Chesterton Tribune



Porter plan commission will hear rezone request again

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The Porter Plan Commission expressed its willingness at its meeting Wednesday to hear more from Dane Jackson, a developer who sought last year to rezone 6 Franklin Street and three adjacent parcels on Rankine Street.

The Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals had a lot of questions for Jackson last year and ultimately rebuffed his request for a rezone from R2, single family residential, to R3, multi-family residential use.

Jackson had planned on converting the existing house at 6 Franklin into a duplex and constructing fourplexes on the lots behind it. Jackson said the small units were intended to be affordable housing for seniors. The proposed development drew opposition from nearby property owners.

Now, Jackson has proposed a new plan: he still wants to convert the house into a duplex, but with more duplexes behind it instead of fourplexes.

The Town has a rule that Jackson cannot request another rezone for the property within one year of being rejected, but he has petitioned for the Board to waive that rule.

Board member Laura Madigan motioned to allow the exception. “The sooner this decision is made, the sooner he gets a decision and the sooner the property gets developed, so I think its in everyone’s best interest,” said Madigan.

Her motion faltered for lack of a second.

Member Tara Duffie chimed in. “I really like the rule. I think its good, and its there for a reason--so people won’t reapply and reapply.”

“I just think it sets a precedent, and without a reason that’s really compelling, I don’t want to set that precedent,” Duffie said.

Town Planner Jim Mandon suggested the Board could pass a conditional exception to the rule that would allow Jackson to apply for variances and rezones on just the existing house and not the back lots. The Board voted unanimously to do just that.

Jackson is free to reapply for a rezone for 6 Franklin, provided his paperwork is in order, as soon as the next Plan Commission meeting. He will have to wait a year to reapply for a rezone of the back lots.

In other business, the Board re-elected Jim Eriksson president and Erik Wagner vice-president and opted to retain Tammie Sufana as its secretary and keep member Ken Timm as liaison to the BZA.




Posted 1/18/2019




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