It looks like the
residents of Summer Tree subdivision in Porter will be getting new neighbors
as the Town Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve an ordinance amending the
Planned Unit Development to include 18 residential units.
Lots 1-4 and Lot 25
will be subdivided into residential lots, with a total of 9 duplexes that
will match the appearance of the existing homes, said attorney Todd Leeth
who represents Fox Chase Development.
The Plan Commission
recommended approval of the amendment by a 4-1 vote with planner and Town
Council member Erik Wagner dissenting. Wagner last month said he voted
against the measure as questions with the tap-ins for sewer and potential
road cuts on Summer Tree Dr. had yet to be answered.
He voted favorably
this time hearing from Town Director of Development Michael Barry and Public
Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer that there wouldn’t need to be many
additional road cuts, maybe two, and there are four existing taps for the
Barry had said the
infrastructure was put in originally when the lots had been planned for
commercial properties so it should be able to adequately handle residential
Leeth said that
Plan Commission will set conditions for the developer to submit additional
documents to the Town for approval before construction can begin.
A private lane that
connects Lot 25 on Saddle Back Ln. to U.S. 20 will be maintained by the
homeowner in the portions where their homes are, Leeth added. Another part
is maintained by the Computer Education Institute and the Town is not
responsible for any of it.
Council member Bill
Lopez questioned if subdividing will decrease the size of the lots,
contending that it seemed “a small area” for 18 units. Barry said however
the lot sizes will actually grow because they originally had been set up for
triple or quad unit properties.
Council President Greg Stinson told Leeth jokingly, “We look forward to them
developing it and paying taxes to the Town.”
reports, Brueckheimer said she is grateful for residents’ “patience and
understanding” with road closures through town as workers continue repairs.
“It’s a lot of hassle but the roads are getting fixed. We either hear
complaints that the roads are in bad shape or that we’re closing roads to
get them done.”
Barry said next
week he will have a new list of roads to be closed next.
Keep cars locked
responsible for vehicle break-ins in the area have possibly been apprehended
by another police department but residents should continue to be cautious
and keep their vehicles locked, Police Chief Jamie Spanier told the Council.
Chief Todd Allen last month alerted the Council to the fact that the town
saw a spike in the number of vehicle entries and advised residents to lock
their cars to deter theft. Spanier said that thefts have “slowed down a bit”
and believes the perpetrators “probably got arrested somewhere else,” but
locking doors has been effective.
From the cars that
were entered, “only one or two were locked,” Spanier said.
In other Police
business, Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy said the Town received $4,667 in
reimbursement for police vests from the Department of Justice. Spanier said
that thanks to an anonymous donation made to match the grant and the efforts
of U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky, PPD was able to get the vests at almost
Pomeroy also said
the Town got $751 from the insurance company to replace the phone that went
dead in the elevator at the police department last year when lighting struck
On the subject of
reimbursements, the Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that
added some clarification to the Town’s policy on employee reimbursements for
Stinson said the
policy spells out the rates adopted by the U.S. General Services
Administration on how much an employee can be reimbursed for meals, travel
and hotel stays.
doesn’t change anything substantial in current policy, Stinson said, but
employees will know how much they will be reimbursed before they travel “so
it won’t be a surprise to them.”
Save the Dunes
The Council heard
from Nathaniel Pilla, project coordinator with Save the Dunes, returning to
request use of Hawthorne Community Center on Thursday, Aug. 25, from 6 to
Pilla said staff of
Save the Dunes will be presenting a new landscaping guide for the beach
communities in the area, with tips on how to battle invasive plants and
promote the expansion of native plant species in the Indiana Dunes.
Save the Dunes held
a community talk in May on plants growing in the Dunes ecosystem in
preparation for the guide.
The Council voted
5-0 in favor of waiving the fee for Save the Dunes to use the Community
In Council member
comments, Wagner offered condolences to the family of U.S. Cadet Mitch Winey,
who died in a training accident at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, June 2.
Winey graduated from Chesterton High School in 2014
“I just want to
comment that the Duneland community stands behind (Winey’s family) and I’m
sorry for their loss,” Wagner said.