Hi Neighbors,

Happy summer! I hope you are surviving the weeks of rain here in Zionsville. I normally like the rain but even my 2 year old is tired of putting on her rain boots and stomping in puddles.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone that attended the June 3rd Town Council meeting regarding Sycamore Flats. It was impressive to see the turnout. Zionsville residents clearly love their town.

One of the key points that I took away from the Planning Commission and Town Council meetings for Sycamore Flats is that our local merchants and restaurants need our support. Foot traffic on Main Street was often a topic of concern in the discussions. I believe this was a message that hit home to many people since one of the benefits of living in the Village is being able to walk to these special places. I have been making an extra effort to frequent the shops and restaurants in the Village and I am happy to see many neighbors while I am out and about.

As some of you may have heard, there is a potential Village Business District (VBD) proposal for the 200 West Sycamore property on the horizon. The developers have reached out to the VRA to get our thoughts on their current plan. We have set a meeting date of July 23 at 7:30pm at SullivanMunce. Keep an eye out for an e-mail blast for a confirmation, though, since I have not heard back from the developers as of the writing of this letter.

I am also happy to pass along the news that Heather Lusk has been appointed Committee Chair for the VRA. This is a new position with a focus on working with special projects and developments within the Village. Please join me in welcoming Heather to the VRA Board.

Mark your calendars…the September Village Picnic will be on September 21 this year. It is still a few months out but it’s not too early to start spreading the word. I know there are several new faces around the Village this year so please invite them if they happen to be your neighbors and/or friends.

Last but not least, please let me know if there are any topics or events you would be interested in. We are always happy to get new ideas, or even past ideas that really stood out.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!


Julia Leonard


Town Council Insights:

I’ve heard from some folks asking “what’s next” for the land associated with the proposed Sycamore Flats property. Many of you have reached out in favor of the “three circles” approach to development, that takes the public wishes, land use support and market support to find the right project.

I plan on asking for a line item in the 2020 budget to find the money to hire a proper urban planner. This money would be used to draw out the three-circle approach, unless there is Village Business District zoning proposal, in which case that money wouldn’t be needed.

Budgeting for the Town is a drawn-out process that requires multiple steps and involves Town Staff, Mayor Haak, Town Council, Boone County and the State. I wanted to highlight some of the steps required before a budget is finalized (due dates in parenthesis):

  • Deadline to provide Assessed Value Growth Quotient (6/30/2019)

  • Deadline to provide estimate of maximum permissible property tax levy and guidance on calculating allowable adjustments to the maximum levy for 2019 Budget (7/14/2019)

  • Submit Draft Budgets to Deputy Mayor, Mayor and Crowe for review (7/15/2019)

  • Department provides to each taxing unit that levies a property tax an estimate of the amount by which property tax distributions will be reduced in the ensuing year due to circuit breaker credits. (7/31/2019)

  • Deadline to certify an estimate of the income tax distribution for 2020 (10/1/2019)

  • County fiscal body reviews the estimated property tax levy limits and the estimated reductions due to circuit breakers for each taxing unit. (August)

  • Draft Budget to Mayor for review (8/2/2019)

  • Mayor submits Draft Budget to Town Council for initial review (8/19/2019)

  • Town Budget Work Session (9/9/2019)

  • Finalize Budget for Submission Publishing (9/16/2019)

  • Adoption of 2020 Budget (11/1/2019)

  • Salary Ordinance Adoption by the Town Council (12/31/2019)

  • Last day for units to submit their 2020 budgets, tax rates, and tax levies to the DLGF (11/4/2019)

  • Last day for DLGF to accept additional appropriation requests for the 2019 Budget Year (12/14/2019)

  • DLGF certifies 2020 budgets, tax rates, and tax levies (12/31/2019)

I’ve cut out a few steps, but you can see how much is involved in figuring out how to spend tax dollars wisely.


At Home in the Village of Zionsville


The 1876 home of Monique and Brad Schnabel, located at 180 North Main St, was built by Mr. John Duzan.  Mr. Duzan owned the local grist mill, and served several years as an elected state legistator. 

Monique fell in love with the house, first viewing. She recalls being enchanted by the look of the house, it’s ambiance, and it’s history, even though there were holes in the walls and other signs of neglect. The first restoration was the to front porch which wraps around from the north-east side, south then west to the front door. (See pictures below) The house, over time, became filled with antiques and other structural and decorative elements that reflect her decorating tastes and French background

Brad and Monique gutted the “little” house in the back yard in 2008 which was once a one-horse/car garage and later a “mother-in-law’s” house, to it’s present loveliness. It serves as a party house or “man cave” depending on the need. It’s definitely a special place where Brad can go to watch sports, quench his thirst, kick back and relax. 

In 2005 Brad and Monique added a sun room on the west side of the house. It unfortunately was severely damaged when half of the ancient maple tree to the south came crashing down. The sun room was restored to it’s present state, “the best room ever” with the ever changing view of the back yard, the beautiful garden, the birds, squirrels, chipmunks. The following written piece completely captures the sentiment and the love that Brad and Monique have for their home.

One joy of living in a very old house is feeling somehow related to those who lived there before. Even more than respect for history, or nostalgia for imagined past days, it is a very special feeling of kinship. For a past generation’s care is a gift, however anonymous, to us, and our preservation of an old house is a gift to the future. Almost like a family tree, a house can join generations, individual to individual, past builder, present restorer, future resident.” (Author unknown)

 S ubmitted by Delma Mindel

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