Chesterton Tribune



Hospice eyes former Porter medical office as new home

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Munster-based Hospice of the Calumet Area is considering locating offices and space for grief support groups in former medical offices at 1190 N. Indiana 49 in Porter.

But that would require a rezoning from the current Residential-1 to Professional Business --- a broad category that had some town Plan Commission members concerned Wednesday.

Hospice executive director Adrianne May and Mitch Gaffigan, president of the hospice board, brought the rezoning petition to the commission on behalf of property owner Mary Klein.

No end-of-life medical care would be offered at the Porter site.

The commission set the request for public hearing Oct. 16. The Town Council would make a final decision after receiving the commissionís recommendation.

Gaffigan said there are five parcels totalling 3.7 acres at the site, but only three would be rezoned. Commission president John Kremke asked if it would better to rezone all five at once, but town planner Jim Mandon said thatís a decision for the property owner.

Commission member Elka Nelson said hospice support is an important service needed in town but with so few parcels left for business, Porter has to ensure theyíre not wasted on undesirable ones by granting too broad a rezoning.

Commission attorney Laura Frost said the town can ask for written conditions and commitments limiting the types of uses that can occur on the Klein property; those terms that would be recorded and run with the land.

Commission member Jim Eriksson said heís surprised the parcels werenít zoned for business already.

Member and town Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said Kleinís property drains to the Canonie lift station, which is operating at its peak now so any uses there with substantial sewer flow would be of concern.

Nelson asked members to review the BP district table so discussion can occur next month on any uses that are not desired. Commitments made now can be reconsidered in the future at the petitionerís request.

It was decided Hospice of the Calumet Area doesnít have to submit a site plan at this time, and Porterís Technical Advisory Committee of department heads doesnít have to meet for a review.

In other business, the commission voted 7-0 to combine three parcels into one lot of record for Robert Radovich at 800 Marquette Rd. No one commented during a public hearing. Radovich wants to build a garage. As a minor subdivision, the petition was heard in one night.


Posted 9/19/2013