Fort Wayne City Council approved the construction of a 64-unit townhome development just east of Carroll High School during its Aug. 18 meeting.
Council delayed a vote on the measure during its Aug. 4 meeting. Several homeowners who live near the planned development site spoke in opposition of the project at public hearings, issuing complaints regarding traffic, drainage and the effect the new units might have on overcrowding at Northwest Allen County Schools.
The new townhomes will be built at 3115 Carroll Road, on the east side of Bethel Road, adjacent to the property formerly occupied by Custom Quality Meats, which was destroyed by a fire in December 2018.
Responding to residents’ complaints regarding increased traffic near Carroll High School, Michelle Wood, senior planner with the Department of Planning Services, said the city has required that the entrance be designed in such a way that would prevent backups on Carroll Road. The city would have no jurisdiction over any plans to widen the road, as it is maintained by the town of Huntertown.
Wood said the developer has agreed to move the project about 20-30 feet further from existing homes. Additional landscape buffering and a fence have been added to the plans.
“I would have a concern too if I was out there, with any improvement that was going to come into my neighborhood, so a lot of those concerns were valid concerns,” councilman Tom Freistroffer, R-at large, said, adding that he, however, sees those concerns arising regardless of zoning density. “… If you just put average families of four in there, you’re going to have just as many people and just as many children that are going to the (elementary) schools and middle schools and the high school.”
Councilman Glynn Hines, D-at large, said he also believed growth would inevitably continue in that area because of families’ interest in sending their children to Northwest Allen County Schools.
Hines; Freistroffer; Paul Ensley, R-1st District; Tom Didier, R-3rd District; Jason Arp, R-4th District; Sharon Tucker, D-6th District; and Michelle Chambers, D-at large, voted in favor of the project, which will be constructed by Granite Ridge Builders.
“Granite Ridge is one of the top builders in Fort Wayne. They’re a reputable company, and I think they’re going to do a very good job with this,” Didier said, noting that the zoning had already been approved unanimously by the plan commission and board of zoning appeals.
Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th district, voted against the measure, and Russ Jehl, R-2nd district, was absent during the meeting.
“This is kind of a hard one for me,” Paddock said. “I think that it’s not because they’re apartments, it’s not necessarily because it’s a rent or own situation. It’s more of a density thing for me.”