned about the community; they are very concerned about the lifestyle. If there is going to be anyone that is going to be concerned about people not doing something right, it is going to be these residents, these neighbors. So, again I appreciate the comments. We are in no way saying that this is for everybody but it is for a significant growing portion of the population.
Ms. Whicker said the public portion of the hearing is now closed and I will open it up to any of the board members that have any questions or comments.
Mr. McPhail said I have a list of questions that I would ask the petitioner to address for me. I’m going to work from the legal document that was presented, which is the detailed development standard. The first comment I have is on page seven. I need to make a correction there and correct your age restricted percentage. You didn’t correct it on that page. I also have a question on page seven. At what time does the homeowners association take over the maintenance from the developer? I couldn’t find that anyplace in the document.
Mr. Isaacs said generally speaking the CC&R documents get created and turned over at 75% or a period of years so we will determine the expected rate that you get to 75% and we will set that as the target date. So, it is either that date or 75% whichever comes first.
Mr. McPhail said it needs to be put in there some place. Whatever they determine is 75%, if we except that, it needs to be put in there.
Mr. Carlucci said we would have to review the covenants.
Mr. McPhail said on page 8, item “C” where in item one it says talking about submitting different elevations it says “prior to making a determination the planning director may consult with the Plainfield Design Review Committee on any changes”. I would like for it to say “and/or the Plan Commission”. It may be a situation where it is a significant enough in change that it should come back to this Plan Commission.
I did have a question on page nine in area “A”. You are still saying you are leaving the option of three different products in there. On page 10 I think your statement some place is a little stronger on owners and guests. It may be in the covenants or some place and for the pub and restaurant with a liquor license it says “opened to owners and guests only.”
Mr. Isaacs said we can add that to each line (inaudible).
Mr. McPhail said I did have a question on primary use 9d. It says “residential short term lease units.” I don’t know how to interpret that.
Mr. Isaacs said (inaudible).
Mr. McPhail said that would satisfy my curiosity.
Mr. Kirchoff said let me understand what 9 is, 40 units?
Mr. Isaacs said those are the type of units that we would propose in that center. It could be like a flat condo unit; maybe a flat over a flat condo; maybe it is condo in style.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, is it part of your 16,000 square foot building?
Mr. Isaacs said no that would be additional to the 16,000. The 16,000 square feet committed to is the owner’s club building that has the indoor pool, the outdoor pool, the owner’s club, workout facility, etc. The building committed to the 16,000 square feet would be this building here. The way the ordinance reads is that the building and that village green is what is committed to in the ordinance and then the balance is what we will need to find out that we will bring back.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, where are (inaudible)?
Mr. Isaacs said they could be in any one of these four buildings.
Mr. Satterfield said but you said you would (inaudible) 9d is that correct?
Mr. Isaacs said yes.
Mr. McPhail said I believe in their earlier commitments that all of this has to come back to DRC.
Mr. Isaacs said yes; this whole thing will come back to DRC.
Mr. Brandgard said there maybe some misconception on a retail center but there is really no retail center in this as I see your uses.
Mr. Isaacs said that is correct. Maybe the closest thing to a retail center may be the postal center. It was an idea that the association could run a postal center/coffee shop type thing similar to what the pub that would be done but it would be staffed by probably one person.
Mr. Brandgard said and you are showing a convenience store but it’s not very big.
Mr. McPhail said 800 square feet is not going to do much.
I did have a couple of comments on page 12. I personally have been satisfied that they have addressed the issues on the garage sizes by getting up to a minimum of 406 square feet. We have talked about that a lot. They have indicated 45 lots in Section “C” could accommodate a third car garage. I would like to see them commit to restricting those lots to third car options at least up to 50% of the build out. If they build out 50% and they don’t have a requirement and they are not getting requirements, they can come back and get that waived. My concern is that those 45 lots could go very quickly and if you didn’t restrict them to three car garages, they might go pretty quickly so I would like to see them restrict those to a third car option. If you get a 50% build out and you don’t have a decent requirement for third car garages, I will back off and say I was wrong but I think you are going to sale some three car garages.
Mr. Isaacs said we will have to come up with language for that. If I’m hearing correctly 25 lots we maintain that as an option. If buyers don’t chose that option and we build 100 homes, then we (inaudible).
Mr. McPhail said I would back off of that requirement.
Mr. Brandgard said you can build that into the approval.
