GOSHEN — The city’s Redevelopment Commission heard two proposals to redevelop the area along the Millrace canal at the commission’s monthly meeting Tuesday, April 9.
The proposals marked the latest options for the area since the commission rebuffed a proposal from All-American Homes in 2009. Area residents had expressed significant opposition to the 2009 proposal which led to the Commission’s decision to search for other options.
One group at Tuesday’s meeting, led by Richard Miller, proposed a two-section development in the River Race area that would include a co-housing neighborhood and a section for market housing.
Miller, who focused on the co-housing side of the development, said there are six elements to a co-housing neighborhood. Those elements are residents participating in the process, development of a physical design that facilitates community, the residents ability to walk safely within the neighborhood as well as to centers of interest, extensive common areas for daily use, and a structure that is not based on hierarchy or shared resources.
Several residents in the surrounding area voiced their support for the co-housing development, saying they believed it fit with the current neighborhoods and what they would like their community to feel like.
Urban housing was the focus of the second proposal, brought by Dave Matthews of Matthews LLC in South Bend.
Matthews stressed flexibility and customization in his presentation, noting customers would have many options to choose from, and each option would maintain the integrity of the historic surrounding neighborhood.
Some concern arose from residents about price and sizes and how Matthews’ units would really fit the neighborhood.
Resident Adam Scharf proposed the possibility of selecting the co-housing group to develop the southern portion of the area since that was their main focus, while sliding the Matthews proposal to the northern section and scaling it down to fit the area they would have to work with.
Scharf stated that, if nothing else, Tuesday’s proposals were both improvements on the 2009 proposal.
Commission president Tom Stump said commissioners would investigate the proposals further and would hopefully come to a decision at the May meeting of Redevelopment Commission.