BY DUSTIN LAWRENCE
Goshen's Redevelopment Commission turned down a proposal to redevelop the River Race area along Goshen's Millrace Canal after a strong show of opposition to the proposal was heard at Tuesday night's redevelopment meeting.
Goshen residents packed into the city courtroom to discuss the details of a proposal with All-American Homes that had come out of months of negotiations with the redevelopment commission. Those discussions and questions led to four of the five members voting against the proposal, with one abstaining.
"A lot of the concerns expressed tonight were about the timing of the project; whether or not this is a good time in a down market," said Mark Brinson, Community Development Director for Goshen. "You know we were trying to introduce new housing and that is a real challenge."
Traffic congestion, a compromise of affordability with green amenities, marketability and aesthetics were a few other concerns that arose during the lengthy discussion.
The failed proposal called for All-American, which is an Elkhart-based subsidiary of Coachmen Industries, to buy 6.7 acres of real estate from the city for $224,000. That land stretched from Douglas to Monroe streets, and is between the canal and the alley west of Third Street.
Although the proposal was struck down, commission member say they plan on getting more feedback from the community before they bring forth another proposal.
Even though All-American planned on breaking ground by 2010, there's no indication of the company pulling out of redevelopment negotiations.
"We stand ready to work with the city and the commission as they go forward and plan this out," said Randy Roguska, major projects manager at All-American Homes.