Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Burns Harbor planners advance Westport plat

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By LILY REX

The Burns Harbor Plan Commission set the Westport Development primary plat for public hearing and discussed an ordinance related to the use of shipping containers at its meeting Monday.

Global Engineering confirmed in a letter to the Plan Commission that Holladay Properties, the master developer on the mixed-use town center development planned for the 32 acres across Ind. 149 from the Town Hall, submitted the primary plat and construction documents on July 2 and made revisions based on Global’s feedback July 23.

Global had asked for additions to the drainage report and for the inclusion of documents showing restrictive covenants and easements on the property. Global noted two issues: Lot 16 noted on the plat has a lot depth to width ratio larger than Town Code allows, and a turn planned in the plat has a slightly smaller turning radius than Town Code allows.

Global recommended approval of the primary plat contingent upon Holladay dividing Lot 16 into two lots and Holladay noting its previous approval for the turning radius in the plat documents. Plan Commission President Eric Hull noted Lot 16 will be subdivided further anyway for townhomes down the line and that the turning radius in question varies from Code only very slightly and accommodates the Town’s emergency vehicles.

Hull said both issues should be resolved and the Plan Commission will be updated before the public hearing. The Planners unanimously voted to set the plat for public hearing at its next meeting, Monday, Sept. 14.

In other business, the Planners discussed an ordinance amending the text of chapter 15 of Town Code regarding storage and the use of shipping containers in Town.

Plan Commission Attorney Mike Brazil and Planner Sarah Oudman reported on changes. Per the proposed ordinance, shipping containers would be allowed in business park districts, residential/commercial 2 (RC2) districts, and special use districts (only where the special use is not primarily residential). Containers would not be allowed in the front setback or landscaped areas of properties, parking or fire access areas, alleys, or public rights-of-way.

A container used for commercial use or construction would require a permit that is valid for one year and costs $250, which is the sum of $200 for a permit and a $50 inspection fee. Moving pods would be allowed in all districts for up to 10 days and would not require a permit or fee. Violators of the proposed ordinance would be subject to fines ranging from $500 to $2,500 and the Town would retain the right to remove the container, at the violator’s expense, after a third violation.

Planners asked how this new ordinance would be enforced at Arcelor Mittal, where numerous contractors have shipping containers on site. Building Commissioner Rob Wesley said he’ll mainly be checking that containers are on the job site they were planned for and not infringing on neighboring properties. The contractors at Arcelor Mittal will each be allowed one container and responsible for their own permits and fees. The Planners agreed the Mill will not be exempt from the new ordinance, though enforcement on the property may be difficult.

“There’s nothing wrong with sending Mittal a letter telling them what the new regulation requires and telling them that we’re going to come out and check on things if they don’t work with us,” Hull said. “This isn’t a grab to go try and make some extra fees. It’s more for everywhere else in Town that has the problem,” he added.

“The main thing about the Mill is, if we go to enforce it anywhere else, people are going to go, ‘Well what about the Mill?’”, Planner Jeremy McHargue said.

The planners voted unanimously to set the proposed ordinance for public hearing at its next meeting, Monday, Sept. 14.

 

 

Posted 8/7/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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