Chesterton Tribune



US 6 senior living community wins preliminary plat approval

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The Porter County Plan Commission, during a short meeting Wednesday, unanimously approved a primary plat for a proposed senior living community on the St. Andrews property, adjacent to Porter Regional Hospital on U.S. 6 in Liberty Township.

The 18.8 acres between the Damon Run creek bed and the Timberland Farms Subdivision on the north of the St. Andrews parcel will have a total of 61 lots, said Todd Leeth, legal representative for the development.

The senior living community will be age-targeted for the 55-and-older “empty nester” crowd, Leeth said. The lots will be maintenance free for the residents, meaning any work will be seen to by the property owner’s association (POA), he said.

Variances were granted by the County BZA allowing narrower and smaller-sized lots. Project Engineer Jim Hipskin of Palm and Associates said the lots will have a minimum square footage of 5,000 and will be approximately an eighth of an acre.

Other variances were granted to allow for more open space and to have lots located on both sides of the roadways.

Leeth said the area will have pedestrian walkways and garden areas. Houses built on the lots will have a traditional style, he added.

Drainage will move in a “stair step” fashion where it will find its way into the Damon Run stream. Stormwater plans were approved in an independent review done by DLZ Indiana.

Leeth said that drainage would be maintained by the POA. He said that negotiations are still going on with the county drainage board about how the drainage will be regulated.

The Damon Run Conservancy District (DRCD) will be the development’s sewer provider and water will be provided by Indiana American Water Company.

The planners had accolades for Hipskin’s engineering plans.

“To me this is an excellent alternative. It’s perfect. I don’t see any problems,” member Rick Burns said.

“This is excellent work by Palm and Associates. All of my questions have been answered,” said member Tim Cole.

Planner and County Council member Robert Poparad said he thought the plans were “pretty nice” but raised concern about the issue of the regulated drain. If the assessment is made by the DRCD, he asked that the owners be aware of the fee and that it is not a county tax since the assessment appears on the property tax bills. Poparad said its elected officials like him who hear the complaints from citizens angry when their fees go up.

“It happens a lot,” Poparad said.

Leeth said drainage fees will be disclosed to the buyer in the sales transaction, but “can’t control what happens after the closing table.”

During the public hearing, no comments were made by the three audience members who came to sit on the meeting.

The vote was 9-0 in favor of the request. A final plat will be presented to the planners in the future months, Leeth said.




Posted 4/12/2013