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