WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A proposed new subdivision lead neighbors and residents of Churubusco to fill the room at the Whitley County Plan Commission meeting Wednesday night.
The proposed subdivision will be located on the west side of Sheldon Road, a half-mile north of Anderson Road near the lake. Arrowhead Pointe would have more than 70 lots for homes. Each lot will be at least 10,000 square feet.
“We aren’t building tract homes,” said Wayne Gibson, developer. “These are custom homes, with custom cabinets…the goal is to improve the community and raise the value of the property.”
The 79 homes will be ‘new urbanist homes.’ Gibson explained as the garage will be located near the rear of the home and not the front. The house will also be closer to the road and give a more ‘community feel.’ But Gibson says that they are not ‘married’ on the idea.
Attorney Rob Kruger also spoke on behalf of the developer Wayne Gibson Building Corp. He says that they are not asking for rezoning because it is already zoned as lake residential. The developer is asking for primary plot approval.
“Whether people like a residential subdivision next to them or not it really isn’t the issue because this is zoned lake residential,” Kruger said. “It is perfectly appropriate and normal to have a subdivision here. I think the question is these three or four major technical issues.”
Those ‘major technical issues’ presented included concerns about erosion, lack of public water supply, traffic and the sewer capacity.
During the meeting, a board member read concerns about the project from the Whitley County Engineer. He is concerned about the current condition of Sheldon Road. That concern stems from the amount of traffic that travels down the road and that the length of the road is already at max capacity for a dead-end road.
There were also concerns about if the new subdivision would add a pier or have some type of access. For now, developers are leaving the door open for that possibility but it’s a ‘low priority.’
Several Whitley County residents who live near Blue Lake spoke out against the new development. More than a hundred signed a petition to stop the project from moving forward.
“Our community is not for this plan,” one neighbor said. “And we have not been presented any way that this is helping the Blue Lake community.”
Another neighbor asked if sewer bills would be raised again with the addition of 79 new homes. That question was not answered.
“My concern is opening up the new subdivision to the existing cul-dec-sac,” a neighbor said. “That would be a huge safety concern.”
“The increase in traffic will be a huge safety concern,” one resident said. “I don’t want to see Sheldon Road turn into a highway.”
“I live directly across the lake, we have some acreage there and it could be a benefit to us,” one neighbor said. “Though we started this neutral but we stated we would stand with the majority of our community’s neighbors.”
One parent addressed concerns for the school becoming overwhelmed with new students, stating that the ‘teachers are outnumbered’ and that he did not want his kid to be ‘outsourced’ to another school.
At times residents and neighbors got emotional asking for the board to take their concerns and worries into consideration.
With that being said the board moved to postpone the vote on the subdivision to help get answers on the project. It will be discussed and possibly voted on during the board’s next meeting on May 19.