Although road access issues were not to everyone’s liking, six residential and commercial projects near Diebold and Dupont roads were given the green light to proceed.
The Allen County Plan Commission approved those projects Thursday, as well as a $5 million subdivision on Covington Road in Aboite Township.
With the exception of the Aboite subdivision, all other approved projects are in the vicinity of the new $500 million Parkview Regional Medical Center – a prime spot for local developers.
About 40 people from the Diebold and Dupont roads area had showed up at last week’s meeting, citing traffic, noise, lighting, drainage and buffering concerns.
Discussion of access to the $20 million Steeplechase Apartments, sandwiched between the south side of Park Place Drive and the Dupont Oaks neighborhood, took up much of the meeting.
The upscale Steeplechase at Parkview venture includes 264 apartment units, three ponds, a clubhouse, pool, exercise equipment, garages and walking and biking trails.
One access to the apartment complex will be off Park Place Drive, and developers plan to add a second access connection at the southeast corner of the site, using Dupont Oak Boulevard and Honey Oak Run – two roads in the Dupont Oaks subdivision.
Within five years, project officials have also agreed to build a public road from the southeast connection directly north to Park Place Drive.
Commission member Susie Hoot expressed concern about the possibility of increased traffic in Dupont Oaks.
“Won’t we be dumping a lot of this traffic into this housing addition?” Hoot asked, reasoning that many people might cut through the subdivision to get to Dupont Road.
“There will be a public road that goes directly to Park Place Drive, but not immediately,” said Michelle Wood, senior planner for the Department of Planning Services. “So yes, the burden will be heavier in the beginning.”
Hoot also questioned if there was a possibility of providing access via New Vision Drive, noting that Parkview officials had earlier requested that road be extended, if possible. New Vision Drive is just north of the Parkview North Family Park and east of the hospital, but ends at Diebold Road.
Attorney Josh Neal, representing Steeplechase at Parkview LLC, said using New Vision Drive was probably not a possibility.
Although three voted against rezoning the site, five voted in favor. The issue will now go to the county commissioners for final approval with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.
“I don’t like it, but it met all of the qualifications,” said Al Frisinger, commission president. “There’s supposed to be a road and we’re not going to have it.”
Unanimously approved was the Covington Road subdivision, Mediterra.
The site sits on about 53 acres on the south side of Covington Road near West County Line Road and will house 107 lots with two units per acre.
Commission members agreed to remove a requirement for a sidewalk between the subdivision and the road, noting that there was a trail on the other side of Covington Road.
Other approved projects:
•Dupont Commons, a proposed strip mall that would include a big-box retailer and seven other retailers. The development on Dupont Road would be adjacent to Dupont Oaks, Oak Center Shopping center and soon-to-come Oak Center Apartments. A buffer area between residential areas and the mall was set at 30 feet with the understanding that if more space was required to provide an adequate screening and buffer, developers would comply.
•Diebold Park, a 12-acre site that will include a commercial plaza with a hotel, bank and two restaurants and is south of Park Place Drive on the east side of Diebold Road.
•North Park Professional Offices, the second phase of a professional office park owned by retinal surgeon Dr. Gohar Salam and located east of Parkview Plaza on Diebold Road.
•A 13,000 square-foot office building for an engineering firm just east of Parkview Plaza on Diebold Road.
•Park Place’s request to rezone about 10 acres of its property from single family residential to multi-family residential was also approved.