People worried about housing development

The North Eastern Group wants to build houses and duplexes on 46 acres off Schwartz Road.

Posted: Feb. 28, 2018 10:56 PM

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - A new housing development could be coming to northeastern Allen County.

The North Eastern Group wants to build houses and duplexes on 46 acres off Schwartz Road.

To do so, it is asking the planning commission to re-zone 24 acres to high-density residential.

The remaining 22 acres would need to be re-zoned low density residential.

Many people who live near the development are upset.

"It's really a sore thumb sticking out in the middle of what we've got already," said Taryn Willis.

The front 20 acres will be a single - family subdivision.

The back half will be zoned for apartments, but the developer Ric Zehr said it will be a community of duplexes.

He said the area just make since with another housing addition right next to it.

"One of the key items is infrastructure. Is there water, sewer, is there adequate drainage? All of those things are present immediately adjacent to this property," Zehr said.

Willis is still worried it could be an apartment complex going up.

There are many signs along Schwartz Road opposing the project.

"It's not the same culture that we've maintained here. It's individual, single family homes is what this area is. With that spot zoning you're introducing a different type of housing," Zehr said.

Zehr insists the project won't be apartments.

He said the development team is asking for R-3 because the way the duplexes are structured, with only one owner instead of several.

Schwartz road is the main artery connecting Grabill and Leo to the northeastern corner of Fort Wayne.

Willis said the more than 200 new homes, with only one way in and out, it could be dangerous for not just the kids playing nearby.

"Buggies run up and down this road all day. We've had several accidents within the last year that have actually resulted in near fatalities, they've been very severe," Willis said.

Zehr said he's been working the county highway department and is insisting the road will be able to handle the increased traffic.

"That's something we always run through with them and check with them and review on the project. to make sure the roads that we're going to have entrances on have adjacent volume and can handle traffic," said Zehr.

There will be a public hearing about the re-zoning request during the Plan Commission meeting on March 15 in Citizens Square.

Meanwhile, Zehr said he plans to meet with people who live near the development next week to answer any questions.

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