Holy “Your house doesn’t cost enough to live in my neighborhood.” Perhaps a new subdivision should carry the name “The Snobs of West County Line Road” instead of all those cutesy names like the “Oaks of”, the “Bends of”, the “Hollows of” – you get the picture.

A number of residents living in $200,000+ homes along West County Line Road have decided that – gasp – $130,000 to $180,000 homes will bring in the low-incomers and the burglars, thieves, and robbers.  Anyone who follows my blog knows I dislike the exploding subdivision growth due to its detrimental and destructive impact on the core of the City.

But I have to say, what gall to label the price range of $130,000 to $180,000 “low income.”   Let’s take a look at the monthly payment in that price range.  At the low end of the poor people’s housing – $130,000 – the monthly payment based on a 30-year mortgage and a 6.25% interest rate would be $800.43.  At the high end – $180,000 – the monthly payment based on the same two criteria is $1,108.29.  Both figures do not include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, which will up the ante even more.

Those residents who consider this low-income have truly lost perspective.  They really need to change the designations of their subdivisions to reflect their unique and lofty status in this world.



  1. “Anyone who follows my blog knows I dislike the exploding subdivision growth due to its detrimental and destructive impact on the core of the City.”

    Charlotte, why do you find it so difficult to understand that people don’t want to live in the city like you do? Building subdivisons doesn’t “hurt” the core of the city, the people that buy in subdivisions would not buy in the city, period. They don’t want to live there.

  2. Believe it or not, I agree with you on this one. Property taxes and insurance alone will bring the monthly payment to $1000-$1100 per month, not to mention maintenance and upkeep.

    Not far from there however are two Gary Probst section 8 apartment complexes. No city services, no Citilink bus service, no shopping available, etc. On any given day you can see woman walking along the side of the road with Meijer or Scott bags in their arms. The to Scott’s is about 1.5 miles, and the walk to Meijer is a good 5 miles.

    These should have been built with a lot more forethought, but the planning commission pretty much rubber stamps everything Tom Niezer brings in front of them.

  3. Tim:

    Part of what I don’t like is just what AWB mentioned above – the lack of planning for this county. The plan commission (and its members’ friends) is so full of those who benefit from the decisions made, and there also never seems to be much coordination between the city and the county.

    The subdivision growth hurts the environment in that it is a cause of increasing flooding in some areas. You can’t take up the space that these subdivisions and shopping centers do and not impact the earth’s capacity to absorb water. The retention ponds rarely make a difference.

    The county commission has the power to think through the actions it takes; however, it rarely rejects a request for a subdivision or shopping center. The county rural areas have simply become the commission’s “oyster.”

  4. Charlotte, I’ll buy the environmental/poor planning point, that’s legit, I was addressing your comment about subdivisions hurting the ‘core’ of the city.

  5. AWB:

    Yes, it is hard to believe we agree on something. 🙂 The Probst housing was poorly thought out, and this is one of the main problems with the commission. It rarely rejects a project – even if there are good reasons do so. Planning Section 8 housing without adequate services is asking for trouble.

    I have a Section 8 house beside me, and almost all the tenants have to walk somewhere. They have very few vehicles, so groceries, work, laundry, etc. relies on their ability to get somewhere by foot.

    I am curious as to whether these topics even arise – especially in the situation of Section 8.

  6. Tim:

    I do think the subdivisions hurt the core of the City. I understand people want to leave sometimes, but again, I think that is a symptom of poor planning on both the city’s part and the county’s part. Both entities work at odds to each other.

    If outside residents move into a subdivision, that is one thing, but if the subdivisions pull people from the urban core, it decreases population, sometimes leads to vacant housing, and decreases the tax base. The Renaissance Square “gentrification” project appears to be a failure. Individuals in that area do not have $150,000 to spend on a home – which in a way should allay the fears of those on West County Line road who fear the riff-raff.

    As to buying in the city, think back to when the City was a vibrant place to shop. I remember coming over here from South Whitley as a “treat” maybe once or twice a year. The City had retail stores, restaurants, etc., and crowds of people.

    Then the shopping malls and subdivisions began springing up, and the downtown is now full of professional buildings with few restaurants and shops.

    I would simply like to see more coordination of planning and projects between the city and county.

  7. My point is, all the planning in the world won’t make people buy homes where they don’t want to live. People that buy in subdivisions do so because they like new construction, a lawn, a fence, etc…they are a specific breed of buyer, just like condo/loft/villa buyers are a specific breed. In other words, the people that subdivisions are built for would not live in the core of the city anyway.

  8. Tim;

    I disagree. I think with proper planning and adequate services, a community’s core can be revived. The reasons for leaving the urban core need to be addressed first and then a plan put in place to provide incentives to restore older homes and businesses as well as bring a retail base back to the core.

    Although the houses in the city may not have acres of land, eventually many suburban owners decide they want to downsize. They don’t want to be saddled with a large lawn, numerous outside chores, and a house too big to maintain. When they get older and want to downsize, bring the suburbanites back into the city with older buildings refitted as lofts and condos and a base of necessary retail stores.

    Meanwhile, the City needs to work on incentives to keep urban residents in place and attract back some that have been lost. And, it sure can’t be done by designating over 400 homes to be torn down.

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