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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am

Duplex plans need rezoning

Plan commission hears details of 2 developments

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Two more Yellow Retirement duplex developments are being proposed for the Fort Wayne area, the Allen County Plan Commission heard Thursday.

But there's a twist. Not all the residences will be painted yellow.

The developments are on the north side of Aboite Center Road across from Homestead High School in Aboite Township, and Huntertown Senior Apartments in the 15000 and 15100 blocks on the east side of Lima Road in Perry Township.

Both developments are on a smaller scale than other Yellow Retirement developments, said J.R. Parent, operating member of JRP II.

And, he said, the company is going for a “more upscale” look for all units in the Aboite development and for at least one duplex in Perry Township.

There will be stone and brick on the exterior of the homes, which will have two-car garages.

“We're going higher-end,” he said. “They'll look like nicer, newer duplexes … They won't be yellow,” he said.

Rezonings were sought for both developments – from single-family residential and two-family residential to multiple-family residential for the Perry Township housing, and from agriculture/estates to two-family residential for the Aboite Township property.

The latter was opposed by neighbor Chuck Dwyer, who objected to the density of the development as opening the door to similar uses on other properties.

The plan calls for only two new duplexes, with a single-family home converted to a duplex, but he pointed out that surrounding properties have single homes on lots as large as 5 acres.

“We fought for this zoning for a number of years,” he said, adding that he thinks it has preserved property values. “We're just afraid that will change.”

He also pointed out that the development does not have public water. Asked about that, Parent said it's not yet been decided whether there will be individual wells.

The Perry Township project is similar to a project proposed in 2011 but held up by Huntertown's sewer moratorium. Since then, Parent said, the company has purchased property that allows access to Lima Road.

The 2.26-acre development will consist of nine duplex buildings plus an existing home converted into a duplex.

Neighbors opposing the plan said they were worried about drainage issues because their properties were at lower elevations that the property to be developed.

The commissioners told them to take questions to the county surveyor's office. Surveyor Jeff Sorg is a member of the commission but was absent Thursday.

Also heard was a proposal for an industrial park by Continental Property Group of Wayzata, Minnesota, on 66 acres on the south side of Airport Expressway and the 9400 to 10000 blocks of Smith Road.

No opposition to the plan, which does not require rezoning, came forward. The plan divides the parcel into four lots, with the largest holding four buildings and the others one each.

Plan commission members were told the industrial park could hold so-called “shell” or “spec” buildings – constructed without an end user in mind but capable of being customized to suit a tenant or buyer.

CPG is also developing an apartment building and parking garage in Fort Wayne just to the east of riverfront development.

The plan commission will vote on the proposals at a business meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday in Room 30 of Citizens Square.

rsalter@jg.net