The Porter County
Plan Commission at its meeting Wednesday heard of preliminary plans for a
93,000 sq. ft. assisted living and memory care facility in St. Andrews
Development’s Porter Business Park next to the Porter Regional Hospital, off
of U.S. 6 and Ind. 49 in Liberty Township.
approved of St. Andrews’ request 7-0 to rezone 4.4 acres from an Office and
Technology zoned district to an Institutional zone on the four lots the
facility will stand on. The planners’ recommendation will now move to the
County Commissioners who will hear it at their next meeting on March 15.
attorney for St. Andrews, said the building is planned to be four stories
tall with a residential appearance and will be called Journey Senior Living
The developers are
The Argent Group LLC of Chicago with principal Blair Minton who Leeth said
has been involved in the construction of over 50 other senior care centers.
A total of 100
units will make up the facility, 76 dedicated to assisted living care and 24
units to memory care, Leeth said.
“It’s the kind of
building we want for this area,” he said. “This is an exciting development
in the overall park.”
The entire 109-acre
St. Andrews’ property was rezoned by the County five years ago and at the
time was known as the Porter Medical Campus. It has since been renamed as
Porter Business Park, Leeth said, located between the hospital and Tanner
Leeth said the
County’s ordinance at the time did not allow for a planned unit development
which is why there are four zoning districts. About 47 acres was zoned for
Office and Technology (OT) in the central area and north is zoned R4
multi-family residential which was originally intended for assisted living.
The Journey Senior
Living Center however is in the OT zone to be closer to the hospital.
Because an assisted living facility is not one of the listed permitted uses,
the parcels require a rezoning, Leeth said.
In the public
hearing, one neighbor spoke in opposition saying that St. Andrews has not
fulfilled the requirements of providing a buffer between the property and
Tanner Trace that was one of the agreements made.
resident Don Trowbridge said the new facility will mean “more lights in his
Leeth said the
buffering hasn’t been done yet because there isn’t any development to buffer
against. Leeth said St. Andrews’ developer Pat Kleighe said he intends to
put shrubs and evergreens along the buffer zone. Kleighe told the planners
he has planted trees in the first phase of the development in the south
section of the property.
Robert Thompson said the second phase has not been given secondary plat
Leeth said the
request presented doesn’t pertain to building concepts or landscaping but
the “big picture” of whether an assisted living facility is right for a
rezoning. He anticipates variances will be need from the Board of Zoning
unanimously agreed to recommend the rezoning. Absent from the meeting were
members Lyndsay Ploehn and Luther Williams.