Area Plan Commission Meeting
August 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm County-City Building 4th Floor
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, 8/17/2017 at 7:00 pm, Main Library Dickenson Room
NOTE: If you are in support of the Neighbors protecting their neighborhood, you are asked to wear a red shirt.
DEVELOPER: J. Patrick Mathews
* Developer purchased the church and home at these addresses.
* Demolished the structures, removed all trees including one 10' in diameter, took off all topsoil
* First plans included 39 multi-family homes
* Second plans included 22 homes
* Third plans include 30 homes on 3.5 acres
* This is expected to be a $30M project
* Most recent plans show 1,800 sq ft homes with a 2 car garage spaced only 10' apart with a common green area
* These are marketed towards ND Alums at $350K each
* Currently there are only Single Family Homes surrounding it and it is Zoned Single Family Home
* There would be an HOA associated with it
* States there is a similar one in Zionsville, Indiana
* Gets the endorsement of the Mayor because it is "New and Innovative" by his Department of Community Development
* They suggested the Mayor wants this to make South Bend more like Chicago with high density housing
* 12 Neighbors spoke against it
* Concerns it would overload the Edison Street pumping station for sewage
* Put strains on water service
* Need additional electrical supply
* Increase traffic on Ironwood and their side streets
* Be rented out to students who would be loud, have parties, park on side streets
* Since they will "Be built when sold" might mean construction for three or more years in their area
* Unlikely people will pay $350K for such a small home that isn't close enough to ND (Realtor comment)
* Stacked so close it looks like a trailer park
* Cookie cutter homes when the surrounding homes are unique and custom built
* Make it less safe for their kids to play
* Destroyed valuable trees that cannot be replaced and blended with the nature of the neighborhood overall and showed poor stewardship and lack of good faith
* Would require 150 zoning variances (30 plots x 5 variances each) and zoning is in place for a reason--to protect the neighborhood
NOTE: Too many comments to list
COMMISSIONERS / PANEL:
* "It's like trying to fit 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound bag", said Surveyor McNamara
* Concerns it is too tight for fire trucks and emergency vehicles
* Not enough space for snow removal
* They had directed the Developer to meet with surrounding neighbors for a meeting and that has not happened since May
* During the Rebuttal to the upset neighbors, the Developer stated they probably should have just built it and not asked anyone
At this point Councilman Oliver Davis informed him his money did not allow him to disrespect the long term neighbors and citizens.
This is yet another project where the Developer expects to be automatically preferred over people who have lived in these homes for decades and put their lifesavings in to them.
NOTE: This is a very brief sentence about a passionate discourse that lasted quite awhile. At the end of it, the room was completely silent.
In all the meetings I have attended, I have never been in the Council Chambers where there was total silence. No one made a motion to vote. Just silence.
Eventually it was decided the matter would be tabled until September and the Developer is to meet with the Neighbors at the library on Thursday.
COMMENTS AFTER THE MEETING:
* "Tear down all the trees and put up a parking lot"
* No mention of "Green Building" practices
* No guarantee to use local labor
* Seems to have no regard for people currently living around it
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