Apartment complex zoning OK’d

Area Plan Commission recommends a Do-Pass to County Commissioners

The rezoning of 8.73 acres for market-rate apartments north of Walmart has the blessing of the Wells County Area Plan Commission.

The nine APC members present at Thursday night’s meeting recommended the rezoning from B-3 (business) to R-3 (residential). The rezoning request came from the company that owns the land, RTT Investments, Fort Wayne.

The APC does not rezone a parcel of property but it recommends an action to the body with governing authority of the property.  In this case, the APC recommended rezoning on a 9-0 vote, with Harry Baumgartner Jr., Tyson Brooks, Jarrod Hahn, Bill Horan, Josh Hunt, Erin Kreigh, Jerome Markley, Tim Rohr, and John Schuhmacher voting in favor. The other two APC members, Becky Stone-Smith and Dick Witte, were not present.

No plans were in front of  the APC members Thursday night, although one of the RTT representatives said the number of apartments could be as high as 160. That number could be scaled back, he said.

Cody Ward of MLS Engineering formally presented the rezoning request to the APC on behalf of RTT Investments.

The rezoning involves only part of the property, which is directly north of the Walmart Supercenter on city’s north side. The address to the land is 2200-2500 N. Main St.

The original notice said the rezoning request would be sent to the Bluffton Common Council, but the city limits on the west side of Main Street/Ind. 1 ends at the north edge of the Walmart property.

Michael Lautzenheiser Jr., executive director of the APC, says the developers intend to see annexation of the property to the city of Bluffton.

The rezoning, if approved by the Wells County Commissioners, would only affect the western portion of the property. The front section of the property, along Main Street, would continue to be zoned B-3 (business). The site is home to ITI among other commercial enterprises.

All agreed that the mixed-use nature of the development at that site is in keeping with the Wells County Comprehensive Plan.

The rezoning request should be in front of the Wells County Commissioners at their March 16 meeting, Lautzenheiser said.

Story by Dave Shultz, Courtesy of the News-Banner

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