Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter County reviews waiver requests for new Liberty and Jackson subdivisions

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By LILY REX

The Porter County Development Review Committee conducted informal reviews of two subdivisions at its meeting Wednesday morning.

In the first case, Timberland Farms brought for review the secondary plat and proposed design waivers for a 38-lot subdivision on the east side of Meridian Road and Timberland Farms Drive in Liberty Township. The property, zoned low density single-family residential, is 21.5 acres in size.

Representatives of Timberland Farms reported that the two design waivers proposed for the property are to allow for an entrance on Meridian Road and to include a nonstandard cul-de-sac in the plat. The cul-de-sac, which they call a “knuckle,” has a smaller turning radius than a normal cul-de-sac and is not completely circular. The deviation is a way to avoid encroaching on a neighboring wetland area.

Director of Development Robert Thompson asked how school buses will fare driving in the subdivision. County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke noted that the standard turnaround radius for a cul-de-sac in Porter County is 50 feet, which is intended to allow large vehicles like school buses and fire trucks to maneuver through them without reversing. County Engineer Mike Novotney commented that the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department is very close to the subdivision, and Breitzke brought up that mutual agreements with first responders in Valparaiso and Chesterton could mean that larger trucks would need to access the subdivision in an emergency as well.

Thompson said the Porter County Plan Commission will hear the case in a formal capacity at its next meeting, Feb. 28. Timberland Farms will have to be prepared to discuss the turnaround radius of the knuckle and take the new Department of Natural Resources floodplain report into account for plat approval.

In the second case, Stonebridge LLC c/o Todd Leeth brought the primary plat and proposed design waivers for a 40-lot subdivision to the Committee. The main design waiver that Stonebridge will seek is a waiver for sidewalk requirements. Leeth said that other nearby subdivisions don’t have sidewalks, and it has only become a standard for the county recently. Stonebridge does not want to construct sidewalks for the new subdivision that is slightly under 75 acres at 500 E. U.S Highway 6 in Jackson Township.

Novotney had a couple of comments. “I understand some existing subdivisions don’t have the sidewalks in there, but this is close to Jackson Elementary School,” he said. “It would be nice for families to potentially walk to school.” Novotney also mentioned that the property is part of a known problem area for drainage. “I have questions about the entire outlet handling what it handles now,” he added.

Thompson reported that Department of Development staff has not finished reviewing Stonebridge’s application yet.

 

 

Posted 2/22/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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