Village Voice 06 2017: June

Letter from the President

Dear Villagers,

I am so happy spring is here! It has been fun seeing you around town and at the farmers’ market. 

Update on the 200 West development: Town council’s proposal to rezone this property from B-2 and B-3 to Village Business District will be heard at the Tuesday, June 19th Planning Commission meeting. I met with a group of VRA members and neighbors and after reviewing both zoning ordinances, we determined that the Village Business District zoning is an overall better fit for this location because of its restrictions on density and height. 

Our next meeting is Tuesday, June 20th at 7:30p.m. at the Sullivan Munce. VRA Vice President and business owner, Bret Brewer, will be presenting on small business valuation. He will be sharing ideas and tips on how to increase your business’ value. 

The VRA dinner and wine tasting at Serenity was a big hit! I had so much catching up with neighbors and sipping on wine! Thanks to all of those that signed up. I am hoping to organize more events like these in the future for us to get together and support local businesses. If you have any ideas for future events, please feel free to share! 

Looking forward to seeing you around town! 

Town Council Insights

Town Council welcomes Jason Plunkett to open seat, fills pathway and architectural positions

I hope everyone has been drying out after that wet start to Spring. While the rain has made everything nice and green, the sheer volume of water can be problematic throughout Zionsville including Lions Park and the Village itself. I was speaking with Barry Cook, our wastewater superintendent, about the recent rains. He informed me our wastewater plant was processing water at a rate of 7.89, which means the equivalent of 7.89 million gallons of water were going through every 24 hours. That’s a rate we rarely see and we’re fortunate to have folks like Barry working to keep our infrastructure operating properly.

You’ve probably seen the news that Jeff Papa, one of our at-large Council members, has tenured his resignation. Jeff has been a huge asset for the Council during his tenure and will be sorely missed. He was not only our first mayor, but helped lead important changes for our Town including our recent reorganizations. Jeff has been replaced via a caucus by Jason Plunkett, who I hope to meet shortly and learn more about him. Hats off to your own Sara Martini for putting her name into the mix to fill that position. It’s never easy to put yourself out like that, let alone making a pitch to 20+ people; I was very proud of her efforts.

Finally, the Council had to fill several open positions that we needed to fill throughout our community. I volunteered (was volunteered?) to get these positions filled and was happy to get more Village representation on these committees. Thank you to both Geoff Ruffer for stepping up and joining the pathway committee and Carol Mullet for agreeing to be a part of the architectural review committee. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the quality of talent we have in our community and think both these Village residents will add great perspective and value in these roles.


June 5: Roundabout construction begins @ Ford & Mulberry

As reported in The Current, construction on the roundabout at Ford & Mulberry Roads will begin on Monday, June 5. While no significant closures are expected, drivers are advised to seek alternate routes for the next 60 days. The project is anticipated to be complete in the fall, much of it finished by the school year, with additional work likely needed after school starts (August 8). 

Meet Your Neighbor: The Makinson Family

By: Terri Moyer

My husband and I are believers in an old (Czech) proverb that says “a good neighbor increases the value of your property.” So when house-hunting, we found the Norman Rockwell-esque family activity in the yard across the street equally as appealing as the wrap around porch of the home we were about to tour. We were charmed witnessing the fully-engaged parents laughing and playing with their three children while their dog chased along in pursuit.

If you’ve walked near Fourth and Pine Streets, you’ve no doubt had the pleasure of seeing the Makinson family out in the yard shooting a basketball, setting and spiking a volleyball, hitting a baseball, swinging, biking or chatting on their porch with neighbors. Scott and Emily, along with their children, Elia, Sadie and Rogan, live at 155 S. Fourth Street. They are joined by Barley, their Bichon and Shih Tzu mix, and six year old goldfish “Goldie,” a Fall Festival prize that managed to out-live the other nine taken home at the same time!

Scott and Emily moved into their circa 1930s home in 2003. In the ensuing years, they have tackled countless projects and renovations including replacing the electrical system, completely re-doing the plumbing, refinishing the basement, raising the roof in the sunroom, refinishing the hardwood floors, building an addition, replacing carpet, doing extensive landscape work, re-glazing the windows, replacing the concrete driveway and most recently, renovating the kitchen.

