Why I Oppose the Layne Crest Rezoning.
I recently received several calls and emails from concerned Layne Crest residents concerning the potential rezoning of the land south of McGalliard and west of Oakwood to allow construction of ten four story apartment buildings with 216 units and 584 bedrooms. The City-County Plan Commission voted against the rezoning, but the rezoning will now be heard by the Muncie City Council which has final say on the rezoning.
I spent two Saturdays walking the Layne Crest neighborhood of over 150 homes and spoke at length to many of the residents. Every resident that I spoke with strongly opposes the development of the land for ten four story apartment buildings as proposed; but most understand that there will be something built on the property at some time, and most would not oppose development that is consistent with and not detrimental to the single family character of the Layne Crest neighborhood.
Based upon my conversations with Layne Crest residents, I have decided to oppose the Layne Crest rezoning for the reasons listed below.
- Increased Traffic Congestion & Threats to the Safety of Children:
Traffic congestion along Oakwood and McGalliard and nearby roads will be seriously impacted by the addition of 584 residents and their guests to the area.
The increased traffic flow will be a threat to the small children in the neighborhood, and will be a hazard for the young students who walk to Northside Middle School.
- Increased Flooding & Sewage Problems:
The area already suffers serious flooding problems which will be greatly increased by this development. The proposed layout reveals that almost no green space will be left on the site after the addition of ten four-story buildings and the necessary parking spaces for a 584 bedroom complex.
Many Layne Crest homes already suffer from sewage problems which will only be increased by the edition of 584 more bedrooms in the area.
- Decline of Property Values:
The property values in the area will decrease due to the several issues listed above, and will further decrease as residents flee the neighborhood, and sell to investors who will use the homes as student rentals.
- Loss of Community:
Layne Crest is a neighborhood with a sense of community. Neighbor knows neighbor, and many of the residents have called Layne Crest their home for a lifetime. I believe that sense of community will be destroyed by the proposed development.
- Strategic Planning versus Short Term Gains:
We must resist the urge to sell our city to the highest (or lowest) bidder, and should focus instead on long term strategic development of our assets for the benefit of all Muncie residents. The property should be thoughtfully developed in a manner consistent with the single family character of Layne Crest.