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Valparaiso City Hall stock

Valparaiso City Hall at night.

VALPARAISO – A housing development with streams and other natural areas was presented to the city’s Plan Commission Tuesday night.

A total of 284 single-family homes are planned by Jake Wagner, a longtime housing developer who’s seeking a rezoning of the site from suburban residential to planned unit development.

Chris Lannert, a project architect from St. Joseph, Michigan, said the development on 153 acres of rolling ground is called The Brooks at Vale Park.

It would consist of traditional single family homes, townhouses and triplexes.

"This is all quality-type housing with great materials," Lannert said.

Each style of housing would go into separate individual neighborhoods created for people who enjoy different lifestyles.

Amenities include walking trails, exercise stations along with rain gardens and bioswells that would help cleanse storm water running into streams, wetlands and other bodies of water on the site

Attorney Todd Leeth, representing the developer, said 94 of the units would be homes found in a traditional subdivision on lots containing no less than 12,000 square feet.

There would also be starter homes or homes for empty-nesters on 6,000 square-foot lots in addition to 70 townhomes and 45 triplexes, Leeth said.

Leeth noted the city would be a partner by providing stormwater services to assist with drainage on the property.

PUD zoning is sought because it provides more flexibility than what traditional existing local zoning laws provide for new housing construction, Leeth said.

Tyler Kent, director of the city planning department, said Vale Park Road would be extended from Keystone Commons subdivision to Beauty Creek subdivision at Windsor Park.

The road would go next to the walking/biking path that was built in 2016.

Plan Commission member Bruce Berner said the proposal contains fewer homes than the 400 or so allowed under present zoning for PUD’s.

He said the proposal will come back for a vote at the next Plan Commission meeting at 7 p.m. March 12 at the temporary City Hall, 653 Hayes-Leonard Road.

The decision by the Plan Commission would then go to the City Council for final consideration and approval, Berner said.

Close to 100 people attended the meeting. 

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