Sand Hill Farm Update

Sand Hill Farm

Sand Hill Farm

There have been several status changes to Sand Hill Farm this Spring.  The first was the retirement of the County drainage easement through the property.  It was replaced by a new easement to the Town of Culver.  This was part of the agreement with the Town that saw the relocation of the storm drain from running diagonally across the property to a new location along the property line.  This also included removal of a large area of brush and scrub trees which generally improved the property.  The second was the inclusion of Sand Hill Farm in the talks regarding Entry Level Housing for Culver.  I have served on Culver’s Task Force looking into this issue and helped with the Request For Proposals (RFP) that went out to developers earlier this month.  I have been contacted by one developer who has shown interest.  We shall see how it proceeds from here.  The goal of the RFP is to explore opportunities to obtain an Affordable Housing project that can be parlayed into additional market rate housing through an additional portion of the property.  

“Affordable Housing” is the government agency term used by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) for projects that provide support through tax credits.  Our task force has been concerned with the negative stigma associated with this.  This program is designed to provide entry level housing at affordable rates.  It is not free housing or voucher housing.  If we are successful in obtaining tax credits for a project, there will be several tiers of housing available at between 60% and 90% of market level rental rates based on the income of the tenant as related to the median income level for Marshall County.  The task force’s goal is to promote housing for entry level teachers, school employees and employees from Elkay.  This addresses a need that came up constantly during the Comprehensive Plan process.  The Task Force feels this is vital to the continuation of the local schools as well as for the general health of our local economy.  We need to provide entry level housing for the next generation of Culver residents.

My thought process is still to look at this as a PUD.  This would allow some flexibility on zoning regulations and the opportunity to experiment with some new options not currently sanctioned in Culver’s current Zoning Ordinance.

The Town is considering how they can help in order to keep costs down.  There have been a lot of convoluted acrobatics suggested in order to control costs on sales, but I don’t see that being feasible.  Rental properties are a different matter though.  There are controls that can be placed on rental rates without too much trouble and you would be dealing with one entity.

The conversation continues!

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