Neighbors upset about proposed restaurant, party boat project

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 11:10 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - A restaurant with outdoor seating and an area for party boats to dock at may sound like fun to some. But, for some neighbors in the area, it sounds like a nightmare.

BACKGROUND: Plan Commission members approve primary development plan for River City Ventures project

“It’s not the right place for that project. It’s in a very residential area,” Lori Stombaugh said. “It’s in a very quiet area of the river and the trail and it’s just not the appropriate place for that business.”

River City Ventures Proposed Location Map
River City Ventures Proposed Location Map(WPTA)

Lori Stombaugh, president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, says most neighbors aren’t happy about the proposed project.

She claims it’ll bring noise to a typically quiet area and create safety issues for the nearby trail.

“There are a lot of homes that were purchased, and the people live there, because it is a peaceful, quiet environment,” Stombaugh said. “The plan that they presented, that River City Ventures has presented will totally disrupt the trail in that area.”

Even though many neighbors are upset, there are still those in favor of the project.

Ben Hall, the general manager of Hall’s restaurants, says neighbors will likely adapt to the business and may even come to enjoy it.

“I wouldn’t just discount it and toss it out like a square peg that doesn’t fit just because it might not be your cup of tea,” Hall said.

Tuesday, city councilmembers will vote on an ordinance, which recommends the land be rezoned for construction for the project.

If approved, Stombaugh says it would be disappointing, but not the end of their fight.

“If they vote yes for the zoning change, that’s not the last step,” Stombaugh said. “So, it will go on to parks board. So, they’ll be hearing from us a lot, I’m sure, if that’s the case, if it goes before the parks board.”

Tuesday’s City Council meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. We’ll provide updates on that meeting for you on air, online and on our social media pages.