The Porter Plan
Commission voted to start the process of amending the Porter Comprehensive
Plan at its meeting last week.
The Board approved
an agreement not to exceed $4,500 for Town Planner Jim Mandon to produce a
draft of a new comprehensive plan. Mandon estimates heíll spend almost 100
hours on data collection, population projections, a future thoroughfare
plan, a future land use map, and conclusions/recommendations to complete the
starting the work mid-April and finishing in August.
Commissioner Michael Barry said the Comprehensive Plan hasnít been updated
since 2004, and since then, changes have occurred in Town such as properties
rezoned or acquired by/donated to Shirley Heinze, among others, and some
newer land uses arenít included.
comprehensive plans should be updated every five to 10 years. Porter has
seen a lot of changes in the past five years, he said, and some assumptions
the original plan makes might need reconsideration.
The development of
the U.S. 20 corridor, where multi-family residential developments are most
suitable, and identifying problem areas are important considerations,
according to Mandon.
He also said public
input is essential once the Board has the full draft to consider.
Mandon said towns
can go the route of having a public hearing at a regular meeting and calling
it done, but he suggests going into neighborhoods to make better connections
with residents who have busy schedules or may be turned off by meetings.
Mandon said, ďitís better to meet on their turfĒ, and meetings at schools,
churches, or libraries could go a long way. ďThere might only be five or six
people at each of those, but if you do 10 of them, thatís a lot more
impact,Ē Mandon said.
member Jim Eriksson noted public input sorely lacked back when the 2004 Plan
Barry added that
the Town can also take online input now in addition to holding public
meetings for input.
In other business,
the Board approved a landscaping plan and an amendment to the site plan for
a development at the southeast corner of U.S. 20 and Mineral Springs Road.
The Boardís vote was unanimous with Board president Laura Madigan abstaining
due to an unrelated business relationship with the petitioners.
Babcock said petitioners Brett Carney of Carney Construction and David Ales
of Davidís Lawncare had a PUD approved to build four buildings for their
businesses on the site in 2015. Babcock presented a modified site plan that
would instead allow the pair to build two buildings total, starting with one
that fronts U.S. 20 and adding a second building as commercial demand
Also, per the 2015
ordinance, Babcock presented a landscaping plan for the Boardís approval.
Norway Spruce will be planted at the siteís entrance and exit and native
flowering crabapple trees will be planted near the building, he said.
The Mineral Springs
lift station will serve the site, and two detention areas with rip rap
outlets are planned so water from the site is retained, then continues to
sheet drain to the south and the east, like it naturally would, as it leaves
detention, Babcock said.
Mandon asked if the
pair plan to store salt on-site for snow removal. Ales said they do, and
Mandon said they need to have a plan for securely storing it. Carney said
the amount of storage on site hasnít been decided yet.
Albrecht-Mallinger was concerned about what will be stored outdoors and
potential runoff to the Little Calumet River.
Barry assured him
the site plan will go to a consultant who used to work for Indiana
Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and the petitioners will have
to be specific about outdoor storage when they apply for a building permit.
Barry said heíll forward the specifics to the Board once he has them.
Vice-president David Phillips asked how long construction will take to get
started since the site plan took five years. Carney and Ales said they hope
to build as soon as possible.