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City Council OKs rezoning for storage facility

8/15/2017 11:15:02 AM

The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne City Council approved a rezoning request Tuesday for a former Scott's grocery store, clearing the way for development of the long-vacant site on the city's northeast side. 

Located at 4522 Maplecrest Road where Maplecrest intersects Stellhorn Road, the former grocery store will be transformed into an indoor self-storage facility, Michelle Wood of Planning Services told the council. Tuesday's change will take the parcel from limited commercial to general commercial zoning. 

A written commitment submitted with the rezoning application bans several types of developments from the site, including gas stations, auto body shops, outdoor automobile sales and more, Wood said.

"This building has been empty for quite a while," said Councilman Paul Ensley, R-1st, who represents the district where the development is located. "Perhaps everybody's first choice would not have been self-storage, it would have been to get another grocery store or something like that in there, but I think if that was going to happen it would have happened by now." 

Council also approved a rezoning request to change a parcel of land at 4001 South Anthony Boulevard from residential to limited commercial use. The change, Wood said, is to accommodate construction of a new Dollar General store. The rezoning applicant was Southern Heights Baptist Church located nearby. 

"It's a typical size Dollar General store with the associated parking," Wood said. "There is green space to the rear of the building, which will probably be used partially for storm water retention."

Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, who represents the district where the store will go, said he's been working with the church for years to find a suitable business for that location. Hines said he was initially opposed to the zoning change because he was afraid of another gas station being built on the city's southeast side.

"I'm going to support this because it not only helps the church in their mission and what they want to do, but also within the area, you might be aware of Posterity Heights that's going to be developed," Hines said. 

Posterity Heights is a housing development resulting from a partnership between nonprofit Joshua's Hands and Indianapolis developer BWI. The project includes a scholar house of 42 apartment units on the site of the former McMillen Park Apartments on McKinnie Avenue. 

In other business, council approved two tax abatement requests, while denying one. The rejected application, submitted by Apollo Plaza LTD for a housing development at 6403 Highview Court, received a 5-2 vote against. Applications submitted by Paul A. Waters LLC and Deister Concentrator LLC were unanimously approved.

Following the meeting, Councilman John Crawford, R-at large, said he voted against the Apollo Plaza application because work had already started on the project and because the developer indicated that he would have continued with the project without an abatement. 

City Council President Tom Didier, R-3rd, and Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, were absent Tuesday.

dgong@jg.net

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