Chesterton Tribune

Plan for commercial development near Duneland bus barn is tabled by county planners

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A rezoning request that could lead to major alterations to Chesterton’s southern gateway is going to have to wait a little longer to be settled.

The request by property owner Jason Montgomery to change the zoning of the lot at 1022 North Old SR 49 from R1-Single Family Residential to CM-Moderate Intensity Commercial was tabled by the Porter County Plan Commission at Wednesday’s meeting.

The property in question is the corner lot at the intersection of SR 49, Old SR 49 and 100 E, which is across the complex intersection from the Duneland School Corporation bus barn. Montgomery and his development team asked the board for the rezoning in order to build a 5,000 square foot commercial building with an undermined use.

The meeting’s agenda stated the prospective developers planned to use the space for a karate school, but they told the board that was just one possible plan. They were open to several restrictions on what they could build that the CM zoning would allow, such as a gas station or tattoo parlor, stating that they hoped it would be for something positive for the community such as medical offices.

The rezoning issue, which had already been granted two continuances, was tabled after the petitioners were unable to answer several of the board’s questions, such as whether the area was serviced by city water and sewers, and didn’t have a solid plan for the building’s use.

Before the item was tabled the board raised some questions about how the commercial site would blend with the residences already in the area and whether the lot was big enough to follow the zoning ordinances for buffers and landscaping.

The petitioners acknowledged the residences in the area, but said the land would be better served being used as commercial than sitting unused. They stated that several of the properties in the area are owned by speculators hoping the area will one day be developed.

One neighboring resident expressed his concern during the public comment portion of the meeting about the increased traffic on North Old 49, a road which sees little traffic currently.

The issue will be revisited at the next plan commission meeting and public input will be allowed at that time.

In other plan commission business, Joshua and Dannielle Sanders’ petition for a rezoning of their newly-purchased land between CR 400 E and CR 475 E in Jackson Township from RR-Rural Residental to A1-General Agriculture was recommended for approval by the commissioners.

The rezoning was necessary for the Sanders family to build a house on the parcel of land, which was subdivided without following the proper procedure to allow for development. Joshua Sanders said the plan for the 10-acre lot is to build a home and farm the remaining acreage.

Second U.S. 6 overlay open house

The second plan commission open house for public input on the U.S. Highway 6 overlay project will be held Sept. 21 in South Haven.

At the open house, the public will be informed on the plan for the area, while also having a forum to give their opinions.



Posted 9/15/2011