Pulte Homes refiles with City of Westfield, updates architectural standards

Pulte Homes has been working with Wood Wind Golf Course to save the only remaining public golf course in the city through the development of a neighborhood centered around the course. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Pulte Homes of Indiana initially proposed a development to save the Wood Wind Golf Course and build more than 1,000 homes, multiple apartments, an amenity center and a commercial area across more than 700 acres last August. Since then, plans have changed.

Vice President of Land Acquisition David Compton will be presenting again to the plan commission scheduled for April 17. On April 7, Pulte refiled an updated petition. Previously, the proposed apartments and commercial area were nixed.

With the new filing, Compton said there will be no more than 856 homes in the proposal, including custom home lots not developed by Pulte. There will be 1.21 units per acre across the entire site, which Compton said is the lowest for developments in the area. The Chatham Hills neighborhood has more than two units per acre and the Harmony neighborhood has three units per acre.

In addition to fewer homes, architectural standards were increased and the Wood Wind Planned Unit Development also incorporates 13 buffering agreements with existing neighbors.

Compton said Pulte used the services of O.W. Krohn and Associates to conduct an economic impact study of the area. The Wood Wind of Westfield homes, if approved, would generate approximately $600,000 of assessed value per student in the Westfield Washington School District. An assessed value of approximately $375,000 is needed to support each student in the school district.

Price points for Pulte’s Wood Wind homes increased to more than $500,000 with the new filing. They were initially priced in the mid-$400,000s. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value of Westfield homes this month was approximately $219,000.

“This development and the price points being where they are, it shows the development will more than support itself,” Compton said. “I think this is the only plan that has been presented that is supported by the owner of the golf course and the current operator of Wood Wind to save the golf course. The details of that plan are further strengthened in this PUD filing, which previously included a 50-year deed restriction (for the golf course), and now we provide detailed analysis and commitments regarding how the homeowner’s association will interact with the golf course operator.”

Façade improvements also were made, requiring 90 percent of the homes in the development to have an 18-inch brick or stone wainscoting around all four sides of the home. Architectural requirements were made for the gable ends of homes as well as all windows around the homes. Compton said special attention to detail will be made for those homes that back up against perimeters, trails, the golf course or any open space.

“We do not believe that this approval or the recent approvals by Westfield represent irresponsible growth,” Compton said. “Wood Wind has been in the planning stage by Pulte for over a year and a half. We appreciate the public input and believe the updated petition will save the Wood Wind Golf Course, support the school system and set higher architectural standards for other communities that follow.”

A small planning group led by concerned citizens was established last August, where certain plan commission members, city council members, citizens and the township trustee took part. Compton said Pulte representatives were not invited to those discussions until October, two months after the group formed.

In the cities of Carmel and Indianapolis, Compton said the process is different and driven by either plan commission subcommittees or city staff. The developer is present from the first discussion. Compton said that individual large land owners in the Wood Wind area also were not invited to the planning group meetings.

“In both the cities of Carmel and Indianapolis, these meetings are open to all the public,” he said.

Compton also said that regardless if the development is approved, master sewer lines will still be required to run through the area.

“The master utility plan for Westfield includes interceptor sewers that must be installed through or around the Wood Wind development, whether or not it’s approved to support projects already approved by the City of Westfield,” he said.
As of press time, the new filing for the Wood Wind of Westfield development was scheduled to go before the plan commission April 17. This story will be updated.