Local News

Boot Given to Proposed Subdivision

(La Porte County, IN) - A proposed 300 home subdivision near Rolling Prairie was given a thumbs down today by the La Porte County Commissioners.


Farmers with land adjacent to the proposed 166 acre subdivision were pleased with the decision because they’re already feeling squeezed by residential growth in that area over the years.


One farmer, Jim Paarlburg, told the commissioners his concerns include a child living next to his property running out into his field and getting hurt or killed because of the industrial type machinery used on his farm.  He was also worried about having so many new residents on a single parcel of land next to where he farms.  “In my view, this is not a subdivision.  It’s a city,” he said.


Todd Leath, an attorney representing the out of state developer, said he recent met with neighboring land owners to go over their concerns and made slight adjustments in the plans.  He said all of the homes would not go up at once and it might be 10-years or more before all of the lots are developed.


Leath said the homes would be valued at anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000.


Sloan Avenue Land Opportunities asked for a rezoning of a mostly wooded undeveloped parcel on Indiana 2 between 350 East and 450 East.  A portion of the property is already zoned residential while the remainder of the ground is zoned for agriculture.  The La Porte County Plan Commission on February 22 narrowly gave a favorable recommendation to the rezoning request. 


Paarlberg, who raises crops like tomatoes, onion sets, garlic and seed corn, also expressed concern about the risk to residents from sprayers applying crop protectant at least a dozen times a year.  He and other farmers are also worried about receiving more complaints about tractors on the roads and smell of manure in their fields from people moving to what’s always been an agricultural area.  Paarlberg also noted he’s lost count of the middle fingers pointed in his direction over the years from former city dwellers.


The commissioners cited concerns about population density and too many unanswered questions still lingering about the development in giving it a unanimous thumbs down.


Commissioner Rich Mrozinski said the need for new housing is great in a county wanting to grow but he couldn’t overlook his concerns that included homes on less than quarter acre lots.  “To me, it looks like a trailer park or prefabbed homes,” he said.  Leath said the lot size was typical for many subdivisions.


La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman said the developers will have to reapply for a rezoning application and start the approvals process again from the beginning if they want to further pursue their plans.

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