The Porter Plan
Commission will send Paul Childress’ request to rezone his property at 1035
Wagner Rd. to the Town Council with no recommendation, on a vote of 6-0.
Commission last month failed to reach a majority vote on motions for a
favorable or unfavorable recommendation. Six members were present Wednesday
to vote on the rezoning, all except planner Ken Timm.
Prior to the vote,
planner Tara Duffie talked about reducing the number of animals to make the
farm less intrusive on the neighbors. She said two or three cattle would cut
down drastically on the amount of manure, as she had researched and found
that cattle can produce up to 60 pounds of manure each daily.
Within a 100-yard
buffer, the length of a football field, the neighbors shouldn’t be bothered
by strong smells of the manure.
suggested having fewer chickens and other fowl as the feed for them is known
to attract rodents and other vermin.
Childress said he
could do with three cattle and less poultry. The numbers he requested were
just “worst-case scenario” figures.
“It would not
affect my operation at all,” said Childress.
Childress, a former
Town Council member, presented plans to the Plan Commission last summer to
operate a self-sufficient farm operation to leave to his family known as the
Childress Family Foundation. He wished to have green space to allow for
animals and be able to produce plants and crops. The site was once a Nike
Missile base and Childress made plans to rehab the structures there.
Neighbors expressed concerns about Childress’ plans to store and use methane
gas on the property and of not wanting to live next to a farm operation
within town limits.
Duffie made a
motion to make a recommendation for the green space rezone to the Town
Council with the condition that the animals be kept south and west of one of
The motion died
with dissenting votes from planners Erik Wagner, Jamie Spanier, Amy
Waechter-Versaw and President Jim Erikkson.
But all planners
voted in favor of Spanier’s motion that the Commission send no
recommendation to the Town Council, which will have final decision on
whether to grant the rezoning.
Town Planner Jim
Mandon said it is likely the Council will hear the request sometime next
Erikkson told the
Chesterton Tribune afterwards he liked the plan Childress outined but
wanted to be fair to the neighbors.