Residents claim opening of Hendricks Co. highway impacts safety, decreases home value

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Now that the latest stretch of Ronald Reagan Parkway is open in Hendricks County, drivers can travel straight between U.S. 36 or Rockville Road and Interstate 70. However, some people who bought homes nearby said they were misled about how close the road would be to their yards.

Concerned residents said the highway is impacting their safety and severely decreasing the value of their homes, so Fox59 is taking action to see what can be done.

“Nobody on the whole street is happy,” said Chuck Jones, who bought a home in the area just before construction began on Ronald Reagan Parkway.

When the people in their neighborhood first moved in, the road did not even exist. It was just a big field. Now, their homes are just feet away from Ronald Reagan Parkway.

“There is nothing between that road and my house,” said Jennifer Jones. “They could slide into that ditch if they’re going fast enough, slide into my house, slide into the cul-de-sac if there are kids there playing.”

Jennifer Jones said they were tricked into buying by salespeople for Beazer Homes. She said they only bought there because the home was on a cul-de-sac with a field on one side- a safe place for their kids to play, not near a busy road.

“They told us that it would be farther away from our home,” said Jennifer Jones. “They told us it would be way on the other side of the field that used to be right next to our home.”

Chuck Jones said he thinks the timing of the home sales in Sunchase Meadows was suspicious, as they sold the last one right before construction on the road began in 2010.

“The last house sold, we watched the people move in, very shortly after steaks went into the ground,” Chuck Jones said.

Fox59 offered Beazer Homes representatives an interview to explain the situation, but they declined.

“I feel like we were greatly deceived,” said Jennifer Jones. “I feel like they knew exactly where that road was going to be. It has been in the plans for 30 years, from what we heard. They knew exactly where that road was going to be so they definitely lied to us.”

Hendricks County engineer John Ayers said there are solutions. He said it is possible for the homeowners to install a barrier fence or a line of trees.

“If they want to do something on their property that encroaches a little bit on the right of way, certainly we’ll work with them on that,” Ayers said.

He said the county is open to helping, but homeowners will likely have to help foot the bill.

“We just have to see what measures are practical and to work with the homeowners to see how much they can put into it and how much we can help,” Ayers said.

For future homebuyers, Ayers said you need to talk to the realtor, the developer, county leaders and anyone else involved before you buy.

“It is prudent to call the agency you’re locating in and find out what they have to say about things like that, especially when  is something that is identified as being for Ronald Reagan Parkway,” Ayers said.

He said he feels for these homeowners and will work with them to improve the situation.

“No vacant land in safe in a rapidly growing area. You need to make yourself aware before you buy of what’s going to be next to you and in your neighborhood in the future,” Ayers said.

The next step for the homeowners should be to contact the county commissioners and Ayers to discuss options. Even with that, he said they can’t start anything until that section of the project is done this spring or summer.

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