Chesterton Tribune



Plan: New homes in Summer Tree would share maintenance

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The petitioner to rezone Lots 1-4 and 25 in the Summer Tree subdivision and the attorney for the property owners association said they are coming to an agreement about sharing the costs of maintenance by having the new homeowners join the POA.

Wednesday was the Porter Plan Commission’s public hearing for a replat of the four lots near the entrance of Summer Tree off of Waverly Rd. and part of another lot on Saddle Back Lane from commercial to residential. The petitioner is Fox Chase Development, the original developer of the subdivision, represented by attorney Todd Leeth.

During last month’s preliminary hearing, Leeth said there was no wish to join the POA so the new homeowners wouldn’t have to pay for past expenses they were not responsible for, but in talking to the POA’s attorney Connor Nolan earlier on Wednesday, Leeth felt there was a way they could come to a consensus if certain restrictions are removed, mainly those dealing with roof repairs on the other homes.

“We can join the association and have it be a good result overall,” Leeth said. “We are in agreement to agree.”

Leeth said he believes the new homeowners can give their fair share in the costs for drainage and lawn care maintenance.

Nolan, for his part, corroborated much of what Leeth said, but the biggest concern the POA has is that there is no signed agreement for the new units to connect to the pond maintained by the POA. The POA seeks an agreement before any building permits are issued, Nolan said as he distributed copies of a letter addressing the concerns to the Plan Commission.

Nolan’s letter says the POA has no objections to the petitioner’s request to subdivide lots 1-4 and 25 or the nine new duplex buildings it wishes to build, but emphasizes the need for a guarantee that the lots will be well maintained and not depreciate the values of the existing properties and homes.

In the public hearing, the speakers, all of whom were Summer Tree residents, all brought up the concerns of parking and traffic.

POA President Diana Shook the duplexes on Saddle Back Ln. are already causing a lot of traffic congestion as it is.

“It gets to be a very busy street,” she said.

Neighbor Theresa Valade echoed how challenging it is with vehicles parked along the roadway and how it will increase with the new homes built. “I’m just not sure how that’s going to work.”

Dan Corona asked if the building on lot 25 could face towards the private drive so as to make traveling less hazardous on Saddle Back Ln.

Leeth said the problem with using the private drive is that it is not wide enough, and also, the homeowner would have a public street running through their backyard if they face the building to the east.

Other concerns included whether the strip of park area along Lot 25 will be kept. Leeth said that the strip of land is owned by Fox Chase Development, which has the freedom to decide what to do with it.

Corona said after looking at records three or four days ago he believes the POA is the owner.

The Commission said it will look into who the rightful owner is.

As for traffic and parking, Leeth said changing the lots over from commercially-zoned to residential would mean less impact on the traffic. He said the developer intends for each unit to have a two-car garage and parking for four vehicles.

Plan Commission member and Town Police Chief Jamie Spanier said that parking is not allowed on the part of the street with lots 1-4, nearest to the subdivision’s entrance on account of Seven Peaks Water Park being across the road.

The no-parking restriction was put into place recently, he said, after neighbors complained of park visitors parking along the street.

Planner and Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said it would be good to mention the restricted street parking in the covenants. Spanier said it is possible to keep the ban only when the water park is open.

Planner President Jim Erikkson felt it best to keep the public hearing open to the next meeting so the two groups can advance toward an agreement.

The planners voted unanimously to table the hearing until next month.



Posted 3/17/2016






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