The Allen County Plan Commission just won’t be stopped – stopped from decimating Allen County’s rural areas that is. With road construction occurring on numerous county roads to pave the way for future subdivision growth, the Allen County Plan Commission continues to make a mockery of the Plan-It Allen Comprehensive Plan.

The county plan commission could care less about the rural areas of Allen County as it approves subdivision after subdivision leapfrogging out in an ever widening belt around Fort Wayne. The most visible and fairly recent Plan Commission travesty, of course, is the approval of construction in the Cedar Creek area.

The time has come for the Allen County Plan Commission to be restructured to include Fort Wayne residents as well as county residents. This is the only way that both entities can be represented and their interests preserved. The county plan commission has no desire and certainly no incentive to do anything to preserve and enhance the urban core of the city.

The plan commission members reside in the unincorporated areas of Allen County, thus their interests lie in exploiting rural Allen County to the detriment of the urbanized areas of Fort Wayne. With no voice on the county plan commission, the City of Fort Wayne is left to struggle against the county commission’s increasing disregard for the future of Fort Wayne.

The county plan commission is well on its way to fulfilling the following “build-out” plan. The only thing that stops the incessant creep westward is the Whitley County line. Rural Allen County doesn’t stand a chance with the current members of the plan commission – and neither does the City of Fort Wayne.

Allen County Buildout


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. tim zank says:

    What is your theory, that if the plan commission no longer allows building outside the city limits that magically everyone (or ANYone for that matter) will want to live in downtown Ft Wayne?

    Do you know why subdivisions prosper and the homes sell? Because people want to live there. Not everyone wants to live in West Central Charlotte.

  2. Andy says:

    Tim –

    I’ll let Charlotte speak for herself, but I think you possibly are referring to restrictions being implemented on urban and rural growth planning.

    I can assure you, I am no fan of the government increasing regulations on how us as citizens live our lives, but our planet has reached a certain crossroads when it pertains to healthy sustainability for not only ours, but future population growth as well.

    Maybe when the Mayflower docked at Plymouth Rock a few hundred years ago, one could come to the assumption there were an endless amount of unlimited natural resources here in North America. I do not believe that is longer the case. Others may argue there is plenty of land, plenty of fossil fuel and natural resources to go around, but do the math. Land is finite, fossil fuel is finite and human population only continues to expand. The consequences of having a diminishing supply of something while demand continues to grow at an increasingly faster rate, are dire. If we are to ensure the survival of not only our species, but other species (plant, animal, etc.) as well, we need to plan for future growth responsibly.

    This will be a tough row to hoe. Many will argue we should preserve every last piece of land which at the time I write this, is in a pristine natural state. Others will argue there should be no restrictions on where to build, what to build, when it comes to new housing, or human growth in general.

    There has to be some kind of balance human beings can reach to ensure middle ground can be achieved between future human growth and the world in which we live.

    There are many publications out which deal with this very same issue. One book that comes to mind is, “COLLAPSE: How Society’s Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond.

    Its a great read if you have the time.

  3. Tim:

    In today’s economy and looking at the recent foreclosure numbers, it looks like subdivisions are being hit hard also, so they aren’t the end all and be all to the housing issue. I don’t want everyone living in West Central – that would then overcrowd this area, and it is crowded now in the sense that the lots tend to be smaller.

    But there are urban core areas where homes could be restored and made habitable for families. Instead of using thousands of dollars to tear down structures, we should be using that money to help renovate those areas.

    I am not advocating a complete cessation of building, but I absolutely believe that there has to be more control over the outward expansion. The uncontrolled expansion of subdivisions around Fort Wayne leaves the City with the classic donut hole. Just look at the map, and you will see where we are headed. The Allen County Plan Commission is the fox guarding the chicken coop.

    The members really have no interest in restricting growth and they have shown that propensity by approving one subdivision after another. Even when surrounding neighbors protest, it does no good.

    A number of cities have begun to curtail subdivision expansion because they recognize that massive subdivision growth creates unsustainable communities.

    Property rights are not absolute – just as most of the rights that are contained in the Constitution are not absolute. Cities regulate land usage through zoning all the time, and they also regulate building structures, building materials, and the way in which homes are built through building codes.

    I am always amazed that so many people toss out the “private property” rights are king philosophy but don’t understand that their areas are regulated with all kinds of restrictions. Look at the colors of subdivision homes – they pretty much all seem to be a bland beige color. And that is regulated by the developers and builders of the subdivisions.

    Andy has some very valid points – at some point we, as a society, have to balance the need to preserve our rural areas and the use of our resources against the push to expand into those rural areas. Every expansion requires removing land as a filter for surface waters and diverts those waters elsewhere.

    Sewers must be built, roads widened, power lines run – all tasks that decimate the land for years. Trees are slow growing for the most part – just drive around the new subdivisions and you will see landscaping in its early growth period. No full-grown trees and unshaded homes.

    I simply believe that if the urban core of Fort Wayne is to have a chance to survive, restrictions of some type will need to be put in place. I also believe a plan commission with no members from the City will never take the City’s interests to heart but will continue to look narrowly at short-term housing growth and not long-run destruction.

  4. tim zank says:

    How’s that Renaissance Pointe working out?

  5. Tim:

    I nowhere in my article or in my response mentioned building new construction. I believe I talked about restoring the stock of homes already available but in need of care.

    The urban core has some good bargains – I paid $60,000 for my home which is 2300 square feet. My interest rate is 5.875% with P & I of $352.00 a month. The county just held a three-day tax sale with the bulk of the homes in the urban core, and they ended up not selling almost 2/3 of the properties. Many of them cost only several thousand dollars.

    The homes at Renaissance Pointe are not selling as hoped. How could they? If you are targeting potential homeowners with limited incomes, trying to sell them homes out of their price range is ridiculous. Fifty percent of the Hanna – Creighton area lives in poverty.

    But then again, homes in the subdivisions are not selling like hotcakes these days either. The housing market is suffering all over the country – not just in Fort Wayne.

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