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Public hearing on Quintana Plaza pushed to August

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The public discussion about a construction site on Jefferson Boulevard has been pushed to next month following Monday’s Plan Commission meeting.

On Monday, the Fort Wane Board of Commissioners was supposed to hear from people for and against the proposal, but Quintana’s lawyer asked for a continuance.

The board agreed and pushed the public discussion to August’s public hearing. We spoke with Quinata’s lawyer and with a woman who brought quite the crowd with her who are against the project.

A crowded meeting room in Citizen’s Square packed with people who are frustrated about a construction site on Jefferson Boulevard.

In the crowd—Pam McDaniel, the Association President for Brierwood Hills.

“They are talking restaurant and retail,” McDaniel said. “That’s a lot of extra traffic and noise, ’cause we are right there.”

McDaniel is talking about Quintana Plaza, a property that, as of right now, is a big building with no windows. What used to be a small home, is now a more than 8,000 square foot building.

READ MORE: Covington Creek neighborhood concerned over mystery building

“We realized it would be some kind of commercial,” McDaniel said, “but we thought it would be lower commercial like an office building, medical building something like that. Not the retail they are talking about.”

Neighbors were told initially that Martin Quintana first put in a request for a home remodel. According to the Journal Gazette, Quintana said he wanted to build a large garage attached to the existing home.

However, he then filed an application to change the zoning to commercial. A change many people we spoke with say makes them question Quintana’s intentions from the beginning.

But Quintana’s lawyer, Jim Federoff, says that’s not the case.

“There is safe guards in place,” Federoff said. “You can’t build a building and turn it into commercial use if it’s not zoned properly.”

Quintana wants the city to re-zone the property from residential to commercial, and for an adjacent building to be constructed.

He also says he doesn’t want to have to follow the standards set for commercial property because he says the building sits too close to a property line for that kind of development.

When Federoff was asked why Quintana didn’t let people know, he responded: “I think it started out as a residential project and he decided given the location, that it would be a good prospect for commercial development. That was before I was involved.”

Quintana’s lawyer also said they need more time to discuss design issues and to meet with neighbors.
He says he has a meeting with the Covington Creek Condos’ attorney to discuss concerns because the property sits right in front of those condos.

As for the construction, Quintana’s lawyer says it will take 3 to 4 months for certain entities to approve the project, and doesn’t expect the construction to continue until late this year, if the rezoning is approved.

Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.

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