After months of deliberation, the Bargersville Town Council approved a 417-home subdivision.
Sawyer Farms will be located south of County Road 144, bordered by Saddle Club South to the north, and West Old Town Bargersville, Morris Meadows and Highland Knoll to the south. The project survived a split vote from the council. Three of the five members, including James Rumell II, Andrew Greenwood and R. Dustin Doyle, voted in favor of the project. Ruth Ann Moore and Susie Qualls voted against it.
The project will include 72 two-unit paired villa buildings with an estimated value of $278,000 per unit, 157 smart homes valued at $320,000, and 116 prestige homes valued at $420,000. Similar homes in the area are selling for about $450,000, so that estimate is conservative, said Eric Prime of Van Valer Law Firm, which represents M/I Homes, the builder.
After the project received an unfavorable recommendation from the Bargersville Plan Commission in March, the Columbus, Ohio-based developer made adjustments to the project to make it more desirable to Bargersville residents and town council members who would have the final say.
Bargersville resident Branden Ray had concerns about buffering and an entrance with acceleration and deceleration lanes from N. 450 W., known as Runyon Road, to the subdivision.
M/I homes nixed that entrance from the plans, and pledged a 20-foot buffer between Sawyer Farms and Ray’s property, which will be filled in with trees. While there will be roads that link Sawyer Farms to adjacent neighborhoods, the only entrance from a main road to Sawyer Farms will be off County Road 144.
Other changes include enhanced masonry and another 20-foot buffer on Eastview Drive.
The final plan also increases green space by 2.14 acres to 40.5 acres, about 23.9% of the 169.3 acres allotted to the development. With plans for more than two homes per acre, the density is less dense than nearby subdivisions West Old Town Bargersville, Morris Meadows and Highland Knolls, which all have at least three homes per acre. Less density should ease residents’ concerns about traffic, Prime said.
Addressing a concern of the council, M/I Homes added language to the proposal that would prevent a buyer from purchasing the subdivision and renting it out. Also, to prevent short-term rentals, all leases will have to be at least a year.
Despite changes to the plans, Moore still had concerns that caused her to vote against the project, she said.
“At first, I was against (Sawyer Farms) totally, but as time went on, the developer made several concessions which I believe improved the project for the town and the concerned neighbors,” Moore said. “In the end, my main concerns were the increased traffic on a small county road and the size of the development.”
M/I Homes plans to start construction by the end of the year or early next year.