IU Health campus could come to Fort Wayne, neighbors raise concerns
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A new IU Health hospital could be coming to Fort Wayne, but some people are not happy about where it would go.
Members of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission heard from project leaders and from neighbors at a hearing Thursday.
This campus will feature a hospital near I-69 and Lower Huntington Road. Neighbors at first thought it would be 15 floors, But project leaders say that’s false and that it would be as tall as fire code would allow.
Dozens of people showed up for the hearing at Citizens Square. No decision was made on this project, but those in charge of the proposal were there to answer questions from members of the plan commission. Project leaders said they believe this will bring more business to the area and will lead to additional development.
Members of the public also got to voice their opinions. When those in attendance were asked if they were in favor of the project... No one stood up.
Several people told members of the commission they have concerns about the development They say they’re worried about an increase in traffic in an area they say has a lot of bus traffic and student drivers.
“I just want some protection against it that it’s not going to grow and grow and grow,” Josh Clements said. “We’re not going to have gas stations, Best Westerns, Piggly Wigglys and everything else right next to it.”
Plus, neighbors are worried about the noise from helicopters that would be used to airlift patient to the hospital. Drainage is also a major concern and they think such a tall building would not fit in their area.
“I don’t know that putting a hospital three miles south of Lutheran would be a very good idea,” Andrea MIlliman said. “This hospital would be located the next exit down on I-69. I just don’t think that it’s necessary there.”
Project officials are hopeful they can move forward quickly.
“A large portion of the site is already zoned the way we’re asking to zone the entire site, so some initial steps have already been taken to construct a medical office building out there and that’s the first phase,” IU Health Attorney Andy Boxberger said. “The rest of this project is a several year development.”
People at the meeting also said they hope their voices can continue to be heard.
Project leaders said right now there is no time table on construction.
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