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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 1:00 am

Panel delays rezoning proposal

Neighbors: Industrial site too close to homes

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Plan Commission deferred a proposal for a new corporate park on U.S. 30 for up to 90 days after neighbors complained an area designated for industrial use is too close to a residential neighborhood. 

The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, which owns the land, requested the deferral after residents of the nearby Kruse neighborhood expressed concerns over plans to include a light industrial zoning along Washington Center Road. Residents suggested plans be modified to move the industrial zoning to the middle of the property or to a portion of the site that sits along U.S. 30. 

Although city officials have 90 days to modify the plan, it's likely the issue will be resolved within 30 days, Michelle Wood, senior planner for the Department of Planning Services, told the commission. Once that happens, a second public hearing on the two rezoning petitions and primary development plan will be held before the Plan Commission makes a final decision, she said. 

The Plan Commission also approved two rezoning requests that drew large numbers of opponents to last week's public hearing. The first, for a set of three rental duplexes in the 9300 block of Covington Road, would change the land from low-intensity residential to multiple-family residential.

The units would share a driveway and feature two-car garages.

Residents opposed to the development argued last week the lot is too small for three duplexes and complained that adding 12 more cars per day on Covington Road would exacerbate the neighborhood's existing safety concerns. Some residents complained that the rental units would bring the wrong kind of tenants to the area. 

The proposed monthly rent on the duplexes would be $1,400 to $1,500. 

Similarly, a rezoning petition for a senior housing development of 60 units was also approved Monday without a waiver for setback requirements. The developer of the site, ASH Holding Company, no longer needs the waiver, Wood said. To accommodate the city's setback ordinance, the units will be smaller than they were initially intended to be. 

ASH Holding Company is not affiliated with Fort Wayne-based Ash Brokerage.

Eight residents spoke out against the project during last week's public hearing, raising concerns over traffic safety and potential wetlands on the site. Neighbors also complained that the development would drive away existing wildlife, compound ongoing drainage issues and negatively impact property values. 

All of the rezoning petitions approved Monday will go before the Fort Wayne City Council for final approval.

dgong@jg.net