PORTAGE | Gary Flanagin looks at the area surrounding Dombey Lake as a place to retire and teach his grandchildren about fishing and nature.
But, for Flanagin to have his dream come true, he has to seek various approvals from the city of Portage.
He was before the Development Review Committee on Tuesday to seek its recommendation on rezoning the property from low density multifamily residential to very low density residential.
Flanagin plans to purchase Dombey Lake and the surrounding undeveloped area from J.B. Lawrence. He wants to excavate the lake, more than doubling it from its present 13 acres and construct one single-family home on a peninsula in the lake.
Flanagin said he believes the project would improve the area, which, he said, is used for a dump and to run all-terrain vehicles.
To do so, he must not only rezone the property, must also vacate streets in the undeveloped Dombey subdivision and gain an excavation permit to remove an estimated 600,000 cubic yards of sand for the lake's proposed expansion.
DRC members James Hazard and John Hannon, who also serve on the plan commission, told Flanagin and surveyor Don Bengel, that the plan commission will likely want to see more of a plan and time frame for his proposal before granting approval.
Excavating the property became an issue in the discussion. Hannon, the city's engineer, said he would have to obtain up to two permits, one for excavating above grade and one for excavating below grade. He would also have to post a bond for the project.
The excavation permit would be considered by the Board of Works.
Flanagin said, depending on the economy, it could take five to 10 years to remove the sand. At age 54 now, he said, he wants the project completed in time for his retirement.
After a lengthy discussion, the DRC told Flanagin it would be his decision how to approach the project, to either seek plan commission approval or to start by seeking the excavation permit.