Some South Bend residents upset about development along N. Ironwood

Crews work on a property along North Ironwood Drive in South Bend // South Bend Tribune photo -- BECKY MALEWITZ

What used to be a beautiful woodland area turned ugly -- that's what some neighbors are saying about trees being demolished near their yards in order to build new homes.

This is in regards to the property along North Ironwood Drive just south of Edison Road. Those trees stood near a former church -- where as of now -- a developer is planning to build 22 single-family homes.

The first Church of Christ, Scientist building and a neighboring house will soon be demolished, but neighbors WSBT 22 talked to say they wish some of the majestic trees could've been kept. Others are excited for the upcoming development.

Our reporting partners at the South Bend Tribune spoke to the developer of the project -- Patrick Matthews -- who says the trees couldn't have been saved.

He says if the project is approved, trees would be planted.

Buildings are set to be demolished in the next few days to make room for the homes.

Matthews revised his plan to a less dense version after talking to people in the area.

But some neighbors saying they thought at least a few of the trees could've been kept.

"Looks like a war zone,” says neighbor James Galvas. “Look at it back there. They just ripped everything all up and it's all barren now.”

“I believe once they see it, once it's all developed, it will be gorgeous for the area and it's new development for a community and more tax dollars for the city of south bend," says Alice Aldridge, who owns a business nearby.

Council members postponed the request to rezone the property from single family 1 to single family 2. They say this allows for denser development.

The Council granted the developer's request to postpone the decision, which is happening July 24.

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