Chesterton Tribune



Porter Plan Commission approves Summer Tree PUD request

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Members of Summer Tree Homeowners Association were successful in getting the new subdivided lot owners to join the Homeowners Association as the Town of Porter’s Advisory Plan Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday to recommend amending the planned unit development ordinance to the Town Council.

Tuesday’s vote brought resolution to the ongoing proposal to divide lots 1-4 on Summer Tree Dr. at the subdivision’s entrance into seven residential lots and subdivide the vacant Lot 25 into two on Saddle Back Lane.

“I think we did all right. It’s been going on for a long time,” said Commission President Jim Erikkson.

The Town first heard plans to put in new homes at a technical review committee meeting last year in June, then by developers Dan Metcalf and James Fowler. The two withdrew their petition late last year but it was picked up by the original developer of Summer Tree Subdivision, Fox Chase Development.

The Summer Tree HOA, with its attorney Connor Nolan, asked that agreements be worked out on how drainage and parking will be maintained to ensure that property values would not be negatively affected.

Each lot will have a two-unit home for a total of 18 units, said attorney Todd Leeth, representing Fox Chase Development. The homes on Summer Tree Drive will have two-car garages and a double driveway to minimize parking on the roadways.

Nolan and Leeth said at the start of the meeting that the two of them have worked on an agreement for the new homes to be part of the existing HOA, sharing the costs for drainage and maintenance. Leeth mentioned that each unit would contribute $250 to the HOA prior to breaking ground since they will benefit from a major project involving the detention pond about a year ago.

There are two issues left to decide, Leeth said. One was to decide the management of a private drive behind the Saddle Back Ln. lots. The town would not manage it. Leeth said the owners of the four units could use the lane as their driveways and therefore would be responsible for maintaining portions of it. The homes on those lots would have rear-loaded garages so they won’t be seen from Saddle Back Ln., Leeth said.

The private drive adjoins the property for the Computer Education Institute, Town Development Director Michael Barry said, which may be responsible for maintaining a portion of it.

The second issue, which generated some lengthy discussion, was how the maintenance would be divided up between the 14 residential units on Summer Tree Drive and the Town for sewer mains and laterals.

What makes the issue more complex is the Town is going to pave the Summer Tree Dr. later this month and plan members were questioning what would need to be done to prevent damage to the road in the near future when those homes go in.

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said she would like to see drawings to see where sewer taps are. Leeth said there are four taps. Town Planner Jim Mandon agreed that those should be located.

Each address however has to have its own service lateral, Brueckheimer noted.

In the end, the planners came to the conclusion that the homeowner be responsible for their sewer laterals extending from their homes to the mains. The town would be responsible for the infrastructure in the roadway.

Barry said that the infrastructure has been in place since the subdivision was developed. Those lots had originally been intended for commercial properties, Barry said, so they should be able to handle the residencies.

The issue over the sewer taps is what caused planner Erik Wagner to cast the commission’s one dissenting vote. Wagner said the issue should have been worked out long ago since it’s been nearly a year that the case has been in front of the Commission.


Later on Wednesday, the Board of Zoning Appeals met for a public hearing on John Markos’ request for a development standards variance to construct a garage on the northeast corner of his residence at 1550 Main St.

No one showed to speak in favor or opposition.

Barry said knowing Markos, the work will be “top of the line” and the garage will match the appearance of the house. Mandon said he could find no negatives in the plan.

The BZA voted 3-0 in approval of the request.


Posted 5/19/2016





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