A rezoning request
for plans to put two greenhouses at 1240 Beam St., near U.S. 20, received
unanimous favor from the Porter Plan Commission on Wednesday.
Petitioning for the
rezoning to B-3 Business, resident Sherrill Newman said she wishes to have
two hoop greenhouses about 100 feet long running parallel to Beam St., where
she’ll grow exotic tropical flowers and wholesale organic produce to sell.
The public hearing
drew in some neighbors who were concerned about how the rezoning to business
purposes would impact them. Ruth Wahl, who resides immediately east of the
property, said the neighborhood was zoned as residential in the 1950’s and
she would like to see it remain that way.
Greg Martinson who
owns Martinson Cabinets to the north asked about access, whether an egress
would be made onto U.S. 20 or Beam St.
Mary Bradow wanted to know how drainage will be handled on the property
“since we are all on wells” and Mark Fisher inquired what is allowed in a
B-3 zoning in case it turned out Newman would be unable to open the
Newman said her
task is “to make sure I’m a good neighbor and not affect you at all.” She
said she will make deliveries herself so there wouldn’t be any large trucks
or traffic on the property and she will put up hedges as a buffer, as
required by Town Code.
disturbance would be noise from fans, according to Newman, but she said she
intends to have those far enough away from neighboring residences that they
won’t be audible off-property. The greenhouses would be at least 50 feet
from the property line, she said.
Right now there is
no driveway on the property and Newman said she would speak with the town on
the best approach on where to put one. Town Planner Jim Mandon noted that
any cutout onto U.S. 20 would need approval from the state.
Part of the
property is already zoned B-3, Mandon noted, and other parts are zoned
single-family and multi-family residential. He said he would prefer to see
it zoned all as one classification. There is a residence on it now that has
been in disrepair and long ago there was a winery and a motel.
Mandon said given
the small size of the property, he doesn’t expect anything to be built there
under the B-3 zoning that would have a high impact.
Newman said she
plans to fix up the house and as for drainage, she plans to collect the
water on site to use for her plants.
resident Jennifer Klug, lauded Newman’s intention to make use of the unused
property with a low impact business and for the taxes the Town will draw
from it. “This is something that will benefit the town,” Klug said.
Director Michael Barry said he’s in favor as well. “Anything that cleans up
a blighted property is a good use,” he said.
and Town Councilman David Wodrich spoke highly of the plants Newman grows
and added the market for organic foods is growing.
“We need this type
of thing. We need organic farming. There is a high demand for this and I
don’t see (Newman) failing because her products are great,” Wodrich said.
The request will
now go to the Town Council for approval. Under the motion, Newman is to
submit a copy of the property deed within the next six months in order to
get the rezoning.
Summer Tree lots
Earlier in the
meeting, Barry announced that he received an e-mail from Dan Fowler and
James Metcalf saying they are withdrawing their request to replat lots 1
through 4 and 25 of the Summer Tree subdivision on the northwest corner of
U.S. 20 and Waverly Rd.
The request, which
involved building multi-unit residential properties, had been tabled by the
Plan Commission since August.
Barry said the
subdivision’s original developer Glen Cowsert will be making the replat
request, possibly at the January meeting. The plans are roughly the same but
Cowsert intends to join up with the existing property owner’s association,
“It should be a lot
simpler the way it’s going to be revised,” he said.
“We hope. We’d like
to put this thing to rest,” replied Commission President Jim Eriksson.
BZA sets public
Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals met briefly for about five minutes,
unanimously agreeing to set a public hearing at its January meeting on
resident Mike Kiest’s request for a development standard variance for his
Barry noticed the
height exceeded the maximum height requirements by a little more than a foot
and advised Kiest to ask for a variance.
Kiest said he
guesses he got “a little carried away on building” the garage. The upper
level is used for storage, he said.