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Rezoning for 30-acre parcel gets preliminary approval

Updated: February 11, 2014 6:26AM



VALPARAISO — About 30 acres south of The Brassie Golf Club won preliminary approval for rezoning from light industrial to residential use Wednesday by the Porter County Plan Commission.

The matter is scheduled to go before the Board of Commissioners for final approval on Feb. 4.

Jon Hannon, with Great Lakes Engineering, said the parcel was zoned for industrial because of the old Wabash Railroad tracks on the north end of the property.

“Now that the railroad track is gone, light industrial use is probably not the most appropriate,” he said. The property is located at the northwest corner of County Roads 1050N and 125W.

The plans, which have not been fully developed pending the rezoning, call for a standard subdivision of single-family homes, with sanitary sewer service from the town of Chesterton and water from the Indiana American Water Company.

The property owner already has paid around $23,500 for extensive drainage work on the property, done with the financial assistance of the county, Hannon said.

The property could ultimately have 60 to 70 homes, said county planner Bob Thompson.

Commission members agreed the subdivision is a good use for the land.

“It’s the only (light industrial) property in the area, and I think it’s out of place,” said member Dick Maxey. “I think R-2 is ideal. It gets it on the tax rolls.”

In other business, the commission voted 7-1 to grant plat approval for a 40-lot subdivision, The Prairie at Aberdeen. The subdivision, in Union Township just west of Aberdeen, received approval for larger lot sizes over the summer. It’s the second phase of a three-phase development.

The sticking point then — and Wednesday, for commission member Mitch Peters, who voted against the plan — was a connecting road to the adjacent Autumn Oaks subdivision.

The commission recommended against the connecting road to the Board of Commissioners, but developer Robert Coolman asked that the connection be retained for emergency and utility vehicle access.

Commissioners granted that request with the stipulation that the road have breakaway barriers for emergency vehicles only. The connection will be reevaluated when the third phase of the development is constructed.

Peters said he was opposed to the connecting road, as were Autumn Oaks residents, but Coolman said the county’s ordinances call for at least two entrance points to subdivisions.



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