The Allen County Plan Commission voted Thursday to deny a plat amendment to North Eastern Development Corp. for a change to the street layout in its Copper Creek development in Huntertown.

The Copper Creek development includes 677 lots on the east side of S.R. 3, north of Hathaway Road and west of Dunton Road, which was approved in 2018 and recently annexed by Huntertown. The proposed amendment would have allowed for the removal of a through-street from the Highlands of Copper Creek to the rest of the development, and instead include a cul-de-sac where that road was originally meant to cross over Willow Creek within the subdivision.

The Highlands is the section of the development with an entrance off Hathaway Road, between Dunton and S.R. 3.

Ric Zehr, of North Eastern Group, said during a public hearing on Oct. 8 that the structure needed to cross the creek comes at the cost of an extra $600,000, which would add about $1,000 per lot within the development, due to significant issues with construction requirements and permitting through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Army Corps of Engineers. Removing the through-road, he explained, would have eliminated through traffic for the Highlands neighborhood and set aside an area that is exclusively for units by Majestic Homes, the sole builder in that section of the development. It would also have created more desirable and efficiently priced lots, Zehr added.

During that public hearing, a resident whose home shares a property line with the development asked commission members to vote against the amendment, citing concerns related to environmental protection and restricting access to first responders.

The Highlands of Copper Creek will connect to the other sections of the development, which will all be accessible from S.R. 3, Hathaway Road, Dunton Road, and from existing neighborhoods off Gump Road.

The amendment, if approved, would have waived a county ordinance requirement for connectivity within housing developments, which requires connections to existing stub streets. James Wolff, a member of the commission representing the Allen County Extension office, said he didn’t believe it was unreasonable for the developer to install its crossing over the creek, satisfying the requirements of the ordinance.

“I’m not seeing how the site today is any different than two years ago,” he said. “… I don’t think it really passes the test of our ordinance.”

The request was denied by 5-3 vote.

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