Developers ignore Woodgate residents’ appeal
Woodgate residents are waging an uphill battle to maintain their quality of life as well as their property values. Their battle is not against a large faceless, indifferent corporation. On the contrary, it is Southern Indiana Investments, a locally owned company and developers of Cobblestone Crossings off of U.S. 41.
To truly understand why these residents are up in arms, head on down to Woodgate subdivision and drive along Gateway Drive. At the first right, turn off of Gilchrist Drive. You will observe a pleasant, well-kept residential area. But directly behind the homes on the south side of Gateway loom four, two-story apartment buildings, which are part of the Cobblestone development. These apartment buildings sit 75 feet from the homes on Gateway Drive, and their balconies offer a bird’s eye view of their backyards and homes.
The residents of Gateway Drive have reported that in the year since these apartments were built and inhabited they have had trespassers casually walking through their yards, trash being thrown into their yards, loud parties until the early hours of the morning, peeping toms, thefts and car break-ins. Families with young children can no longer allow them to play out in their back yards alone, nor can a family enjoy sitting outside in their yard during the warm weather due to the noise from the apartments, the public pool and the clubhouse at Cobblestone Crossings.
These residents have lost their privacy, their safety, their peace of mind, and their quality of life forever. They have watched their property values decrease, and this fate awaits far more residents of Woodgate. As I write this, more apartment buildings are being erected. The new two-story apartments will border all the western side of Woodgate subdivision, sitting even closer, actually a mere 25 feet from the homes on South Glen Drive, Ridgecrest Lane, and Treeline Road. This is nothing short of a scandal.
The original plans for the Cobblestone development included 11 acres of apartment buildings in the center of the development. Only single family homes were to back up to Woodgate Subdivision. Somehow (yet to be determined if it was legal or not), the owners of Southern Indiana Investments got the county commissioners and Area Planning of Vigo County to approve changes to their original blueprints without proper notification to all the affected citizens in Woodgate, Viscaya and Lakeview subdivisions. The new plans include over 100 acres of apartments (15 units per acre) all within 25 feet of existing single family homes in Woodgate.
The residents of Woodgate are not opposed to multiple housing units, nor are they waging a battle against the residents of the Cobblestone apartments. Woodgate has condominiums within its neighborhood boundaries. What they are opposing is the erection of two-story apartments within 25 feet of single family homes.
Two representatives from Woodgate Subdivision met one of the owners of Southern Indiana Investments. He refused to make any changes to his plans to erect the apartment buildings so close to the homes in Woodgate. Perhaps the builders and financers of this project will realize that placing these apartments so close to Woodgate is a monumental error of judgment with far reaching consequences. When the people and institutions with power, influence and money in a community make decisions that are detrimental, and even downright destructive to the community, the community is in trouble. Building 100 acres of apartments in the back yards of any subdivision is one of those decisions.
If you are a resident of Vigo County, this apartment development by Southern Indiana Investments, approved by the commissioners and Area Planning of Vigo County, should concern you. It could happen in your back yard tomorrow.
— Lisa Shahar
Resident of Woodgate South Subdivision
Recipe for disaster on northside street
Now that the Maple Avenue Nature Park is officially open with an increase in vehicle traffic to and from the park, an annoying question resurfaces as to how wide Maple Avenue is between Seventh and Third streets: a) 20 feet; b) 22 feet; c) 24 feet; d) all of the above; e) I have no idea.
Over a year ago (perhaps two), a new north curb was installed along with a generously wide sidewalk from Seventh Street to the intersection of Sixth Street. While driving east on Maple from Third, look at the curbline along the left side, or north edge, of the street. Not only is it “crooked” (or not parallel to the opposite edge), it is not contiguous across intersecting streets or even driveways. On a more technical note, the sidewalk and curb were poured monolithically (together in one concrete pour) which in most municipalities is a forbidden construction practice, for many reasons.
Maple Avenue narrows at the intersection of North Sixth Street, changes width at the rear driveway entrance to the church there, and again changes width at the intersection of North 6-1/2 Street. The latter oddity creates a dangerous blind spot looking east (with the retaining wall that was built there) when a driver is headed south on 6-1/2 Street and wants to turn onto Maple Avenue.
Millions are being spent widening Margaret Avenue at the south end of town. Some have argued it is an unnecessary expense with little or no benefit to either businesses there or vehicle traffic through the area. I would argue that the north side of town is pretty much forgotten when roadway improvements are considered, or instead a poorly planned and executed curb and sidewalk installation takes place, like the one along the north side of Maple Avenue.
Ouabache School resides on the south side of Maple Avenue here and has had to endure flooding and often an ice-covered roadway right in front of the school’s entrance on Maple Avenue and the exit on North Sixth Street. Now the new park is open right across the street, adding traffic and perhaps congestion during the time the school opens and when the children are dismissed for the day. School children, flooding, ice and congestion all add up to a recipe for disaster.
How wide is Maple Avenue between Seventh and Third Streets? Perhaps only e) is the correct answer. It seems no one really knows, not even city planning or street construction.
— Douglas Elia
A royalty solution?
With the president signing so many executive orders as of late, why not dissolve Congress and just make him king?
Sure, we will lose all of what is left of our freedoms a lot quicker, but it will cost a lot less money as we do.
All hail, King Obama!
— Mark Burns