On September 1st, 2011 The Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission voted no to the rezoning of two separate areas in Muncie. One was located in the Village area, 300 block of Dill Street. The second zoning was a residential neighborhood, Layne Crest. For those not familiar with Layne Crest Addition it covers the region located between W. McGalliard Rd. (to the North) and Northside Middle School (to the South), and Scheumann Stadium (to the West) and Oakwood Ave. (to the East).
In attendance at the meeting was over 70 Layne Crest homeowners. After two hours of testimony, the planning commission voted no on the rezoning.
The passing of the rezoning for Layne Crest and Dill Street would allow both areas to build apartment complexes. In regards to Dill St., it would be a 36 unit apartment complex built in an area which is considered by most residents of Muncie to be a rental neighborhood.
Layne Crest however, is looking at a much larger complex with 216 units consisting of two or three bedrooms. This number adds up to an influx of 584 people into an area which for all intents and purposes is a neighborhood.
Single family dwellings.
It was a unanimous NO vote by all nine members of the board on the Dill St. project. However, when it came to Layne Crest, the vote was 3-6. Enough for the planning commission to say NO. Voting in favor of the rezoning, was current Muncie City Council member, Jerry Dishman, Richard McIntire and Tom Parker.
The next step was Muncie City Council for their approval. At the city council meeting on October 3, 2011 Ordinance 39-11 was tabled after a persuasive argument was presented by the neighborhood representative, Misty King, followed by a handful of residents. Muncie City Council October 3, 2011.
The November 14th, 2011 city council meeting saw no decision on Layne Crest. With an hour of testimony by the attorney of the developer, Scott Shockley and neighborhood association vice-president Amy Ryder and other concerned residents. A decision could come as early as the next city council meeting on December 5th, 2011.
I have been trying to look at this rezoning objectively, and find myself left with more questions than answers.
For example voting unanimously NO for development of rental units in an area which by all definition is a rental area. Voting YES for the rezoning in an area which by all definition can be considered single housing residential.
A typical all-American neighborhood.
Both had presented issues like flooding, parking and increased traffic. Dill St. was geared more for the employees of Ball State University and IU Health. Layne Crest is definitely a student rental development.
It seems backwards.
Normally, I am in favor of development, when development benefits the community as a whole. However, with the Layne Crest residents, I fear they and the City of Muncie, will not see much benefit. I would suggest, Muncie City Council do extensive research before voting.
The homeowners will find their property values lowered, and more importantly, their neighborhood will be increased by nearly 600 people.
Think on this for a minute
Muncie is not in any want for student housing. The dorms at Ball State University are newly built or remodeled. An apartment complex of this magnitude, if truly needed to meet the student housing needs, would better our community if it was built in an area which doesn’t destroy a neighborhood.
Please take a few minutes to view The Anthony-Northside Neighborhood Association. I believe you will find a wealth of information.
Good luck, Layne Crest.