TERRE HAUTE —
County must stop project’s encroachment on Woodgate
I think it important the residents of Vigo County have a dear understanding of what the issues are with the new development called Cobblestone Crossing, owned by Southern Indiana Investments (Sll).
First, Jim Nidlinger Sr. addressed a small group of neighbors in our back yard during the initial phase of the project, when only a handful of apartment buildings had been erected near the U.S. 41 property line. Those apartments were not visible from the Woodgate viewing prospective. When the neighbors pointed out to Mr. Nidlinger Sr. that we did not want apartments built “in our back yard,” he responded there would be no apartments near us. His quote was “these will be homes you’d be proud to live in.”
Vigo County as well as all counties in Indiana needs room for growth in order to prosper and move forward. We welcomed Sll, to our neighborhood. The system has a series of checks and balances as the project moves forward and any significant delineation from the proposed final drawings void the prior approval. We trusted our county agencies would monitor this developer to ensure his project rose to the standards of the surrounding communities.
While standing nearly 30 feet in height, dwarfing the boarding property, the setback is the county minimum of 25 feet. Zoning in every county in this country would treat this as a breach of authority for a PUD (Planned Unit Development). A PUD is granted to a developer, after he has presented preliminary plans showing the concept of the proposed development as well as certifying his development will not be detrimental to the neighboring community.
In this particular instance, Nidlinger addressed the citizens of Vigo County in a public forum where he showed an artist rendition of the concept Sll had for their project. A montage of apartments, condos, high end homes, child care facilities, banking center as well as small convenience stores was the picture he painted.
I believe Nidlinger knew from early 2004 SSI intended to build apartments in what we now know as Cobblestone Crossing. He also knew if he were to go before Area Planning he would have a difficult, if not impossible task getting zoning (R2M) for two-story apartments in the middle of neighborhoods such as Woodgate, Woodgate South, Woodgate East, Viscaya Point and Lakeview Estates, all having a zoning of (R1) single family homes.
I believe Sll designed a plan to deceive the citizens of the county by continually telling us the apartments will only be near the highway and condos merging to high-end homes will be the final phase. The PUD zoning gave him the ability to use a bait-and-switch tactic in his plan of deception.
Our county government has the moral and legal duty to suspend operations of Sll, in Vigo County, in light of the enormous inconsistencies which surround this project.
I have now learned, through a records search, the zoning (Rl) for single family homes was changed to (R2M) apartments before the paint dried on the picture Nidlinger painted for all of us.
Area Planning’s prime responsibility to the community is to ensure the property values of the surrounding neighborhood not be adversely affected in the event of a zoning change.
As the property values begin to erode in our neighborhood it will become a cancer reaching into Allendale and moving across U.S. 41 to Deerfield. As the property values fall so will the tax base for the county, then the roads, schools, police, fire and public utilities will find it more difficult to fulfill their assigned task for the citizens of Vigo County. All of this so a group of greedy investors (Sll) can line their pockets with monies gained through a huge deception.
Now that the paint has dried, director of Area Planning, the Planning Board as well as the commissioners and legal counsel need to stand at a property line and gaze at a side wall of one of these buildings and if they think what they are viewing is anything remotely close to the picture Nidlinger painted for them, I have a Picasso, Rembrandt and Monet hanging in my garage.
— Rick Wheeler
Proud Woodgate resident
Great evening for great cause
Once again, the Boy Scout Cookout at ISU Stadium was fantastic. Being held at the stadium was a good place and there were plenty of parking and golf carts for those who needed them. It was easy to get to for carry out.
We want to thank Bob Baesler and all others for putting on such a wonderful function, all for a very good cause. The food was so good and everyone was having a great time.
We are looking forward to 2013 and another great evening for citizens in the Wabash Valley.
— Joy and Mike McCrisaken
TERRE HAUTE —
County must stop project’s encroachment on Woodgate
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