Mr. McPhail said I just think you are going to have a requirement for some three car garages. Forty-five are not very many.
Mr. Isaacs said (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff asked, that is only in Area “C” that you are talking about?
Mr. McPhail said yes that is in Area “C” and that is the big area.
Mr. Kirchoff said since you are on 12 if you could help refresh my memory. As I look at the top line John and look at the number of units in the table, it seems really I guess I would use the word disproportional that 625 of your nine hundred and some units why did you pick such a large number to be in your Area “C”?
Mr. Isaacs said Area “C” we saw that through our market research is by far the largest price point that we have identified that would be supported by this market. Those homes average between almost 1,500 square feet and 2,100 square feet. Those are between $175,000.00 and $225,000.00, which is above medium cost value in Plainfield. So, if you look at it from that prospective on assessed evaluations, then there are 625 plus the 90 that are guaranteed coming in the door that are above the medium cost value of Plainfield.
Mr. Kirchoff said from a comparison standpoint that would probably be the middle group that we sale.
Mr. Isaacs said that is right.
Mr. McPhail said on page 13 we talked about open space at the work session. Is everybody satisfied on the definition of open space?
Ms. Whicker said I had a concern on option “E” I know you said the concept for the community center is still needed to go back to DRC.
Mr. Isaacs said yes.
Ms. Whicker said Exhibit “C” when you were showing the building that would house…….
Mr. Isaacs said (inaudible).
Ms. Whicker said yes but on Section “E” I know that is showing the trails but that building really was not in that plan yet. It looked like that building then would encompass and take up quite a bit of that open space. Did you do your calculations before or after the placement of that building?
Mr. Isaacs said that building would include the open space. This building is truly absolutely unequivocally opened to all residents in Oak Tree. It is no different than putting a community pool inside of a neighborhood in a common area. I don’t think you would discredit that as being non open space to the community because it is part of the open space but the buildings could possibly have residential units in it. For the purposes of the calculations those boxes did not include open space. (Inaudible). The common area that is shown is the green space that would be around those buildings, the big village green in the middle, obviously the area out in front by CR500 to get that building in there.
Ms. Whicker said and then we didn’t come up with a percentage of open spaces, water verses land?
Mr. Isaacs said we do not have that this evening. I called Mr. James earlier this morning in hopes that we would have that elevation yet. Part of it is we have to lock into what the actual potential requirements would be. But if you are trying to do a comparison between the old Beazer plan and this plan, we are showing close to 67 acres. They had about 25 acres when they deduct out ponds. I’m pretty confident this plan does not show 42 acres of ponds. We will work at getting that.
Mr. McPhail said I did have a comment on page 13. They asked for three items to be added to the exterior elevations and I do believe that those three items, 3.0 x 6.0 foot windows; covered porch and decorative columns meet the intent of architecture requirements.
I’m a little bit confused on page 14, the first item “C” at the top of the page. It says “all homes adjacent to CR500 will have a minimum of one of the following: either a screened porch, upgraded landscaping, two rear yard trees, a bay window or decorative gable vents.” To me that is too broad of a range. I don’t know how many lots we have along CR500 but I don’t think two yard trees should be categorized anyway near a screened porch or a gabled vent the same as a bay window.
Mr. Isaacs said if you look at the rear architecture of the homes, generally most of the homes have some type of architectural projection built into the home. Let’s start with the tablets labeled the active adult villa ranches. That’s Area “B”. If you look at the rear of that home, that home has a standard covered porch automatic and as you can see, that comes out a little bit so there is some architectural character to that already. If I look to plan one in Area “C”, which is the darker area, that probably is more (inaudible) and I would say we can give you a screen porch or a bay window to get that. When we do bay windows, it’s not a bay projects out. There is actually a footing and a foundation under it to get enforcement. (Inaudible). I would be willing to take everything out and just say we will either give you a bay window bump or the screened in porch.
Mr. McPhail asked, does it make more sense?
Mr. Brandgard said it makes more sense.
Mr. McPhail said you have the 58% right on that page. On page 17 on the vinyl siding requirements I agree with every comment that you made. I would like item “B” to say “whatever you use be submitted to Staff for approval”.
All prior drafts a commitment to 12 inch overhang I can’t find it. It may be in here, did I miss it?
Mr. Isaacs said I think that is part of your design guideline requirements.
Mr. McPhail asked, are we covered there Mr. James? I just want to make sure that we have that 12 inch overhang commitment in here.
