Our view: Porter water park future is hopeful
May 25, 2012 2:34PM
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:33PM
Porter County is on the verge of regaining a former water park, and that’s good news for its tourism industry and visitors. Credit the town of Porter for hustling to change incorrect zoning at U.S. 20 and Waverly Road, where Splash Downs Dunes is located.
The public has a chance to sound off on the zoning change allowing for the water park at a June 6 hearing. The zoning error came to light when a Utah-based developer formed Seven Peaks Waterpark Porter LC and sought to purchase the 17-acre property.
Opened in 1996, the water park closed in 2009 after problems surfaced with town and Health Department violations, feuds between owners, and complaints from neighbors.
Seven Peaks also operates water parks in Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah. It tried to acquire the land last year, but faced opposition from the Town Council.
The sale proceeding uncovered errors in zoning for the property that must be rectified before the sale is finalized. A previous zoning change had not been filed within the one-year time line. By law, the property reverted back to its previous zoning, but that category no longer exists.
Seven Peaks officials aren’t sure the renovations needed at Splash Down Dunes can be completed in time to open this summer. The park needs extensive plumbing and electrical work.
Besides creating construction jobs, the water park will hire employees and add to the town’s tax base. The attraction can bring in visitors and boost the economy.