Fairmount Place flooding

In today’s Journal Gazette will be an article about the Fairmount Place property and how some of this property slipped through the City’s fingers. It should make for an interesting read. This issue, something I haven’t blogged about, is part of what’s played into the frustration the opposition has experienced with the proposed women and children’s shelter being placed here.

The flooding this past week also spilled into the western portion of the Charis House property along Fairmount Place.  The flooding did not reach where the proposed building would have been constructed, however, this was only moderate flooding on the St. Mary’s River.  Another foot or two of water in the river could very well have translated into trouble for the shelter.  

This flooding does not preclude building on the property.  There are ways of designing buildings to be more flood-resistant.  For instance make the ground floor of a building into a parking garge type of arrangement.  Building on stilts is another possiblity.  The last thing anyone would want to see happen is to have a homeless shelter for women and children become inundated with flood water.

A photo set from the flooding.

no images were found


Related Images:


  1. I am amazed – actually more like appalled – that all these lots could simply be sold to a private individual – especially when the City paid for these with taxpayer dollars (according to the article) to demolish the homes and remove them from the flood plain.

    The transfers are a convoluted mess. Public records show that 28 lots on Fairmount Place were in the name of Dyle Hughes before he sold to Rescue Ministries. The owner of record who held them prior to the sale was Housing and Neighborhood. I am curious as to what kind of sale was held to allow Hughes to purchase property in a flood plain.

    What I am having trouble understanding from the article is the flood control project that required access to the St. Marys to hook up a pipe began in 1994 yet Hughes’ purchase of the Fairmount properties didn’t occur until August 2002 – again according to the paper and the public records I searched. In reading the article, I thought that only a small area was needed to allow the Corps’ project to be completed.

    How did Hughes end up with virtually every lot in the area?

    One lot was even held by Jean Markey as a trustee at one point.

    So the City used taxpayer funds (according to the article) to buy out the property owners for purposes of flood mitigation, and Dyle Hughes bought them for a pittance and then made a killing at $525,000.

    Our homes here at the intersection of Nelson, Thieme Drive, and West Berry are built up high enough that the water does not approach the first floor. I get just a little water in my basement, but that is from river water flowing through the soil – which is fill dirt in this area. Yet, I also know that the homes in this small area are targeted for a voluntary buyout – or at least they were.

    While my experience is annoying and nerve-wracking, I understand that if buildings are built high enough the water won’t enter into the living areas of our homes.

    But since this a good reminder that the Fairmount Place area does flood, how would riverfront development even be allowed to occur? Our state has statutes that require development within 1500 feet of the river itself unless the area lies in a flood plain and then the distance increases to the point where the river may not even be within view.

    The following is the statute that addresses riverfront development of restaurants, clubs, and hotels developed near a river front and anticipating service of alcohol. Since most of the talk of river front development revolves around eateries, I believe this statute would apply.
    7.1-3-20-16.1. Municipal riverfront development project — Permit criteria — Proof of compliance.

    (a) This section applies to a municipal riverfront development project authorized under section 16(d) [IC 7.1-3-20-16(d)] of this chapter.

    (b) In order to qualify for a permit, an applicant must demonstrate that the municipal riverfront development project area where the permit is to be located meets the following criteria:

    (1) The project boundaries must border on at least one (1) side of a river.

    (2) The proposed permit premises may not be located more than:

    (A) one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet; or

    (B) three (3) city blocks;

    from the river, whichever is greater. However, if the area adjacent to the river is incapable of being developed because the area is in a floodplain, or for any other reason that prevents the area from being developed, the distances described in clauses (A) and (B) are measured from the city blocks located nearest to the river that are capable of being developed.

    While obviously Charis House would not fall into the targeted establishments, the City also has regulations in Chapter 157 of the code which address building in the flood plain and the flood way.

    I did not think Charis House should have been opposed because of the nature of the building structure; however, building in the flood plain and/or flood way should be prohibited regardless of the business – whether it be Charis House or any other riverfront establishment which might flood.

  2. Forgot to add one thing – my above comments are why I keep reiterating that riverfront development in Fort Wayne is an almost impossible undertaking. The flood we just had also shows how the area near Club Soda is impacted, yet I believe I read where development is going to happen there.

    I would rather see focus put on cleaning up the trash, the in-river blockages, and the banks of the rivers. Of course, my goal is to one day see Thieme Drive cleaned up with the formal River Greenway running along the banks of one of the last river views in Fort Wayne. 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here