CARMEL, Ind. -- A one-of-a-kind Carmel neighborhood is at a fork in the road. It is the upscale village of West Clay, where zoning changes are likely coming to bring more residents, while hopefully boosting important retail business.
The Village of West Clay is a purposeful turn of the century throwback, with interesting architecture and walk able streets. It is a town of 700 acres where a part of its retail side has struggled for years. Now there are proposals to ease zoning restrictions to allow for residential and commercial use by swapping out office square footage in favor of residential space, like townhouses and apartments.
"It started in 2000. They figured it to be a 10 year plan, and that commercial growth would come towards year 8 or 9, which would put us in 2008 or 2009 when the real estate market crashed and everything halted. Fast forward 5 to 6 years later is where we are now, and now is time for it to start building up again," David Klain said.
While there are some concerns from homeowners over how the neighborhood should grow, business owners say there is a demand for new business, the issue is finding the right type to succeed.
Sherri Klain's store has been running successfully for 7 years, and as a home owner here, she's in favor of rezoning.
"We have a lot of empty space that was originally supposed to be filled, and that would help the community look the way it was supposed to in the originally planning state and bring more families in here," Klain said.
Still, some residents want to protect the village's small town feel, concerned about crowded streets and spaces.
"I don't see a problem with it. The more people here, maybe we'll get more restaurants. Maybe we'll get another market, which will only add to the convenience and make me love this place even more," Lauren Price said.
A desirable, upscale neighborhood that some say is ready for its next phase of growth.