Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter Town Council approves Summer Tree duplexes in Porter

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

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 homes.

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 properties.

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.

Upon approval, Council President Greg Stinson told Leeth jokingly, “We look forward to them developing it and paying taxes to the Town.”

Road work

In department reports, Brueckheimer said she is grateful for residents’ “patience and understanding” with road closures through town as workers continue repairs.

Stinson agreed. “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

The culprits 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.

Police Assistant 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 no cost.

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 the building.

Travel policy resolution

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 travel.

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.

The resolution 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 landscape guide

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 7:30 p.m.

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 Center.

Mourning Mitch Winey

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.

 

Posted 6/16/2016

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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