Seminary Park housing project discussion might spark enhancements

(WISH Photo)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind (WISH) – Word of a potential sale to developers sparked Noblesville neighbor outrage, and now, the spot might receive enhancements.

For more than 20 years, Joe Hernandez, and his wife, Nancy, have lived next to Seminary Park.

“It’s a fun place to be,” Joe Hernandez said. “I mean, I enjoy walking the dog, walking my children, play with them and running.”

“[Our kids] used to play football a lot down there, and that kind of thing,” Nancy Hernandez said. They wished they had a basketball court.”

The court never made, but other upgrades did, including playground, benches and signs. So when the couple heard the city considered a plan to sell the land to a developer, to add a dozen homes, they were at the loss.

“I would not like to see houses there. I think the park is for the children,” Joe Hernandez said. “Everybody enjoys it.”

The proposal was heard during an executive session meeting. City leaders said it didn’t go beyond that, and they have no intention of putting homes at the park.

Monday night, Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear released a statement on the proposal.

The city has hardworking staff members and elected officials that devote time and passion into bringing new opportunities to better the lives of all Noblesville residents. While we all might not agree on a project, I like to believe we all have the best interests for Noblesville in mind.”

The housing plan may not happen but that doesn’t mean changes aren’t coming here. Right now this park is used for a Sunday concert series, and Shakespeare in the park, but the lights are going out on that. Because the city is getting ready to open Federal Hills Common next month which will play host to the concert series, and play.

“We want to make sure that as we grow, that we’re also looking at where we came from, and make sure that we have the ability to also update and maintain these facilities as well,” Noblesville Parks and Recreation Director Brandon Bennett said.

Bennett said the city heard from a number of people about the housing proposal. A silver lining he said is the attention might create park improvements.

“To say that the residents were heard is absolutely the truth,” Bennett said. “We’re already starting to formulate some ideas of how we can move forward and make this a win-win for everybody.”

A message neighbors like to hear, even if they aren’t using the park the same way.

“My kids are grown, but still kids play down there,” Nancy Hernandez said.” It’s a nice area for the kids around here to go play.”

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