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Carmel considering Conner Prairie expansion plan

LATEST: Conner Prairie reported July 25, 2023, that its expansion plans received a favorable recommendation from the Carmel Plan Commission. The recommendation moves to the Carmel City Council for consideration.

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Conner Prairie, the living history museum and historic home in Fishers, wants to expand into Carmel.

Developers asked the planning commission Tuesday for permission to rezone 200 acres between Allisonville Road and River Road, south of 146th Street.

The proposal includes a farm-to-table restaurant, parking, a White River education center, a lodge hotel, cabins, a modern farm, and walking trails.

News 8 asked Monday about the expansion, and a Conner Prairie Spokesperson sent the following statement.

The documents represent preliminary ideas for this portion of our property as represented in Conner Prairie’s Master Plan from 2018. These specific projects have been developed in partnership with the White River Vision Plan to provide more opportunities for residents and visitors to learn about the history of the river and gain access for recreational and educational purposes. Additional community conversations and stakeholder engagement are forthcoming, which will provide opportunity for feedback on the final plans.

Conner Prairie Statement

River Road resident Mike Hannigan says there is still come concern about rezoning. “We are concerned, (though), about lights on at night and different uses,” Hannigan said.

Hannigan also says that Conner Prairie representatives have been listening to his concerns. Project consultants say a city-sanctioned study showed the new development would have a minimal impact on traffic.

Developers say they will tweak the proposal before bringing it back to the planning commission for approval.