VALPARAISO | The Porter County commissioners rejected the unanimous recommendation of the Plan Commission and upset a group of residents Tuesday by allowing the developer of The Prairie at Aberdeen subdivision in Center Township to build an access road to the adjacent Autumn Oaks neighborhood.
Several Autumn Oaks residents voiced concern that the new road will greatly increase traffic in their neighborhood and pose a safety threat to their children accustomed to fewer vehicles.
Developer Bob Coolman, however, said the road will give both developments a second access point, which was described Tuesday as an improvement for safety.
"It's just better planning and that's why it's in your ordinance to begin with," he said.
The resolution in the matter, which came after a lengthy public hearing, calls for the connecting road to be built, but not open for traffic until the third phase of The Prairie at Aberdeen development begins. Construction-related traffic will continue to be barred at that time.
The Porter County Plan Commission had recommended against the connecting road by a vote of 8-0.
Attorney Nathan Vis, who represented residents from Autumn Oaks, said the group will discuss whether to pursue the matter further, which would involve an appeal to the courts.
The two developments in question are northwest of Division Road and Ind. 2.
There are 17 homes currently at The Prairie at Aberdeen development with another 40 planned, said Porter County Plan Commission Executive Director Bob Thompson.
Coolman downplayed concerns about increased traffic by saying the new development targets "empty nesters" and will be built slowly. He also questioned how fair it is to redirect the construction traffic through other neighboring areas.