Seymour Plan Commission approves plat for new subdivision

A developer plans to start moving dirt in December to make way for a 51-lot subdivision.

Jason Miller said he hopes to start building homes along the 700 block of Marley Lane on Seymour’s south side in March 2022.

That news came after the Seymour Plan Commission voted 9-0 to approve Miller’s preliminary plat approval for the Stoney Run subdivision during a meeting Thursday night at Seymour City Hall. Bret Cunningham was absent, and acting city engineer Nathan Frey did not cast a vote.

In June, Miller received approval from the plan commission and city council to rezone the 15.09-acre property from R-S (single-family residential district) to R-1 (single-family residential).

The next step was to submit the preliminary plat to the plan commission. Now, it moves on to City Engineer Bernie Hauersperger and Building Commissioner Jeremy Gray for final approval.

Miller attended Thursday’s meeting, and Adam Cooper, an engineer with FPBH Inc., spoke on his behalf.

“I think everybody is pretty well aware of the shortage of housing, and we think this is going to be a great opportunity for the city to get more housing,” Cooper said.

Plan commission member Rick Schleibaum asked about the price range of the homes, and Miller said the goal is to keep them under $200,000.

“It’s a task right now, but right now, it’s still looking like that’s very possible,” Miller said. “We’re trying to make these homes very efficient.”

After recently tearing down an old house on North Chestnut Street and rebuilding it, Miller said a full energy audit report was done, and it appears the total annual expense will be around $800.

“That’s what we’re shooting for, trying to get very energy-efficient homes, trying not to do as basic as you can possibly get by with doing,” Miller said. “I’m into that energy-efficient thing myself, so it works out pretty good. That’s one of the things that we’re striving for.”

Cooper said each home in the subdivision will have its own driveway, even if that requires a variance.

“From an aesthetic point of view and just for general use of the lots, we feel that having each lot having their own individual drive is best suited for this particular subdivision,” he said.

Eleven of the lots will face Marley Lane, and Frey said he encourages off-street parking, so the driveways will require variances.

“We’re completely fine with that,” Cooper said.

The subdivision will have five named streets, and Cooper said those would be submitted for final approval.

Gregory and Patrick Meyer also attended Thursday’s meeting. They own the 19.11-acre lot that’s directly east of the site, and commission member Dave Eggers asked if they were OK with Miller’s proposal. They said they are.

“Then I feel better about it already,” Eggers said.

“Our concern as a board, as an entity, as much as we need housing in the city of Seymour, we don’t always need housing to the expense of all of the neighbors of those proposed properties, so when they do come (to city meetings), we want to give them that opportunity and they are welcome to make a statement — pro or con or just neutral, it doesn’t matter — if they so wish,” Eggers said. “Taxpayer dollars is what funds everything you see around you, so we want all of the taxpayers to be happy.”

Scott McCormick, who lives on Rebecca Court just north of the property, spoke in favor of Miller’s proposal before the plan commission voted.

In talking to his neighbors on the cul-de-sac, McCormick said they are all in favor of the subdivision since it will bring nice, affordable houses to the area.

“When you’ve got a house that you are paying for and you have your own driveway, the place will stay nice and look nice,” he said. “The city of Seymour, we need more houses $200,000 or less because when you put out there that you can buy a house for less than what you can rent for, people will buy houses — common sense. Everybody I’ve talked to (in his neighborhood), we want to give it a big thumbs up with everything Jason’s wanting to do down there.”