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Porter County Commissioners consider subdivision plans amid neighbors' opposition

screenshot from Porter County Government YouTube video.
A number of residents gathered at the June 7 Porter County Commissioners meeting to voice their opposition to a rezoning request that would pave the way for the new Heirloom subdivision.

Plans for a new subdivision in Porter County continue to move ahead, despite opposition from several local residents. The proposed Heirloom subdivision could bring 146 homes to an 80-acre property near county roads 325 East and 500 North.

During Tuesday's county commissioners meeting, a number of residents spoke against the developer's request to rezone the area for medium density single-family residential development. In addition to concerns about drainage and traffic, they also worried the subdivision would change the area's rural character.

Commissioner Jim Biggs didn't think the proposal was worth changing the existing zoning map. "I'm not about to sit up here and go against the wishes of 300 residents who I work for, for the benefit of somebody who I've never met on a project I have never seen," Biggs said.

But Commissioner Laura Blaney thought the rezoning fits with the county's future land use plans, noting that it's only a quarter mile away from Valparaiso's current city limits. "This makes sense. We need to manage growth, and this is an area that's well-positioned for it," Blaney said.

The commissioners voted two-to-one to approve the rezoning on first reading, with Biggs opposing. A final vote could come at the commissioners' next meeting.