New housing sites proposed

February 12th, 2016

News Coverage:

February 12, 2016

New housing sites proposed

Industrial park developer also seeks new zoning


More residential and industrial growth was proposed for southwest Allen County on Thursday during a public hearing of the Allen County Plan Commission.

Plan commissioners were asked to rezone a 62-acre agricultural plot at the southwest corner of Bass and West Hamilton roads and approve a plan for a new 131-unit single-family home addition known as Greyhawk.

Also proposed was adding 10 homes to the Wellington Reserve housing addition on the north side of the 4400 and 4500 blocks of Bass Road.

Commissioners also heard a plea to rezone 96 acres of farmland to the south of the new Group Delphi building and Stonebridge Road to create the Stonebridge III industrial park in Lafayette Township.

Todd Ramsey of RCI Development, Fort Wayne, which prepared the application, said if the site were zoned as BTI (business, technology and industrial), it could contain one, two or three lots. He said there were no companies ready to move there, but the rezoning is necessary to market the property.

“It’s difficult to market without telling (prospects) what they can do there,” he said, adding: “They don’t want to go out and look at farm ground, another farm field. They want to look at property that’s ready to go – to use the term, shovel ready.”

Although the proposed development would use the Stonebridge name and is near the original county redevelopment project named Stonebridge, this project is not related, Ramsey said after the hearing.

Nearby residents expressed concerns about both the Greyhawk and Wellington Reserve projects.

Local Realtor and developer Mike Thomas, representing Oakmont Development of Fort Wayne, said homes in Greyhawk would sell for between $175,000 and $275,000. 

He called it “a natural infill” project, although the site is surrounded by open or agricultural land. Norfolk and Southern railroad tracks are to the south. The only residential development is to the southeast. 

Thomas said developers will clean along the Noyer Drain, which runs east and west in the center of the property. Residents expressed concern that the land drains considerable agricultural land and a pipe on the south side near the tracks regularly backs up. Ponds are proposed to deal with storm water, Thomas said. 

Other residents expressed concern about tree-cutting accompanying Wellington Reserve’s expansion and the proximity of a pond to existing homes. They wanted assurances of natural buffering.

In other business, the commission heard a proposal for a new 12,000-square-foot building at Plank Street and Lima Road in Perry Township for an expansion of Oak Tree Supplies, which now occupies another building nearby.

The company provides woodworking and metalworking equipment and supplies to industrial and retail customers, said Joseph De Prisco of AITF Services of Fort Wayne, and would continue to occupy its existing building. A new entrance allowing only right turns in and out of the site from the 14100 block of Lima Road will serve the new building.

Also, the commission was asked for a zoning change to allow both Commercial 3 and Neighborhood Center zoning for the Leo Road Shoppes at Old Leo and Mayhew roads in St. Joseph Township.

The change was sought to comply with storm-water management rules. Development includes a gas station/convenience store and auto repair facility, and developers, Additional Real Estate LLC, also seek a waiver for a change in signage to allow fewer signs with less square footage.