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council ok's rezoning for new store

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 14:22 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

– Plans for an O'Reilly's Auto Parts store in LaPorte crossed a major hurdle after the American Legion next door chose to no longer oppose it.

The city council Monday night approved rezoning the parcel at E. Lincolnway and Holcomb St. from residential to commercial.

Chuck Greenawalt, commander of the American Legion Post #83 once strongly against the project, expressed support after working on the plans with the developer the past few weeks.

It's still a tight squeeze for the building to go up on the parcel after four dilapidated homes are torn down.

However, the building has been moved back from the edge of the American Legion property and five feet from the edge of the sidewalk along Indiana 2.

It's also been turned slightly to provide a better view of oncoming traffic for members pulling away on Indiana 2, said city councilman Roger Galloway.

''They've changed the design some and they're getting along better,'' said Galloway, a member of the post.

Casting the only vote against rezoning was Tim Stabosz, who felt the building is too big for the small parcel and too imposing for nearby landowners especially with an Auto Zone already across the street next door.

''The city needs to make sure when you transition between commercial development and residential areas, you don't screw the people that have a residence,'' said Stabosz.

Vernon Berg said the store would be just one foot off the property line of one of his rental homes at 112 Holcomb St and will not only disrupt his tenants but reduce what he can get for the property if he ever chooses to sell it.

''Why should I continue to fix my properties up if the city is going to do things that's going to hurt me on the value of my property,'' said Berg.

Councilman Miles Fettinger also has concerns about the development but didn't want to send

the wrong message to other new businesses looking at possibly coming to LaPorte.

The blueprints must now be approved by the city's site review committee for construction to

begin.
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