The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 1:00 am

Commission hears plans for Dupont development

Seeking pair of variances to build behind Walmart

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A 242-unit rental housing development did not see any opposition at a Fort Wayne Plan Commission public hearing Monday.

Dupont Meadows is a multifamily development planned for a roughly 55-acre plot behind Walmart at the intersection of West Dupont and Lima roads. Next Chapter Holdings LLC has created neighborhoods like this in the southeastern part of the U.S., but co-founder Wayne Millar said this will be the first in Fort Wayne.

The market-rate units will be single-family homes with the exception of 12 units that will be connected at the units' garages. Each unit will have a single-car garage, a driveway, a porch and a short, white, open picket fence. About 15  acres of the plot is undevelopable, so the development will be spread over 40 acres.

The houses are expected to vary in size from 830 square feet to 1,800 square feet. Rent is expected to cost between $1,400 and $2,000 a month.

Next Chapter is seeking a rezoning of the plot from agricultural residential to multifamily residential, along with approval for its primary development plan with two waivers.

One waiver would allow the homes to be less than 950 square feet, which is the minimum square footage for houses allowed by the Department of Planning Services. Pat Hess of Beckman Lawson Lawyers said he thinks the waiver should be allowed in part because many apartments are less than 950 square feet.

Another waiver would allow the setback from the curb to the front porch to be 15 feet, which is less than the 25-foot requirement. The driveways will still have enough room for a car to be parked because the garage is set back farther than the front porch.

The location was chosen in part, Millar said, because of its proximity to Walmart as residents often find having a large store in walking distance convenient. The development is expected to include a pool with a maintenance building, a dog park, a playground and a community center.

No one shared comments in opposition or support of the development at the public hearing, and the commission did not receive any letters.

With the commission's approval, construction is expected to start about the end of the second quarter in 2022, Hess said. The commission will discuss the requests and take action at its business meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

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