Mr. James said I think with the brick…………
Mr. McPhail said with the brick it is reduced down to nine where they have brick, is that right?
Ms. Sprague said yes. Is that okay, the nine inches?
Mr. McPhail said I don’t have a problem with that; I just don’t find a commitment here. I don’t know if it is part of our residential standards.
Mr. James said it’s not under standards but it’s in our guidelines.
Mr. McPhail said I would like for you to make that statement in here that you are going to have it. That is a major aesthetic issue. I only have one other question and I have to ask it one more time. Did we get everything resolved with the Elks Club? Are we okay with the agreement with the Elks to be annexed and to be part of this project?
Mr. Daniel said they submitted a proposed annexation ordinance and this can be passed or recommended subject to the Elks property being satisfactorily annexed.
Mr. Carlucci said the attorney for the Elks is working on a zoning district for the golf courses. We will have to work on the timing on a couple of these things to get all of that done.
Mr. McPhail said I would just like to make one other comment. There were some questions about the center for activities and some minor services being provided there. I don’t think I would have any interest in reviewing this project without that. I think it is a very important element of the development. I can tell you as the chamber director the biggest complaint I have on the west side of Plainfield is that the homeowners have no place to buy a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread. We don’t have any neighborhood retail on the west side now. Hopefully we are going to have some in Saratoga but if you look at our comp plan, we have neighborhood retail in most of the residential areas. I don’t call this a neighborhood retail area but it is an activity area for the people of that community. Without that I don’t think they would have anything to sell as a lifestyle community.
Mr. Kirchoff said one of my thoughts when I heard them speak about the concern of the traffic flow is having some amenities within the community will reduce people running back to Town. What percent that is I don’t know but I think there might be some value.
Mr. Carlucci said I’m also making the assumption that all the traffic (inaudible). That is not necessarily going to be the case.
Mr. McPhail said I did visit a Del Web community in Texas and I will tell you that I believe the Del Web footprint of the house is the same all over the country. I think they may have changed the facade a little but I believe those house plans are all the same. There was not a lot of traffic in and out when I was there. I spent a half day there.
Mr. Satterfield asked, does the association maintain and operate the Village Center?
Mr. Brandgard said yes; the ones that I have been to they do.
Mr. James said based on the trip generation Beazer generates about 7,000 trips a day. This generates a quarter of that. You are looking at 3,000-4,000 trips a day even though it has more dwelling units. As far as the trip distribution Mr. Carlucci is right; not all of the traffic is going to go down (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff said since you bring up traffic have we done any warrant study as far as the traffic light that was brought up tonight?
Mr. McGillem said the traffic studies for both Beazer and the (inaudible) will not be warranted based (inaudible). I don’t disagree. It would be great to have a signal there, however, we are tied into a signal being determined and based by INDOT at U.S. 40 and they will not install a signal until (inaudible). You can submit the information that we have. The problem that we have meeting with INDOT for signals for warrants (inaudible) is that you’ve got to be a certain level of traffic standard for eight hours of the 24 hour period. The thing that has been mentioned here, which is a significant advantage based on traffic engineers is that there is a significant reduction in the total number of trips that is generated for this type of community. Also, those trips don’t usually occur in a large magnitude during the peak hours, which is time associated with the traffic signal warrants. We ran into this at Vestal Road. We had accidents as has been discussed here. We requested with INDOT on three or four different occasions to look at putting a signal at Vestal Road and U.S. 40. We got turned down. It did not occur until (inaudible) the recreation center went in that allowed us the level of standards that INDOT would agree to put the signal in but that is what we are running into at this location. Based on a traffic study and so forth this development (inaudible) will not generate the level that INDOT (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff said since we are talking about roads and traffic give me a sense of what will not be improved on CR500E either way? What is going to be improved as part of this and what will not be improved?
Mr. McGillem said right now the way that it stands the intersection at U.S. 40 there will be a three lane section on the north approach and at CR550 it will allow for the separation of the right left turn lane at U.S. 40. On U.S. 40 itself there will be an eastbound left turn lane that will be developed into U.S. 40. There is a westbound right turn lane that will be installed on U.S. 40 and an intersection will be set up to receive a signal (inaudible). On CR550 itself as you go north and get to the property, you will see the improvement through the intersection into the development. At this time they are proposing a roundabout intersection design that has not been designed as a full design. They would have to come in to the Town for approval. Really this would be a good intersection because CR550, the way that it is right now, you go up there and you get a lot of speed on CR550. Roundabouts tend to be a traffic calming situation. We would have some improvement through the additional intersection and across. We would require any work in association with the CR500 be overlaid and striped and so forth associated with the new development. We do not have any improvements right now as proposed of the project between the development (inaudible).
