Builder proposes 50-lot subdivision on U.S. 31


A local developer has plans to build a nearly 50-lot housing addition just south of Seymour city limits.

Chad Goecker with Goecker Construction of Seymour received approval from the Seymour Plan Commission last week for a land use variance to develop 19.8 acres in the 3000 block of North U.S. 31. The property, which lies within the city’s two-mile fringe jurisdiction, is zoned R-S (residential suburban).

Goecker is requesting the variance for lot sizes.

“I believe the smallest lot size we have laid out is 90 by 105 feet,” he said. About half of the 48 lots will be that size, which is smaller than the city’s current lot size requirements, he said.

Commissioners voted 10-0 to approve the request with Bernie Hauersperger abstaining due to providing engineering services for the project through FBPH Inc.

The request now goes to the board of zoning appeals on June 23 for final approval.

Sue McKain, who lives in the Greendale subdivision, south of the proposed development, said she has concerns about how the development will impact the area.

“We already have drainage issues with water, so building all those homes over there may make worse drainage for us,” she said.

Goecker agreed the area does not drain well, but said the development would include at least two retention ponds and would meet the city’s code requirements for drainage.

County commissioner Bob Gillaspy, who also attended the meeting, said the county is looking into making some repairs to the storm water system in the area that should help out Greendale residents.

McKain also wanted to know if the homes would be occupied by low-income residents.

“If you have low-income homes and that many of them, it’s going to bring our crime rate up,” she said. “Where we’re at right now, we don’t have hardly anything, so I’m concerned about that.”

Goecker said the homes would be 1,400 to 1,600 square feet in size with brick fronts. The price point for buyers likely will be around $175,000.

If the homes are for families, McKain said the increase in the number of children could overwhelm the school district. Young students who live in the proposed subdivision likely would attend Margaret R. Brown Elementary School.

“Brown School is already crowded,” she said. “I used to substitute teach over there and they actually have classes in trailers in their school yard, so that’s something to think about.”

Such an increase in the number of students could lead the school corporation to have to raise taxes in order to add on to the school, she added.

The increase in traffic is another of McKain’s concerns.

“When the interstate closes down, we can hardly get on and off 31 because of traffic, because that’s the only place they have to go,” she said. “It’s terrible.”

She also worries that the existing sewer system would be overburdened by the additional homes.

“The lines out there right now are at capacity,” she said. “They can’t hold anything else. So what’s going to happen with those? All of this is something you really need to consider. I know some of this may seem really petty, but it’s concerning us as homeowners that are going to be adjacent to it.”

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