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.