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Carmel residents frustrated with the city's plans to redevelop a forest

Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 27, 2022

CARMEL — Some people in Carmel are frustrated with the city's plans to redevelop a forest.

Around 18 acres of wildlife off Interstate 465 could soon be bulldozed.

The area on Spring Mill Road near I-465 is part of the area that will be revitalized.

The Carmel Plan Commission is reviewing a design approval to build a residential neighborhood.

The plan includes more than 100 new homes.

"It's very concerning. We weren't aware of this," Nancy Tatum said. "These forests are few and far between here in Carmel and the development are going to continue, but I want to ask the city council to leave the forests alone and build in the areas where there is already farmland."

Jennifer Christie with the Indiana Forest Alliance says the century-old trees are significant to the community and need to be preserved.

"It's important in the age of climate change," Christie said. "It is more important for a forest ecosystem to sequester carbon and protect against the dangerous effects of climate change, including heat and flooding. It's also important for the neighbors that live in that area because it is their only buffer from Interstate-465 and so the noise pollution, the exhaust pollution and all of the effects of 465 certainly are going to be felt more if that forest were to be taken down."

Tatum, Christie and others have written letters to the council hoping to put a stop to the development.

They argue, residents weren't properly notified.

The city says public meetings were held before the approval.

As far as the trees go, Tatum says the solution is to plant new ones once construction begins.

"To me that's heartbreaking and then they say they are going to plant trees what? No amount of tree planting can replace century-old trees," Tatum said.