Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

March 20, 2013

Brownsburg mulls 4,500-acre addition

Bart Doan

BROWNSBURG — Just 18 months after annexing 2,143 acres into Brownsburg that included the Ronald Reagan/I-74 corridor and Lucas Oil Raceway Park, the town here is pursuing the annexation of another 4,500 acres that would add about $273 million in assessed value and 3,000 residents to the population.

Notices were sent to landowners in the north annexation area, which includes the Highland Green, Highland Springs, Winridge, and Eaker subdivisions. In addition, town officials also agreed to proceed with the annexation of Northfield at Wynne Farms, Hart-Anderson, Magee, and Ward territories in the southeastern portion of town.

A public hearing to gather resident feedback is set for 6 p.m. May 16 at town hall.

Town Manager Grant Kleinhenz said this has been a discussion point for several years and the feeling is that, as per their comprehensive plan, it will move the town forward.

“Over the last 20 years, the town has gone from a little over 7,000 residents to almost 22,000,” he said. “It includes many developments around I-74. We still continue to get requests from developers. In fact, right now Beazer Homes has proposed another development off of County Road 700 North. It’s very difficult to plan for something when you don’t know if it’s going to be located within the town’s jurisdiction. What we wanted to do was create a 20- to 25-year growth area where we feel we can plan for and manage what happens there.”

Kleinhenz said the town runs sewer and water to some of those neighborhoods and, since the wastewater treatment plant is nearly at capacity, they need to be able to plan for providing those services.

Of the proposed annexation, Town Council President Dwayne Sawyer said, “It is a lot of land, a lot of landowners. It’s good for the town — current residents and future ones — because it helps the town of Brownsburg be able to better comprehensively and holistically plan for the future under the town’s rules and regulations of zoning. The motivation behind this annexation is to improve the quality of life for local residents in the long term. We want to emphasize how this effort is mutually beneficial for the town and the landowners in the annexation area.”

Kleinhenz expounded on some of the services and benefits that would be offered residents should the annexation become a reality.

“Police protection,” Kleinhenz said. “The town, within our corporate limits, provides regular patrols through all neighborhoods, sometimes as much as two or three times a day. They will have the benefit of that. Some other benefits are street maintenance, street planning, as we look at major thoroughfares like County Road 700 or 800, we can apply for federal and state funding to improve those roads and bring them up to a standard that improves drainage.”

He added that the town’s comprehensive plan also calls for another interstate crossing near the edge of Lincoln and Brown townships that is not currently in town limits. He said they wanted to get that area in the town so they’re not spending dollars outside of the community.

He and Sawyer acknowledged that residents might have concerns, and that is the motivation for the public meeting to be had in May.

“We anticipate that residents will have questions, concerns, and potentially, objections about annexation,” Sawyer said. “Town leaders have placed a big emphasis on government transparency, and our goal is to make available as much information as we can on how residents in the proposed annexation areas will be affected and what municipal services will benefit them.”

Kleinhenz urged residents who have questions to call town offices.

“We’d hope people would call us to get those answers before (the public hearing),” he said. “We know residents have a various range of concerns, impact to taxes, what benefits are there, what happens to drainage, our fiscal plan, and how we’re going to provide services.”

Interested individual may sign up for the Brownsburg North Annexation e-newsletter, follow @BrownsburgIN on Twitter for timely updates, or “like” the Town of Brownsburg on Facebook.