Valparaiso residents voice rezoning concerns
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 13, 2013 11:02PM
Updated: September 15, 2013 6:24AM
VALPARAISO — Residents voiced concerns Tuesday night about the 146.4 acre development planned for east of Indiana 49, north of Evans Avenue and west of Bartz Road.
The number of residents for that area didn’t equal the almost 200 that showed at the Nov. 13 Plan Commission meeting to protest the rezoning of 118 acres of land from residential to multi-family residential and business.
About 15 showed for what is now a rezoning of that land to a planned unit development and the rezoning and annexation of another 32 acres north of the original proposed development,
Tuesday’s meeting was a public hearing for the matter, and if the Plan Commission recommends approval, the matter goes to the City Council, where there will be another public hearing.
The earliest the Plan Commission would vote to recommend it goes to the council is Sept. 10, but Commission President Bruce Berner said it could be longer.
The developers and city officials are still discussing some points, such as payment of park impact fees, the use of vinyl siding on the planned 25 apartment buildings, the split of road costs between Valparaiso and SJBZ Development and rules for businesses coming into the business park.
Resident Jerry Groff of Bartz Road said he thought SJBZ should have notified more people than those within 300 feet of the new annexation about Tuesday’s public hearing and that more residents would have turned out for it.
Groff believes the annexation of another 32 acres was being snuck in without the residents knowing.
Resident Linda Moore of Bartz found out about the annexation that morning and was concerned about the possibility of gas stations or fast-food restaurants going on the northernmost parcels of land, across from residences on Vale Park Road.
Most of the older homes are on well water, and a gas station could affect her and other’s’ water sources, she said.
Other residents were concerned about traffic increases, which the developer is funding a study for, and whether the city will allow Nick Road not to connect the subdivision to Pine Creek Estates, thus increasing traffic.