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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 15, 2019 1:00 am

Rezone plan near airport not opposed

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

A proposed rezoning of land west of Fort Wayne International Airport for industrial development raised no opposition from residents Thursday during a public hearing of the Allen County Plan Commission.

The 138-acre tract is zoned single-family residential and business, technology and industrial. The request is to rezone the property to intensive industrial to allow it to be marketed by the airport authority.

Last year, the airport authority acquired about 40 acres of the site, which lies on the west side of  Smith Road, the north side of Winters Road, the east side of Buskirk Road and the south side of Indianapolis Road.

The part of the site zoned BTI was slated for industrial development as Hensch Park in 2011, but no development ensued.

Ryan Bauer, operations supervisor for the airport authority, told the commission the land is now used for agriculture and contains a few vacant homesteads. The county's comprehensive plan and its southwest area plan both call for industrial development there to complement airport uses, he said.

“The current zoning doesn't fall in line with those plans,” Bauer said. 

Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports, said the land is part of the airport overlay district, which restricts uses that would hinder air traffic, including tall buildings, smoke, glare or ponds that might attract aircraft-damaging wildlife.

He said there are no immediate plans to develop any building or buildings. However, the site is being marketed by the authority and Greater Fort Wayne, Hinderman said.

The proposal will be voted on during the plan commission's business meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday in Room 30 of Citizens Square.  

rsalter@jg.net