PASTEL: A LIGHT DELICATE SHADE OF COLOR.
Allen County is becoming a landscape of pastel colors – those drab, bland, unexciting colors which are safe for all construction. The blandness is the result of subdivion after subdivision springing up with restrictive guidelines that require colors that, apparently, are intended to blend into the country landscape and not stand out from the surrounding environment. Could it be that the developers think they can hide massive, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” suburbs by coating them in colors that tend to blend into the landscape?
Folks, the donut hole is getting larger. The Division of Planning Services, through its boards and commissions, continues to approve subdivision after subdivision.
The conceptual plan for Allen County shows the buildout of subdivisions to the I-469 interchange and encompassing the western area of Allen County to the Whitley County line. If this buildout happens, the subdivisions will literally take over the western side of Allen County. Along with this buildout, will come additional problems of urban sprawl and destruction of the environment.
In addition, the buildout works against the revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne. As urban sprawl continues, businesses and residents widen the doughnut hole, neglecting the heart of the City. Lutheran Hospital relocated to the Southwest in 1992, and now Parkview is leaving for the Northeast. Parkview plans a 900,000 square foot expansion costing $500,000,000. The remaining hospital, St. Joe, so far is stedfast in its commitment to the downtown, pledging to build a $7,000,000 medical building next to its already existing facility.
Until the boards and commissions stop approving every subdivision that comes along, the downtown will continue to fight for its existence. Harrison Square is a wonderful start to begin the revitalization of the downtown, but along with Harrison Square, incentives need to be provided to encourage prospective home buyers to rehabilitate homes in the older neighborhoods. Ultimately, the planning and zoning boards need to take a stand againt the leapfrogging urban sprawl that is turning the county into a patchwork quilt of beige.