(La Porte County, IN) - Another attempt to approve a new subdivision near Rolling Prairie was rejected this week.
Chicago-based Sloan Avenue Developers approached the La Porte County Plan Commission with revisions to a plan proposed back in April.
The previous plan had involved a development of about 300 homes on 166 acres off State Road 2 between 350 and 450 East. Developers submitted a new proposal to expand the lot sizes and reduce the number of homes to about 237 homes.
Many Rolling Prairie residents spoke out against the development. Encroaching on nearby agricultural areas was a primary concern, as expressed by commission member Glen Minich. “The biggest concern is, you are building in one of the most intensely farmed areas of La Porte County,” he said. “There are three to four thousand dairy cows a mile away. The waste is applied in the adjoining areas of this subdivision. There are going to be smells and dust that this developer has never seen before.”
Area resident Susan Taylor urged that utilities available to current homeowners be straightened out before more homes are brought in. “The utilities in this areas are crap,” she told commission members. “What is the county going to do to fix these utilities before they add 237 more homes? Our electricity and our cable goes out at least once a week. This needs to be fixed.”
Commission member Rich Mrozinski, however, was in favor of the development after voting against it previously. “A big plus is that we can tie into the sewer line in Rolling Prairie,” he said. “We need more flow for that sewer line.” He also liked the developer’s willingness to work within the county’s parameters. “I’ve talked with these folks a couple of times,” he said. “I like the way they want to do this, to start off with 30 homes, to see how that works. That will not only give them an idea of how things work, it will give us an idea of whether they can be trusted, and we can watch them and make sure everything’s going the way it’s supposed to.”
An hour-long special session preceded the regular Plan Commission meeting. Ultimately, the commission voted 5-2 against approving the new subdivision. The denial was a reverse of the previous rezoning attempt. In April, the Plan Commission approved the idea, which was subsequently shot down by the county’s Board of Commissioners.