Make Way for New Development

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A new housing development is on the way to Terre Haute which sounds like a good thing, but not all neighbors who live close by like the idea.

Residents living at 29th and Hulman Streets joined city officials and developers at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Several joined John Smith in voicing their opposition to the development.

“Everybody rides their bike or golf carts everybody knows everybody. We thought our basic lifestyle would be impinged by this,” Smith said.

They don’t like a developer’s plans to build housing units. A space that could allow 27 rental homes.

Those who live in this area say that a tricky intersection already poses problems for the community and that more residents will only contribute to that problem.

 Trees blocking the stop signs during warmer seasons, many drivers blow right past them which can be a danger if children are playing nearby.

“So that’s a problem we had because they said this was going to be for family friendly. Well as dense as it is there’s no green space for the kids,” Smith said.

Amidst residential opposition, that’s not why Wednesday’s meeting was held.

City engineering discovered an error in a development code that could minimize lot sizes for duplex development.

“There’s been an error in the code since 1967 and they come forward with a variance to just correct that situation for their particular project,” Bill Treadway, chairman of zoning board of appeals said.

The board approved a variance that would allow developer mike pick to build 16 duplexes in the area instead.

“It’s more cost effective to build duplexes than single homes. It gives more green space for the 16 buildings than cramming 27 homes in this same spot here. So it makes it a nicer area. Nicer building to rent,” Developer Mike Pick said.

“Do we like it? No. Is it better than what we would like? Yeah. But everything in life is a compromise,” Smith said.

The error in duplex lot sizes was just one of several other development issues to go over. Those include development standards, traffic and parking. In fact another meeting took place Wednesday night at the Vigo County Area Plan Commission.

Residents talked to the board before voting to rezone the area.

While many wished the area to stay the same, they felt duplexes were a nice compromise.

“I think that’s a lot of the problems we have in this country today, everybody thinks it has to be left or right. No one is willing to come to the middle,” said resident Rex Gameill.

The project now faces the city council Thursday.


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