Amended subdivision proposal for Schwartz Road discussed in planning commission

An amended proposed subdivision was discussed in the planning commission meeting Thursday afternoon, while residents continued to voice their concerns for the development.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 6:55 PM
Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 6:04 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - An amended proposed subdivision was discussed in the planning commission meeting Thursday afternoon, while residents continued to voice their concerns for the development. 

Taryn Willis opened the discussion on behalf of the Schwartz Road residents. 

"We feel like we've been let down before. We just don't want to be let down again. We're speaking up. We're trying to come to a compromise," she said. 

Willis and others have opposed proposed development in the area for nearly a year. 

Last year, a duplex was denied, but an 89-lot subdivision was approved. Now that proposal has been amended to be a 155 lot subdivision. 

Back then residents came forward with a petition with around 1,000 signatures. They maintain a subdivision of that density would increase traffic, drop their property values, contribute to flooding due to drainage issues, and could endanger the Amish. 

"My concern is basically for the Amish and how they use Schwartz Road as a traverse to everything," said Christine Rembarger. 

Developer, Ric Zehr, can't ask the planning commission for more than 150 lots in a subdivision, but he asked the board of zoning appeals for a waiver for the additional five lots, and laid out a plan to build the homes in three sections by 2021. 

"We will continue to fight until there's nothing else to fight for," said Janese Latimer-Pierson. 

Latimer-Pierson said the community asked for a continuance due to the developer not meeting the lot requirement, but the board didn't vote on the request.

She said she and her neighbors would be open to development that is more cohesive and includes larger lot sizes and green space. 

"It should impact the community in a positive light. Adding and advancing and enhancing the current community, not being a detriment to the community," she said. 

The planning commission and the BAZ are expected to come back with decisions Thursday, January 17 at 1:00 p.m. 

You can still sign the petition to protect Schwartz Road here. 

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