Mr. Kirchoff asked, can you give me an estimated distance from the roundabout down to the end of the property?
Mr. McGillem said 500-600 feet.
Mr. Kirchoff said so they don’t have a lot of time to down shift and resumed to a high level of speed. The traffic calming should slow it down some. The other question I have is the only improvements that you have talked about are part of the plan to be paid for by the developer, everything that we discussed so far. Okay. Thanks.
Mr. Isaacs said the infrastructure improvements, which would include improvements on U.S. 40 will be detailed in a memorandum of understanding and has yet to be negotiated (inaudible) between the Town and (inaudible). I don’t know that he can say that all improvements just discussed (inaudible).
Lady from audience asked who is going to reside in the 40 units at the Village Center? Are there going to be renters?
Mr. Isaacs said they will be owner occupied.
Mr. Kirchoff said I haven’t looked at the proposed motion but does it reference the annexation? Mr. James did you put that in there at all?
Mr. Brandgard said while we are talking about a motion if the Plan Commission decides to give a favorable recommendation to the extent that the commission agrees with the comments that Mr. McPhail went through etc., those could be incorporated into the motion. Those changes and revisions would be made as part of it.
Mr. Carlucci said just so we are clear all the changes that have to be incorporated into this document be reviewed by Mr. James to make sure that we have everything in there before it goes to the Town Council. There is a lot of changes to be made there.
Mr. McPhail said there was a list of commitments that the petitioner made as he was going through and then there were additional commitments that they made in reference to my questions and comments. We have to get them all in that document.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion that the Plan Commission certify the zone amendment request of PUD-06-001 as filed by Bay Communities, LLC providing initial zoning to approximately 266 acres to the PUD District as a residential PUD titled “Oak Tree PUD” to the Town Council with a favorable recommendation subject to the following changes being made to the Preliminary Plan:
1. All signs, landscaping, lighting, trail/path plan, Village Center and park amenity details shall be submitted as part of a Final Detailed Plan for review and approval.
2. U.S. 40/CR500E intersection improvements shall be completed to coincide with the completion of the first phase of the development.
3. Determinations shall be made during the Primary Plat process regarding the extension of required utility and roadway improvements to serve the Oak Tree PUD and surrounding areas, which shall be subject to annexation and final agreement with the Town Council. Annexation and rezoning of the Elks property.
4. Subject to changes discussed tonight and put into the record by the commission and the petitioner.
Second by Mr. McPhail.
Mr. Kirchoff said reading this I just want to doublecheck what we are saying is we have not agreed on the street lighting but they will come back and we will talk about what that street lighting looks like.
Mr. Brandgard said just as a comment also this is dealing with rezoning. A lot of the issues that we talked about will be dealt with when we deal with the Primary Plat. That will be another public hearing.
Roll call vote called.
Mr. Satterfield – yes
Mr. Matrana – yes
Mr. McPhail – yes
Mr. Brandgard – yes
Mr. Gibbs – yes
Mr. Kirchoff – yes
Ms. Whicker – yes
7-ayes, 0-opposed, 0-absent. Motion carried.
Mr. James said the Anderson rezone also known as the Strides for Success Riding Stable is now ready to submit an ILP and will be starting on the construction of the barn but they made one change to their site plan and I wanted to show that to you. Here is the property. The barn will go about right there and they are going to come up (inaudible). This is the right-of-way. They are going to have to build this portion right here to Town standards. But now they would like to come off Terry Drive right here. I wanted to make sure you are okay with this so they can get their ILP.
Mr. Brandgard said really that is a better access.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, is there any reason to advise the people on Terry?
Mr. Belcher said (inaudible).
Mr. Brandgard said the only thing that is going to create out there is the school buses going in and out and we have school buses going down there anyway.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, will they be bringing a horse trailer down there?
Mr. Brandgard said the horses reside there so they will probably use that to bring the horses in initially but I don’t think they have very many horses; it’s not a stable per se.
Mr. Carlucci said it sounds like a plan.
Mr. James said okay.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to adjourn. Second by Mr. McPhail. Motion carried.
Ms. Renea Whicker, Madam Chairperson