Muncie City Council to determine fate of apartment complex

Monday's City Council meeting could potentially carry a lot of changes for Ball State students.

An ordinance proposed earlier last month at the council meeting calls for the rezoning of more than 10 acres of land on a section of McGalliard Road.

Campus Crest, a housing development company based out of North Carolina, wants to build 216 apartment units in the 10 acre area along McGalliard, with the apartments being geared toward Ball State students.

The company is being represented by local attorney Scott Shockley of DeFur Voran LLP.

Shockley and proponents of the ordinance said the $15 million project will bring jobs to Muncie without any major negative affects to the area.

Those who oppose the ordinance claim that building 10 four-story buildings in such close proximity to the pre-existing Layne Crest neighborhood will have major effects on the traffic and drainage issues of that area.

Layne Crest Addition is a housing area that covers the region that is between West McGalliard Road and Northside Middle School as well as the area between Scheumann Stadium and Oakwood Avenue.

Tom Schnuck of Muncie said he believes the addition of the apartment complex will be a great help toward the city's faltering economy.

"This ground on McGalliard has been empty, just sitting there, for years and years," Schnuck said. "I'm all for any additional revenue that the city can generate."

As for the issues the members of the neighborhood association raised ­— increased traffic that could potentially be a safety risk and an even further strain on the already flawed drainage system of the area — Schnuck said these are issues that should have already been addressed in the past.

"If they've not been addressed in the past, then they should've been," Schnuck said. "That's what we pay for."

On the other side of the issue, local politician Jim Arnold said he opposes the complex and feels that building apartments in that area will cause several issues for the community.

Arnold recently ran for city councilman in District 5, the district that represents the Layne Crest community, and during his campaign he ran across several members of that community who disagreed with the rezoning proposal.

Arnold said most of the residents he spoke with were opposed to the proposal of the specific apartment complex in that area, but not to development in general.

As for the issue of the failing water and sewage system in that area, Arnold said that is an issue that should be resolved beforehand.

"They should fix those problems first and prove they're fixed," Arnold said.

Other issues that Arnold raised were those pertaining to traffic and the amount of green space that would be left in the area.

With the addition of at least 500 more cars into that area, Arnold said he believes it would make that stretch of McGalliard more dangerous.

"Since that stretch of McGalliard is already the busiest road in Muncie, why would you want to add more traffic to it?" Arnold said.

Adding such a large amount of residential properties to the area may also cause a decline in business of the many other apartment complexes in the city, Arnold said.

With the proposed complex being newer and closer to campus than many of the existing properties, Arnold and those who oppose the bill said they believe this could cause there to be many abandoned properties near campus.

The Muncie City Council votes on the issue Monday night at 7:30 at City Hall.