Lennar Homes is planning to build about 115 single-family homes at the southeast corner of Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue in Greenwood. This is the third attempt to have land developed.

Provided by the city of Greenwood

A 44-acre parcel on Greenwood’s south side will be developed into homes, the third proposal for the land in three years.

Lennar Homes came before the city’s Advisory Plan Commission Monday to ask for a change in commitments for their proposed 44-acre subdivision located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue on Greenwood’s far south side. The neighborhood, dubbed Lincoln Place, would be bordered to the west by railroad tracks and to the south by the town of Whiteland. It is located within the Clark-Pleasant school district and is directly west of Elmwood Estates, another under-construction Lennar subdivision.

The commission unanimously voted 9-0 to approve the change in commitments for Lincoln Place, clearing the way for the project to move forward.

This is not the first time the development of the land has come before the plan commission, however.

Lennar first came before the commission in October 2021 to ask for the land to be rezoned for about 80 single-family homes and 69 townhomes. The plan commission unanimously gave a favorable recommendation to the city council, requiring the Florida-based developer to commit to building no more than 80 single-family homes and no more than 79 townhomes. The following month, the city council voted 8-1 with one member absent to grant the rezone.

However, the land was not developed for residential use. By the time this past May rolled around, a new project — and another rezoning — was planned for the land.

On May 9, Saica Pack U.S., a subsidiary of Spanish company Saica Pack, planned to ask the plan commission to rezone the land from residential to industrial for a corrugated packaging manufacturing facility. The proposed facility would have been approximately 390,000 square feet, and Saica planned to invest about $100 million to construct the facility.

But the proposal was withdrawn on the day of the plan commission hearing amid public opposition. Nearby residents had expressed concern about rezoning the land and placing an industrial facility there. A petition from nearby residents opposing the proposal gained more than 115 signatures, nearby resident Donna Zelner told the Daily Journal in May.

Because of the withdrawal, the land remained residential. Now four months later, Lennar Homes is again moving forward with plans for a subdivision on the land with some major changes.

Under the updated proposal for Lincoln Place, the proposed townhomes are gone. Instead, the plans call for the project to only be single-family homes — about 115 to be exact.

“Lennar decided not to build the attached townhomes primarily because this product they had did not comply with all the architectural standards,” Brian Tuohy, an attorney representing Lennar, told the plan commission Monday.

Although the property was split into two zoning classifications — residential attached for the townhomes and residential medium for the single-family homes — Lennar did not have to ask for the land for the townhomes to be rezoned to residential medium. This was because the city’s criteria for residential attached zoning already allows for single-family homes to be built, Tuohy said.

Still, the developer had to ask for changes in commitments following the updated plans and clarify other commitments.

Lennar had committed to building no more than 80 single-family homes and 69 townhomes, which was written into the ordinance approving the rezoning. Since the plans had changed, the wording had to be updated.

Additionally, the developer had committed to making road improvements to Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue near the development. However, this wording was unclear, so Lennar Homes had asked for it to be updated, Tuhoy said.

“After working with (city) staff, it didn’t seem like it was perfectly clear where those improvements would look like. Staff, our engineer got together and came up with a plan to show how Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue would be improved and attached that plan to this commitment,” he said.

Now, the improvements would be “installed with substantial compliance” to what they had marked on their plans. This includes adding turn lanes and passing blisters for the two entrances located on Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue, according to city documents.

Lennar also plans to put green spaces as a buffer to separate the homes from both Pushville Road and Emerson Avenue. Another green space will separate the neighborhood from the train tracks to the west, along with a large drainage pond, city documents show.

The final commitment asked to be changed had to do with the closing date of the sale of the land. For the rezoning, a provision was added saying if the sale of the land had not closed by the end of 2022, the city would revert the zoning back to residential large zoning. Lennar Homes asked for it to be changed to 2024.

City staff had given a favorable recommendation for the commitment changes, and were in agreement with the road improvements, said Gabe Nelson, planning director.

Plan commission members asked questions about the buffers and Lennar’s plans for trails near the neighborhood. Asphalt trails are planned along the neighborhood’s frontage on Emerson Avenue and Pushville Road. These paths will connect with sidewalks within the subdivision, and other planned asphalt paths along the railroad tracks and behind existing homes that are not part of the project, a Lennar representative said.

No one from the public spoke during Monday’s meeting.