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Gas station zoning changes approved by city council

Fort Wayne's city council approved changes the the zoning ordinance Tuesday evening.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 8:49 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2019 10:31 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Gas stations will no longer to be built in residential areas.

Fort Wayne's city council approved changes the the zoning ordinance Tuesday evening.

"I've been getting a lot of complaints over the years from citizens about the proliferation of gas stations," said councilman Glynn Hines.

There are currently 22 gas stations in the sixth district.

Four of them are on the 2 mile stretch of Oxford Street, which is primarily a residential area.

Hines said the problem isn't just on the southeast side.

"As I drove around the city there are some other communities where gas stations have been positioned right in the middle of the neighborhoods," Hines said.

That will no longer be allowed.

The new zoning rules approved tonight are a compromise with gas station owners.

"We didn't want to harm those areas properly zoned and most importantly not harm the residences," said Hines.

Gas stations won't allowed in areas next to or across the street from neighborhoods.

Councilman Russ Jehl, who tweaked the ordinance, said the process is now more balanced.

"There's an easier route if it is in a commercial area, and there is council oversight if it is a neighborhood area,"

That's because the property would need to be re-zoned, and city council has the final say.

"We didn't want to add an additional barrier when a gas station wanted to locate in an area that made sense," said Jehl.

For Hines, that means giving people a voice when a gas station wants to build in their backyard.

"The gas stations realize that is not where they want to position and that is not where the residents want them," said Hines.

The Fort Wayne planning commission needs to approve the change, which is expected soon since it helped write the ordinance.

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