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Porter County subdivision approval delayed

Updated: November 15, 2013 6:25AM



VALPARAISO — The Porter County Plan Commission has tabled approval of a 434-lot subdivision in Porter Township until November so the petitioners can determine if Valparaiso City Utilities can provide the water.

Residents who attended the meeting said they were unhappy with Grand Oaks because of increased traffic; impact on wildlife; potential overcrowding in the Boone Grove schools; and concerns about the effect on groundwater supplies if the subdivision can’t get its water from Valparaiso.

“I like the development. I think it’s a great idea. I just don’t know if it’s the right time and place,” Mike Meinert, deputy chief for the Boone Grove Fire Department said at the meeting on Thursday.

He summed up many of his neighbors’ worries about the development, which will fill 228 acres between County Road 100 South and Division Road, just west of Ind. 2, when he noted the traffic accidents in the area his department responds to, and the influx of students to the Boone Grove schools. He graduated from the high school in 2002.

The development will be built over the coming 15 years, minimizing the immediate impact on the schools, said attorney Todd Leeth, representing the petitioners for the subdivision.

The first phase calls for 79 homes, though they would not all be built at once, and the developers have been in contact with school officials, Leeth said. The phased-in development, as well as the fact that it’s more than 40 percent green space and wetlands, will encourage wildlife to re-establish over time, he added.

The plan commission will take up the matter again next month, when members expect the petitioners to come forward with their plans for water for the subdivision. Grand Oaks will have its own wastewater treatment plant.

In other business, commissioners gave the go-ahead for a grassy airstrip on County Road 100 West outside of Kouts, which will serve as home for a 1947 military aircraft.

Lee Lane said she and her husband, Carl, checked and their plan, for daytime use only, meets requirements laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Porter County Regional Airport. Neighbors also have not objected to the idea.

Commissioners overwhelming supported Sojourner Field Airport, as the Lanes have named it.

“I guess I’m jealous,” member Tim Cole said.



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