Court Of Appeals Sides With Carmel In Land Dispute
12:16 PM, Oct 17, 2007
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with Carmel in its long-running annexation fight with homeowners in Home Place.The court ruled that Carmel can proceed with its annexation of more than 2,000 homes in Home Place, a two-square mile area on the southern edge of the Hamilton County city.The appeals court ruling said Carmel's 18-page fiscal plan for Home Place met the legal requirements for annexation, overturning a Hamilton County judge's order."At the end of the day, it is apparent that Carmel has made credible and enforceable commitments to provide equivalent services to Home Place," read a portion of the ruling.Residents have been steadfast in their opposition of the annexation plan and some said the battle is not over yet. At last count, about 72 percent of Home Place's homeowners oppose the plan."I just didn't see any benefit to us getting a raise of about 30 percent in taxes just to support their government," said Don Schiendler, who lives in Home Place. "We pay for the library, the schools, everything else in our taxes right now. We're just basically covering their government costs."Wednesday's ruling follows a decision earlier this year by the Indiana Supreme Court which allowed Carmel to annex 3,400 homes in southwest Clay Township and established new guidelines for annexation in the state.The dispute between Carmel and Home Place has been ongoing since July 2004, when Carmel first introduced its annexation plan.Those homeowners claim annexation could cause their property tax bills to skyrocket.The annexation plan includes the area between 111th to 99th Street and Westfield Boulevard to Pennsylvania Street. Some of the neighborhoods affected are College Meadows, Echo Crest, Home Place, Lexington Farms, Northridge, Orchard Park, Marwood Trails, Orchard Estates, Willowmere, and Winding Brook.
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