New Fellows Street plan saves most homes in area - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

New Fellows Street plan saves most homes in area

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It's a project that has stirred up a lot of controversy. A Redevelopment Commission meeting Thursday morning, put the Fellows Street neighborhood to rest. 

The project has been on neighbor's minds since June when they were told their homes would be taken out to make way for the project. In August the commission decided to reconsider.  This should also please residents who were frustrated by the project being stalled for months.

The Department of Community Investment submitted a plan Thursday that will save neighbors' homes, save taxpayers money and allow for the free flow of emergency response vehicles.

They plan to do this by adding a stop sign at the intersection of Teri and Fellows Street to slow down traffic going through the area. They will also widen the intersection of Fellows and Ireland to add a left turn lane. This plan only involves two properties for the left turn lane, something neighbors are very pleased with. Of those two homes, only one will be sold to the city, the other property owner has made agreements to sell a part of the property and still keep the home.

Executive Director of the Department of Community Investment, Scott Ford says previous estimates on the volume of traffic flow were inaccurate. He believes that Fellows Street can accommodate an increase in vehicles without increasing the number of lanes (which was one of the original proposals).

"The best thing about this project is that changes will be modest," says Ford.

The Commission approved the proposal, giving the Department of Community Investment permission to go ahead on the project.

And neighbors are thrilled.

"This is something I've been waiting for, it's finally over and I'm very happy we'll be able to keep our home now," says Trina Detwiler.

"I could do a cartwheel right now, it's wonderful," says Adam Detwiler.

Most are just ready to put it all behind them.

"This kind of thing could have been solved a long time ago if people didn't have to be so bullheaded," says John Martz.

People who live here say it's been a long few months.

"Originally we were told it was pretty much a done deal, so consequently we went ahead and found another home," says Frank Rozmerynoski.

As part of the final proposal that was adopted Thursday, the city is buying Frank's home because of the inconvenience.

So there is some give and take, but for most, this really is a better option.  

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