Chesterton Tribune

Bad economy stalls Porter project again

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When the Trails of Porter housing development was platted in June, 2009 developers Rich Brennan and Bob Gorgei said a construction timetable would depend on the economy.

Eleven months ago the men were granted a one-year extension to begin work on the 54 lots on 22 acres in Phase 1.

Brennan and Gorgei are back again tonight at the Porter Plan Commissionís 7:30 p.m. meeting seeking another extension of the primary plat; reasons given for the construction delay are the sluggish housing market and the tight lending climate that makes it difficult to borrow for Phase 1ís $1.3 million infrastructure.

The completed subdivision, located on 68 acres known as the Iron Triangle east of South Mineral Springs Road, would be 190 homes and include a park.

In 2009, Plan Commission members said they didnít like the Trailsí density or traffic plan but the Town Council approved the planned unit development ordinance governing the project in 2008.

Also during its meeting the Plan Commission will hear a status report on a longstanding petition by Carolyn Trepper to build several duplexes at South Mineral Springs and Old Porter Road across from The Trails subdivision.

A third item is a report by commission staff on a new procedure for submitting petition paperwork.

The Plan Commission has given notice that at the conclusion of its regular meeting, members will meet in closed executive session to receive information, and to discuss strategy and matters relating to the initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing.

Prior to the commission the Board of Zoning Appeals will convene at 6:30 p.m. with two petitions listed under new business.

Tom Tarpley and John Ayala are requesting a use variance at 200 S. Franklin St. to convert former retail space into two units on the main floor for residential rentals. The property is zoned Residential-2.

A second request, this time for a development standard variance, was filed by Mary Lou de Groh of 259 Spring View Dr. She wants to construct a four-season room addition to the rear of her home, which will sit 25.9 feet into the rear yard. The Porter ordinance requires a 35-foot rear setback so de Grohís addition needs a variance of 9.1 feet.

The BZA also will hear an update on the Trepper duplex petition thatís been tabled for months, and receive the same report from staff regarding a new procedure for submitting petition paperwork.

Both the Plan Commission and BZA will accept public comment as their respective meetings begin under audience participation.



Posted 4/18/2012