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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:00 am

Assisted-living proposal scaled back

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

The developers of an assisted-living facility just north of Fort Wayne have scrapped part of their proposal because neighbors objected, according to documents filed this month with the Department of Planning Services.

The disputed 125-unit Evergreen Village at Fort Wayne, proposed for 12523 Auburn Road near Union Chapel Road in Perry Township, is one of two proposals for senior-living complexes scheduled for public hearings next month.

The second facility, proposed by Berengaria Development of Milwaukee is a 3.25-acre tract on the east side of Coldwater Road south of Badiac Road. It would be a 40-unit BrightStar Senior Living/Memory Care franchise, according to its application.

The Evergreen Village plan from Evergreen Partners of Portland, Maine, now does not include a second building proposed as a day-care center for seniors. In its application, the developer said a meeting with nearby residents revealed concerns that the center would worsen traffic congestion near their neighborhoods.

In letters to planners, neighbors said roads are already congested because of heavy employee traffic to and from Parkview Regional Medical Center and area schools, and a finished roundabout has done little to ease the situation.

More than a dozen letters in opposition had been filed by Tuesday afternoon – about a week after the application was filed.

Members of four neighborhood associations cited other issues, including the height of the building, which is planned to have three stories and rise 40 feet. They called the size of the structure an eyesore inappropriate in a residential area.

Some neighbors said the facility would bring down property values in an area where homes have been listed online recently for between $250,000 to more than $550,000. Others predicted flooding problems, while still others argued the facility is not needed because a half-dozen other senior facilities already exist within about five miles.

Developers noted that without the day-care center, the 5.23 acres, which is now zoned agricultural, would need to be rezoned only to multifamily residential instead of to commercial.

The BrightStar facility, also in Perry Township but within Fort Wayne city limits, would have two stories, with the second floor devoted to caring for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Each floor will occupy a little under 20,000 square feet, the application says.

Both developers seek rezoning from agricultural to multifamily residential and approval of primary development plans.

The Evergreen Village hearing will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 15 before the Allen County Plan Commission. The BrightStar hearing will be at 5 p.m. Feb. 12 before the Fort Wayne Plan Commission. Both will take place in Room 35 of Citizens Square, 201 E. Berry St.

rsalter@jg.net