FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Department of Natural Resources heard the environmental concerns of residents Thursday regarding a proposal to build a restaurant and a dock to launch pontoon boats on the St. Joseph River.
River City Ventures is behind the project that would place the amenities at the corner of Spy Run Extended Avenue and Parnell Avenue.
The public hearing went on for an hour and 30 minutes as residents voiced their opinions and concerns for the area. Residents included those who live in close proximity to the location, as well as some who do not, but visit there.
Jorge Fernandez, a resident of Fort Wayne said the project will have a negative effect on wildlife and will cause flooding issues.
“It’s going to increase flooding, hurt the quality of the waterway just having something like these structures that you know water can’t get through just on the riverbank is not going to be helpful to the environment,” Fernandez said.
Another moment of contention was when Aaron Carl, Civil Engineer for the project, took to the floor to address concerns brought up during the public hearing.
One point that objectors of the project are quick to point out is that developer Joey Tippman does not own all of the land that he would like to use for the project.
The project would like to use some land that the city owns that runs along the St. Joseph River as part of their plan to launch and dock pontoon boats.
During the public hearing, Carl said that River City Ventures made a verbal agreement with the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department to use the River Greenway for the development.
After the public hearing, he clarified he misspoke and that was not what he meant. He corrected his statement and said the Parks and Recreation Department is open to discussion.
If you were unable to attend the public hearing, you can email comments to water_inquiry@DNR.IN.gov.