Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter Town Council: No rezone for number 6 Franklin

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By LILY REX

The Porter Town Council struck the final blow to a proposed rezone at its meeting Tuesday night, following an unfavorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Dane Jackson petitioned to the Plan Commission for a rezone at 6 Franklin Street, where he had hoped to convert a house into a duplex and construct two fourplexes on the lot behind it, both to act as affordable rentals for senior citizens. At a public hearing on the matter last month, four adjacent property owners spoke against the rezone, which would have made the one parcel acceptable for multi-family use in an area surrounded by property zoned for single-family use. Their concerns were “spot zoning,” traffic density, the potential private use of Rankin Road to access the property from behind, and property values.

The Commission also had questions--concerning Fair Housing Act regulations surrounding who Jackson can rent to and refuse to consider, adequate drainage, and the minimal square footage Jackson proposed, which was just 480 square feet for the units in the proposed fourplexes.

The Commission on July 18 passed down a recommendation that the Town Council, which has the final say, deny the request. Tuesday, the Council followed their recommendation without discussion.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Jay Craig reported the Porter FD responded to 77 calls in July, bringing them to a total of 416 for the year to date as of the end of last month. Craig says Porter FD responds to an average of 500 calls each year, so 416 is a high number at this point. “We’re gonna blow that 500 out of the water. We’re pretty busy.”

The Council approved Craig disposing of some equipment that is at its end of life and past its safe use date. Craig then announced that Porter FD has new equipment coming and is in the process of completing two grant applications--one from Firehouse Subs and one from NIPSCO. In both applications, the ask will be for $29,945 to outfit one of the fire engines with new battery-powered extrication equipment that would replace gas-powered models currently in use. Craig says the extrication equipment Porter FD uses now is aging and has rising maintenance costs, and the new equipment will also lower extrication times. If both grants are awarded, engines 910 and 911 will both get the new equipment. In addition, Westchester Township will foot the bill of $29,926 for new dive equipment for the three new rescue divers certified this summer and maintenance on existing equipment.

In other FD business, Lieutenant Brian Mulholland was named Firefighter of the month, and Craig extended thanks to Firefighter Marc Piazza for sorting through all the equipment.

Council comments

Council member Greg Stinson praised Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer for a quick response to Emerson Delaney’s report of a large dead tree hanging precariously over Tremont Road. Stinson said Brueckheimer’s crew had the tree down within 24 hours of the last meeting where Delaney, an adjacent property owner to the parcel with the tree and Chesterton Town Council member, brought it to the Council’s attention.

Council member Bill Lopez reminded residents to leave early for work in anticipation of bus traffic and to watch out for kids as school has started.

 

Posted 8/16/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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