By an 8-1 vote, from a proposal by Councilman Glynn Hines (D-6th), the Fort Wayne City Council approved changes to a zoning ordinance that will prevent gas stations from being built in residential areas, a noted blemish for Southeast side neighborhoods where 22 gas stations exist. There are four in a two-mile stretch of Oxford Street alone. Councilman Jason Arp (R-4th) was the lone dissenter.
The changes, amended to Hines’ original pitch, represent a comprise with the gas station industry; negotiations for the settlement held up the ordinance for two weeks while talks continued. The city council has approval power over requests of special use applications, except when the site is adjacent to or across the street from residential homes.
Once the Fort Wayne Planning Commission, who helped draft the ordinance, approves the changes, the measure will be sent to Mayor Tom Henry for signature-sealing approval.
“It accomplished what we wanted to and that is to have a lesser impact on the neighborhoods and still maintain what the Department of Planning Services has recommended, to a degree, as related to limiting non-conforming examples and then allowing special uses,” Hines said in a Journal Gazette interview, as told to reporter Dave Gong.
JournalGazette.net and WFFT.com contributed to this article.