The Porter County Board of Commissioners will convene for its regular
meeting Tuesday with the intent of declaring which county roads will remain
open to the public and which will be turned over to the Indiana Dunes
National Lakeshore for the use of trail development.
The meeting takes place at 2 p.m. inside the Porter County Commissioners’
Last month, the commissioners held a public hearing where more than 20
individuals voiced their opposition to the Lakeshore’s request to close the
roads, citing safety concerns and inconvenience for residents living in the
area who use the roads to get to work, homes and businesses.
Other remonstrations were voiced by Discovery Charter School officials who
said under the request parents of students would only be able to access the
school from U.S. 20, not having northern access on Tremont Road. The school
raised its concern there will be congestion at the U.S. 20/Tremont
intersection as traffic will be directed to Ind. 49.
Also attending the meeting last month, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Superintendent Constantine Dillon said the roads were identified in the 1997
General Management Plan as roads which were tagged for closure once the
residencies there are no longer occupied. Dillon said the last resident
moved out in Fall 2010 giving the park the authorization to fulfill its
purpose of closing the roads, converting them to trails and preserve the
The list of roads in the plan include Tremont Rd. -- the area north of the
Discovery Charter School, Parkwood Ave., Dunewood Ave., Arab Drive, Dunewood
St., Oakwood St., Elwood St., Poplar St., 50 East where it enters the park
near Third St., Pottawatomie Rd., Hawleywood Rd. (north leg) and roads in
the Pottawatomie Vista area.
Dillon said he would be willing to make modifications to the plan since the
public view has changed.
Environmental groups such as Save the Dunes recommended the National Parks
Service and the county study the request carefully to come to an agreement.
Evans said he favored closing some of the roads but not all of them and told
the Chesterton Tribune on Friday he has had the chance to meet with
park officials on making closure decisions.
In a related matter, the National Lakeshore has talked about closing its
portion of Furnessville Road which generated a good chunk of discussion at
the public hearing. Neighbors said the road should be kept open for
emergency services to use and access to the Schoolhouse Shop and
Furnessville cemetery where it was said that 15 Civil War veterans are
Dillon said the county agreed years ago to trade Furnessville Road in
exchange for the land where the Dune Park train station was eventually
built, but agreed to speak further with the current board of commissioners
after hearing resident’s safety concerns.
Also on Tuesday, the commissioners will receive a bid recommendation for
security system upgrades at the county Juvenile Service Center.
Expo Center Manager Brian Schafer will discuss possible fence repairs with
In plan commission business, Planning Director Robert Thompson will discuss
a letter of support for a land trust grant. He will also ask the
commissioners to consider approving the amendments to the Unified
Development Ordinance regarding operations at commercial composting sites.
There will also be a second reading for rezoning Brincka-Cross Gardens Park
near Furnessville from a Rural Residential district to a Parks and
The Commissioners’ Chambers are in Room 205 of the Porter County
Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso.