The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 07, 2019 1:00 am

Developer has new plan on Jefferson

Panel to hear revision of neighbor-opposed project


A West Jefferson Boulevard building project that came to a standstill over zoning and construction problems is back on the agenda of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.

The developer has filed an amended development plan for a more than 9,000-square-foot structure at 6626 W. Jefferson Blvd. – a building originally described as an add-on garage to a residence and later as a restaurant/shopping plaza.

In June, the plan commission gave applicant Martin Quintana, a Fort Wayne restaurateur, until its August meeting to meet with neighbors and deal with the project's problems, which included a stop-work order from the county building department.

Building inspectors found unlicensed contractors working on the site in June and discovered the building was not being built to standards for commercial use.

Building Commissioner John Caywood said Tuesday the project now has a new problem – no building permits.

The contractor, E.E. Brandenberger Construction Inc. of Spencerville requested previously issued permits be canceled in the last week or so, Caywood said.

No one from Brandenberger returned a phone call seeking information Tuesday afternoon.

The newly submitted development plan includes requests to have some buffering and setback requirements waived. 

The developer plans more trees and enclosed, rather than open, porches on the front and back of the building. A written commitment limiting some commercial uses that would otherwise be allowed, including a restaurant drive-thru, also was submitted, according to documents filed with the Department of Planning Services.

The project still requires rezoning for commercial use to go forward.

At the June plan commission meeting, Quintana's attorney, James Federoff of Fort Wayne, said he was requesting more time to meet with nearby residents, including those in the Covington Creek condominium development. More than a dozen objected to the project at the meeting. 

Caywood said if the building goes forward, it would need to be revised to comply with state standards for commercial structures “at potential significant cost.” 

Quintana has been associated with the Dos Margaritas, Las Lomas and Famous Taco restaurants in Fort Wayne.

The plan commission will have the project's new public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Room 35 of Citizens Square.

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