hostgator promos hostgator coupon EastOfKeystone & Beyond : Johnson Acres Overlay....What's It REALLY About?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Johnson Acres Overlay....What's It REALLY About?

This post powered by The HUB INDY 

There's an interesting debate going on in our community right now about a proposal being brought to our city government. It originated with a group of property owners in an east Carmel neighborhood called Johnson Acres. In summary this is a proposed conservation district that if enabled would restrict what can happen to certain properties in east Carmel and midtown. It goes far beyond the actual legal description of Johnson Acres and it's residents north of Smokey Row Road. It extends along Main Street and ensconces a number of properties through the Arts and Design District, as a simplification. 

Before I offer some thoughts on's why I feel I'm qualified to offer an opinion. I have had the privilege of selling property in Carmel since 1986. I have sold nearly 50 million in real estate in Carmel and have literally seen it all. I have sold condos in The Maples for $90,000 and the former Hilbert Estate to Forrest Lucas for millions....and EVERYTHING in between. In fact I lived on 1st Avenue N.E. for 16 years when the streets and sidewalks were crumbling into each other.  I have seen every conceivable affect of things occurring in our community on the values of property. So as I offer these thoughts I do so not by playing favorites or by having a dog in the fight. I do so simply by sharing what decades of experience have taught me from seeing things first hand. As an aside...I have no issue telling people what I think even if it's not what they want to hear. You cannot possibly find my word credible when I tell you something that is positive if I don't have the courage to tell you the truth when it's challenging. 

Let's call this overlay proposal what it is. There are those in our community who are uncomfortable with the reach of the redevelopment that's going on and this proposal is an attempt to slow that down. This has less to actually do with Johnson Acres per say but more about a broader area. Certainly the new home on the corner or West Main and 4th Avenue have contributed to that as have the numerous tear downs in what used to be called 'Old Town' in the A & DD. I understand those fears and concerns and I am not insensitive to them. I listened to the public comments from those in favor of the overlay at the City Council meeting on 10.20. In essence the arguments for the overlay ranged from fears of a lack of affordable housing in the future to fear of somehow being over run by the newer homes being built. However one feels about those here's what I can absolutely tell you what will happen if the overlay is passed. Property values will stagnate. That's correct - less choices on what one can do with their property mean one thing....less value growth. When you limit options you limit potential. You may not care about that but the people who have sold their homes as tear downs certainly do. They care because some of them used that money to send kids to college. Some used the money to pay medical expenses. Some used the money for retirement. We should think long and hard about the affect an overlay like this would have had on those individuals. 

As for the fears of someone being forced out of their home by ongoing development, no one is going to force anyone to sell their two bedroom ranch in Old Town against their will to a developer. The taxes aren't going to run someone out of their two bedroom ranch in Old Town either. As for affordable housing in Mid Town....I understand that argument to a degree. The oldest homes in the core area of the A & DD are NEVER going to get sold cheaply any more anyway. Basic economics as driven up the value of the land alone. If we want what some would categorize as affordable housing then we should be lobbying our city leaders to encourage that in newer developments, not choking the value of the current individual tracts of land. 

I can't speak for the actual residents of Johnson Acres but I did hear several of them come out strongly against the overlay in no uncertain terms last night. Whether they adopt a more restrictive set of building requirements is their right as a neighborhood. It's pretty clear that given the extent of total land that this proposal encompasses outside of Johnson Acres it's about MUCH MORE than that specific area. To that end we should think very carefully as to whether we want to affect our residents in such a significant way by enacting this type of a proposal.

No comments: