The Porter Plan
Commission approved a resolution recommending the formation of a TIF
district in Porter Beach at its meeting Wednesday night.
Commissioner Michael Barry brought forth the Wabash TIF Resolution----a
resolution approved by the Redevelopment Commission to form an economic
development area at the end of Wabash Avenue in Porter Beach. He asked that
the Plan Commission pass the resolution so it can go to the Town Council for
development area would encompass the property that contains the old Johnson
Beach Inn, which is zoned medium intensity commercial, and surrounding land
that is zoned low-density residential. Barry said there are two residences
in the area and some Dunes National Lakeshore land would also be included.
Barry said the
purpose of the formation of an economic development area is for the Town to
have input on what kind of development happens there, particularly with the
hope of maintaining the business zoning. “There’s been discussion by people
who want to put in condos and things like that. I don’t think anyone wants a
bunch of condos down there. We want to keep some business and have
development that makes sense,” Barry said.
Barry said having
the economic development area in place means the Town would have a say in
the density of development, coloration and design of buildings, and how much
parking is installed if a developer wanted to build something in the area.
Designating the area would also form a tax increment financing, or TIF,
financing is a levy on real property in an established district that yields
an annual flow of cash the Town can use for public works in that district at
its discretion. Revenue from TIF is the difference between property taxes
collected based on the assessed value of property in the district from a
given base year and the total amount of taxes collected from the district in
the current year. TIF revenue is not required to be shared with other
entities such as the Duneland Schools, Porter County, or the Westchester
Town Planner Jim
Mandon noted that the formation of the TIF district could allow the Town to
offer financial incentive to developers from the funds collected in the
approved the resolution unanimously. The Town Council will consider the
matter next. A public hearing will ensue before the formation of the
district can be approved.
In the preliminary
hearing, Dane Jackson petitioned for a public hearing to receive subdivision
approval for property at 6 Franklin Street. Jackson is also seeking to
rezone 6 Franklin Street from medium density residential to two-family
Jackson said he
plans to divide the house at 6 Franklin into a duplex with a one-bedroom
unit and a two-bedroom unit. There are two vacant lots on the property
behind the house where he plans to construct two fourplexes. The new housing
would be intended as affordable living for seniors and Jackson would
contract an outside company to act as the property manager.
Barry said he has
visited the house and dividing it is straightforward. All utilities are in
place. Some demolition is being done already. Barry and Mandon are working
together to form a recommendation on the rezone, which Barry said is more
discretionary than the subdivision approval. The Commission voted to set the
matter for public hearing at the next meeting, June 20.