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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 1:03 AM

County OKs Perry housing, Harlan store

Landscaping waived for Hoagland plant

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

A new single-family housing development will start in Perry Township and a new Dollar General variety store will spring up in Harlan after decisions Thursday by the Allen County Plan Commission.

New Venture Development Corp. of Fort Wayne won approval of a rezoning, primary plat and primary development plan for The Cottages of Verano. The project will bring 23 single-family homes to just under 14 acres on the north side of the 200 to 300 blocks of West Gump Road just north of the Whisper Rock development.

The 9,100-square-foot store will be along the north side of Indiana 37, east of the Harlan Cafe and west of a Marathon gas station and convenience store. The project required rezoning 1.13 acres from a mix of single-family residential, limited industrial and general commercial zoning to commercial zoning (C2 and C3) and approval of its primary development plan.

All the votes were unanimous.

A proposal to waive requirements for landscaping to screen a 2015 manufacturing facility expansion of Peridot Inc. at its location at 14508 Bruick Drive, Hoagland, also was granted, with one vote in opposition.

The Cottages of Verano’s homes will be on one street arranged around a cul-de-sac with the entrance across from Whisper Rock’s. The location is south of Coldwater Road and north of Dunton Road.

The plan commission was told the project is in the Huntertown section of Perry Township and subject to Huntertown zoning, which at present allows only 20 homes on a cul-de-sac, something the plan commission cannot alter.

But an update of those rules to conform to the 23 allowed in the rest of Allen County and Fort Wayne is expected by January and the project would then be able to proceed, the commission was told. If the new rules are not approved, the developer could resubmit the development plan with fewer lots or seek a variance.

New Venture Development Corp. is at 10808 LaCabreah Lane, also the address of North Eastern Group Realty Co.

The Dollar General will have a single entrance onto Indiana 37 and 30 parking spaces and two on-site stormwater retention areas. The store would be served by public water and sewer.   

James Wolff, agriculture agent for the Allen County Purdue Extension, voted against the Peridot plan. The plan commission was told that the screening on the north and east would only affect farm fields, although the land is zoned residential. Planning department staff reported the nearest home in line of sight is a mile away.

A neighboring business had no objection, and the farmer whose fields would be buffered said he would rather not have the landscaping because chemicals used on the fields might affect it and the landscaping might affect his yields by drawing water away from crops.

Wolff said he was thinking about future residential use of the land. “I did not feel the issues related to the agriculture were as significant as pointed out,” he said after the meeting.

The plan commission also heard timetables on two ongoing projects. The public hearing on the Hunter­town zoning changes will take place 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at Hunter­town Elementary School.

The public hearing on the new zoning districts and policies being developed for southwest Allen County to update the county’s comprehensive will take place in December, the commission was told before it unanimously authorized proceeding with that project.