“In an effort to ensure that the corridors of Lower Huntington Road and Bluffton Road continue to positively serve the residents and businesses of the Waynedale community, we have developed a 5 to 10 year plan, which includes the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles through sidewalks, lighting, amenities and designs.” Holli Campbell, with Fort Wayne’s Community Development, Planning Department said during her presentation of a Comprehensive Improvement Plan for the Bluffton/Lower Huntington Corridor Improvement Plan to the Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday, November 7th. Campbell went on to say that the plan will ensure business owners and residents that this project will compliment the community’s identity, appearance and environment.
The presentation noted that the adoption of the plan does not mean that work will start immediately or that there is any funding allocated, it is intended to be a guide for the city and community volunteers, including the Waynedale Business Chamber, to follow. The guide contains 7 goals, which include: improving all modes of transportation; improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and connectivity, drive huts, lighting and crosswalks; encouraging visitors; property improvements (ie., façades); promoting re-investment including long-standing businesses; streetscape designs enhancing the appearance of the community; and branding and marketing Waynedale.
For over two years, Campbell has been working with the Waynedale Business Chamber, who approached the city with the idea to compile recommendations of the community’s needs as well as assistance in surveying resident and commercial property owner’s input. After Campbell introduced the plan, Jordan Cornwell, President of The Waynedale Business Chamber, asked the City Council to consider a resolution for adoption of the plan.
“The Chamber and I feel that this plan would help to address accessibility, the preservation of current businesses, the promotion of positive business growth, community branding, beautification and overall unification of the community. With the recent developments in the community, including the sidewalks and trails along Bluffton Road, I have witnessed a ‘spike’ in community activity, volunteerism and overall pride for our community. I feel that this plan will serve to further the progress and perception in the community, leading to a greater quality of life for all in the Waynedale area,” expressed Cornwell.
Campbell stated that, “The Waynedale community does a lot on their own and we [Fort Wayne] should support their efforts, as they move forward.”
Before closing to vote, Councilman Barranda commented “I never miss an opportunity to speak when it comes to planning. I really applaud the folks in Waynedale for taking it upon themselves to push the administration and planning department to do this because I think it’s going to do good things for the community.” He continued, “It helps us understand what the folks in your community want.” Many other Councilmen also took turns complementing the plan and the collective community effort; even enquiring on how other communities in Fort Wayne could create a similar development study and plan.
Fort Wayne City Council, passed the adoption of the Bluffton/ Lower Huntington Corridor Improvement Plan into the city’s comprehensive plan with a unanimous 8-0 vote.
The Waynedale Business Chamber, representing over 90 members, formed in June of 2015 and has continued to work with Fort Wayne City Officials to accomplish various improvement goals within the community. With the installation of the emergency weather warning siren earlier this year, and now the adoption of this plan, the Chamber continues to set a precedence for other Fort Wayne communities to follow and accomplish similar goals.
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