Final Plat For Gateway Grove Gym OK’d By Warsaw Planners

Warsaw Plan Commission approved the final plat Monday night for the Gateway Grove planned unit development gym at 575 W. Fort Wayne St. The gym used to be a part of the former Madison Elementary School and Gateway Education Center. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

Though the former Madison Elementary School/Gateway Education Center on North Union Street is gone, the gymnasium still stands at the end of West Fort Wayne Street as part of the Gateway Grove subdivision.

Monday night, the Warsaw Plan Commission unanimously approved the final plat for the Gateway Grove PUD (planned unit development) gym, 575 W. Fort Wayne St., as petitioned by Groninger-Groninger Group LLC.

In presenting the final plat, City Planner Justin Taylor reminded the Commission that in 2021 they approved the preliminary plat for the Gateway Grove subdivision. The subdivision has a few phases to it. In January 2021, the entire preliminary plat for all the phases of the PUD was approved, he said. In May 2021, the Commission approved the final plat for phase 1.

“Now, they’ve brought forth the gym, which is part of that subdivision, but it’s in phase 3, so I’ll explain why we’re doing it in this order,” Taylor said.

He said the need to finalize this plat ahead of Phase 2 has arisen because of prospective tenants for the facility. The petitioner wants to create a 1.11-acre lot for the gym and a parking lot. Taylor recommended the Plan Commission grant final approval for the gym.

“So, again, this is the gym facility that was existing on site. They just want to carve out the parcel of phase 3 and just get that approved now for a prospective tenant, and then they’ll continue to move on with the different phases,” Taylor said.

Commission member Michelle Boxell asked if the final plat was so they could go ahead and make any renovations that they want to that space.

Taylor responded, “It would be if they wanted to change ownership or anything like that, it could also impact that, so that lot could be carved out the future plans for the development. It would still be a part of the PUD, still housed in the initial approval, nothing’s really changed from that, but it just enables them to transfer ownership or allow a tenant to be owners.”

Boxell asked, “And there’s nothing in the new proposal that changes anything we’ve done prior to this?” Taylor said no.

No one from the public spoke for or against the petition. Councilwoman Diane Quance made a motion to approve, Commission member Jim Gast provided the second and it was unanimously approved.

The second petition before the planners Monday was from the city of Warsaw and was for the preliminary and final plat of the Lakewood Hills right-of-way and stormwater easement dedication. The 1.72 acres is at 1100 Lakewood Hills Drive.

“The proposed plat dedicates right-of-way and stormwater easements to the city. The existing roadways and utilities will remain in place. The addition of this right-of-way to our inventory will enable the city to receive state and federal funding for these roadways,” Taylor said.

The city currently doesn’t receive state and federal funding for the roadways so that’s a reason why the city wants to take them on. The city has been providing and maintaining services for the roads, “and this just formally puts it on the books.”

He recommended the Plan Commission approve the preliminary and final plat.

Chad Weldy, president of the Lakewood Hills Condo Association, said the association appreciated all the city’s work on this issue and everyone was in favor. The association has a semi-annual meeting last month and “we’re good to go,” he said.

No one spoke against it and the Commission unanimously approved the preliminary and final plat.

At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, the Plan Commission approved a resolution approving a resolution of the Redevelopment Commission to amend the north and south residential tax increment finance (TIF) districts.

The resolution was previously approved by the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission.

Taylor said, “These amendments will capture the TIF money for the pre-developed condition of two subdivisions that will be coming in the next few years.”

Alta Vista, south of Old 30 near the Kosciusko County Highway Department, would be added to the northern TIF district. The second development will be Park Ridge South on the city’s south side.

Taylor said the Plan Commission was just making a recommendation to be taken to the Warsaw Common Council. With no questions from the Plan Commission, Gast made a motion to approve, city engineer Aaron Ott seconded it and it was approved unanimously.