Emily, originally from Munster, Indiana, went to school at IU Bloomington where she earned a degree in Biology. Meanwhile, Scott, who grew up in Portland, went to the University of Oregon where he received degrees in Business and Psychology. (He later earned an MBA from Ball State). Post college, Emily was looking for a change, and Scott was being encouraged by friends to join them at a tech company in the San Francisco Bay area of California. They serendipitously landed at the same firm in the same department in 1997. They went from being colleagues to a couple and later married in 2001.

Scott and Emily own and operate Express Employment Professionals, a staffing franchise they started in 2009. While Scott operates out of their northeast side office, Emily works largely from her home office so she can be a full-time mom until Rogan starts kindergarten. At that point, she expects to spend more time at the office. Scott notes, “we absolutely work as a team. All of the employees know Emily — she signs their checks!”

When the tech bubble burst in 2002 and cost them — along with thousands of others — their jobs, they had to reassess where they wanted to be. They ultimately decided to move back to Emily’s home state of Indiana. Her sister, Lisa, had left the “Region” and relocated to Zionsville in the Spring Knoll neighborhood. Scott and Emily first settled in Broad Ripple, but Scott soon pointed out, “we didn’t come cross country to live 30 minutes from your sister…so let’s go to Zionsville!”

Over the years, the rest of Emily’s family has joined the two sisters in relocating their families to Zionsville. Another sister, Jeanine, lives at 8th and Oak, and their parents, determined to stay close to their girls and grandchildren, moved to Cobblestone about six years ago. The three sisters are also happy to have their cousin Michele living in Spring Knoll. The four of them have a total of twelve children — with the eldest being 18 and the youngest just three. “There are four cousins in Sadie’s 4th grade class,” Emily notes. And Scott adds, “six out of the twelve cousins will be in high school together in the year 2022!” The extended family spends extensive time together — including taking some trips together like spring break in Florida. It’s clear they love being together. “Our nephew just broke the high school’s high jump record at a track meet, and we were all there to see it!” beamed Emily.

Of course the close knit families stay awfully busy with games, school functions, birthdays, and other special milestones. The Makinsons’ calendar always is bursting. Surprisingly, Scott and Emily are able to find a little extra time for their personal interests. Scott is a member of Zionsville’s Century Club, the Lion’s Club (where he works on the logistics of the Easter Egg Hunt), and he plays in St. Alphonsus’ Golf League. He also likes gardening and doing landscape projects in their yard. Scott stays connected with his west coast friends by enjoying a little X-Box gaming with them at 11 pm or after. Emily enjoys home-improvement related projects like re-upholstering furniture, tiling backsplashes, etc. “You Tube Videos can you teach you to do anything,” she jokes. They also are members of the St. Alphonsus Liguori parish community.

The Makinsons LOVE to travel. One of their favorite destinations was Romania where Emily has some family ties. “It’s beautiful, and they live much more simply,” she explains. Recent trips include Florida, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Mexico and Oregon. The place they return to most often is Oregon — both to see Scott’s family and to enjoy the state’s incomparable beauty. “It’s so gorgeous there…no matter how often we go, we’d never be able to see all that it has to offer,” notes Scott. His brother and parents live in Portland, and he has a sister in Hood River. His family headed east recently for an Easter visit in Zionsville.

When asked what they like most about living in the Village, Scott and Emily were quick to respond. “The walkability — and what that brings,” said Scott. “Every time you head out, there’s something new to see — a neighbors’ yard update, a new plant is blooming, a new person is out on the sidewalk to talk with. We can get a cup of coffee, buy some groceries, go to the park for a game.” Adds Emily, “Walking the kids to Eagle Elementary is special. I’m going to miss those walks with Sadie when she moves on to Z-West. And what about all the restaurants?!?” They have their favorites for different reasons. Rush on Main, they say, “has something for every family member.” They love the live music on Cobblestone’s patio and admire the atmosphere and new look there. Salty Cowboy is their go-to place to meet friends. And the chicken wings and pork tenderloins are a favorite carry-out at the Friendly. “Of course one of the best things about living here is the great neighbors we have,” they add. “Villagers seem to be of similar ilk…there appears to be a certain type of people who want to be here…”

Which brings me back to that old proverb tying good neighbors to home values…Perhaps THAT’S why home prices continue to soar in the Village! We know for certain that when Rogan calls out to us from the branches of his front yard tree, or Elia agrees to babysit our kitties while we’re away on a trip, or Sadie waves and hollers “hello” as we walk by, our quality of life has never been better!

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